Emergency Response: Lockdown and Evacuation Policy

In the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus it is the responsibility of the President of the University or his designee to confirm the scope of the emergency or dangerous situation and the response to the emergency. These emergencies include a wide range of threats (i.e. chemical spills, weather emergencies, civil disturbance, etc). All emergency operations shall be coordinated by the Emergency Coordinator or his designee. Together with the Emergency Response Team (ERT), he will determine the segments of campus to be notified, determine the content of the notification, and will utilize the University’s emergency notification system to notify the campus community. This notification will, without delay, be sent to all campus phones, campus email addresses and registered cell phones or home phones. Notification will be sent unless it is determined by the responsible campus authorities that such a notice will compromise efforts to deal with the emergency or rescue a victim. Members of the Emergency Response Team will notify the community at large as it is deemed appropriate. The Emergency Response Team will maintain a banner on the University website to provide updated information as it becomes available.

The University tests the emergency response and evacuation procedures annually by scheduling a table top and/or initiating an announced or unannounced functional or full scale exercise.

When instructed by the Emergency Coordinator or his designee to initiate a “Lockdown” or “Evacuation” of the campus or specific building(s), the following procedures are to be implemented.


A “Lockdown” is the temporary sheltering technique, e.g. 30 minutes to several hours, utilized to limit FUS’s occupant’s exposure in an emergency situation. This course of action may need to be taken during a tornado, earthquake, a release of hazardous materials in the outside air, a civil disturbance or an “Active Shooter” or similar incident. When alerted, occupants of the building will lock all doors and windows not allowing entry or exit to anyone until the all clear has been sounded. This procedure converts any building into a large “Safe Room”. In the event a “Lockdown” is ordered for a weather related emergency the doors to the building are not to be locked unless that is the condition they are in when a weather related “Lockdown” is ordered.

An “Evacuation” is a total building or partial building evacuation due to conditions making it no longer safe to remain inside a building or a specific area in a building. All occupants must leave a building if an evacuation is ordered or a fire alarm is sounded. An evacuation requires occupants to move out and away from a building or out and away from a specific area inside a building.

Initiation of Lockdown Procedure

When the Emergency Coordinator or designee determines the need to secure a building or buildings to protect the campus community and to prevent an escalation of the emergency, the order to “Lockdown” specific areas or the entire campus will be given.

Notification that a “Lockdown” has been ordered will be communicated through the Emergency Notification System and by other appropriate means.

Lockdown Procedure

Once the notice to “Lockdown” has been issued take the following action:

    • Remain calm.
    • Staff is required to secure the entrance(s) to the building, if it is safe to do so.  Place a sign on the door indicating Lockdown is in effect.  Close all windows.
    • If “Lockdown” is initiated for a weather related emergency do not secure the entrance(s) to the building.
    • Staff is to advise occupants that the building is in Lockdown and for everyone to take shelter and stay away from doors and windows.
    • Anyone who encounters a physically disabled individual should assist them if possible.
    • Remain indoors, e.g. your office or classroom. When in “Lockdown” you are not to leave the building unless an all clear has been sounded.
    • If possible, take refuge in a room that can be locked.  If unable to lock the door secure it by any means possible.  The room should also provide limited visibility to anyone that is outside of it.
    • Occupants should be seated below window level, toward the middle of a room away from windows and doors.  Turn off all lights.
    • Remain silent.  Turn off all radios or other devices that emit sound.  Silence cell phones.
    • If gunshots are heard lay on the floor, use heavy objects such as tables or filing cabinets for shelter.  Hide under a desk, in a closet or in the corner.
    • If safe to do so, turn off gas and electric appliances, e.g., heater, fan, coffee maker, gas valves, lights and locally controlled ventilation systems, e.g. air conditioner.
    • Do not shelter in open areas such as hallways or corridors.  Go to the nearest classroom, lecture hall or auditorium that can be locked.
    • After getting to a safe location and without jeopardizing your safety, try and obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (e.g. Franciscan Homepage, TV, radio, email, etc.).  Report any suspicious activity if you can do so without jeopardizing your safety.  Call 911 if possible.
    • If outdoors seek nearby shelter, e.g. large trees, walls, mail boxes, and wait for additional instructions.
    • If you are in Lockdown due to a tornado warning proceed to the basement or lowest floor of the building.  Position yourself in the safest portion of the area away from glass.  Be prepared to kneel facing a wall and cover your head.
    • Do not unlock doors or attempt to leave until authorized Fire, Police or Security Department personnel give the “All Clear” instruction.  The “All Clear” will also be communicated through the Emergency Notification System.

Initiation of Evacuation Procedure

When the Emergency Coordinator or his designee determines the need to evacuate a given building or buildings for the safety of the campus community, notification that an “Evacuation” has been ordered will be communicated thru the Emergency Notification System and by other appropriate means.

Evacuation Procedure

Once the notice to “Evacuate” has been issued, take the following action:

  • Activate the fire alarm;
  • Immediately obey evacuation alarms and orders. Tell others to evacuate. Communicate using a bullhorn for maximum effectiveness.
  • Classes in session must evacuate. No one may remain inside a building when an evacuation is in progress.
  • If involved with hazardous research or doing a dangerous procedure, immediately shut down operations that could create additional hazards if left unattended. Evacuate as soon as possible.
  • When you evacuate, take keys, coat, purse and any other critical personal items with you to the emergency assembly area (EAA).
  • Close doors as rooms are vacated.
  • Assist those who need help, but do not put yourself at risk attempting to rescue trapped or injured victims. Note the location of trapped and injured victims and notify emergency responders.
  • Walk calmly but quickly to the nearest emergency exit.
  • Use stairways only. Do not use elevators.
  • Keep to the right side of corridors and stairwells as you exit.
  • Exit the building and proceed directly to your buildings designated emergency assembly area (EAA). Stay away from the immediate area near the building you evacuated. Do not congregate at the entrance of the building.
  • Remain in emergency assembly area (EAA) until roll is taken and instructions are given. Relocate to alternate sheltering site(s) if necessary due to weather or the amount of time the building must remain vacant.
  • Do not reenter the building until authorized Fire, Police or Security Department personnel give the “All Clear” instruction.

Evacuation Guidelines for People with Disabilities

  • Check on people with special needs during an evacuation. A “buddy system,” where people with disabilities arrange for volunteers (co-workers) to alert and assist them in an emergency is recommended.
  • Only attempt an emergency evacuation if you have had emergency assistance training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for emergency services personnel.
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any emergency evacuation assistance. Ask how he or she can best be assisted or moved, and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • Faculty and staff who are mobility impaired should let the Building Supervisor or designated building representative know the location of their usual work area and special needs.