Emergency Procedures

Active Attackers and Violent Incidents
  • RUN: Evacuate if a safe route is available

  • HIDE: If it is unsafe to escape, hide in an area out of view.

    • Lock the door and block entry; stay behind solid objects away from the door.

    • Turn off lights and computers; silence cell phones and other electronic devices.

  • FIGHT: Prepare to defend yourself if necessary.

  • Call or text 911 when it is safe for you to do so.

Bomb Threat
  • Remain calm. If applicable, pay attention to your telephone display and record the information shown in the display window.
  • The objective is to keep the caller on the line as long as possible to attempt to gather as much information as possible. Try not to anger the caller at any time.
  • While engaging the caller, pay attention to any background noise and distinctive sounds (machinery, traffic, other voices, music, television, etc.).
  • Note any characteristics of the caller's voice (gender, age, education, accent, etc.).
  • Attempt to obtain information on the location of a device (building, floor, room, etc.).
  • Attempt to obtain information on the time of detonation and type of detonator.
  • Immediately after the caller has ended the call, notify the University Police Department at 911.
  • If the threat was left on your voicemail, do not erase.
  • Notify the immediate supervisor within your work area.

If you are indoors:

  • Stay inside until the shaking stops.
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there is not a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • If you are in bed when the earthquake strikes, stay there. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Be aware that electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • Do not use the elevators.

 If you are outdoors:

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking shops.

If you are in a moving vehicle:

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If you are in a stadium or amphitheater:

  • Stay at your seat and protect your head and neck with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over. Then walk out slowly watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.
Fire / Explosion
  • Activate nearest fire alarm pull station.
  • Evacuate; if smoke is present, stay low to the floor.
  • Watch out for falling debris; take cover and protect head.
  • If you become trapped, tap on a wall or pipe to alert rescuers.
  • Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Call 911 when it is safe for you to do so.
Hazardous Materials Release
  • Move away from the site of the hazard to a safe location.
  • Call 911 when it is safe for you to do so.
  • Alert others to stay clear of the area.
  • Wait and provide information to emergency personnel.
Infrastructure Failure


  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to water, electricity, heating and/or cooling systems, call Facilities Management at 434-924-1777.
  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to telephone systems, call the UVA Help Desk at 434-924-4357.
  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to computer systems, call the UVA Help Desk at 434-924-4357.


  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to water, electricity, heating, and/or cooling systems, call Facilities Management at 434-924-2267.
  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to telephone systems, call the Health System's Health Information & Technology Help Desk at 434-924-5334.
  • If a critical incident is experienced relating to computer systems, call the Health System's Health Information & Technology Help Desk at 434-924-5334.
Medical Emergency

If a serious injury or illness occurs on Grounds, immediately dial 911

  • Remain calm.
  • If possible, send someone to meet emergency responders outside and direct them to the person's location.
  • Keep victim still and comfortable. Do not move the victim unless the person is in immediate danger.
  • Ask the victim, "Are you okay?" and "What is wrong?" Does the victim respond?
  • Check breathing and check for a pulse. If there is no pulse and you have been trained, perform CPR or use an AED.
  • Control serious bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound.
  • In case of a minor injury or illness, provide first aid care. Note the location of the first aid kits and the names of first aid/CPR trained personnel in your area. Individuals in each department or building are encouraged to obtain training in first aid/CPR/AED.
Missing Child or Vulnerable Adult

If someone approaches you with information that a child or vulnerable adult under their care is missing, follow these steps:

  • Perform a quick search of the immediate area.
  • Collect the following information about the missing individual:
    • Name
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Skin color
    • Hair color
    • Height
    • Weight
    • Clothing
    • Location last seen
    • Was the missing individual with anyone else?
    • Does the reporting party have any recent pictures of the missing individual readily available?
  • Call 911.
  • Explain the situation and relay the information that you have collected.
  • Follow directions provided by law enforcement personnel.

If you encounter a child or vulnerable adult that seems to be lost or unsure of their surroundings, follow these steps:

  • Talk to the individual to see if they are truly lost.
  • Ask the individual for parent or caregiver contact information. If they can provide that information, then use it to contact the parent or caregiver.
  • Call 911 if the individual is not able to provide you with contact information for a parent or caregiver, or if you do not make quick contact with a parent or caregiver.
  • Stay with the individual until law enforcement personnel, a parent, or caregiver arrives. Do not remove the individual from that location unless you are in a dangerous place.
Severe Weather

When severe weather conditions become apparent, the National Weather Service describes conditions by two classifications:

  • A Watch means weather conditions are favorable for the development of hazardous weather.
  • A Warning means hazardous weather is happening or imminent.

If the National Weather Service issues a Severe Weather-Related Warning for the City of Charlottesville, follow the steps below.

  • Move away from outside windows. If the windows in your offices are supplied with blinds, close the blinds (this will provide protection from broken glass).
  • Remain calm.
  • If directed to evacuate:
    • Take all items of value with you.
    • Use a route that is in the building interior and stay away from large expanses of glass and windows.
    • Use the stairwells rather than the elevators.
    • Do not return inside the building until advised by emergency response personnel that it is safe to do so. 
  • Look at the Operations Status Board for the latest information on schedule changes or call the Weather or Emergency Event Status Messages hotlines (434-924-7669 or 434-243-7669).
Suspicious Object
  1. Do not touch or disturb the object.
  2. Leave the immediate area of the object and dial 911.
  3. Report type of object and location to first responders. Prepare to evacuate if instructed.
Suspicious Odor

Smell of Smoke or Gas

  1. Activate the nearest fire pull station.
  2. Evacuate the immediate area and dial 911.
  3. Report type of odor and location to first responders. Prepare to evacuate if instructed.

Any Other Odor

  1. Investigate, if possible and safe to do so.
  2. If you do not know which utility service to contact, dial University Police at 434-924-7166 (for non-emergency situations).
Suspicious Person
  1. Dial 911 and provide the following information:
    • Area where the suspicious person is currently located,
    • What the suspicious person is doing, and
    • A description of the suspicious person.
  2. Do not let anyone into a locked room or building without proper authority.
  3. Do not engage in a confrontation with the person.
  4. Do not block the person's exit.
  • Remain calm.
  • Go to an area of refuge.
    • Rooms and corridors in the innermost part of a building are the safest spaces.
  • There is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado. However, it is important to seek shelter in the best location to help minimize your exposure.
  • Do not use elevators during a Tornado Warning.
  • Persons with mobility concerns should go to an area of refuge at the time of a Tornado Watch. Do not wait for a Tornado Warning.
  • Close all doors, including main corridors. Make sure all doors latch.
  • Crouch near the floor or under heavy, well-supported objects and cover your head.
  • If outside, lie down in a low-lying ditch and cover your head.
  • Be alert for fire. In the event of a fire, follow the recommendations from the Fire / Explosion Section.