How to Respond in an Emergency

In the event of an emergency, Campus Security urges faculty, staff, and students to follow the procedures outlined below in accordance with our Campus Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP). Click on the links below for more information on what to expect and how to respond to each emergency type.

For Medical Emergencies

  • Dial 911, or press the Orange Emergency Button for Campus Security and provide the following information:
    • Nature of the medical emergency,
    • Location of the emergency (building, room number)
    • Your name and phone number from which you are calling
  • If possible, alert others of the emergency
  • Until help arrives:
    • Do not move the individual
    • Watch for changes in their breathing and consciousness
    • Assure them that medical assistance is coming



An evacuation is implemented under conditions when it is no longer safe to remain in a building or a specific area in a building. This requires occupants to move out and away from a building to an area of refuge or out and away from a specific area within a building. This procedure is most commonly used when there is a suspected fire, hazardous material spill, flooding, gas leak, or bomb or other threat in a building.

If you identify a fire, follow these procedures:

  • Notify occupants and help those needing assistance in the immediate area
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station
  • Confine the fire by closing doors as you exit
  • Evacuate the building at the nearest exit and call 911 and Campus Security (312.899.1230 or push the EMERGENCY button on any in-house phone)
  • DO NOT, under any circumstances, enter the building until authorized to do so by emergency personnel


If you hear a fire alarm, follow these procedures:

  • Use the stairs to exit the building at the closest exit (if clear of danger). Do not use the elevator.
  • Close the doors as you exit.
  • Remain calm, do not panic, and proceed calmly to the exterior, assisting others whenever possible.
  • Proceed to the assembly area or area of rescue assistance
  • Follow directions from Campus Security and other emergency responders and inform them of any known missing or injured persons
  • Do not re-enter the building until the "All Clear" signal is issued when it is safe to enter the building.
  • Evacuation maps showing routes and exits are posted in each elevator lobby.
  •  Faculty, staff and students should know at least two evacuation routes.


If a building must be evacuated for other reasons, IRFM and Campus Security will coordinate the evacuations by giving directions about the emergency and next steps.


Lockdown procedures will be used when an external threat requires all outside doors to be locked immediately. The goal is to contain people in the buildings they are in until the threat is removed. In the event of a lockdown, listen for instructions from SAIC communication systems.

Faculty, students and staff should:

  • Close and lock all external doors and windows
  • Close window shades, blinds, or drapes
  • Follow directions of Campus Security and other emergency responders
  • Inform responders of any known missing persons
  • Remain with your group until the "All Clear" has been received from Campus Security or other emergency responders
  • If an intruder is heard or seen, call Campus Security as soon as safely possible
  • Remain calm and keep everyone together
  • Do not activate the fire alarm. Once in a lockdown, if the fire alarms sound, do not exit your safe area unless there is obvious danger from smoke and/or fire in your location. The hostile intruder(s) may use the alarms in order to increase the number of victims.
  • Refer to the Campus Emergency Operations Plan – Annex F for additional procedures.



An environmental shelter-in-place is a procedure where the entire building population is moved to a single or multiple location(s) in a building. This is most commonly used during weather emergencies or when an extremely hazardous substance is released into the outside atmosphere.


  • Listen for instructions from SAIC’s emergency communication system.
  • Stay inside your building, or immediately go into the nearest building. Take protective covering in one a restroom without windows or interior corridor. Avoid lobbies, atriums, rooms with windows, and auditoriums.
  • Close all windows.
  • Immediately go to an area inside the building, away from exterior walls and windows.
  • Await further instructions from emergency personnel.
  • DO NOT evacuate the building until you receive an "All Clear" from emergency personnel.


Shelter-in-place—Active Shooter

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people. In most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. The strategy is to decrease vulnerability if you cannot move from your current location or to move to a place of safe harbor.


  • If possible, exit the building immediately and call 911 and Campus Security (312.899.1230).
  • IF YOU CANNOT EXIT: Clear the hallway immediately; remain behind closed doors in a locked or barricaded room; stay away from all windows; remain calm; and QUIETLY call 911 and Campus Security (312.899.1230).
  • Close all doors and windows, shades, binds, and drapes.
  • Lock and barricade your door and take cover in your current location. Stay low, remain quiet and attempt to place solid objects between you and the area of the threat.
  • Shutdown all computers and office equipment that may be done so in a quick manner
  • Report your presence to Campus Security if it is safe to do.
  • DO NOT: Leave or unlock the door to see what is happening.
  • DO NOT: Attempt to confront or apprehend the shooter, UNLESS THIS IS A LAST RESORT.
  • DO NOT: Assume someone else has called Campus Security, YOU make the call.
  • Evacuate the room only when emergency personnel have arrived and given the "All Clear".
  • Organize assistance to those individuals with disabilities


Emergency Equipment

  • Fire Extinguishers are located throughout each building. Campus Security officers are trained to operate fire extinguishers.
  • Spill Control/Clean-up Kits are located at each security desk and classroom that handles chemicals on a normal basis.  
  • First Aid Supplies are located at each security desk and instructional shop. Campus Security Officers are trained in basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use. Instructional Shop staff are trained in basic first aid only.
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are located near or at each security desk.
  • Blood borne Pathogen Kits are located in each shop and fabrication studio.


