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Occupant Emergency Program

OSY staff manages the Occupant Emergency Program (OEP) for the Department. Through tests, training, and exercises, the staff effectively plans for, controls, and evaluates all interagency-level exercises in accordance with the National Exercise Program.

Department organizations who are tenants in General Services Administration-controlled facilities are usually supported by the Federal Protective Service. The facility tenant is responsible for the development and implementation of the OEP. If the facility has multiple federal government tenants, the OEP is organized through the Facility Security Committee and approved by the committee chairperson.

Building Evacuation

An effective building evacuation is an organized, phased, and supervised withdrawal, dispersal, or removal of civilians from a dangerous or potentially dangerous area.  

  • Follow your facility’s Occupant Emergency Plan.
  • Stay calm and quickly prepare to leave the building.
  • Notify co-workers to evacuate the premises.
  • Take appropriate stairwells, not elevators, to leave the building.
  • Follow your building’s specific emergency action plan and meet in designated areas.
  • Do not return to the building until law enforcement officials have indicated that it is safe to return.


Shelter-in-Place is the use of a designated structure—such as interior halls, conference rooms, offices, or storage rooms—to temporarily separate individuals from a hazard or threat. 

Active Shooter

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area that requires a coordinated response by law enforcement and other first responders to save lives.

  • Preparedness: Be informed. Make a plan.
  • During: Run and escape if possible. Hide if escape is not possible. Fight as a last resort.
  • After: Keep hands visible and empty. Follow commands from first responders. Help yourself and others. Seek help if injured and for longer term effects of trauma.

The Department hosts an online Active Shooter Training on the Commerce Learning Center, which is recommended for all personnel working in federal facilities.