“Seek shelter” emergency drills have been eliminated in buildings this semester due to social distancing regulations established by TCU.
The seek shelter drills are one part of the “L.E.S.S. is More” campus safety initiative and are used to demonstrate what people would do if there were severe weather situations near campus.
People on campus would be instructed to lockdown in the case of an active shooter, for example, and they would be told to evacuate buildings if there were a fire, gas leak or bomb threat.
“There are a lot of new things we’ve had to learn about social distancing that we never knew before,” Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Safety Adrian Andrews said. “It is something new for the college campus setting.”
Andrews said the lockdown and evacuation protocols were done as they normally would be, but the seek shelter drill was removed because it requires everyone to gather in the lowest floor. That would not be possible with social distancing.
He added that students followed the COVID-19 guidelines during the lockdown and evacuation drills.
“This year while doing drills, students came with their masks which is a great sign of trying to keep others safe,” he said. “I noticed full compliance when doing these drills.”
Waits Hall Director Alison Moss said, “Students did a great job coping with the timing of the drills and the use of social distancing. We didn’t have to request anyone to use a mask because it has already become second nature.”
Moss said even though there wasn’t a seek shelter drill, she talked with students about seeking shelter in case of an emergency.
“I did host meetings during moving day and told the students where to go in case of an emergency,” she said.
Moss added that she feels confident everything will go well if an emergency situation arises in the building.
“I think students are prepared because apart from providing them with instructions, the building has the intercom system that tells them where to go when alarms go on,” she said.
Andrews said students should download the FrogShield app in case that assistance is needed.
“It is like having an alarm in your pocket and if any situation presents, the police will be there without you telling them your location. If as many people as possible could download it, it would be amazing.”