Emergency response guide

  • Bomb threat
    1. If you see a suspicious object or potential bomb on campus, DO NOT TOUCH THE OBJECT. Clear the area and immediately call 911.
    2. In the area of the concern, do not open drawers or cabinets. Do not use cell phones or two-way radios. Do not turn on or off electrical devices, light switches, radios, or other kinds of electronic devices.
    3. All faculty, staff, and students should evacuate the building(s) and proceed to the designated safe area(s) for a head count. Keep walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
    4. An investigation will be conducted and no one will be allowed to re-enter a building until the police have determined it to be safe.

    If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone:

    • Be calm and courteous. Listen and do not interrupt the caller.
    • Keep the caller on the phone as long as possible and do not hang up.
    • Write down the caller ID number and the exact time of the call.
    • If a student is answering the phones, have an staff member take the call if possible.
    • Signal someone to alert the building administrator or designee.
    • Write down everything the caller says.
    • Make an educated guess as to the caller’s sex, age, race, and accent.
    • Identify any background noises.
    • Even after the caller hangs up, keep the phone off the hook so the police can attempt to trace the call.
    • Discuss this matter only with administrators to ensure that misinformation does not cause panic.
    • Meet the responding police outside or designate a person to meet the police. The officer will determine if the building is to be evacuated.
  • Menacing or criminal behavior

    Menacing behavior

    • Stay calm.
    • If you encounter a potentially dangerous person, take steps to avoid aggravating the situation or the person.
    • When possible, call 911. While with or near the person, remain calm and cooperate. Try to not make sudden movements. When it is safe to do so, call 911, and give as much information as possible under the circumstance, especially your name and location (department, building and room number).
    • If safe to do so, alert others that an emergency or dangerous situation is occurring and that everyone should quietly leave the area.
    • Attempt to distance yourself from the individual.
    • Be empathetic and show concern.
    • Try to sit down with the person, as sitting is a less aggressive posture than standing or moving around.
    • Be helpful. Schedule an appointment for a later time, take notes.
    • Provide positive feedback such as, “We can get this straightened out,” or “I’m glad you’re telling me how you feel about this.”
    • Keep a safe distance — stay out of arm’s reach.
    • Minimize eye contact.
    • Do not argue, yell or joke.
    • Do not grab, hold or touch the person.

    If the individual’s level of agitation increases, attempt the following:

    • Leave the scene.
    • Call 911.
    • Alert co-workers using an agreed-upon code word to indicate trouble.
    • Do not allow menacing behavior to go unreported.
    • Alert University Police and co-workers immediately after the person leaves.

    The key to control in situations where a person is being physically threatening, or someone is in imminent danger of assault, is to work together with those around you. If physically unable to break away from an attacker, shout for help.

    Criminal behavior

    If you witness violent or criminal behavior (assault, robbery, theft) anywhere on University property, the following procedures should be followed:

    1. Call 911 immediately.
    2. Supply the 911 dispatcher with as much of the following information as possible:
      • Your name
      • Your contact information (e.g., cell phone number)
      • Nature of incident
      • Location of incident
      • Description of person(s) involved
      • Description of property involved
      • Description of weapon(s), if any involved
    3. If you are a witness, or were in the area at the time of the incident, you will need to assist the police when they arrive by giving them any additional information.

    Workplace or classroom violence

    If you see someone enter a campus building or office with a firearm or threatening weapon, or acting in a menacing or violent manner, do the following:

    1. Call 911 immediately
    2. Provide as much of the following information as possible:
      • Your name
      • Your contact information (e.g., cell phone number)
      • Nature of incident
      • Location of incident
      • Description of person(s) involved
      • Description of weapon(s), if any involved
    3. The dispatcher will direct the authorities to your location.
    4. If you are working in the area of the intruder, after notifying 911, seek shelter in your area (e.g., under a desk) until it is safe to evacuate. Stay away from doors and windows.
    5. Police will investigate the area where the intruder is located, and if necessary will evacuate employees in the building to the designated safe area where a head count will be taken.
    6. No one should re-enter the building until the police have determined it is safe.
    7. If you are a witness, or were in the area at the time of the incident, you will need to assist the police when they arrive by giving them any additional information.
  • Earthquake

