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Emergency Procedures

During emergency situations, such as a fire, severe weather incident, hazardous materials event or any critical incident, the University Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) brings together key university leadership to facilitate prompt assessment and confirmation of a critical incident, initiate emergency notification, while mounting immediate and comprehensive response specific to the emergency situation. 

Examples Requiring Emergency Response:

Emergency Procedures Guide


Alcohol Poisoning

If you suspect alcohol poisoning or an overdose:

Wake up the person by calling their name; Shake and Pinch them. If no response, get help by calling 911!

  • Turn the person on their side, so if they get sick they will not choke on their vomit.

  • Check the person’s skin to see if pale or bluish or cold and clammy

  • Check the person’s breathing. If it is irregular, slow or shallow. If the person takes fewer than eight breaths per minute or waits more than 10 seconds between breaths

If you discover any one of the above problems, stay with person and call for help. Call 911 for emergency medical transport or DePauw Police Department at ext.5555 or 765-658-5555.   

A student or organization who calls for help for a peer and stays with them until help arrives, will not be held accountable through Community Standards and will have protection under the Indiana Life Line Law.

Bomb Threats

All bomb threats must be treated as a serious matter and bomb threats must be considered real until proven otherwise. If a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered, do not handle the object. Clear the area and call 911. Be sure to include the location and appearance of the object when reporting.

If a phone call bomb threat is received, ask the caller the following questions and record the answers:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?

  • Where is the bomb located?

  • What kind of bomb is it?

  • What does it look like?

  • Why did you place the bomb?

Talk to the caller as long as possible and try to determine the following information:

  • Time of call

  • Age and sex of the caller

  • Speech pattern, accent, possible nationality, etc

  • Emotional state of the caller

  • Background noise

If an evacuation alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures

Building Evacuation

All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds continuously and/or upon notification by emergency personnel. Always know more than one way out of a building and be prepared to use alternate exit routes.

When the building evacuation alarm is sounded or when told to leave by a designated emergency official, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and ask others to do the same. Make note of the nearest, and all emergency egress points and proceed safely from the affected area.

  • Do not use elevators during an emergency evacuation

  • Once outside, move clear of the building, allowing others to exit. Reassemble a safe distance away from the building to account for all people from affected area.

  • Do not return to an evacuated building until advised to do so by emergency personnel.

  • Be aware of people with disabilities in your area who might require assistance in an emergency evacuation.

  • If you have a disability and are unable to evacuate, stay calm and call 911. Give your location. If you must move, go to an exterior enclosed stairwell. Ask persons exiting on the stairway to notify the emergency personnel, such as a firefighter or police officer, of your location.

  • Buildings Reassemble Locations:

Roy O. West Library, Harrison, Asbury Hall, East College south side Emison Bldg.
Administration Building,  Emison Building south side of East College Lawn
101 E. Seminary, Inn at DePauw Inn North Lot
Ashley Square Cinema Vine St. Lot
Bartlett House north side of Emison Building
Union Building, Hoover Hall, Green Center, Lilly Center, Julian  Bowman Park
Olin, Peeler Art Center, Center for Diversity and Inclusion  Julian Lot
Pulliam Center Elm St. Lot
Facilities Management, Service Center Peeler Lot
Blackstock, Reavis, Tennis & Track  east side of Blackstock Lot
Prindle Institute, Reflection Center lower parking lot


In the event of an explosion or similar emergency:

  • Immediately take cover under tables, desks, etc., which will provide protection from falling glass or debris.

  • Safely move away from heat sources, smoke and fire.

  • Evacuate the area following building evacuation procedures

Call 911 and give the dispatcher the following information:

  • Building and location within where explosion occurred

  • Any information about injuries

  • Cause of explosion, if known

Fire Safety

  • Identify locations of fire alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers.

  • Never block fire exits, doorways, corridors or stairways.

  • Know at least “Two Ways Out” to an exit or stairway leading out.

  • Go to the nearest safe location and activate the fire alarm system at the pull station, and shout an alarm as you evacuate the building. Call 911 immediately giving; 

    • Name of the building (and address if known)

    • Location of the fire within the building.

    • A description of the fire and (if known) how it started

  • Evacuate the building following the established building evacuation procedures

  • If you have a disability that could delay egress, be sure that there is a plan to assist you.

Do not fight a fire if you have not been trained using the P.A.S.S. system when using a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher should only be used on small fires no greater than the size of a trash can. Evacuation and notifying 911 is more important.

If you become trapped in a building during a fire:

  • Stay calm and take steps to protect yourself.

  • If possible, move to a room with an outside window.

  • If there is a telephone, call 911 and tell the police dispatcher where you are.

  • Stay where rescuers can see you through the window and wave a light colored cloth such as a towel or pillow case to attract their attention.

