Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: Does SPSU lockdown?
A: No, the Southern Polytechnic State University is an open campus which cannot be completely closed to the public. In some instances in which the campus experiences an emergency, the University Police department will direct the campus community to Shelter in Place. This may be reported in the media as a lockdown.
2) Q: What is the role of Faculty during a Shelter in Place incident?
A: As with any campus emergency, the expectation of students is that their professor or instructor will provide leadership and reassurance throughout the event. It is therefore very important that Faculty familiarize themselves with the Shelter in Place procedures and be prepared to secure their classrooms should it be required.
3) Q: What is the role of a University Supervisor during a Shelter in Place incident?
A: As with any campus emergency, the expectation of employees is that their supervisor will provide leadership and reassurance throughout the event. It is therefore very important that supervisors familiarize themselves with the Shelter in Place procedures and be prepared to secure their classrooms should it be required.
4) Q: How are individuals notified of the need to Shelter in Place?
A: There are various communication tools available to alert individuals when there is an emergency on Campus. Methods include the Emergency Public Address Speaker System, Hornet Alert, County Emergency Weather Siren and Campus-wide Emails. In accordance with the University’s emergency communication protocol, the method for disseminating emergency alerts will be based on the situation and building(s) affected. Notification may also come from a departmental administrator, emergency responders. A variety of emergency notification tools will be used to ensure the message is delivered as quickly as possible.
Hornet Alert can be received in both voice and text message and e-mail format. To register, go to: http://spsu.edu/hornetalert.
5) Q: Is it safe to travel down long corridors after receiving a shelter in place for a crime in progress?
A: No, unless you are very close to an exit. Do not travel down long hallways to get to an exit, because hallways offer limited areas of refuge should you encounter a threatening individual.
6) Q: Is it okay to assemble in large open areas after receiving a shelter in place notification for a crime in progress?
A: No, because large open areas, such as cafeterias, generally do not have doors that can be secured and offer limited areas in which to hide. An assailant may intentionally target these areas believing they can create a larger impact in populated gathering places. If you cannot secure yourself in an adjacent room, try to take cover beneath or behind objects that will provide protection and remove you from line of sight.
7) Q: Is it okay to call (678)915-5555 or 911 after receiving a shelter in place notification?
A: No, unless you have immediate concern for your safety, the safety of others or feel you have critical information that will assist emergency personnel in the response. Knowledge of the location or direction of the threat, having credible information on the motivation or intention of the perpetrator, or requiring personal emergency assistance would justify a call to (678)915-5555 or 911. Keep in mind that calling (678)915-5555 or 911 during an emergency has potential to overload the telephone system, thereby creating additional challenges for emergency response personnel and emergency notification systems. University Police or 911 Operators will not be able to provide you with additional information on the situation, expected duration of the lockdown or police response.
8) Q: What should I do if the fire alarm is activated during a crime in progress Shelter in Place notification?
A: Remain where you are and wait for further instruction over a PA or portable loudspeaker. A perpetrator may attempt to have individuals evacuate from their secured rooms by pulling the fire alarm. Emergency personnel will immediately provide instructions to occupants if they are to evacuate or remain secured. Consider your closest exit and an alternate in the event that you are directed to evacuate.
9) Q: What should I do if I encounter or am held hostage by an assailant?
A: It is important to recognize that every situation is unique and that you must use your own judgment to protect yourself. The Southern Polytechnic Police Department recommends that you try to stay calm, avoid sudden movements and refrain from provoking the individual.
10) Q: If my immediate safety is in jeopardy, and an opportunity to escape is available, can I leave my Shelter in Place location?
A: Certainly, no one is more conscious of your personal safety than you. If faced within an immediate life threatening danger, take whatever action to preserve your safety and the life of others.
Investigations following recent school shootings have determined that in almost all cases, at least one other person was aware of the perpetrator’s intent to do harm. This intent could be expressed by the perpetrator days, weeks or months before the event.
Any individual who believes there is an imminent threat of danger should call (678)915-5555.
Any concerns over the behavior of a friend, classmate or student should contact SPSU Counseling Services at (678)915-7391.