Campus Emergencies

The following information is intended to serve as a preparatory resource for emergency situations. Click on the links below to learn more about how to respond to each type of emergency situation.

If you are currently experiencing an emergency situation or are in need of immediate assistance, please contact the University Police by dialing 911 from an on-campus phone or 703-993-2810 from an off-campus phone. In case of emergency, we recommend that you program the off-campus number, 703-993-2810, into your cell phone so that it is readily available.

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If you discover smoke or a fire, do the following:

  • Activate the fire alarm using a manual pull station.
  • Notify others and evacuate the building.
  • Do not use elevators during a fire or evacuation.
  • Assemble at the designated assembly area and await further instruction from emergency response personnel.

Note: It is a violation of State Law to ignore a sounding fire alarm.

For more information, please review the following guide:


During severe weather, a hazardous materials spill, or an on-campus violence emergency, do the following:

  • Warn others in the area about the emergency.
  • Move to an interior room without windows, close the door, and lock the door if appropriate.
  • Do not exit the area until the emergency has passed or you are instructed to do so by emergency response personnel.

For more information, please review the following guides:

Severe Weather and Tornadoes

  • Monitor television, radio, or weather radio for information about approaching storms.
  • If severe weather is expected to impact your area, seek shelter in a hardened structure and follow shelter-in-place procedures (above).
  • Stay away from large objects that may fall during a storm, e.g., book cases and shelves.
  • If you are unable to find shelter, lie down flat and cover your head with your hands.

For more information, please review the following guide:

Medical Emergency

  • Contact University Police, provide information about the injury and the location of the victim(s).
  • Provide first aid or medical assistance if training and necessary.
  • Remain with the victim until emergency response personnel arrive.
  • If a victim is unconscious and not breathing, start CPR, locate an AED, turn it on, and follow the instructions provided by the unit.

For more information, please review the following guide:

On-Campus Violence

Run: If a person appears willing to use a firearm on campus, adjacent to campus, or enters a university building with a firearm:

  1. Exit the building immediately, if possible.
  2. Notify others to exit the building and find shelter outdoors
  3. Call 9-1-1 and relay the following information:
  • Your name and location
  • Location of the incident and number of shooters
  • Identity and description of the shooter(s)
  • Type of firearm(s) used
  • Number and location of victims and their injuries

Hide: If you can’t safely exit the building, or the shooter is nearby:

  1. Proceed to the nearest room, and close and lock the door, if possible.
  2. If you cannot lock the door:
  • Block the door with furniture or equipment.
  • Take cover behind equipment or furnishings.
  1. Turn off the lights.
  2. Cover door windows.
  3. Remain quiet and act as if the room is empty, play dead if necessary. Make sure that cell phones are put on silent or vibrate.
  4. Follow instructions of law enforcement personnel. Keep your hands visible and raised. Avoid pointing and gestures which may be mistaken for holding or firing a weapon.

Fight/Defend: In the event that you are confronted by an individual with a weapon and as a last resort, defend yourself and others by whatever means necessary and do not relent until the aggressor is incapacitated or law enforcement arrives.

For more information, please review the following guide:

Power Outage or Utility Failure

  • Contact Facilities Management at 703-993-2525 to report a power outage.
  • Remain calm, turn off sensitive equipment. Exit the area, and provide assistance to others if necessary.
  • Buildings without power, water, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning should not be occupied until utilities are restored.

For more information, please review the following guide:

Hazardous Materials Release

  • Report all hazardous waste materials spills and releases to University Police.
  • Evacuate the area or building if safety permits.
  • Assemble at the designated assembly area and remain upwind of the chemical spill.
  • If a major chemical spill occurs outdoors remain inside, shelter-in-place, and listen for instructions from emergency response personnel.
  • Notify emergency response personnel if you are exposed to a chemical.

For more information, please review the following guide:

Suspicious Person or Package

  • Do not physically confront a suspicious person or handle a suspicious package.
  • Contact University Police and provide as much information as possible about the situation.
  • Notify your supervisor or professor.
  • Leave the area or await further instruction from University Police.

For more information, please review the following guide:

Regional Emergency

  • Check local news media for updates regarding evacuation, evacuation routes, and emergency shelters.
  • Monitor for closing or operational modifications. Make an emergency plan and keep an emergency supply kit at home, at work, and in your car.
  • Visit for an emergency plan template and tips on building an emergency supply kit.

Most of the above information is also available in both electronic and print formats. To request a printed copy of this information for your office, please contact EHS. To distribute an electronic version, download the Emergency Procedures Poster.

For more information, please review the following guide:

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