Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


When will Shelter-In-Place go into effect?
In emergency situations where it is important to minimize exposure to outdoor risks and to deliver information to the UNC Charlotte campus community quickly and efficiently.

What type of incident causes the need for a Shelter-In-Place order?
Situations may include inclement weather, violent or criminal behavior in the area, or dangerous air quality due to the accidental or intentional release of hazardous materials.

How will I know that Shelter-In-Place is in effect?
Shelter-In-Place will be signaled by sounding the campus siren, a tonal signal and audible message that can be heard in all outdoor areas on campus. The siren will sound in a series of intermittent tones, followed by an audible message. In addition, you will receive a UNC Charlotte Alerts message via text and voicemail. Resident Assistants (RAs) positioned throughout the residence hall and in the lobby will alert their residents of the need to stay inside. If you are in an academic or administrative building when the siren is activated, Building Facility Marshals will provide additional information. Broadcast emails and campus displays such as plasma screens and computer monitors will be used to relay the same message.

What should I do?
If you hear the campus siren, you should calmly enter the nearest building and wait for further information. Move away from all windows, secure the room door, and wait for further instruction once inside.

How will information about the situation be communicated to me?
If you seek shelter inside a residence hall, Resident Assistants will provide assistance and information. Building Facility Marshals serve the same purpose in academic and administration buildings. These individuals are equipped with radios that will allow them to maintain contact with other UNC Charlotte emergency responders. The University will also disseminate information, as soon as it is available, via email, voicemail and text message. The UNC Charlotte homepage will also display a large emergency banner to provide emergency information in either red or yellow depending on the severity of the event with red indicating a severe event while yellow means to take additional precaution.

What am I supposed to do if I am off campus?
If you are Sheltering-In-Place in a campus apartment complex, the same information from above applies. Keep in touch with friends on campus and family, and continue to monitor your phone and email for further information.

What about if I am off campus?
If you are outside of the UNC Charlotte campus area in the event of a regional or citywide Shelter-In-Place recommendation, you should seek shelter, and then follow city or local jurisdiction directives. However, if you are off campus or enroute to campus and an emergency Shelter-In-Place command is given do not come onto campus. Please remain off campus, stay connected and await further information, when a Shelter-In-Place command is given.

What if I am in class?
Faculty members and students should remain in place until directed by Building Facility Marshals and/or other UNC Charlotte emergency responders such as campus Police and Public Safety. Faculty members should assist Building Facility Marshals if directed.

What if I am required to remain in place for an extended period of time?
It is a good idea for you to have certain items readily available, such as medicines, eyeglasses or other essential items that you may need in the event of an emergency. In addition, it is a good idea to keep a few non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking with you as well, such as energy bars or trail mix.

How will I be notified when the Shelter-In-Place command is over?
Campus Police and Public Safety officers will inform the UNC Charlotte campus community through the campus siren, email, text and voicemail messages once an "All Clear" is given and the Shelter-In-Place command is no longer in effect.

Building Evacuation

When will Building Evacuation go into effect?
In case of a fire or other emergency that requires all occupants to immediately leave the building to ensure their safety.

How will I know?
Building Evacuation will be signaled by the audible fire alarm, including strobe lights and audible alerts and/or by other means of notification like UNC Charlotte Alerts (e.g. text, email, voicemail, campus displays, and campus first responders such as Police and Public Safety officers).

What should I do?
When you receive the notification, leave the building and proceed to the assembly area in your Building Evacuation Plan (posted on the entry door of your residence hall or classroom building). If you have any questions regarding your assembly area, refer them to your RA, student counselor, or classroom professor. Or follow this link to the Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) office for building evacuation plans.

How should I prepare for a Building Evacuation?
Familiarize yourself with exit routes and the assembly area for your residence hall, academic, or administrative building.

How will I know when it is safe to return to the building, or what to do next?
Resident Assistants, Building Facility Marshals, and campus Police and Public Safety officers will provide additional information at each assembly area. You may only re-enter a building once authorized by these individuals. If a fire or other incident makes a building unsafe to enter for a significant period of time, students and other inhabitants of a building may be provided temporary shelter.