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VU Emergency Guides

NEW Campus Emergency Guidebook available for download


These brief guides provide instructions for some of the emergencies that may occur on the Vanderbilt campus.  You may need additional information in the event of an actual emergency.

To contact Vanderbilt Police in an emergency:

  • Call 911 from any campus phone.
  • Call  (615) 421-1911  from any other phone.

Vanderbilt University Emergency Contact Numbers

Evacuation, Sheltering, and COVID-19

We understand that during these extraordinary times, there may be some concern for safely evacuating or sheltering during emergency situations. We encourage everyone to be aware of the most immediate threat while continuing to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If there is a need to take shelter (i.e. Tornado Warning, Active Aggressor) or if there is a need for evacuation due to a fire or other emergency, please do so while exercising CDC recommended precautions as possible. These precautions (physical distancing, masks, etc.) can be found on the Vanderbilt Fall 2020: Health and Safety website.

Shelter in Place:

  • Shelter in place using physical distancing measures. If physical distancing is unachievable, individuals should wear a face covering if possible.

Evacuation:

  • Leave the building through the nearest exit and establish a rally point away from the affected building. Open areas (indoor and outdoor) where physical distancing is available are preferred. If physical distancing is unachievable, individuals should wear a face covering if possible.

While there are signs indicating circulation patterns, in the event of an emergency, please take the most direct route to safety.

Campus Emergency Guidebook Information

If an incident involves severe weather, an outdoor hazardous materials release, or other outdoor hazard, remain inside or seek shelter in the nearest building.

  1. If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building, preferably in an interior room with few windows. Allow access to others seeking shelter. Allowing others into the building will not jeopardize your safety.
  2. Shut and lock all windows (locking will form a tighter seal) and close all exterior doors.
  3. Avoid overcrowding by using several rooms if necessary.
  4. Turn on a radio or television and listen for further instructions. Make yourself as comfortable as possible; prepare for the possibility of an extended stay.
  5. Check for AlertVU updates.
  6. Look after each other. You will be notified when it is safe to leave.

What to do for an outdoor hazardous materials release:

  1. Choose a room above ground level.
  2. If possible, turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans.
  3. Close vents to the ventilation system as you are able.
  4. Follow Instructions for shelter in place listed above.
  5. Check for AlertVU updates.

Blood and Body Fluid Spills

NEVER clean up a blood or body fluid spill unless you have undertaken the required training. In the event of a blood or body fluid spill:

  1. Isolate the spill, and prevent others from entering the area. Call Plant Operations Building Systems Controls (BSC) by dialing 615-32(2-2621).
  2. If a person is exposed, immediately and thoroughly wash all skin surfaces with soap and water.
  3. Flush mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, or nose immediately, and rinse thoroughly with water for 10-15 minutes. Remove contact lenses.
  4. Blood and Body Fluid Spills ONLY – If students are exposed, they should report immediately to the Occupational Health Clinic 615-93(6-0955). If after hours, they should report to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  5. If staff or faculty members are exposed, they should report to the Occupational Health Clinic 615-93(6-0955). If after hours, they should report to the VUMC Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  6. Complete a First Report of Injury form if any employee is involved. If you have questions, contact Risk Management at 615-93(6-0660).

 

Elevator Outage

Persons stuck in an elevator should:

  1. Remain calm and NOT try to exit the elevator car.
  2. Use the emergency phone or intercom call button to call for help, call 615-421-1911 from any cell phone, or bang on the doors and shout for assistance.
  3. Wait for trained personnel to assist with extraction.

 

Power Outage

In the event of a power outage:

  1. Remain calm and assess the extent of the outage.
  2. Report the outage to Plant Operations Building Systems Controls (BSC) by dialing 615-32(2-2621).
  3. DO NOT light candles or other types of flames for illumination.
  4. Keep lab refrigerators/freezers closed during the outage
  5. Secure all equipment, experiments, and hazardous materials if safe to do so.

 

Gas Leak

Natural gas has a distinct, pungent odor so it is easy to detect. Leaking gas can cause an explosion and fire. In the event of a gas leak:

  1. Immediately extinguish open flames.
  2. Immediately evacuate everyone.
  3. DO NOT use telephones, flashlights, or electrical switches.
  4. Report to your designated evacuation rally point.
  5. Once safely outside, notify VUPD by dialing 615-421-1911 from any cell phone.

