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In the unlikely event of an accidental or intentional release of hazardous chemicals or biological agents in the area, the best action may be to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room with no windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building.


The following are guidelines to follow if sheltering-in-place is advised.

  • University Police will use the NKU Alert System - Emergency Notification to advise the University community of imminent dangers. 
  • Turn off the heating or air conditioning in your area if you have the means to do so. Operations and Maintenance will turn off all main air handlers and exhaust systems.
  • Do not use the elevators. Elevators can become stuck when air handlers are turned off.
  • Seek shelter on floors above ground level and in the interior part of the building, in an area with the least amount of windows and doors.
  • Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside. Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, copy and conference rooms without exterior windows will work well. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be sealed from the outdoors.
  • Wait for further instructions from University Police or other emergency personnel. 
  • Use phones only for an emergency. Overuse of phones, including cellular, can overburden the system and delay emergency calls.
  • It is highly suggested that all departments invest in a small battery powered radio in case electricity is lost.
  • Once the emergency is over you will be instructed to evacuate the building until it has been properly ventilated for any remaining hazards.

In the event that sheltering-in-place is not an option, local or university authorities may issue an order to evacuate the area. This will also be communicated via the NKU Alert System - Emergency Notification.