Emergency response procedures

This section describes several potential emergency situations which could occur on the Fredonia campus. The descriptions below are a reference guide of basic information to use for a real emergency occurs.

If you need to evacuate a building on campus, please go to that building's emergency evacuation location.

For any emergency, call University Police at 673-3333.

Law enforcement officials stress there is no single response to an active shooter that will secure everyone's safety. It is important to understand that every situation is unique and complex.  Therefore, procedures vary from incident to incident and building to building. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and focused.  Use these guidelines from the U.S. Office of Homeland Security to help you plan a strategy for survival.  

Run

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  •  Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

Hide

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

Fight

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt todisrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

An exposure means a specific eye, mouth, or other mucous membrane, non-intact skin or contact exposure with blood or other potentially infectious materials.

IF YOU ARE EXPOSED:

  • Immediately WASH area with soap and water or eye wash for 15 minutes as applicable;
  • NOTIFY your supervisor or instructor;
  • OBTAIN medical help;
    • If immediate medical assistance is needed contact University Police at (716) 673-3333.
    • EH&S&S should be informed of any significant exposure. EH&S&S can be contacted Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 4:30 PM at (716) 673 – 3796.
  • In any bomb threat situation:
    • Check your work area for unfamiliar items. Do not touch suspicious items; report them to University Police at (716) 673-3333.
    • Take personal belongings when you leave.  Emergency evacuation locations for each builing
    • Leave doors and windows open; do not turn light switches on or off.
    • Use stairs only; do not use elevators.
    • Move well away from the building and follow instructions from emergency responders.
  • If there is an explosion:
    • Take cover under sturdy furniture, or leave the building if directed to do so by emergency responders.
    • Stay away from windows.
    • Do not light matches or lighters.
    • Move well away from the site of the hazard to a safe location.
    • Use stairs only; do not use elevators.
    • Call University Police at (716) 673-3333. Follow "General Evacuation Procedures".
  • If you see something suspicious
    • A suspicious-looking box, package, object, or container in or near your work area may be a bomb or explosive material. Do not handle or touch the object. Move to a safe area and call the University Police immediately at (716) 673-3333. Use a telephone in a safe area. Do not operate any power switch, and do not activate the fire alarm.
  • If you receive a bomb threat (via telephone):
    • If you receive a threatening call (bomb, or other physical harm, etc.) do not hang up. Have someone else call the University Police at (716) 673-3333 from another extension if possible. Attempt to engage the caller in conversation and obtain as much information as possible.
    • Stay calm and keep your voice calm.
    • Pay close attention to details. Talk to the caller to obtain as much information as possible.
    • Take notes. Ask questions:
      • What exactly is the threat?
      • When will it explode?
      • Where was the bomb left?
      • Where is it right now?
      • What does it look like?
      • What kind of bomb is it?
      • Who placed the bomb?
      • Who is the target?
      • Why was the bomb placed?
      • What is your address?
      • What is your name?
    • Observe the caller's speech:
      • Is the voice familiar in any way?
      • Male or female?
      • Young or old?
      • Speech patterns (Accent? Stutter?)
      • Emotional state (Angry? Agitated? Calm?)
      • Background noise (traffic, people talking and accents, music and type, etc.)
    • Write down other data:
      • Date and time of call
      • How threat was received (letter, note, telephone)
    • Call University Police at (716) 673-3333 and submit your notes from the telephone call or the bomb threat (letter or note).
    • Follow University Police 's instructions.
  • If you receive a bomb threat (via E-mail, Letter or Note):
    • If you receive a bomb threat via e-mail, letter or note, telephone University Police at (716) 673-3333 and save note as evidence to be turned in to University Police.
    • If the threat is on an object (letter, paper, etc.) try not to handle it too much as to destroy potential evidence.
  • Most campus demonstrations are peaceful and people not involved should attempt to carry on business as usual. Avoid provoking or obstructing demonstrators. Should a disturbance occur, call the University Police at (716) 673-3333.
  • If a disturbance seems to threaten the occupants of the building, report it immediately to the University Police and take the following actions:
    • Alert all persons in the area of the situation.
    • Lock all doors and windows.
    • Close blinds to prevent flying glass.
    • If necessary, your department may decide to cease work operations.
    • If necessary to evacuate, follow directions from University Police.
    • If evacuation occurs, meet at the Evacuation Assembly Area designated by your Building Safety Officer.

  • Everyone is asked to assist in making the campus a safe place by being alert to suspicious situations or persons and reporting them as outlined below.
  • If you are the victim of, or are involved in, any on-campus violation of the law such as assault, robbery, theft, overt sexual behavior, etc., do not take any unnecessary risk. Notify University Police at (716) 673-3333 as soon as possible and give them the following information:
    • Nature of the incident
    • Location of the incident
    • Description of the person(s) involved
    • Description of the property involved
  • If you witness a criminal act or notice person(s) acting suspiciously on campus, immediately notify University Police at (716) 673-3333.
  • Assist the police when they arrive by supplying them with any additional information requested; ask others to do the same.

If you are trapped, use the emergency phone in the elevator and/or push the alarm button.

