Instructions for Emergencies

You play a critical role during emergency response procedures. Other people may not be familiar with the building they are in, the hazards presented in the building, or the procedures that should be followed to ensure their health and safety in the event of an emergency. They will depend on you for immediate direction and assistance. Become familiar with this site and these procedures. In an emergency, it could make all the difference.

An active threat is any situation that presents an immediate and ongoing danger to the safety of UConn students, faculty, staff, and visitors. In addition to individuals using firearms (active shooters), other types of weapons and behavior can create active threat situations. These are matters of urgent concern not only at UConn, but at universities and other large public spaces nationwide. The UConn Division of Public Safety regularly conducts training exercises to provide an effective response to active threat situations. The following information is provided to members of the UConn community to assist with individual awareness and preparation.

Before An Active Threat Occurs

  • Sign up for University Alerts.
  • Encourage your employees to sign up for University Alerts.
  • Ensure that your employees know these terms: Evacuate, Shelter-In-Place, Lockdown, All Clear.
  • Identify secure hiding places.
  • Know two evacuation routes.
  • Keep your doors locked, even if you leave them open.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities in your department. Discuss what everyone will do and where they will go.
  • Develop a communications plan.
  • Get training from the Police Department.

Report Behavior

  • If you witness violence, or threatening or suspicious behavior, immediately move away from the area and call 9-1-1.
  • Always call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if an individual’s behavior causes you to feel threatened.
  • If someone is threatening to hurt themselves or another individual, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If you have a concern about a UConn employee who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with his or her ability to be successful in the workplace or whose behavior is substantially interfering with the work environment of his or her colleagues, please let the Employees of Concern Team know.
  • Employees of Concern Phone Number: 860-486-5684
  • UCONN REPORTLINE: reportline@uconn.edu
  • More information: http://safeworkplace.uconn.edu/employees-of-concern-team/
  • Faculty, staff, friends, and family are frequently in a position to observe student behaviors that indicate distress or potentially compromised personal well-being. If you have a concern about a student who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with the student’s ability to be successful in the university environment, please let the Student Care Team know. You should also contact the Student Care Team if you are concerned that a student’s well-being is negatively impacting those around the student.
  • Student Care Team Phone Number: 860-486-8402
  • Make an online referral at: http://studentcareteam.uconn.edu/

If You Are in the Area of an Active Threat/Shooter:

If it is determined there is an active shooter/threat in your vicinity, your first step should be to calmly and immediately move away from the area of the threat.

  1. Evacuate
  2. Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  3. Take your cell phone with you, but leave other belongings behind.
  4. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  5. Keep your hands visible.
  6. Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so, and provide as much information as possible, such as your location, the number and description of suspects if known, and weapons used.

If you cannot evacuate the area:

  1. Hide Out
  2. Hide in an area out of the suspect’s view.
  3. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors if possible.
  4. Turn out the lights.
  5. Close blinds.
  6. Remain quiet.
  7. Silence electronic devices.
  8. Make your location look as though it is empty.
  9. Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so.

If you are face to face with the suspect and your life is in imminent danger, take action.

  1. Take Action
  2. As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  3. Use improvised weapons such as a letter opener, umbrella, furniture, etc.
  4. Attempt to incapacitate the suspect.
  5. Act with physical aggression and throw items to distract or disable the suspect.

If you are not in the Area of the Active Threat, but receive an Active Threat/Shooter Alert:

  1. Immediately lockdown your room unless otherwise directed by Emergency Personnel or University Alerts.
  2. During a Lockdown Order:
  3. Calmly but quickly close and lock all doors into your room.
  4. Block entry into your room, if possible.
  5. Close and lock all windows in your room. Draw the blinds.
  6. Turn off the lights.
  7. Hide in an area that is out of view and makes your location look as though it is empty.
  8. Silence all electronic devices.
  9. Remain as quiet as possible and attract as little attention to your area as possible.
  10. Wait for further instruction from University Alerts and Emergency Personnel.
  11. Stay locked-down in your hiding place until your receive an “All Clear.”
  12. Call 9-1-1 if an emergency arises in your area.
  13. FACULTY: If you are teaching a class, say something along the lines of this message: “Attention everyone, we are being placed under lockdown. Please remain in this room and move to (an area in the room that is out of view). I am going to shut the lights off and lock and barricade the doors. Please silence your electronic devices. Let’s make it seem as if there is no one in this room. We will remain as quiet as possible and wait for further instruction.”
  14. Text your family to let them know you are okay.
  15. Closely follow the instructions of Emergency Personnel and University Alerts.

