Emergency Preparedness Guide
This website is the primary source of information related to emergency preparedness on campus. Please check it often for updates and new resources. The Crisis Leadership Team has taken steps to prepare for both minor and major emergencies and has your safety and security as its first priority.
Emergency Contact Information
Department of Public Safety (DPS) Communication Center
- 202-651-5444 (TTY)
- 202-651-5555 (Voice/Videophone)
D.C. Metropolitan Police
- 911 - Emergency (TTY/Voice)
- 311 - Mayor's Citywide Call Center (TTY/Voice)
How can I prepare for an emergency?
Emergencies often happen with little or no warning. The most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to prepare and stay calm.
How will I know there is an emergency?
What should I do in an emergency?
- General Emergency Procedures
- Four Types of Evacuations
- General Evacuation Procedures
- Emergency Evacuation Procedures and Routes
- Evacuation Options During an Emergency
- Assisting People with Disabilities to Evacuate
- Safe Areas/Evacuation Sites
- Evacuation Symbols and Signs
How can I get help?
- During an emergency, remember to first follow the instructions given through the University Notification System. Try to avoid using the telephone unless you are in a special emergency situation.
- In special emergencies, call or page the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or call 911.
- The Office of the Provost has two toll-free lines available for communication in emergencies unless the office has been evacuated.
- During an emergency, other special numbers may be established. Such numbers will be communicated through the University Notification System.
Especially for Students
- During an emergency, it is very important to know who is on campus and who is not. During an emergency, University officials want to be able to account for each person who is supposed to be on campus. For this reason, we encourage you to make sure someone at the University (e.g. RA, CRE, Advisor) knows where you can be located if you leave campus. This recommendation is for your safety. It is not meant to invade your privacy.
During a serious emergency, your family may contact the University to find out if you are safe. If we don't know where you are, this lack of knowledge could cause your family a great deal of fear and worry. All of us can prevent this situation by letting someone on campus know of our plans.
- If an evacuation to the Primary Evacuation Site is necessary, a log-in system will be established at the entry point so that we know who has arrived at the site. Students should try to stay in groups by dormitory. Commuter students should stay in one group. University staff will have prepared lists of students by dormitory and commuter status. If students are in these groups, it will be easier and quicker to account for everyone.
- If you are off campus when an emergency happens (e.g., at an internship site), please call or page DPS to let us know that you are safe.
- Know the important telephone numbers and contact information.
Especially for Faculty, Teachers & Staff
- For the same reasons we are encouraging students to keep us informed of their whereabouts, we also recommend that you keep someone in your department informed about changes in your normal schedule. Accounting for you and assuring your safety could be critical during an emergency.
- Your department may want to put a system in place so that, in the event of an emergency, department members could be accounted for quickly.
- During a serious emergency, there is no doubt that the faculty and staff will be called on to assist others in both physical and emotional ways. One of our first priorities during an emergency evacuation will be to assist children and individuals who have disabilities. It is possible that you may be called on to assist someone with a disability.
- Check to be sure that each student with a disability in your class or residence hall has contacted the Office of Students with Disabilities to develop an individual emergency plan, if they will need assistance in an evacuation.
- Know important telephone numbers and contact information.
Definitions and Personnel
Procedures for specific types of emergencies
- Explosion, Aircraft Crash, or Similar Incident
- Hazardous Material Incident
- Bomb Threat
- Utility Failure
- Violent Behavior
- Suicide Threat
- Death of a Student