What is a regional emergency?

A regional emergency is an emergency that is large enough or severe enough to impact a portion of the D.C. Metropolitan Region, Northern Virginia, or the Commonwealth of Virginia with severe disruptions to traffic, utilities, transportation. Examples include hurricanes, major snowstorms, flooding, pandemic diseases, terrorism, and regional power outages.

What is George Mason University’s role during a regional emergency?

George Mason University cooperates with state and local governments, community partners, and surrounding states to respond to regional emergencies. The role that George Mason University will assume in a regional emergency is dependent up the location, severity, and impact of the emergency. The university maintains plans in accordance with state regulations to assist the university in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies of all types.

What information and resources regarding emergency procedures are available to student residents?

Please reference the Resident Safety Program webpage for information on resident student policies and frequently asked questions.

When should I evacuate a building and what should I do?

Evacuate the building when the fire alarm sounds or when a university official or first responder instructs you to evacuate. You should report to directly to your building’s Designated Assembly Area which is identified on the evacuation plan located throughout each building. Failure to evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

What is a designated assembly area and where is it?

A Designated Assembly Area is a pre-identified outdoor location at least 50 feet from a building where individuals should upon evacuating the building. The Designated Assembly Area is identified on Evacuation Plans posted throughout university buildings.

Each Evacuation Plan has at least two Designated Assembly Areas identified. Know where both are located in case one is not available. In the event that the Designated Assembly Areas cannot be occupied due to a hazard, are occupied by emergency response personnel, or are otherwise unsafe, select an alternate assembly area that meets the criteria outlined in the Emergency Evacuation Guide.

When is it safe to re-enter a building?

It is only safe to re-enter a building that has been evacuated when the fire department, university official, or emergency response personnel tells you it is safe to do so.

Where do I get information when classes are canceled?

George Mason University uses Mason Alert to officially announce closures or changes to campus operations.  You can also look on the university homepage www.gmu.edu for additional information about university operations.  Many local news sources will compile and report closures around the region.  Always verify any reported closures or delays with Mason Alert or the university homepage.

What if I am unable to evacuate a building due to disability?

If you have a disability, you are encouraged to identify an Evacuation Assistant. This person may be a co-worker or friend who volunteers to assist you during an emergency. If you are unable to evacuate a building during an emergency, you should let your Evacuation Assistant or someone know you are unable to evacuate and go to an Area of Assistance. An Area of Assistance is an area that is reasonably protected from fire and severe weather; it should provide temporary shelter until emergency response personnel arrive. If you need assistance identifying an Area of Assistance, please contact EHS at (703) 993-8448 or safety@gmu.edu.

Does EHS provide training on how to respond to emergencies?

EHS provides Emergency Preparedness Workshops.  These workshops provide instruction on how to prepare for and respond to various emergencies.  The workshops can be tailored to a department’s individual needs.  To request a workshop for your department, contact EHS at safety@gmu.edu.

How do I register for fire extinguisher training?

Fire extinguisher training is available to everyone at George Mason University at no cost. For a list of training sessions or to register for training, visit ehs.gmu.edu/training.