When You See Law Enforcement:

  1. Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  2. Keep hands visible at all times.
  3. Do not approach officers unless instructed by them to do so.
  4. Avoid making quick movements towards officers.
  5. Avoid pointing, screaming, and/or yelling.
  6. Expect the initial responding officers not to treat the injured or begin evacuation until the threat is neutralized and the area is secure. Explain this to others.
  7. Once the threat is neutralized, Police and Fire/Emergency Medical Services will begin treatment and evacuation.
  8. You may be searched or escorted by police officers.
  9. Follow all instructions from Emergency Personnel.

After an Active Threat/Shooter:

  • You may be taken to a triage or other holding area for medical care, interviewing, counseling, or other support services.
  • Remain in secure areas until instructed otherwise.
  • Once you have been evacuated, you will not be permitted to retrieve items or access the area until law enforcement releases the crime scene.
  • Pay attention to updates on counseling services, relief, memorial activities, and other important news about the event.

In the event of a serious injury or illness,

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Provide location, nature of injury or illness, current condition of the victim, and other requested information.
  • Remain on the phone until directed to hang up.
  • Stay with the victim.
  • Do not move the victim unless he/she is in immediate danger.

 

If an ambulance has been called, send someone to the building entrance to meet the ambulance.

If you discover a fire, explosion, or smoke in a building, activate the nearest fire alarm and proceed to evacuate.

  • Leave the building immediately using the closest emergency exit.
  • Close doors behind you. Do not lock any doors.
  • Warn others as you exit.
  • Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so.
  • Move to a safe location away from building(s). If you are the caller, make contact with emergency personnel when they arrive on scene.
  • Only re-enter the building when instructed by public safety officials.
  • Do not assume an alarm is false.
  • Do not use elevators.

If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Call 9-1-1 to report your location if you have access to a phone.

Only trained individuals should attempt to use a fire extinguisher. If trained and the fire is small and contained, use a fire extinguisher. While portable fire extinguishers are provided, it is not the responsibility of building occupants to perform fire suppression activities. Those who choose to use an extinguisher do so at their own risk.

Report all fires, even those which have been extinguished, to the UConn Fire Department by calling 9-1-1.

All bomb threats should be treated seriously. Always assume a bomb threat is real. Since this type of threat may require the evacuation of buildings, a quick and organized response is essential to minimize the risk to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The following information is presented to assist individuals in knowing what to do when receiving a bomb threat, and when responding to a bomb threat elsewhere on campus.

Before A Bomb Threat

  • Sign up for University Alerts.
  • Keep a copy of the Office of Emergency Management’s Bomb Threat Answer Guide by each telephone in your department.
  • Develop a plan in your department on how the phone recipient will get the attention of someone else and how you will communicate, for example in writing or by using sign language, that there is a bomb threat from the caller.
  • Ensure that your employees know these terms:
    • Evacuate
    • Shelter In Place
    • Lockdown
    • All Clear

If You Receive a Bomb Threat by Phone:

  1. Remain calm and do not hang up the phone. Keep the caller on the line and try to obtain as much information as possible without angering the caller.
  2. Take out and use the Office of emergency Management’s Bomb Threat Answer Guide if you have one available.
  3. Write down what is displayed on your caller ID if possible.
  4. Try to get someone’s attention to call 9-1-1.
  5. Calmly ask the caller:
    When is the bomb going to detonate?
    Where is it?
    What does it look like?
    What will cause it to detonate?
    Did you place the bomb?
    Why did you place the bomb?
    Who is your target?
    What is your name?
    Where are you calling from?
  6. Record the date, time, caller’s name, location, caller’s gender, voice accent, voice quality, the emotional state, and any background noise you hear.
  7. Immediately ensure 9-1-1 was called and your name/location was provided.
    Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.
  8. Notify your supervisor immediately after 9-1-1 is called.
  9. Remember:
    If the threat was left on voice mail, do not erase it.
    Do not activate the building alarm system to evacuate.
  10. Follow instructions from Emergency Personnel and University Alerts.

