In the case of an emergency, it is important we clearly community with Austin ISD families, students and staff. These emergency defintions are provided to ensure those communicating during an emergency are using terms correctly to avoid miscommunications.
Lockdowns: Temporary sheltering technique where all activity at a facility stops and students, employees and visitors run away from a threat (e.g., an active shooter) or hide from a threat. If staff, students and visitors choose to hide, they are encouraged to find ANY space they can either lock themselves in or barricade. Students, staff and visitors are taught to find the nearest hiding spot if they are caught in the hallways during a lockdown.
Shelter-in-Place: Used for inclement weather and release of hazardous materials. Employees, students, and visitors walk to interior hallways and rooms and assume the “duck and cover position” for inclement weather. In the event of a hazardous materials incident, the main purpose of a shelter-in-place response is to seal the building and rooms where employees, students and visitors are sheltering. This is aided by shutting off the facility's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, which can be accomplished by activating a fire pull station. Staff can then use materials in the room to cover gaps in doors and air vents.
Evacuation: Used for fires, credible bomb threats (when necessary) and gas leaks. An evacuation requires movement of people away from potential or actual hazards, usually to an outside location. The main thing to remember is that the means of communication changes between a bomb threat/gas leak scenario and a fire. In the former scenario, staff, students and visitors are instructed to stay off portable radios, cell phones, etc. to avoid ignition. All warnings are delivered face-to-face.
Reverse Evacuation: Used when a threat exists near an Austin ISD facility (e.g., there is police activity across the street from a school). In this situation, a warning is delivered via a PA system or text to bring all students, staff and visitors indoors, which can mean portables or main buildings. Once inside, all exterior doors are closed and locked, the interior spaces are checked to make sure no one is in the building who should not be there, roll is taken and all activity resumes as normal inside. In a reverse evacuation, there is no exchange of individuals between portables and main buildings until the reverse evacuation is lifted.