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Emergencies: How to Respond

The following guidelines apply to emergency conditions on campus. It is not possible to establish procedures for every conceivable type of emergency, but these guidelines can be used for any similar emergency or hazardous situation. Further details can be found in the Emergency Response Guide; please feel free to print this guide for future reference. Please review them frequently so you will be prepared in an emergency.

Fire Alarm

If you hear a fire alarm, leave the building immediately via the stairways. Cooperate with all staff members and other authorities. Do not reenter the building until you are given permission to do so. If you discover a fire, immediately sound an alarm and call the fire department at 911 stating your location.  Then call 540-432-4911 to alert Campus Security.

Bomb Threats

Notify the police at 911 and Campus Security at 540-432-4911 immediately if you receive a bomb threat. You will be notified as to whether or not the building will be evacuated.

Intruder/Lockdown Emergencies

Active Shooter Training: Avoid, Deny, Defend

Unfortunately, the reality of our world is that schools and college campuses need to prepare for the unlikely incidence of an active shooter on campus. The Crisis Management Preparedness Team will plan an active shooter training and/or drill annually.

A variety of online training resources are available.

CMPT recommends that EMU campus community members adopt the Avoid, Deny, Defend model of response in an active shooter situation. The materials were developed by the ALERRT™ Center at Texas State University.

Periodical active shooter training is required training for faculty, staff and student life leaders. Faculty and/or residence life staff review active shooter materials, provided by CMPT, with students as part of any announced drill.

If actions are required the best response is to be prepared through personal pre-planned response actions. Typically in intruder situations, authorities suggest a stair stepped approach to a response:

  1. Exit the building if at all possible. AVOID the situation.
  2. Barricade and go into a lockdown mode. DENY entry or access
  3. Take decisive action against the intruder. DEFEND yourself with whatever means possible.

Any response needs to be based on one’s own personal safety. EMU has posted suggestions as how one might respond on the Emergency Procedure guidelines. These can be found throughout campus, it can also be found by visiting the EMU website. Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines and be prepared.

Medical Emergencies

For any situation requiring emergency medical assistance on campus, call 911. Notify the RD on call immediately (540-476-4578). Remember to dial “9” to call external numbers from landline phones. 

Weather/Tornado Emergency

In the event of a tornado warning, seek shelter ASAP in the pre-designated locations within buildings. These locations can be found by looking for the Tornado Shelter Location signage found throughout all buildings on campus. Please familiarize yourself with these locations.

Fire Safety Response Procedures

EMU strives to maintain a fire-safe campus community, through the implementation of proven safety standards and regulations. We hold to high expectations all those who use, and live on our campus with regard to fire safety.

Fire safety is always a concern. Students should not tamper with alarms or make changes to or modify any existing electrical equipment such as lighting, wiring or switches. As well they should understand and abide by all storage policies and guidelines for campus living.

Following the building Fire Response Procedure report to the designated Fire Emergency Assembly area designated for your building as indicated on the Fire Emergency Assembly Area Map.

The campus fire safety Right-To-Know law requires all colleges and universities, to provide full disclosure of fire safety standards and measures with regard to campus buildings. The annual safety and security report is available at the Facilities Management during normal operating hours or online at

Fire Procedures for Persons with Physical Disabilities

Living arrangements will be made on the ground level when the incoming student provides timely and necessary information on their housing questionnaire. 

Residents who are identified as having a physical disability will be asked, in a private setting, whether he/she desires help in arranging for any needed assistance in evacuation.  This includes persons who acquire a temporary disability.  If the student declines assistance, documentation should be provided and the student must verify that he/she has made arrangements on his/her own. If the resident requests assistance, the CA will solicit volunteers beginning with roommates, and suitemates, and then occupants in the nearest adjoining rooms.

Carrying an individual downstairs requires training and a great deal of caution and care.  It should not be attempted when the stairs are occupied by residents evacuating the building.  Wait for a clearing to carry an individual down the stairs.

Landings in the fire stairwells are used as an "area of safe refuge" for individuals who utilize wheelchairs or any other person who, for any reason, is unable to descend and leave the building. Individuals utilizing wheelchairs may evacuate in their chair from the hall to the landing, where they may await evacuation assistance from fire and rescue or other persons providing assistance, provided egress by others is not impeded. 

In the event of an evacuation, the CA on call will check to ensure that residents known to have a physical disability are safely evacuated, provided the CA is not endangering him/herself to accomplish the check.

Fire Extinguishers/Alarms/Suppression Systems/Emergency Notification Devices, etc.

Tampering with any of these will incur a fine of $500, may result in additional outcomes (i.e. restitution for harmed parties) and legal repercussions.


The use or possession of fireworks is prohibited on the university campus. Because of safety concerns, violators will be fined.


The use or possession of firearms, explosives, knives, bows, flammable material or weapons of any kind (including BB, pellet, or paintball guns) is prohibited on the university campus, in vehicles on campus, or at any university-related function. If any of these items be needed on campus for educational purposes the vice president for student life must be contacted. The vice president for the student life must be contacted for storage questions related to hunting weapons.

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