If You Receive a Threat via Email:

  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately and report the situation.
  2. Do not delete, reply to, or forward the email.
  3. Follow the instructions of Emergency Personnel.
  4. Do not activate the building alarm system to evacuate.
  5. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.
  6. Notify your supervisor in person or by telephone after calling 9-1-1.

If You Receive a Threat in Writing:

  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately and report the situation.
  2. Do not touch or throw away the threat.
  3. Follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
  4. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.
  5. Notify your supervisor in person or by telephone after calling 9-1-1.

During a Bomb Threat

If there is an emergency (other than the bomb threat), call 9-1-1 immediately.

  1. Follow the instructions of Emergency Personnel and University Alerts.
  2. Do not pull the fire alarm.
  3. Leave doors and windows open.
  4. Do not turn light switches on or off.
  5. Do not use elevators.
  6. Do not evacuate unless directed to do so.
  7. As you exit, announce the evacuation to others.

If there is a Suspicious Package with the Bomb Threat:

  1. Do not touch, move, or alter the object.
  2. Inform others and evacuate the immediate area.
  3. Once you have left the immediate area, call 9-1-1.
  4. Provide your name, location, object location, and suspicious details.
  5. Write down any information you have about the object. You can give this to Emergency Personnel when they arrive before you forget.
  6. Follow the instructions of Emergency Personnel and University Alerts.

Go to Suspicious Package for more information.

After a Bomb Threat:

  • Follow instructions until you receive the official “All Clear” order from:
  • University Alerts
  • Emergency Personnel
  • University Officials
  • Return to normal operations.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report anything suspicious.

Faculty and Staff

After the “All Clear” is issued and you return to normal operations, the Office of Emergency Management recommends that you discuss the Bomb Threat with your team and identify the strengths and weaknesses of how the incident went. Develop a plan for how to respond to a Bomb Threat in the future and include it in your department Emergency Operations Plan. Call the Office of Emergency Management at 860-486-5174 with any questions. Encourage your staff and faculty to sign up for University Alerts.

This term means you should stay inside the building you are already in or closest to or immediately proceed to the closest building. This is typically used for severe weather events, such as a tornado. Preferably, when a shelter-in-place order is given, the shelter will be a small interior room with few or no windows, such as a bathroom. Do not lock the doors behind you as others may also need to shelter-in-place. Do not walk around or go outdoors once a shelter-in-place order has been given.

Before a Shelter in Place Order:

  1. Sign up for University Alerts.
  2. Determine a location to seek shelter in your building ahead of time.
  3. Develop a communications plan. This should include both work and personal contacts.
  4. STAFF SUPERVISORS- Develop a system to account for your employees. Train your employees on what to do if there is a shelter in place order.
    1. Encourage your employees to sign up for University Alerts.

When you receive the order to Shelter in Place:

  1. Calmly stop class or stop your work.
  2. Immediately seek shelter inside the closest sturdy building, interior room, or corridor.
    1. Preferably, find a small interior room with few/no windows.
    2. Avoid large free-standing expanses such as auditoriums and gymnasiums.
  3. Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  4. Stay away from windows, glass, and unsecured objects that may fall.
  5. If you are with other people, ask them to stay in the room with you. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps right away, where they are, and not to drive or walk outdoors.
  6. If you are not in imminent risk, contact your family to let them know your situation.
  7. Await further instruction from University Alerts and Emergency Personnel.
  8. Do not leave until an “All Clear” is received.

Remember:

  • Resist the temptation to go outside and check conditions yourself.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Seek shelter in interior rooms and corridors.
  • Wait in the safest location possible until directed by Emergency Personnel or University Alerts. If an evacuation is ordered, leave your shelter and evacuate immediately.
  • Always use common sense. There are exceptions to all guidance and prescribed directions.

Power Outage

Power Outage

 

A power outage may seem like a relatively routine emergency situation, but loss of electricity can present a range of serious hazards and challenges on a university campus. From laboratories with critical research functions to dormitories that house hundreds of students, a sudden power outage can present major risks to safety and wellness. The following information is intended as a guide for UConn students, faculty, staff, and visitors to both prepare in advance for outages and to respond appropriately if they occur.