    During an earthquake

    • Stay in the building. Do not evacuate.
    • Duck, cover, and hold – Take shelter under a desk, table, in a doorway or similar place.
    • Stay away from overhead fixtures, windows, filing cabinets, and bookcases.
    • If you are outside, move away from buildings, trees, power lines and roadways.

    After an earthquake

    • Quickly gather your keys, wallets, purses, etc. and evacuate the building following building evacuation procedures.
    • Go to the Designated Assembly Area and wait for instructions from emergency personnel.
    • Report any injured or trapped persons and safety hazards: fire, electrical, gas leaks, etc.
    • Do not leave the Designated Assembly Area or re-enter the building until directed by an authorized person.
    • Avoid using telephones except for emergencies.
  • Evacuation


    • Alert others.
    • Evacuate immediately.
    • Go a safe distance from your building (to the pre-designated emergency assembly point for your area).
    • Attend to victims to the extent you are qualified and prepared.
    • If you know of hazards or trapped persons, tell the nearest police officer.
    • Have a person knowledgeable of incident assist responders.

    Do not

    • Run.
    • Use elevators.
    • Enter the building until the police or emergency management personnel tell you it is safe.
  • Fire

    General procedures

    • Activate the alarm by pulling the fire alarm and/or call 911.
    • Only properly trained employees should attempt to extinguish a fire.
    • Walk quickly in an orderly fashion to the nearest building exit and promptly vacate the facility.
    • Do not use elevators. Use the stairs.
    • Try to assist anyone who is disabled or injured to evacuate.
    • To reduce fire or smoke damage, close all doors and windows when leaving the room and the hallways if you have time.
    • Report any hazardous conditions to the Reno Fire Department or call 911 dispatcher.
    • Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by emergency responders.

    If you are trapped in a building during a fire

    • Stay close to the floor where the air is less toxic.
    • Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.
    • If smoke is entering the room through cracks in the door, stuff wet clothing in the cracks to slow the flow.
    • If your clothes catch fire, drop to the floor and roll to smother the fire, or smother the fire with a blanket, rug, or heavy coat.

    After a fire

    • Residual dangers may exist. Do not enter restricted areas without official authorization.
  • Flood


    Thunderstorms are dangerous. Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching while others hit without warning. It is important to learn and recognize danger signs and plan ahead. The danger signs of a thunderstorm include dark, towering or threatening clouds and/or distant lightning and thunder.

    Thunderstorm watches and warnings

    A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 mph or more, or hail 3/4" in diameter or greater) is likely to develop.

    A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

    During a thunderstorm warning

    • Go inside for protection IMMEDIATELY.
    • When inside, stay away from windows, water faucets, sinks, and bathtubs.
    • If you are caught outside, STAY AWAY from tall trees, open fields or open water, or small, isolated sheds.
    • Don’t use the telephone.
    • Unplug the television. In the event of a power failure, unplug other electrical devices and appliances.
    • Don’t take a bath or a shower during a storm — copper pipes conduct electricity.
    • Be aware of the dangers of flooding, hail, and high winds.
    • Keep a battery-powered radio and a flashlight on hand.
    • Never go outside during a thunderstorm, and never approach downed power lines during or after a storm.

    Water damage

    Serious water damage can occur from a number of sources such as broken pipes, clogged drains and broken skylights or windows.

    If a water leak occurs

    • Call Facilities Services: (775) 784-8020. Advise the dispatcher of exact location and severity of the leak.
    • Notify your supervisor of the extent and location of the leak.
    • If there are electrical appliances or electrical outlets near the leak, use extreme caution. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area. 
    • If you know the source of the water and are confident of your ability to stop it (i.e. unclog the drain, turn off water, etc.) do so cautiously.