General Guidelines for Persons with Disabilities

Students—Each term, or as needed, students should meet with the Disability and Learning Resource Center to identify themselves and their disability (mobility, visual, hearing, speech, or multiple impairments), and discuss emergency evacuation plans.

Employees—Annually or as needed, employees with disabilities should meet with Human Resources, and their department supervisor to discuss their disability (mobility, visual, hearing, speech, or multiple impairments) and evacuation plans.

Human Resources and the department supervisor or Disability and Learning Resource Center representative should discuss and determine the following information with students or employees:

  • How will they be notified in the event of an emergency (alarm, strobes and lights, etc.)
  • Where the exit routes are
  • Whether they can exit the building unassisted
  • What kind of assistance they may need
  • Identifying at least twice the number of volunteers who are willing and able to provide assistance. When students or employees talk to potential volunteers, they should discuss:
    • Guidance—explaining how and where the volunteers need to go, escorting to or through the exit path
    • Minor physical effort—Offering an arm to assist the person or opening a door
    • Major physical effort­—Carrying a person down the stairs, carrying a wheel chair down the stairs, or operating a stair-descent device (if applicable)
    • Where volunteers will start providing assistance
    • When volunteers will provide assistance (always, only when asked, etc.)
    • How volunteers will be contacted (face to face, phone, email, etc.)
    • Waiting for first responders—An agreement should be reached regarding how long the volunteer is expected to wait for the first responders to arrive
  • Human Resources, the department supervisors, or Disability and Learning Resource Center representatives should provide students and employees with written directions, maps or floor plans of evacuation routes. and discuss exit paths and alternative exits
  • Human Resources and the Disability Learning Resource Center should provide the Executive Director for Campus Security with a list of persons that require evacuation assistance. The list shall include:
    • Name of student/employee
    • Class schedule or work location
    • Type of disability
    • If they have a volunteer to provide evacuation assistance.


Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Mobility Impairment

People who are able to go up and down stairs easily but have impairments of their hands or arms can be assisted by anyone. A viable plan to address this issue may be for the person with the impairment to be aware that he or she will need to ask someone for assistance with a particular door or device.

Other people with mobility impairments should seek multiple volunteers in advance to assist if an emergency develops.

  • It is recommended that one volunteer remain with the individual, and another volunteer exit the building and inform emergency personnel that a person with a disability is waiting for rescue assistance on the specified floor.
  • Volunteers should consider evacuating a non-ambulatory person only when the person is in immediate danger of harm if not evacuated. Proper lifting techniques (e.g., bending the knees, keeping the back straight, holding the person close before lifting, and using leg muscles to lift) should be used to avoid injury to the back.


Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Hearing/Speech Impairment

All buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm strobe lights. Persons with hearing impairments may not hear audible emergency alarms and will need to be alerted of emergency situations.

  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability
  • Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand
  • Offer visual instructions to advise of safest route or direction toward exits or evacuation maps


The only standard building egress system that is limited to voice communication is the emergency phone in the elevators. Should a person with a speech/hearing impairment need assistance in the elevator, press the emergency call button. A Campus Security officer will respond.


Evacuation Procedures for Persons with a Visual Impairment

Most people with a visual impairment will be familiar with their surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Since the emergency evacuation route is likely different from the commonly traveled route, persons who are visually impaired may need assistance in evacuating.

  • Give verbal instructions to advise about safest routes, estimated distances, and direction
  • DO NOT grasp a visually impaired person's arm. Ask if he or she would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.


Emergency Reporting and Response Procedures

Emergencies that must be reported by faculty, staff, and students include, but are not limited to:

  • Fire
  • Bomb threat/suspicious items
  • Suspicious or disturbing behavior
  • Medical Related Events
  • Incident involving a weapon
  • Utility or power failure
  • Severe weather condition
  • Chemical spill



In the event of a fire:

  • Press the orange emergency button on any campus house phone.
  • Provide the following information:
    • Your name
    • Location/Room Number
    • Severity of Fire
    • Number you are calling from
  • Shutdown any equipment, and seal/close or secure any chemicals, if safe to do so.
  • Never allow the fire to come between you and an exit.
  • Before opening the door, if the door is hot or smoke is visible do not open the door. Wedge material along the bottom of the door to keep smoke out. If you need air, open a window. Call Campus Security or 911 and inform them of your location.
  • If you can leave your location, do so and close the door behind you.
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station if one is immediately visible.
  • Locate the nearest stairwell and evacuate the building. Do not use the elevators.
  • Persons with disabilities should proceed to the designated areas of rescue assistance, unless they have previously arranged for evacuation assistance.


