Preparedness Empowers You

It saves lives, property, and time.

Emergencies happen, often with little or no notice. By taking action beforehand you can be prepared for any emergency.

Be Ready Navy!
I am. Are you?


GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (Jan. 9, 2013) Training team chief for Naval Station Guantanamo Bay yells at a school administrator as he portrays an angry parent during an emergency response drill at W.T. Sampson Elementary School. These drills include the proper method for conducting shelter-in-place, lockdown and evacuation procedures for violent intruders reported within the school's boundary. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith A. Bryska/Released) 130109-N-MN593-007

During some emergencies, it may become necessary to "Lockdown" a building or buildings on an installation to protect lives and minimize the overall exposure to danger.

A Lockdown, similar to Shelter in Place (SIP), is a temporary sheltering technique utilized to limit exposure to a threat, usually an Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) incident, i.e. an Active Shooter incident. It is the immediate movement or removal of all personnel from the outside to inside structures. When alerted, occupants of any building within the subject area will lock all doors and windows, barring entry or exit to anyone until the “all clear” has been sounded. This procedure converts any building into a large "Safe Room." A Lockdown can last from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation.

How to Prepare

Be Informed

  • Learn the emergency and lockdown procedures for the buildings in which you work and visit regularly.
  • Understand how lockdown procedures are initiated and alerts are broadcast.
  • Take steps to register your work and personal contact information in the Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN) so that you may receive emergency alerts by text or email.
  • Educate yourself about how to prepare for and what to do during an Active Shooter incident.
  • Know who to notify and what you should do if loud “pops” are heard and gunfire is suspected.
  • Ensure that multiple people are trained to initiate and broadcast a lockdown from a secure location.

Make a Plan

  • Determine where you would seek refuge during a lockdown.
  • Create a lockdown plan that includes a plan for non-verbal communication with emergency personnel, your chain of command, and loved ones.
  • Make a contact card with important numbers and email addresses.
  • Practice lockdown procedures and reassess and modify your plan if any issues arise.

Build and Store a Portable Kit

  • Build a small portable emergency supply kit that can be kept at your office.
  • Include water, comfortable low heeled shoes, granola bars or other non-perishable food, your emergency plan and contact card, and any medications you may need.


How You Will Be Notified

Navy Installations (worldwide) use the WAAN as an effective and reliable mass notification system to maximize the potential to warn and direct affected personnel during a crisis through multiple systems:

  • Giant Voice (GV)—A voice announcing system using exterior speakers, commonly termed "Giant Voice"
  • Interior Voice (IV)—Interior speakers or sirens
  • Residential route alerting—messages announced from vehicles with loudspeakers
  • Computer Desktop Notification System (CDNS)—An administrative broadcast across Navy computer networks that overrides current applications, thereby reaching all Navy users almost instantly
  • Automated Telephone Notification System (ATNS)—Interactive, community notification systems capable of providing voice and/or data messages to multiple receivers-telephones, cellular phones, email, SMS (Text), etc.

(Any and all may be used by your particular installation.)

NOTE: ATNS is only as effective as the data provided in the WAAN-Navy can't alert you, if they can't find you!

Information also may be passed by Word of Mouth. In a lockdown situation, speed is of the essence.

"Pass the word" to anyone with whom you come in contact.


What to Do During a Lockdown

  • Follow instructions of officials.
  • Remain calm, and do not pull or respond to the fire alarm unless instructed to do so by official, law enforcement personnel.
  • If not in your typical surroundings, seek refuge in a building or room that locks.
  • Lock all doors and windows. Barricade the door, if possible, and do so quickly.
  • Turn off all lights.
  • If safe to do so, turn off gas and electric appliances or equipment.
  • STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS, and find a hiding place that provides protection.
  • Silence phones and remain quiet.
  • Comfort, reassure, and quiet any companions who are nervous.
  • Do not permit entry or exit to anyone until the “all clear” has been given by official personnel.
  • Enact your non-verbal contact plan to provide your status and location to emergency personnel, your chain of command, and loved ones.
  • If gunshots are heard, and escape is ill advised, lay on the floor, using heavy objects such as tables, desks, or filing cabinets for protection.
  • If outdoors, move as far away from any building where a threat is present and enter the nearest safe building. 
  • If there are no buildings, lie near or hide behind trees or walls, and listen for emergency personnel instruction and/or Giant Voice alerts.
  • For Active Shooter Incidents, DO NOT CALL ANY BUILDING WHERE THE INCIDENT MAY BE TAKING PLACE. Phone calls to anyone inside the building under threat may endanger them, draw undue attention toward the ring, and give away hiding locations.
  • Stay in your safe area until emergency personnel has opened the door.


What to Do After a Lockdown

  • Once an “all clear” has been given, you may leave your safe zone.
  • Follow any instructions and answer questions from law enforcement officials.
  • Be prepared to muster.
  • Supervisors or designated representative should take a head count and ensure all personnel are accounted.


Be Ready Navy—Be informed before, during, and after an incident; make a written family emergency plan; and build an emergency supply kit good for at least three days.

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