    Address any hazards that could result in a fire. This includes:

    • Turning off gas, electricity and water.
    • Securing gasoline and other flammable material containers to prevent leakage.
  • Hazardous materials release

    Follow S.W.I.M.S.

    STOP and THINK. Stop working. Stop the spill.

    • Assess the situation:
    • How big is the spill?
    • Has it made contact with your skin or clothing?

    WARN others

    • Call 911 if there is a medical emergency or danger to life, health, or the environment.
    • Alert people in the area.

    ISOLATE the area

    • Restrict access.
    • Determine the extent of the spill.
    • Keep doors closed.

    MONITOR yourself carefully and completely

    • Check yourself for any contamination or signs/symptoms of exposure (wet clothing, skin or respiratory irritation).
    • Remove contaminated clothing and place in a plastic bag.
    • Perform decontamination procedures.

    STAY near the area until help arrives

    • Minimize your movements.
    • Have person knowledgeable of incident assist responders.
    • Notify your supervisor.

    You can cleanup a spill if

    • You are aware of the hazards and cleanup procedures.
    • There is no potential for personal or environmental damage.
    • The appropriate spill cleanup equipment is available.
    • Two people can clean the spill thoroughly in an hour.

    If you are unsure if you can cleanup a spill

    • Call Environmental Health & Safety at 327-5040 (24 hours).

    If it is a major spill or uncontrolled release

    • Call 911.
  • Injuries and first aid

    For an illness or injury requiring urgent medical attention

    • Immediately call 911.
    • If trained, give appropriate first aid until emergency responders arrive.
    • DO NOT move the victim unless absolutely necessary.

    Reporting injuries


    Students injured on campus should complete an incident report form. The form is available from Workers’ Compensation, or department offices. Send completed form to Worker’s Compensation, 70 Artemisia Bldg. Mail Stop 0241.

    Faculty, staff and student employees

    Faculty, staff, and student employees should report injuries by completing a C-1 form and submitting it to Workers’ Compensation. Specific instructions can be obtained by calling (775) 784-4394.

    Medical Emergencies

    Calling in a medical emergency

    • Give your name, location (building name and number and room number), and phone extension.
    • Describe the emergency: what is it, how did it happen, when did it happen.
    • Explain if the source of risk is currently controlled.
    • Do not hang up until instructed to do so.

    Medical emergencies may include any life-threatening situation, including the following

    • Broken bones
    • Cessation of breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Compound fractures
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Eye injuries
    • Head injury
    • Heat stroke/heat exhaustion
    • Heat cramps
    • Inhalation of a toxic substance
    • Lacerations
    • Seizure
    • Serious allergic reactions
    • Unconsciousness

    The University has a public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program. Please note the closest station.

    Burns, thermal and chemical

    • Immerse thermal burn area in cold water (not ice water).
    • Flood chemical burn with cool water for 15 minutes.
    • Cover burn with clean dry cloth.
    • Keep victim comfortable.

    If You experience or witness a medical emergency

    • Call 911 immediately.
    • Remain calm.
    • Be prepared to provide information about the emergency.
    • Unless trained, DO NOT render first aid – wait for emergency personnel.
    • IF TRAINED, use pressure to stop bleeding.
    • IF TRAINED, use CPR if victim has NO PULSE and is NOT BREATHING.
    • Do not move a victim unless safety is a concern.