If you have a cellular telephone, call University Police at (716) 673-3333. Remain calm and wait for help to arrive.

If you discover trapped people, notify University Police at (716) 673-3333, talk to the trapped people and try to keep them calm until an officer or other help arrives.

Follow the general evacuation procedures as soon as you hear the fire alarm. A building occupant is required by law to evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds.

If there is a fire in your area:

  • First, notify the fire department by pulling the pull station and (from a safe distance) calling University Police at (716) 673-3333 to provide details of the situation.
  • If you have been trained in the use of a portable fire extinguisher and are able to safely extinguish the fire, you may do so. Be sure you have a safe exit from the area and leave if one extinguisher does not put out the fire.
  • Evacuate the building as soon as the alarm sounds and report to Building Safety Coordinator.
  • On your way out, warn others nearby.
  • Move away from fire and smoke. Smoke is the greatest danger in a fire, so stay near the floor where the air is less toxic.
  • Close doors and windows if time permits.
  • Touch closed doors. Do not open them if they are hot.
  • Use stairs only; do not use elevators.
  • Move well away from the building and go to your designated Immediate Assembly Area (IAA).
  • Do not re-enter the building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by the emergency responders.

If you become trapped in a building during a fire:

  • DO NOT PANIC
  • Isolate yourself from the fire and smoke in an office or stairwell.
  • If a phone is available, contact University Police at (716) 673-3333 and provide details of your location and situation.
  • If a window is available, place a large piece of brightly colored fabric (shirt, coat, tablecloth, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews.
  • If there is no window, stay near the floor where the air is less toxic.
  • Make noise (tap pipes, bang furniture, blow whistle, shout, etc.) at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.

For all utility emergencies, notify Physical Facilities at (716) 673-3452 during business hours or (716)         673-3454 after hours or on weekends. At any time, you may notify University Police at (716) 673-3333.

Power Outage

  • A major power outage may not in itself be destructive, but a possible resulting panic or fire could endanger life and property. Panic can be partially avoided by an immediate decision on the need to cancel classes or meetings in progress or to evacuate the building.
  • In laboratory buildings, fume hoods do not operate during a power outage and most laboratories should not be used until the ventilation is properly restored. Laboratory personnel should secure experiments or activities that may present a danger when the electrical power is off or when it is restored unexpectedly. Close sashes on fume hoods and clean up or put away chemicals. Do not perform procedures using hazardous materials until power is restored.

Flooding or Water Break

  • If flooding occurs, stop using all electrical devices.
  • Notify University Police by calling (716) 673-3333 from a campus phone and evacuate the area or building.

Gas Leak

  • Cease all operations immediately and evacuate the area as soon as possible, notifying others as you leave.
  • Do not switch lights on or off.
  • Do not take time to open windows or close doors.
  • Call University Police at (716) 673-3333 or by using one of the ‘Blue Light’ emergency phones.
  • DO NOT re-enter the building until cleared to do so by University Police or other proper authorities.

Elevator failure

  • If you are trapped, use the emergency phone in the elevator and/or push the alarm button.
  • If you have a cellular telephone, call University Police at (716) 673-3333. Remain calm and wait for help to arrive.
  • If you discover trapped people, notify University Police at (716) 673-3333, talk to the trapped people and try to keep them calm until an officer or other help arrives.

Water line / sewer failure

  • In the event of a water line/sewer failure, remain calm and follow these steps:
  • Notify the University Police immediately at (716) 673-3333. Advise them of the severity and location of the problem. Indicate if any people or objects are in imminent danger.
  • Use extreme caution if any electrical appliances/outlets are near the water. Stop using all electrical equipment.
  • If the source of the water is known and you are confident you can stop it safely, (i.e. unclog the drain, turn off the water), do so cautiously.
  • Assist with protecting objects from water damage by removing them from the area.
  • If directed to evacuate, follow the same directions for a building evacuation.
  • If you are a victim of a rape or sexual assault, seek medical attention immediately. 
  • Contact University Police at (716) 673-3333. Female officers are available upon request.
  • University Police can provide you with transportation to the hospital, and a Crisis Services sexual assault advocate will meet you there.
  • It is also suggested that you:
    • DO NOT bathe or douche;
    • DO NOT change clothing, comb your hair or brush your teeth;
    • NO NOT disturb the area in which the crime occurred.
  • If you think that you may have been assaulted while under the influence of Rohypnol, GHB or any other ‘date rape drug’, it is also suggested that you should not urinate before providing urine samples. Notify University Police and medical providers of this immediately.
  • If possible, collect any glasses from which you drank.

More information from Fredonia concerning sexual assault.

The term, Shelter-In Place, means to seek immediate shelter and remain there during an emergency rather than evacuate the area. It is always preferred to evacuate. Shelter-In-Place should only be used when an evacuation is not safe. In place sheltering usually lasts no more than a few minutes to a few hours and preparations, made in advance, can ensure that the event is as comfortable as possible. Each department should determine its sheltering location prior to an incident occurring.

The preferred Shelter-In-Place location would be an interior room or hallway, with limited or no windows. The location would have access to restroom facilities as well as drinking water.

