What is SHELL?

  • SHELL is an emergency response system used by schools and businesses across NYS. It helps provide a common language when communicating about emergency situations.


    S­­—Shelter in Place: No imminent concern. Typically used during severe weather, especially wind. Students and staff are required to remain indoors because it is safer inside the building or a room than outside.

    H – Hold in Place: No imminent concern. Movement of students and staff is temporarily limited during an internal incident, such as a medical emergency or a maintenance issue, to keep them away from the affected area.

    E—Evacuation: Students and staff are required to leave the building because it is safer outside than inside, such as during a fire.

    L—Lockout: The school building is secured due to an imminent concern outside the school building, such as a wild animal in the school vicinity. Often times, the District is notified by Law Enforcement to initiate Lock Out Procedures. During a lockout, inside the school is the safest place for students and staff and no one will be permitted to enter the building until this designation is lifted. Parents and community members should not come to school or wait outdoors at school for their own safety. Regular indoor activities may continue, but outdoor activities will not occur. Communication updates will be made as the situation allows.

    L—Lockdown: Most serious status, imminent danger. Students and staff take cover, remain silent and out of view. This occurs when an incident poses an immediate threat of violence in or around the school. School personnel will alert law enforcement but will likely not be able to issue any other communication to the community until the threat has passed in order to maintain everyone’s safety.