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Emergency Instructions

In the event of an emergency, dial 911. 

In the event of an Earthquake:Top of Page

  • If you are indoors, remain inside. Immediately duck, cover and hold under a desk, table or other sturdy shelter. If there is no such shelter, stand under the nearest doorway.
  • Evacuate the building if directed to do so.
  • If you are outside, get into the open away from buildings, trees, walls or power lines. Sit or lie down and brace yourself.
  • If you are in your car, pull to the side of the road away from overpasses, bridges or power lines.
  • Try to avoid broken glass and falling objects.
  • Avoid using matches or a lighter - there might be a gas leak.
  • Avoid touching electrical wires which may have fallen.
  • Do not use the telephone except for emergencies.

In the event of Mail Containing a Threat or Powdery Substance:Top of Page

  • Do not shake or empty the envelope.
  • Do not throw the envelope away.
  • Isolate the specific area of the workplace so that no one disturbs the item. Call 911.
  • Evacuation of the entire workplace is not necessary at this point.
  • Wash your hands with warm soap and water for one minute.
  • Do not allow anyone to leave the office that may have touched the envelope.
  • When emergency responders arrive, they will provide additional instructions.

In the event of a Fire:Top of Page

  • Upon discovery of a fire, alert all other nearby personnel and your supervisor. Immediately call 911. Be sure to give the fire department the exact location of the fire.
  • Follow the office plan and evacuate the building through the nearest safe exit.
  • If the fire does not pose an immediate threat to safety, fight it until the fire department arrives.

In the event of a Threatening Phone Call:Top of Page

  • Take note:

    • Time call was received.
    • Phone number of line receiving incoming call.
    • Exact words of caller.
    • Time caller hung up.

  • If the situation permits, try to ask the following questions: 

    • If there is a threat made to an employee, try to find out the exact nature of the threat and reason for the threat.
    • If the call is a bomb threat, remember that almost all such calls are hoaxes or pranks. However, all threatening calls must be treated seriously and handled quickly. Get as much information as possible and try to find out:

      • When is the bomb going to explode?
      • Where is the bomb now?
      • What kind of bomb is it and what does it look like?
      • Why did you place the bomb?

  • Person receiving the bomb threat should try to keep the caller on the line. Delay the caller with statements like: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. What did you say?"
  • Try to listen to the caller's voice for identification. 

    • Age/sex of caller.
    • Tone of voice.
    • Accent or impediment.
    • Background noise.
    • Is the voice familiar?

  • Call 911 and notify your supervisor immediately.

Workplace Violence:Top of Page

  • Stay alert for signs of trouble... 

    • Pay attention to detail.
    • If anyone or anything seems suspicious, alert your supervisor immediately.

  • Watch for warning signs that a person may be losing control. These include: 

    • Threats, insults, sexual comments.
    • Unreasonable demands, constant complaining.
    • Shouting and swearing.
    • Threatening gestures (shaking a fist, slapping a desk).
    • Carrying a weapon.
    • Signs of alcohol or drug abuse.
    • Nervous pacing.
    • Extreme change in appearance and/or mood.

  • Stay calm and assess the situation before you act... 

    • Don't take chances or try to be a hero.
    • Have the police deal with threats whenever possible.

  • Report all incidents... 

    • No matter how minor the incident may seem, it can signal future trouble.
    • Notify your supervisor immediately.

  • If a person enters your building and becomes disruptive... 

    • Listen to the person and offer help; speak calmly; focus on the problem, not the person.
    • Try to stay at least 4-5 feet away from the person, allow yourself an escape route.
    • Alert your supervisor, other staff or the police as soon as you can.
    • If the person has a weapon, seek safety at the first opportunity.

  • If violence occurs, protect yourself... 

    • Escape if you can, then call for help or sound the alarm.
    • Give the person what he/she wants, if possible.
    • Do not try to take away a weapon or restrain the person.

  • After any incident, report it... 

    • Provide all of the facts that you can.