    Be prepared to provide emergency responders with vital information, such as:

    • Your name and telephone number
    • Location of the injured person (building, room, etc.)
    • Type of injury or problem
    • Individual’s present condition
    • Sequence of events leading to the emergency
    • Medical history and name of injured person’s doctor, if known
  • Personal safety

    The following are some simple suggestions to keep you safe on campus:

    Walking on or around campus

    1. If you know you are going to be studying and/or working late on campus, plan ahead as to how you will get home safely.
    2. Take advantage of safe rides from Campus Escort Service (775) 742-6808 and University Police (775) 334-COPS.
    3. Don’t distract yourself with music players or cell phones while walking at night.
    4. Walk in groups or pairs. Meet friends at locations from which the two of you can walk safely (i.e., well-lighted parking lots or garages).
    5. If you see a suspicious person or situation, call 911 or University Police (775) 334-COPS.
    6. Remember to lock doors and windows.
    7. Choose open, well-lit, and well-traveled areas to walk.
    8. If you are carrying a purse, hold it firm, close to your body. Purse snatchers prefer to grab from behind.
    9. If you work late, arrange to leave at the same time as a co-worker.
    10. Park as close as possible to your destination. Check with Parking Services (775) 784-4654 for information about evening passes and other accommodations.
    11. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
    12. Make eye contact with passers-by and glance behind you occasionally.
    13. If you sense that you are being followed, change directions or cross the street.
    14. If the person persists, run to the nearest place where you’ll find people. DON’T allow a stranger to follow you to your doorstep.
    15. Yell FIRE instead of rape or help for greater attention.

    In the car

    1. Park in well-lit areas.
    2. Walk back to the car with your keys ready.
    3. Check beneath the car and in the back seat before getting in to make sure no one is hiding.
    4. Keep doors locked and windows rolled up most of the way at all times.
    5. Keep your gas tank at least half full in case of emergency.
    6. Keep your car in good running condition.
    7. Stay on well-traveled and well-lit roads.
    8. If you are being followed by another car, drive into an open gas station, stay in your car, and ask the attendant to call the police.
    9. If your car breaks down, raise the hood, put on emergency lights and remain in the car with the doors locked. If a cell phone is available, call for help. If not, then wait for help.
    10. Secure valuables in the trunk of the vehicle or otherwise out of sight.
    11. If you are “rear-ended” by another vehicle, motion the driver to follow you to a public place.

    At home

    1. Check for signs of forced entry such as broken glass, a torn screen, or pry marks before you go inside.
    2. NEVER feel reluctant to call to police.
    3. Screen all strangers knocking at your door.

    Safety walk

    Each semester, the Senate of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) sponsors campus safety walks. During these walks students, faculty, administration and Facilities Maintenance staff tour the campus methodically checking for burned out lights, broken concrete, overgrown landscaping, and other unsafe conditions around campus.

    Report broken lights and unsafe areas of campus to Facilities Services: (775) 784-8020

    Campus Escort Service

    Please call for hours and information: (775) 742-6808

    The Campus Escort Service provides reliable transportation and escorts to any vehicle, residence or facility within a three mile radius of the campus perimeter Campus escort serves all university students, staff, faculty and visitors.

    Over 20 specially trained students serve as Campus Escort Officers. These officers are trained in self-defense, professional driving and basic CPR/First Aid care.

    The service is available during the fall and spring semesters with limited service on holidays and school breaks.

  • Power outages

    Utility failure

    Examples of utility failures are loss of electricity, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning. Other failures are problems with natural gas or plumbing, including water leaks, flooding, or lack of water pressure.

    • Notify Facilities Services: (775) 784-8020. If telephones are not operating properly, send a messenger to the Facilities Services.
    • If evacuation is required, follow evacuation procedures and use the stairway.
    • In a laboratory, ventilation hoods do not work during a power outage and vapors may reach hazardous concentrations. Personnel should secure experiments or activities that present a danger when the power is off, or if it is restored unexpectedly.

    Elevator failure

    If you are inside an elevator during an elevator failure

    • Remain calm; elevators have mechanical brakes that operate in all situations.
    • Use the emergency telephone in the elevator to call for help. Turn on the “Emergency” alarm to alert others and signal your need for help.

    If you are outside the elevator during an elevator failure

    • If there are passengers inside the elevator, tell them to remain calm.
    • Call Facilities Services: (775) 784-8020 and report the building name, floor, which elevator, and if passengers are trapped.