shelter in place

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 5 01:34:44 UTC 2014

On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 8:19 PM, Baron, Dennis E  wrote:
> When did the phrase "shelter in place" become the standard formula for "stay
> where you are" in case of danger? It seems fairly new to me -- the last few
> years -- is this health and safety jargon that became more widespread as
> school shootings became commonplace?

Earliest I've found is from a Feb. 1976 congressional hearing on civil defense:

"One plan looked at shelter in place for a decade and then abandoned
it in favor of massive evacuation."
--George R. Rodericks, director of Washington D.C.'s Office of
Emergency Preparedness

Cited here:


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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