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Emergency Sheltering Definitions

When an emergency notification goes out from the University or local law enforcement, there will sometimes be a directive about emergency sheltering. Please familiarize yourself with the different definitions for the terms you may see used in an emergency notification:


Definition: The decision to evacuate residents, faculty, and staff from a place deemed potentially dangerous for reasons of safety or protection. To remove residents from a building or area for reasons of safety and precaution, impending weather and received threats or breaches of security.

What To Do: You could receive an emergency notification from UNH requiring you to evacuate your building. During a fire alarm or other emergency where the campus notification tells you to evacuate your building, you should retreat to your designated muster (meeting) point and remain there until otherwise instructed by Campus Police or other emergency personnel. For some emergencies, the emergency notification will tell you to go to the designated Emergency Shelter, which is the Beckerman Center for the West Haven Campus. In other instances, the emergency notification may tell you to evacuate to another location specified in the message.


Definition: A "Lockdown" is a temporary sheltering technique that can range from 30 minutes to several hours, utilized to limit civilian exposure to an "Active Shooter" or similar incident.

What To Do: When alerted, occupants of any building within the subject area will lock all doors and windows, close blinds and not allow entry or exit to anyone until the all clear has been deemed and residential life staff, students and faculty are notified.


Definition: Shelters/safe rooms will protect occupants from a variety of hazards, including debris impact, accidental or intentional explosive detonation, and the accidental or intentional release of a toxic substance into the air. Shelters/safe rooms may also be designed to protect individuals from outside entities, unsafe weather conditions, and serve as locations that can be used to shelter displaced students and staff from unforeseen circumstances.

What To Do: For some emergencies, the notification will tell you to go to the designated Emergency Shelter, which is the Beckerman Center for the West Haven Campus.


Definition: This is a precaution aimed to keep one safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm.) This concept may happen more frequently in times when sheltering is immediate and not enough notice given of the action or threat that is imminent.

What To Do: Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off the entire room or office building. 

  1. Emergency Contact

    For Police, Fire or Medical Emergencies, dial 911 or the UNH Police Emergency number at 203-932-7070.

    When in doubt, in any emergency please call immediately.

    On campus, you can also use the emergency call boxes or red emergency phones in academic buildings.