  • Stuff clothing, or towels, around the cracks in the door to help keep out smoke.

  • If possible, open the window at the top and bottom. Be ready to shut the window quickly if smoke rushes in.

  • If in a smoke filled area keep low, on your knees, proceeding to the nearest safe exit.

  • If possible, put a wet cloth over your nose and mouth to help minimize smoke inhalation.

  • If a door is hot to the touch, do not open it as there could be fire on the other side.

Harassment, Threats and Potential Violence on Campus

Threats and violent behavior are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Please know that early reporting is a valuable tool in prevention and intervention.  Information about responding to an Active Shooter is found here.

Reports of harassment, intimidation, threats and physical violence will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Responsible individuals will be referred to the appropriate office for violations (Putnam County Prosecutor, Community Standards, and/or Human Resources).

Harassment Situations in which a person is receiving harassing communications and/or unwanted attention, such as personal visits, stalking or other forms of physical harassment may be a scenario for potential violence on campus.

If you are being harassed or know of a harassing situation:

  • Do not tolerate verbal, physical or sexual harassment from anyone.

  • Do not ignore the behavior in hopes that it will stop. Always report concerns to the DePauw Police Department by calling (765) 658-5555. For Sexual Harassment you may also report to the title IX Coordinator at (765) 658-4155.

  • Do not give out personal information via personal websites or social media.

  • Do not give out other’s information when requested by unfamiliar subjects

  • If you have a civil order of protection (“No Contact Order” or “Restraining Order”) issued by a court, notify the DePauw Police Department and provide a copy of the order.

  • The DePauw Police Department can assist anyone with developing a safety plan and assessing the need to alert others of potential violence.

Suspicious Persons: Suspicious persons on campus may also be a scenario in which violence on campus may occur. In the event you encounter an individual on campus that just doesn’t fit, seems out of place or exhibits suspicious behavior (walking aimlessly, staring, etc.) notify the DePauw Police Department immediately by dialing (765) 658-5555 or 911.

If non-threatening, you may also:

  • Establish eye contact and ask if you can help him/her. They may be a visitor or be in need of assistance.
  • Do not give access to a building or office that is locked or restricted.

  • Keep a safe distance and do not physically confront anyone

  • Make a mental note of the description of the person, for example: Gender, Age, Race, Weight, Height, Clothes, Tattoos, Scars, Direction of Travel

Threats: Treat all threats or rumor of violence as serious. Call 911 in instances where you are in immediate danger or if you observe a weapon, are informed of someone that has a weapon on campus, or if you are told of someone’s intent to bring a weapon or have knowledge of plans for violence on campus. The DePauw Police Department will assess the threat to develop safety plans and if needed alert the Campus via Timely Warnings or Emergency Notifications.

Hostile Confrontation: You may be confronted by a hostile or disgruntled individual that may or may not be armed. Individuals that are not allowing others to leave an area and/or threatening violence are certainly scenarios in which violence could occur. In these types of situations:

Try to remain as calm as possible, be cooperative and patient

Offer to listen, but don’t judge or argue with them

Treat each concern as important and valid, willing to listen respectfully, and non-judgmentally

  • Maintain polite eye contact, keep gestures and body language open and non-threatening

  • Use a low soft, slow voice when you speak • Ask or tell the person before you make any moves

  • Be truthful and credible. Assure the person you will try to help resolve his/her grievances

  • Ask the aggrieved party to suggest a solution. A person in crisis will be more accepting of a solution that he/she has helped formulate.

  • Be observant. Note as much as possible about the aggressor, including type and number of weapons, state of mind and specifics about what they’ve said. In the event that you are released or escape this information will be helpful for the emergency personnel.

Hazardous Materials Spill/Release

For spills, releases, or incidents requiring special training, procedures and/or equipment that are beyond your abilities, take the following steps:

  • The key person on site should alert people in the affected area, evacuate at once and seal off area to prevent further contamination.

  • Pull the fire alarm if building evacuation is required.

  • Call 911 and provide the following information:

Your name, telephone number, and location.
Name and quantity of the material, if known.
Extent of injuries or damage, if any.

  • Anyone who is contaminated should avoid contact with others and report to a safe area as designated by emergency personnel.

  • If needed emergency personnel will wash off contamination and administer any required first aid promptly.

  • Containment and cleanup of hazardous materials should only be made by trained and appropriately equipped personnel.

  • Help ensure no one evacuates through the contaminated area.

  • If an evacuation alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures

  • If you are required to shelter in place rather than evacuate, due to dangerous air quality outside such as a hazardous chemical release, follow the “Shelter In Place” procedure.

Lock Down

This procedure is used when there is an immediate and imminent threat to the campus community.


