Safety Procedures

Students, faculty and staff should follow the below safety procedures in the event of evacuation emergencies, severe or inclement weather, and tornados or hazardous material releases.

Evacuation Procedures

Students, faculty and staff should follow the below steps when evacuating buildings:

  1. Evacuate when prompted by continually sounding fire alarms or by an official announcement.
  2. Be aware of and make use of designated primary and alternate evacuation routes.
  3. Close classroom or office doors as you leave.
  4. Leave the building in an orderly manner without rushing or crowding — do not use the elevator.
  5. Provide aid to those who need it in an emergency evacuation situation.
  6. Be aware of and follow instructions given by UTPD and other officials. You may be asked to proceed on foot to designated areas or evacuate the campus entirely.
    • Always evacuate crosswind and/or upwind away from any emergency by a safe route.
    • Evacuate to at least 300 feet from the building and out of the way of emergency vehicles.
  7. Report to emergency responders any individuals who have been injured or left behind.
  8. Do not re-enter the building until all-clear is given by official announcement.

What is an evacuation emergency?

In most cases, evacuations apply only to the buildings that are immediately affected. In some cases, such as local terrorism, flooding or earthquake, the evacuation could apply to the entire campus. Some potential causes for emergency evacuations may include but are not limited to: a major fire or explosion, hazardous materials release, chemical/biological/radiological spill, structural failure, asbestos release, bomb threat, weapons, or an aircraft collision with a building.

Severe or Inclement Weather Procedures

Students, faculty and staff should follow the below procedures in the event of a severe or inclement weather warning:

  1. Seek shelter immediately in designated areas.
  2. 2. If you’re inside a building…
    • Go to the lowest level of the building, if possible.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Go to an interior hallway.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck in a "drop and tuck" position.
  3. If there is no time to get inside…
    • Lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building.
    • Be aware of potential for flooding.
    • Use arms to protect head and neck in a “drop and tuck” position.
    • Use jacket, cap, backpack or any similar items, if available, to protect face and eyes.

Seeking Shelter: Tornados and Hazardous Material Releases

Tornado Procedures

In the event of a tornado watch or warning, students, faculty and staff should take the following steps:

If a tornado is sighted near the university…

  1. Dial 911 from a campus phone or 512-471-4441 to report tornado sighting to the UTPD dispatcher.
  2. Seek a safe shelter inside a building, in a ditch or beside an embankment.

If a tornado is imminent near you…

  1. Use interior hallways away from building’s exterior windows as a tornado shelter.
    • Close all doors to rooms with exterior windows.
    • Avoid all windows and other glassed areas.
    • Avoid the most dangerous locations of a building, usually along south and west sides and at corners.
  2. Protect yourself by going into a “drop and tuck” position.

Hazardous Material Procedures

Students, faculty and staff should observe the following steps in the event of a hazardous material release on campus:

  1. You will receive a shelter-in-place announcement.
  2. Immediately move indoors.
  3. Close all windows and doors to shelter and seal as best you can, using towels, clothes or paper.
  4. If there appears to be air contamination within the shelter, place a paper mask, wet handkerchief or wet paper towel over the nose and mouth for temporary respiratory protection.
  5. Continue to follow the instructions given by the response authorities.

When else is it important to seek shelter?

The procedures described above for tornados and hazardous material releases are known as shelter-in-place procedures. Sheltering-in-place is the use of any classroom, office or building for the purpose of providing temporary shelter. Shelter-in-place procedures are internationally recognized as standard practices of providing shelter for any of the following reasons: a chemical truck overturning, tornado, chemical train derailment, chemical facility accident, pipeline rupture, terrorist attack, release of biological agents, release of chemical agents, drilling accident, hazardous materials release, or radiological release.