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Emergency Procedures

In the event of a campus emergency such as, but not limited to, gas leaks, fire, tornadoes, etc., the University will, without delay and taking into to account the safety of the community, notify the campus community of the emergency (unless such notification would compromise efforts to assist victims or mitigate the emergency).

Campus notification will be sent via the campus WOODS ALERT text messaging system. When it is determined that additional information would be important or helpful if sent via e-mail, this method of communication will also be utilized. In addition, non-residential buildings are assigned Emergency Preparedness Coordinators (EPC) who assist with evacuation and emergencies. Based on the situation, EPC are contacted via WOODS ALERT, university e-mail and/or telephone. During weather emergencies requiring students, faculty or staff to take cover immediately, Campus Safety will utilize a mobile public address system.

Involved in both determining an emergency and in the notification of the community will include the Vice President and Dean of Student Life, the Director of Residential Life and Campus Safety, and the Campus Safety Site-Supervisor or On-Duty Officer. For tornado notifications, the Officer on Duty will follow the Tornado Policy Procedure found in the Campus Safety Officer Manual.

Based on the type of emergency occurring, other members of the University community may be involved. For example, the Director of Plant Operations would be involved in a campus situation involving facilities and maintenance. In conjunction with the decision to alert the campus community of an emergency, the decision is also made as to whether or not to activate the campus Crisis Response Plan. This procedure is available in the Office of Student Life.

All emergency notification and evacuation plans and procedures were reviewed by the Director of Residential Life and Campus Safety, the Vice President and Dean of Student Life and the Director of Human Resources. Evacuation procedures in residence halls are tested each semester with fire drills.

Evacuation Procedures

The university will periodically conduct building emergency evacuation exercises. Student residents must cooperate during these emergency evacuation exercises and evacuate the building immediately when an alarm is activated. Failure to do so will result in strict disciplinary measures.

Students should follow this procedure:

  • Immediately turn on lights. If odor of gas is detected, do not turn lights off or on.
  • Close all windows.
  • Put on shoes and wrap for protection.
  • Get a bath towel. If time permits, wet it. Placed over nose, it will block smoke inhalation.
  • Leave room quickly. Close all doors, but leave them unlocked in case heavy smoke forces you to return.
  • Proceed in an orderly evacuation (walk, don't run) via the stairs and nearest exits. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.
  • Do not take time to collect valuables. They can be replaced-you cannot.
  • Leave building quickly and silently and proceed immediately to your designated assembly area. At the assembly area, be as calm as possible and cooperate with Residential Life and other university staff as they attempt to determine that everyone is out of the building.
  • Return to the building when directed to do so by the residential life staff.

After exiting the building, no one should re-enter the building for any reason until an authorizing agency (WWU personnel in charge, Fulton Fire or Fulton Police personnel) has given the all clear. Know that in the case where the fire department has been summoned to handle a fire, the highest-ranking fire department official is in command and controls the scene. All buildings must be evacuated any time an alarm is sounded. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. This procedure should be followed every time the fire alarm is activated.