 

Before a Power Outage

  • Sign up for University
  • Make a Plan.
    • Prepare an internal communications plan to notify affected personnel about workday and after-hours emergencies, and your department’s response.
    • Be sure your plan includes backup power for anyone who depends on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment.
  • Make an Emergency Kit.
  • Ensure that your computer files are backed up to the network drive.
  • Download a flashlight app on your phone or keep a flashlight with batteries readily available.
  • Consider buying extra batteries.
  • Consider purchasing a power converter if you use a laptop computer.
  • Turn off all computers, monitors, printers, and other electronic devices when they are not in use.
  • Ensure you know at least two ways out of your building; whether your building is equipped with a generator; and whether there is emergency lighting in your area.
  • Do not overload power strips.

 

Special Considerations for Laboratories

In the anticipation of a power outage:

  • Develop a log of equipment that must be reset, restarted, or that requires special attention following an outage.
  • Maintain an inventory list of chemicals, hazardous materials, or other experimental materials that require refrigeration or freezing.
    • Ensure these systems have backup power or enough dry-ice to keep materials preserved, if applicable.
  • Shut down equipment that is not being used. Equipment that runs unattended should be programmed to shut down safely and not restart when power returns.

 

Remember:

Many campus facilities are equipped with generators to power critical functions. They may take 30-60 seconds to power on. If evacuation is necessary, emergency lighting is provided in most buildings.

 

During a Power Outage

If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

In the event of a power failure:

Report the Outage

  1. Call the Facilities office at 860-486-3113.
    1. Provide your location (room number and building), name, and the nature of the incident.
  2. Follow any instructions that you receive from Facilities personnel.

Are you in a Laboratory?

If there is no imminent danger:

  1. Safely stop work.
  2. Close containers in fume hoods and close the sash.
  3. Close any other open chemical containers.
  4. Shut down powered equipment and ensure that equipment that may run unattended is programmed to shut down safely and not restart when power returns. This will reduce the likelihood of an unattended restart upon power restoration.
  5. Avoid opening environmental room, refrigerator, or freezer doors until power is restored.
  6. Do not use hazardous materials, or enter areas that require mechanical ventilation during the outage.
  7. If power is restored, check the air flow in hoods before resuming any work.
  8. Pay close attention to University Alerts for more information.
  9. Immediately call 9-1-1 if a dangerous situation arises.

Are you in a Dormitory or University Apartment?

If there is no imminent danger:

  1. Never use candles to light your room. Per the Department of Residential Life housing contract, candles are prohibited on campus.
  2. Use a flashlight with batteries or your cellphone’s flashlight app for additional lighting.
  3. Turn off any appliances (including your stove), electronics, and other voltage-sensitive devices in order to prevent them from restarting unattended when power is restored.
  4. Keep the doors to refrigerators and freezers closed to help them stay cold.
  5. During daytime, if there is power elsewhere on campus, you may leave your room and continue with normal activities. During the night, stay in your room unless otherwise directed.
  6. Pay close attention to University Alerts.
  7. Follow any directions you receive from Facilities or Emergency Personnel.

Are you trapped in an elevator?

Elevators will not operate without power, even though the emergency lighting may be on.

If you become trapped in an elevator, the following actions should be taken:

  1. Stay calm and use the elevator phone or your cell phone to call 9-1-1 for assistance.
    • Provide the following information to Emergency Personnel:
  • Your name
  • Your location- where you are in the building and what floor the elevator is on
  • Total number of people in the elevator
  • Report any injuries, medical conditions, or disabilities.
  1. Press the ALARM or HELP button to notify others who may be nearby.
  2. Do not attempt to force the door open or attempt to climb out of the elevator car.
  3. The elevator may re-start without warning.
  4. Your best course of action is to relax, get comfortable, and wait for professional assistance. Even if the air temperature feels warm, there is plenty of air circulating in the elevator and throughout the shaft.

The UConn Fire Department and regional campus emergency personnel are trained in elevator rescue.

 

After a Power Outage:

If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

If there is no imminent danger:

  1. Pay close attention to University Alerts.
  2. Avoid a power surge by turning off and/or unplugging non-essential electrical equipment, computers, and other voltage-sensitive equipment or appliances.
  3. Check cooking appliances to ensure that they were not left powered on and unattended while the power went out.
  4. Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep others away from them. Report downed power lines by calling 9-1-1.

