Emergency Situations and Procedures

Shelter-in-Place

“Shelter-in-place” is a procedure to encourage individuals to seek shelter during certain types of emergencies/catastrophic events that may pose a threat to the safety of a small part of the campus or the overall safety of the entire campus community. Because of the nature of university and college campuses (open atmosphere, multiple buildings, pathways, shared thoroughfares with the city, etc.), the ability of campus authorities to “shelter-in-place” an entire campus and restrict the movement of people is difficult, if not impossible. To maximize safety during a shelter-in-place order, the following recommendations should be considered by each individual:

"RUN, HIDE, FIGHT"

  • RUN: Flee the building if you can do so safely based on what you know is taking place within the building. (i.e., if you hear gunshots on the other side of the building and you are close to an exit, law enforcement recommends running from the building)
  • HIDE: Consider the above recommendations; additionally, turn ringers and other tones off on cellphones and turn off lights.
  • FIGHT: You (and those with you) stand a better chance of surviving if you do something rather than nothing.

Remember: All exterior doors to buildings may be locked as a result of the shelter-in-place order. Card access will be shut off on electronic doors in the event of a shelter-in-place order. Use your best judgment in determining the safest course of action to protect yourself.

Building Safety Coordinators

Each building has a designated Building Safety Coordinator who will assume responsibility for providing information to the individuals in his or her building regarding how to respond with various types of emergencies. Each Building Safety Coordinator is responsible for preparing an Emergency Response Plan Manual for their building which identifies other personnel who typically reside in the building and may be able to help secure the building in the event of an emergency. This includes educating occupants on closest exits, locking mechanisms, etc. The Office of Safety and Security and Physical Plant are resources for Building Safety Coordinators and should be consulted when considering how best to educate their occupants about emergency practices including locking of facilities. Questions about locking mechanisms should be directed to Physical Plant. Note: the responsibility of locking a building is the personal responsibility of all occupants and should be done only when it can be done safely.

Events That May Require Activation of Procedure

  • Active Shooter/Mass Shooting
  • Major Criminal Activity Occurring in Area Around Campus (robbery, gunshots, etc.)
  • Hostage Situation
  • Riot/Large Uprising
  • Chemical Spill/Toxic Gas or Biological Release

Shelter-in-Place Order

The initial decision to initiate a “shelter-in-place” order will be the responsibility of the senior on-duty safety and security officer. A “building” order may also be initiated by occupants within a building should they become aware of a clear and present danger within their building or on campus near their building. It is imperative that the occupants immediate notify 911 if they believe there is clear and present danger so law enforcement can respond. If the threat is not direct (meaning there is a concern there could be a threat) report to the Office of Safety and Security with all available information. The Office of Safety and Security will forward this information to the proper administrative staff members to determine the proper campus response and if the shelter-in-place order should be extended to the entire campus.

If the decision is made to initiate a campus wide shelter-in-place, the Office of Safety and Security will send notification through the Ace Alerts Emergency Notification System notifying the campus of the activation of the procedure and a brief explanation of the emergency causing the activation.

Response to Shelter-in-Place

When a shelter-in-place order is issued, all persons on campus should consider their current location in light of the information available. In a shelter-in-place situation, all individuals must remain as calm as possible and consider the “Run, Hide, Fight” options for determining the safest course of action to protect themselves and others nearby. If a building is able to be locked safely, individuals should be empowered to do so. Once doors are locked, it is recommended doors not be reopened until law enforcement or security officers issue an official “all clear.” Occupants should consider the information they “know” about the possible threat before considering opening a door for someone.

If the threat prohibits you from leaving a building…

  • Hide within the building, behind a locked internal door if possible. Those in common areas of the building should immediately attempt to move into a classroom or other safe area if possible.
  • Individuals in a residence hall should remain in or proceed to your room within the residence, lock your door, and take shelter. Those in common areas of the building should immediately attempt to move into a room or other safe area if possible.
  • If outdoors on campus grounds, seek shelter as best as possible or proceed off campus. All exterior doors to campus buildings will be locked. Card access will be shut off once shelter-in-place has been initiated.