Shelter-In-Place (violent person) Procedures

Upon the recommendation of public safety officials, or when there is a significant security concern, the safest course of action may be to shelter-in-place. Everyone shall stay as calm as possible and follow these procedures:

  • First, ensure your own safety
    • Move to the nearest location that can be secured by a locked door.
    • If a locked door is not available, move as far away from the threat as is safely possible. Isolate yourself and restrict entry anyway that is possible.
    • Remain quiet and do not do anything that will draw attention to you.
  • Notify University Police
    • Campus Phone: X 3333
    • Cell Phone: (716) 673-3333
  • Assist others
    • Allow other trusted individuals into your secure location.
    • Instruct them to remain calm and quiet
    • If you know where the intruder (or source of the security threat) is, contact University Police immediately.

When the security threat is over, University Police will move through the entire building and notify everyone that the threat is gone.

Shelter-In-Place (weather) Recommendations

There may be situations when it's best to stay where you are to avoid any uncertainty outside. There are other circumstances, such as during a tornado or a chemical incident when specifically, how and where you take shelter is a matter of survival.

Determine where you will take shelter if instructed to do so:

  • Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
  • If underground shelter is not available (or not advisable due to the situation), go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • In a high-rise building, go to an interior stairwell, small interior room, or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the center of the room. Stay away from corners because they attract debris.
  • Stay in the shelter location until the danger has passed.

If a structure collapses or suffers severe, moderate, or even seemingly light damage:

  • Immediately contact University Police at (716) 673-3333.
  • Move to a safe location and protect yourself and others from potential secondary collapses
  • Do not attempt to enter the structure to perform a rescue. Because of the extreme danger, all rescues shall be performed by trained emergency responders.
  • If you know the identity or location of someone that is trapped or missing, immediately notify emergency responders.

How to Handle Threats of Anthrax or Other Biological Agents

  • DO NOT PANIC
  • Anthrax organisms can cause infection in the skin, gastrointestinal system, or lungs. To do so, the organism must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed, or inhaled as a fine, aerosolized mist. Disease can be prevented after exposure to the anthrax spores by early treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Anthrax is not spread from person to person.
  • For anthrax to be effective as a covert agent, it must be aerosolized into very small particles. This is difficult to do and requires a great deal of technical skill and special equipment. If these small particles are inhaled, life-threatening lung infection can occur, but prompt recognition and treatment are effective.

For Suspicious Unopened Envelopes or Packages Marked with Threatening Messages: 

  • Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  • Place any suspicious envelope or package in a plastic bag or other type of container to prevent the contents from leaking.
  • If you do not have a container, cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  • Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any substance to your face.
  • Report the incident to University Police at (716) 673-3333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  • If possible, list all people who were in the room or area when the envelope or package arrived. Give this list to responding authorities.

For Envelopes or Packages That Have Been Opened and Contain Powder:

  • Do not try to clean up any powder. Cover any spilled contents immediately with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  • Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  • Report the incident to University Police at (716) 673-3333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  • Arriving emergency personnel will assist you with the following tasks:
    • Remove heavily contaminated clothing and place in a plastic bag or other container that can be sealed. Give this clothing to responding emergency personnel.
    • Receive medical evaluation and follow-up information from medical personnel
  • Before leaving the scene, shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other type of disinfectant on your skin.
  • If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder. Give this list to responding authorities.

If There Is Question of Room Contamination by Aerosolization (e.g., a device is triggered or a warning is received that a ventilation system is contaminated or that a biological agent has been released in a public space):

  • Turn off local fans and ventilation units in the area.
  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  • Report the incident to University Police at (716) 673-3333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  • If possible, shut down the ventilation system in the building.
  • If possible, list all people who were in the room or area. Give this list to responding authorities.

How to Identify Suspicious Envelopes or Packages

A suspicious envelope or package might include the following:

  • Excessive postage
  • Handwritten or poorly typed address
  • Incorrect title
  • Title without name
  • Misspelling of common words
  • Oily stain, discoloration, or odor
  • No return address
  • Excessive weight
  • Lopsided or uneven envelope
  • Protruding wires or aluminum foil
  • Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  • Visual distractions
  • Ticking sound
  • Restrictive endorsements, such as "personal" or "confidential"
  • City or state in the postmark that does not match the return address

Be vigilant

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Report anything suspicious.
  • Know the emergency exits of your residence halls and place of employment.
  • Do not open mail which looks suspicious (i.e. excessive postage, unknown origin, overseas return address).

During a terrorist event

  • Never rush into a suspected terrorist event. You probably will not know what hazards are present or if a chemical/biological/nuclear agent has been released. Do not become a victim!
  • Decrease your time, increase distance and shielding from the suspected incident.
  • If you are exposed to a chemical/biological/nuclear agent, do not flee the scene, you may expose others.
  • If an emergency responder (police/fire/ambulance) directs you to do something, do it immediately.

After a terrorist event

  • If you are a victim of a terrorist incident, expect to undergo decontamination on scene. This will probably involve the fire department using water to wash you down.
  • Do not try to enter the scene from a safe location to help affected individuals. You may become a victim yourself. Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.