Situational Awareness

  • Always avoid exposed or downed power lines.
    • Stay 2 pole-lengths away.
  • Never walk through flooded areas.
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40°F (4°C) or higher for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out! (FDA).
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, any partially enclosed area, or in any University building.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors. Call 9-1-1 and remain outdoors until Emergency Personnel arrive.
  • If a power line falls on a car, stay inside your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Only leave your car if there is more imminent danger, like a fire.
    • To safely exit the vehicle in this emergency:
      • Open the door. Do not step out of the car, or you may receive a shock.
      • Jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground.
      • Slowly shuffle your feet away from the vehicle and downed power line.
    • Refer to our Extreme Temperate guides if the conditions exist.

Faculty and Staff

After power is restored and you return to normal operations, the Office of Emergency Management recommends that you discuss the power outage with your team and identify the strengths and weaknesses of how the incident went. Develop a plan for how to respond to a power outage in the future and include it in your department Emergency Operations Plan. Call the Office of Emergency Management at 860-486-5174 with any questions. Encourage your staff and faculty to sign up for University Alerts.


Flooding or Water Line Breaks and Steam Leaks

Notify OPP at (814) 865-4731 to report any of the below situations.

Water may enter a building from one of the following sources:

  • Breaks or leaks in a water line
  • Rainwater/Flooding
  • Sewer leaks or back-ups

 Gas Leak

If you smell natural gas:

  • Leave the building and go to an area where the gas is not present.
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Provide the necessary information to dispatchers.
  • Do not re-enter the building until instructed by public safety officials.

For more information about gas leaks, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (860) 486-3613.

Weather closing information for UConn’s campuses will be shared on the Alert website and through text messages and social media.

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, or High Winds

  • Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  • Do not be fooled if there is a lull in the storm. It could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Move to a shelter, basement, or the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, go to a windowless interior room or get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, or large hallways.

Earthquakes

While earthquakes are typically not associated with the Northeast, we have experienced them before.

If you are indoors:

  • Drop to the floor under a sturdy desk or table, cover your head and face with your arms, and hold on.
  • If suitable furniture is not nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and face with your arms.
  • Stay clear of windows, bookcases, shelves, mirrors, and fireplaces.
  • Do not use elevators!
  • If possible, extinguish any open flames or sources of ignition immediately.

If you are outside:

  • Get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls, and power lines.
  • If driving, pull over to the side of the road, stop, and stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
  • Avoid overpasses, bridges, and power lines.
  • If the earthquake has been severe, do not attempt to cross damaged bridges, overpasses, or damaged sections of road.

After the earthquake, call 9-1-1 to report any injuries or suspected gas or water leaks. Do not touch downed power lines or damaged building equipment. Try to keep phone lines open except for emergency calls.

Hazardous materials accidents include:

Explosions

  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
  • If necessary or if directed, activate the fire alarm.
  • Exit the building via the nearest exit and inform others to do the same.

 

Hazardous Materials Spills

  • Evacuate all people from the spill area.
  • Anyone who may have been contaminated by the spill should avoid contact with others and remain in the immediate area for required first aid and decontamination.
  • Use safety showers immediately, if appropriate.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe location. Be specific about the nature of the spill material, if known, and the exact location. If you are the caller, make contact with emergency personnel when they arrive on scene.
  • Isolate the spill area and close doors to the room where the spill occurred if it is safe to do so.

For more information, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (860) 486-3613.

Mail and packages can be used to deliver suspicious and potentially hazardous materials. Before opening, take care to examine the item for anything unusual. Examples of issues that might raise concern:

  • Oily or stained
  • Excessive tape or string
  • Strange odor
  • Misspelled words or names
  • Lopsided or uneven package
  • Excess postage
  • No return address

 

If a package is unusual or raises concerns:

  • Handle with care.
  • Do not open, smell, touch, or taste any contents of the package.
  • Leave the area, isolate it by shutting doors behind you as you leave.
  • Do not use your cell phone within 300 feet of the package.
  • Treat it as dangerous and call 9-1-1.