Emergency Terms

This document is pending incorporation into official UT Emergency Plan.

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Emergency Terms Flyer (PDF)
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Remember 5 and Stay Alive poster (PDF)

Campus Open

The University of Texas at Austin is observing normal operating hours and activities.

Campus Emergency

An emergency that threatens the campus will be announced by several communications means. One of these will be the Outdoor Warning System (Siren). When someone outside hears the siren at a time other than 11:50 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, they should immediately seek cover in the closest university building or facility. Campus emergency personnel will use other communication means to provide information on the correct protective action to take place in the interior of buildings.


“Shelter in place” is a directive to seek immediate shelter indoors following the announcement of an emergency condition. The act of sheltering in an area inside a building offers occupants an elevated level of protection. Sheltering can be related to a variety of situations, including: severe weather emergencies, hazardous condition, chemical release, or criminal activity.

Shelter-in-Place — Severe Weather

To shelter in place in the event of severe weather is the act of sheltering in an area inside a building that offers occupants an elevated level of protection during a tornado or other severe weather related emergency.

Shelter-in-Place — Chemical, Biological or Radiological

A place of shelter is an area inside a building that offers occupants an elevated level of protection during an accident or intentional release of a chemical, biological or radiological agent.

Note: Many toxic chemicals have a vapor density greater than that of air, and will seek lowest ground. In the case of a shelter in place due to a chemical spill, do not shelter below grade. Follow instructions provided by emergency personnel.


The directive “lockdown”" is used to stop access and/or egress as appropriate, to all or a portion of the buildings on campus. Unless otherwise directed, consider that all buildings will initiate their “Lockdown” procedures.

Building managers will:

Should you discover that there is a violent or potentially violent person in your building or area, take the following steps:

If the threat is outside your building:

If you are outside the building when a lockdown is initiated:

Building and Classroom Evacuation

All occupants of buildings on The University of Texas campus are required to evacuate the building when a fire alarm and / or an official announcement is made indicating a potentially dangerous situation within the building.

Building Evacuation

Classroom Evacuation

The classroom instructor is the senior representative of the university and they are responsible to implement university policy and directives.

Classroom Instruction and Recommended Syllabus Information

To implement policy and / or the Lockdown procedures and reinforce building evacuation procedures, each faculty member shall provide the following information and instructions to students:

Restricted Access (Vehicle or Buildings or Area)

An announcement of Restricted Access in reference to a specific building or an area of the campus requires the University Police or other law enforcement agencies to stop entry of pedestrians or vehicles into that area. When required, the office of Facilities Services will dispatch vehicles to block roadways with university service vehicles.

Campus Closed

When “campus closed” is announced, only those employees identified as essential will remain on campus. All other faculty, staff, and students will depart campus. No one should return until a returning procedure is announced. Continue to monitor the Emergency site for updates. Campus shuttles will be stopped and passengers will be returned to their boarding location.

Campus Application

The Campus Safety and Security Office will announce to the campus the area covered by any and all campus alerts and restrictions. Announcement will also be posted to the UT Emergency Information site. Campus Safety and Security will indicate specifically the inclusion of areas other than Main Campus (i.e. Pickle Campus, and other UT facilities outside these campuses (i.e. MSI and McDonald Observatory and other facilities in Austin.)