  • Alert the DePauw Police Department immediately if a situation exists that may require an emergency lock down. Provide as much information as possible.

  • An emergency lock down will be announced by all means available including Emergency Alerts via Rave text (sms), Campus e-mail, and WGRE Radio, Campus social media, etc.

  • Fire evacuation alarms are NOT to be sounded.


  • Take shelter in the nearest room or office.

  • Lock room and office doors if able to do so.

  • Close windows and window blinds or curtains and turn off lights.

  • Remain quiet and do not enter hallways.

  • Crouch down in areas that are out of sight from doors and windows.

  • Take attendance and record people who are in the rooms.

  • DO NOT open doors for ANYONE under ANY circumstances until instructed by Emergency Personnel.

  • Do not evacuate unless ordered to do so by responding Emergency Personnel.

  • If outdoors, immediately take cover and evacuate to a safe area as directed by Emergency Responders, or to an off campus location.

  • If the threat is outdoors on campus grounds, all outdoor activities will be cancelled.

Medical Emergency

If any injury or serious illness needing immediate ambulance response, Call 911, and provide the following information:

  • Your name and telephone number.

  • Location of the emergency (building and room number).

  • The extent of the accident/injury and the number of people involved.

  • Location where someone will meet the ambulance and direct them to the injured. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher and provide information about the condition of the injured person and receive any related instructions.

The 911 Center will dispatch the appropriate emergency response personnel.  Do not move the patient unless their safety dictates such a move.

Public Health Emergencies

Public Health emergencies such as widespread illness, Pandemics, or other threats to public health and environmental safety are always a concern in densely populated living units such as DePauw or any university campus. The University takes a unified and proactive approach to Public Health and Environmental Safety. Student Academic Life, DePauw Health and Wellness, DePauw Police Department, Facilities Management, and Campus Living work together in a preparedness model including prevention education with appropriate training exercises, prompt assessment and response to any and all threats. The University also works closely with local and state officials including the Putnam County and Indiana State Health Departments to promptly address imminent threats to our Campus Community.

Severe Weather and Tornadoes

Weather in Central Indiana can be dangerous. Always stay informed and make preparations prior to a weather emergency. The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm “Watches” and “Warnings” which are broadcast locally via the Putnam County 911 and Emergency Operations Center.

A Watch indicates the possibility of severe weather in a relatively broad area. A Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. Be Prepared!

A Warning is issued when severe weather is actually occurring, usually encompassing a relatively small geographic area. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Take cover immediately!

Severe Thunderstorms can also spawn Tornadoes and cause significant damage. If such conditions are present, take the same precautions as you would for a tornado. Lightning claims more lives every year than tornadoes. When lightning is a threat, stay indoors. If caught outside keep a safe distance from tall objects, try to stay lower than anything nearby.

Before the Storm

  • Locate a basement or lowest level of your building, interior room, away from glass.

  • Stay informed via media sources on days when severe weather is expected. Utilize phone apps such as the National Weather Service or The Weather Channel.

  • Keep a good reliable flashlight and personal essentials in your living/office/work area.

Warning Signals Although warning sirens are helpful tools in alerting us of potential danger, everyone is personally responsible for preparation and awareness of potentially severe weather. Be sure that the “all clear” has been given before coming out of shelter.

During a Storm

  • Seek shelter inside, preferably below ground level or lowest accessible level. Position yourself in the safest area away from glass. Kneel facing a wall and cover your head. In other locations, look for a bathroom, closet or room at the center of the structure. If possible, get under heavy furniture and cover your head with blankets or pillows.

  • Stay sheltered until the storm has passed and an “all clear” has been issued.

  • Updates will be broadcast via media sources and via the Rave Emergency Notification (sms) text messaging service as needed.

Shelter In Place

Shelter In Place Shelter-In-Place might arise during a weather emergency, an outside chemical spill/release, electrical lines down, as part of an emergency lock down, or another emergency. The basic steps of shelter-in-place are:

  • Always move away from danger

  • If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building and seek shelter inside

  • Locate a room to shelter inside.

  • Make a list of those sheltering with you

  • While sheltered, find Information, updates or instructions (WGRE, DePauw Homepage, Emergency Alerts via texts, University social media, etc.)

Emergency Responders will help evacuate you, or issue an all clear to any threats or immediate danger.

If during a severe storm:

  • Shelter on the lowest level, inside an interior room away from glass.

  • Seek protection under heavy furniture if available

If during a Hazardous Chemical Release Outside

  • Ideally stay above ground level for a hazardous material incident

  • Shut and lock all windows (tighter seal) and close exterior doors. n Turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans.

  • Close vents to ventilation systems as you are able. (University staff will turn off ventilation if circulating air is a threat.)

  • See additional procedure for “Hazardous Materials / Spills Release”