Knowing the difference between a lockdown and sheltering in place could prove to be life saving knowledge during an actual emergency.
The major difference between the two forms of emergency barricade is based on the type of emergency you are barricading yourself from.
“(Both) are very different responses,” said Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Gerry Veara.
When individuals are asked to lockdown it is in response to an active shooter. During an active shooter emergency, individuals are asked to barricade themselves in a room with no windows, if possible. If a room with no windows is not available in your building, individuals are asked to seal any windows to avoid making yourself or other individuals visible to any potential threat.
The idea of a lockdown is to remain properly secured and out of the line of vision of an active shooter, until you are told the area is secure.
WHAT IS AN ACTIVE SHOOTER?
According to Veara, an active shooter is someone who, for whatever reason decides to go into a populated area and start shooting.
Usually, the shooter is not shooting at anyone in particular. Veara said the shooter is usually deliberate about his or her action and is not panicking throughout the process, so it is important to remain in lockdown until your area is secure.
“They don’t just stay in one place. If you’ve locked down you’ve effectively kept the shooter out,” Veara said.
SHELTER IN PLACE
Sheltering in place is in response to severe weather and also a chemical, biological, or radiological contamination that may have been released into the environment.
When individuals are asked to shelter-in-place it means the individual or organization should select an interior room or rooms with few or no windows.
Once a room has been chosen, the individuals or organization should seal windows, doors, and ventilation systems using tape, plastic, and weather stripping in an attempt to avoid a chemical disturbance or weather related disturbance.
Wet paper or wet cloth should be used to seal cracks in the building.
Individuals can increase protection by using whatever means are available to reduce the ventilation rate. Things like turning off the air conditioning systems, closing all windows and doors, and avoiding using elevators can help decrease your risk of contamination.
If an individual is contaminated, it is recommended that the individual seclude himself from co-workers, that he remove his clothing and place in a plastic bag, and shower if possible.
If the contaminated individual cannot shower, he must wash off the areas that were not protected by clothing.
In either case of emergency, organizations should have an emergency action plan to determine an individual’s role during these types of emergencies.
Once an emergency action plan is developed, Veara suggests that organizations practice drill sessions to ensure that individuals are at least familiar with the process in case an actual emergency ever happens.
Community members will have an opportunity to practice lockdown procedures during a functional exercise scheduled for Oct. 23, where the Mass Notification System will be tested and lockdown procedures can be practiced. The Oct. 23 exercise is in preparation for the full-scale exercise scheduled for Nov. 19, where the entire installation is required to participate.
For more information on how to develop an emergency action plan contact McDonald Jacob at 678-3674.