Outside Threat

WWhen a shelter-in-place is ordered for an outside threat (meaning the person threatening harm is believed to be outside of a specific building), the campus will be notified via AceAlerts. Occupants should be empowered to lock the doors if they can do so quickly and safely. Note: Once the doors are locked, they will not be unlocked under any circumstances and individuals in the building should remain there until the “all clear” is given by law enforcement or University security personnel. Once doors are locked, it is recommended doors not be reopened until law enforcement or security officers issue an official “all clear.” Occupants should consider the information they “know” about the possible threat before considering opening a door for someone.

Assuming exiting the building is not possible, all classroom and office doors should be secured if possible. Turn ringers and other tones off of cell phones and turn off classroom lights. Go to a location in the room where you cannot be seen and stay in place until you are notified the threat is over.

Individuals in common areas of the building such as the library, bathrooms, dining areas, hallways, etc., should immediately proceed to a safe area, in a room that can be secured if possible.

Inside Threat

If the location of the threat is known, consideration should be given to evacuating ONLY if an exit is easily accessible and believed to be safe. Otherwise, do not exit the safe area until the “all clear” has been issued.

When a shelter in place is ordered for an inside threat (meaning the person threatening harm is potentially or known to be inside a specific building) all faculty, staff, and students should seek shelter within the building (classroom, closet, office, etc.) unless they can run from the building safely based on what they know of the situation. Assuming exiting the building is not possible, all classroom and office doors should be secured if possible. Turn ringers and other tones off of cell phones and turn off classroom lights. Go to a location in the room where you cannot be seen and stay in place until you are notified the threat is over.

Individuals in common areas of the building such as the library, bathrooms, dining areas, hallways, etc., should immediately proceed to a safe area, in a room that can be secured if possible.

Door-to-door confirmation of the “all clear” announcement will be made by law enforcement or University security personnel. When the emergency has been resolved and the shelter-in-place is no longer needed, the Chief of Security will notify the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs that the threat has been eliminated. Upon the approval of the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Officer of Safety and Security will send notification through the Ace Alerts Emergency Notification system notifying the campus that the emergency has ended and the shelter-in-place order has been lifted. At that time, buildings can be unlocked.


Fire

The Office of Safety and Security and Residence Life have established:

In the event of fire:

  • Pull the fire alarm to warn others.
  • Call campus security, if possible at 6911, and provide them with as much information as possible.
  • Attempt to extinguish the fire ONLY if it is very small and you know how to do it safely.
  • If the extinguisher does not put out the fire within a minute, leave immediately.
  • If not in immediate danger, remain at the scene to direct security officers or firefighters to the fire.
  • Do not reenter the building until the proper authority has given the all clear.

Earthquake

Although earthquakes are not common in this area, Evansville is close to the New Madrid fault line. The Office of Safety and Security has developed guidelines in case such an event occurs.

Basic guidelines for an earthquake:

  • Do not attempt to exit a building or vehicle
  • If in an office or room:

    • Get under a table or desk or brace yourself in an interior doorway.
    • If no desks, drop to knees, fold arms close to knees and bury your face in your arms, use notebooks or jackets for added protection for your head.
    • Stay clear of windows, bookcases, refrigerators, light fixtures, or other heavy objects which might slide or fall.
  • If in a hallway, take the following actions:

    • Get in an interior doorway, brace yourself against the side jambs.
    • Drop to knees, fold arms close to knees, bury your face in your arms, use notebooks, or jackets for added protection of your head.
  • If outdoors, move away from buildings, power lines, utility poles, and other structures.
  • In an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably an open area away from power lines, light poles, and trees.
  • Stay in the vehicle for the shelter it offers.

After a significant* earthquake:

  • Most importantly REMAIN CALM.
  • In case of a significant* earthquake, evacuate buildings after the initial shock and things settle down, be alert of aftershocks and move to one of the two designated assembly points as follows:

    • The Front Oval away from trees.
    • McCutchan Stadium sports field.
  • Take clothing as weather dictates.
  • Remain at assembly areas until given instructions by emergency personnel.
  • DO NOT REENTER BUILDINGS UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL!

*A significant earthquake is of a nature where property damage or personal injury may be sustained.

When in doubt, calmly and cautiously exit the building and head to the designated assembly points.

If communication is available, TextCaster will be used to provide timely updates.

Office Phone:
812-488-2052

Office E-mail:
security@evansville.edu

Office Location:
First floor, General Services Building