General Evacuation Procedures

How will I know if I should evacuate or stay where I am?

In some emergencies, it may be better not to leave the place where you are and go to another location. The safest action may be to stay exactly where you are. You will be notified through the University Notification System about whether or not you should evacuate.

What should I do in an emergency requiring evacuation of areas on campus?

Often, the best protection in an emergency is to evacuate from where you are and move to a safer place. For example, when a fire alarm goes off in a campus building, the University requires that everyone in that building leave it and move to an identified assembly area. It is impossible to anticipate or specifically define every possible circumstance that will require an evacuation. The following is a general guide that is applicable for most evacuations:

  1. Evacuations from buildings will occur when the fire alarm sounds and flashes continuously and/or upon notification by the Department of Public Safety. If you see a fire and the alarm is not on, pull the nearest fire alarm.
  2. Remain calm and shut down equipment, if possible, without endangering yourself or others.
  3. Do not attempt to collect personal items except for your wallet or purse. If your Emergency Kit is nearby, take it with you. Before opening a door, feel it for heat. If it is hot, do not open it. Do not break windows unless absolutely necessary for ventilation and escape. If it is safe to leave, close doors, but do not lock them. If you are trapped in a closed room, contact DPS at:
    • x5555 (Voice/Videophone)
    • x5444 (TTY)
    • (pager address)
    • Or call 911
    • Ballard Hall residents can press the emergency panic button in their rooms.
  4. All people in the building should walk quickly to the nearest exit and ask others to do the same.
  5. Persons with disabilities will need your assistance in exiting the building.  Do not use elevators, unless authorized to do so by a DPS officer, police, or fire department personnel. 
  6. Once outside all people should move to a clear area away from the affected building. Streets and walkways need to be clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
  7. No one should return to the building unless directed to do so by the Department of Public Safety.
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