Bomb Threat/Suspicious Items

In the case of a phone call:

  • Maintain communication with the caller, inquiring about their identity, location, and description of the device.
  • Advise someone else to dial 911 and Campus Security while talking to the individual.
  • Report the details of the call to an officer upon evacuating the building.


When a suspicious item is found:

  • Do not touch, move or disturb it. Avoid using a cell phone or radio communications.
  • Call Campus Security.
  • Direct people away from the area until help arrives.


Suspicious or Disturbing Behavior

If you notice an individual is displaying suspicious or disturbing behavior:

  • If you feel threatened immediately call 911.
  • Press the orange button to notify Campus Security.
  • Ensure your personal safety.Keep a safe distance and do not attempt to talk or interact with the individual.


Medical-Related Event


  • Report injuries and illnesses to your instructor or Campus Security. Refer to SAIC Injury and IllnessReporting Procedures for additional information.
  • Seek first aid treatment from Campus Security Officers at each security desk
  • Obtain non-emergency medical treatment from medical staff at SAIC Health Services (116 South Michigan Avenue, 13th floor, 312.499.4280).


Faculty, Staff, and Student Workers:

  • Report injuries and illnesses to your supervisor.Refer to S/AIC Injury and Illness Reporting Procedures for additional information.
  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Workers can seek first aid treatment from Campus Security.
  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Workers can seek non-emergency medical treatment from Concentra (1230 West Lake Street, 312.666.0028).
  • If the injury involves blood on equipment or surrounding areas contact security to notify housekeeping for a blood borne pathogen cleanup. NOTE: certain equipment may require cleanup from shop staff.


Incident involving a weapon

If an individual armed with a weapon threatens to harm themselves or others:

  • Stay calm and immediately or as soon as possible call 911 and Campus Security
  • If possible, evacuate or retreat to a place of safety warning others of the danger
  • Keep your hands visible.Leave your belongings behind
  • If evacuation is not possible, go to a room that can be locked or barricaded with available furniture
  • Move away from corridor windows, turn off lights and computers; hide out of view
  • Silence phones
  • Remain in room until the "All Clear" is give by law enforcement
  • Do not leave or unlock the door to see what is happening
  • As a last resort, if your life is in danger, attempt to incapacitate the individual. Act with aggression and throw items at the person.


Utility or power failure

In the event of a power failure:

  • Turn off electrical equipment
  • Do not unplug the phone
  • Remain in place, unless there is a threat to your safety
  • Await instructions relayed over the SAIC communication system or by the fire department
  • Notify Campus Security if you or others require evacuation assistance
  • Emergency lighting will be activated in stairways and at exits


Elevator Entrapment

In the event that an elevator stops operating for any reason while you are inside:

  • Remain calm
  • Do not try to force the doors open or get out of the elevator on your own
  • Activate the elevator alarm, and use the telephone or intercom button for assistance.
  • Campus Security will respond
  • Inform Campus Security of any changes in the situation


Chemical Spill

If chemical comes in contact with your skin or eyes:

  • Immediately flush the affected water with water for at least 15 minutes. Emergency eyewash and showers are located in areas where chemicals are normally used.
  • Notify Campus Security by pressing the emergency button on any campus phone.


A minor spill is when:

  • Less than one liter of chemical is spilled
  • The chemical has a low to moderate hazard according to the material safety data sheet
  • No one has been exposed to the chemical (skin, eyes, etc.)
  • Classroom faculty/staff have sufficient equipment and training to clean up the spill


In the event of a minor chemical spill:

  • Protect yourself and others. Avoid direct contact with the spilled material. Wear protective clothing such as gloves and goggles during clean up. Treat all chemicals as if they are hazardous.
  • Contain the spill and secure the area. Cordon off the spill area; do not walk through, or allow others to walk through the spilled material.
  • If properly trained, clean up the spill using the chemical spill kit. If not contact Campus Security. Security will contact housekeeping and the Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Dispose of the material in chemical waste container.
  • Clean up: Wash hands thoroughly, even if there is no visible contamination.
  • Replace items used in the spill kit by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 312.499.4924.


A major chemical spill is when:

  • A chemical is flammable, reactive, or toxic
  • Someone has been exposed to the chemical (skin, eyes, etc)
  • The spill is greater than 1 liter
  • Too much of a chemical has been spilled for the amount of absorbent in the classroom.


In the event of a major or unknown chemical spill:

  • Protect yourself and others. Shut off any ignition sources and stop the source of the spill if you can do without endangering yourself.
  • The instructor/staff in the class will determine, by the nature of the spill, if evacuation of the room is warranted.
  • If the spill requires evacuation, contact Campus Security immediately and inform them of the emergency. Provide the following information:
    • Your name
    • Specific location of the spill
    • Name of the substance spilled (if known)
    • Quantity of spill (if known)
    • Facilities Operations and Environmental Health and Safety will determine if evacuation of additional rooms or the entire building is required.