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Campus Evacuation Procedures

The procedures for a campus-wide evacuation will vary, depending on the nature of the event. In all cases when the decision has been made to evacuate, the campus response will likely be to evacuate in stages, beginning with areas in the immediate vicinity of the threat. Other areas may then be evacuated, depending on the nature of the threat. This graduated evacuation is preferable to a total, immediate evacuation, as it triages the populations most in danger, minimizes likelihood of gridlock and congestion, and provides for ingress of emergency vehicles and personnel. In all cases, evacuees would be directed away from the vicinity of the threat.

Building Evacuation Procedures

Upon activation of the building fire alarm system or verbal command by emergency personnel to evacuate a building:

  • All occupants shall evacuate the building immediately.
  • Personnel shall evacuate by means of the nearest available marked exit. Buildings on the UCA campus are public access buildings and comply with the Arkansas State Fire Code for location, number, and marking for means of exit. Other exit signs will have arrows directing you to exits which are not visible from your current location.
  • Remember that it is the responsibility of the building faculty and staff to ensure that all occupants report to the Emergency Assembly Area.
  • Individuals who cannot evacuate a building without assistance should follow the procedures below:
    • Take refuge in a safe area and await assistance.
    • Faculty or staff members in the building should be assigned to assist individuals that need assistance in evacuating the building to a safe location. The individuals that need assistance should make their way to the nearest exit and await assistance in exiting the building.
  • During evacuation, it is the duty and responsibility of all faculty and staff, as they evacuate, to look for any person who may need any assistance and to notify emergency personnel outside the building. Employees should advise any individual whom they observe are not evacuating to exit the building immediately. Once outside employees should notify emergency personnel about any individual whom they know to have remained inside the building.
  • If it is safe to do so, occupants should look throughout their office areas, especially back offices, to ensure that everyone has left or is in the process of leaving. Any problems noted should be brought immediately to the attention of responding personnel or called in to the UCA Police via 911.
  • Once outside, it is the responsibility of faculty and staff to assist in moving people to the Emergency Assembly Area (EAA) and to ensure that no persons remain near the exit. This is to ensure that other people are not blocked from exiting the building and will enhance the ability of first responders to more effectively confront the emergency.
  • Faculty should make every attempt to take role and ask students if any peers are missing from class or who have informed others they were leaving.
  • All employees shall assist emergency personnel and ensure nobody attempts to smoke, because it may make the situation worse. The evacuation may be the result of a gas leak inside or outside the building, a chemical spill, or other situation in which smoking poses a serious danger to all.
  • All employees should assist in ensuring that nobody enters the building until emergency personnel have given the clearance to re-enter the building. Many times the audible alarms are silenced to allow emergency personnel to communicate within the building. The silencing of alarms is NOT a signal to re-enter the building.
  • People visiting the university should be assisted in evacuation by those who they are visiting or by any employee who sees someone having difficulty or not evacuating.

Shelter-in-Place

Shelter-in-Place is a precaution aimed to be safe while remaining indoors. This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm. Shelter-in-place means to select a small, interior room, with no or few windows and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off the building.

A shelter-in-place order may be issued for several reasons:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Intruder on campus
  • Hostage situation
  • Any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid an outside threat
  • The reason for the shelter-in-place order may not be immediately communicated to everyone. If a shelter-in-place order is issued occupants should be alert for instructions and updates as they become available from the emergency personnel and university administrators through the UCAAlert System or other means of communications. If there are others in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay-not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are - not to go outdoors or leave. Sheltering in place is the safest way to avoid potentially life threatening situations which may exist outside of your immediate location.

When an alert or other notification is received to shelter-in-place the following steps should be taken immediately:

  • Stop classes or work; cease all business operations.
  • Stay in your classroom/work area with all doors locked.
  • Attempt to proceed to an area/room that can be secured.
  • Lock, and/or barricade the door with furniture and equipment.
  • Close blinds or cover windows with other available materials.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Remain silent.
  • If trapped in an area where the doors opens outward, such as a restroom, use whatever is available to restrict entry to the room such as:
    • Barricading the area with furniture/equipment, or
    • Using a belt or other available items to secure the door handle to a stable fixture.
  • Move away from the door, do not huddle, and spread out.
  • Put cell phones on silent/vibrate, and if communication is needed, use text messaging.
  • Remember - your cell phone gives off light when used if you are in the dark.
  • Remain under Lockdown until advised by the UCA Police Department, Campus Administrators, or by members of the UCA Emergency Response Team.
  • Once Police arrive, obey all commands, and keep hands up in the air where they can see them.
  • Leave the campus ONLY if it is safe to do so.
  • After the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, building emergency coordinators, faculty, and staff should attempt to restore normalcy, comfort and assist all occupants, determine their needs, and appoint a liaison to alert officials.