 

All Other Facility/Utility Failures

Call Plant Operations Building Systems Controls (BSC) by dialing 615-32(2-2621) to report the outage.

 

Always dial 911 and evacuate the building in case of:

  • Fire/Smoke
  • Explosion
  • Structural damage or collapse
  • Uncontrolled gas leak
  • Uncontrolled chemical or hazardous materials spill

NEVER clean up a chemical spill unless you have undertaken the required training.  Chemical safety training is available through the Office of Clinical and Research Safety.

In the event of a chemical spill:

  1. Evacuate everyone in the immediate area.
  2. Isolate the area, closing doors as you leave and prevent others from entering the area.
  3. Notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) immediately. Dial 911 from any campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from any other phone.
  4. Notify OCRS at 615-32(2-2057). If after hours, call the OCRS Emergency Number at 615-875-3779.
  5. Keep people away from the spill and await the arrival of trained personnel.
  6. Obtain the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) on the chemical, if known. Find the MSDS or SDS information on the Internet at www.safety.vanderbilt.edu/msds/.
  7. If students are exposed, they should report immediately to the Student Health Center 615-32(2-2427). If after hours, they should report to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  8. If staff or faculty members are exposed, they should report immediately to the Occupational Health Clinic 615-93(6-0955). If after hours, they should report to the VUMC Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  9. Complete a First Report of Injury form if any employee is involved. If you have questions, contact Risk Management at 615-93(6-0660).

 

Office of Clinical and Research Safety

Additional chemical safety information can be found on the Chemical & Laboratory Safety website.

NEVER clean up a radioactive material spill unless you have undertaken the required training. Radiation safety training is available through the Office of Clinical and Reseach Safety.

In the event of a radioactive material spill:

  1. Evacuate everyone in the immediate area.
  2. Isolate the area, closing doors as you leave and prevent others from entering the area.
  3. Isolate all individuals involved in the spill until they can be cleared by OCRS or other first responders. Remove contaminated shoes and clothing. Follow directions learned in radiation safety training regarding contaminated shoes and clothing.
  4. Notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) immediately. Dial 911 from any campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from any other phone.
  5. Notify OCRS at 615-32(2-2057) or if after hours, call the OCRS Emergency Number 615-875-3779.
  6. Keep people away from the material until trained personnel arrive.
  7. After being cleared by VEHS, exposed students should report immediately to the Student Health Center 615-32(2-2427). If after hours, they should report to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  8. After being cleared by VEHS, exposed faculty and staff should report immediately to the Occupational Health Clinic 615-93(6-0955). If after hours, they should report to the VUMC Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  9. Complete a First Report of Injury form if any employee is involved. If you have questions, contact Risk Management at 615-93(6-0660).

 

Office of Clinical Research Safety

Additional radiation safety information can be found on the VEHS Radiation Safety website. Refer to Emergencies involving Radioactive Material and the Emergency Procedures section of the VU Radiation Safety Policies & Procedures Manual.

 In the event of a medical emergency:

  1.  Call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD).
    1. Dial 911 from any campus phone
    2. Dial 615-421-1911 from any other phone
  2. Provide the following information:
    1. Building name
    2. Floor and room number
    3. Caller’s name and phone number
    4. Nature and severity of the injury
    5. Approximate age of injured person
    6. Sex of injured person
    7. Current condition
    8. Any known medical history of the injured person
  3. Remain with the person with the medical injury. DO NOT move the individual unless required to prevent further injury.
  4. If possible, send someone to meet the responding emergency personnel at the location designated by the dispatcher

 

Cardiac Arrest and Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

If the medical emergency involves someone who has experienced cardiac arrest who is not breathing and has no pulse, an AED may be required. AEDs have the ability to detect an irregular heart rhythm and to apply an electrical shock (or shocks) to the person’s heart in attempt to reset it back into a normal and effective rhythm.

Using an AED: Almost anyone can apply and use an AED. Voice prompts guide the user through the appropriate steps. AEDs are over 99% accurate in rhythm interpretation, so they won’t shock unless an individual requires it.

AEDs on the Vanderbilt Campus: All marked Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) patrol vehicles are equipped with AEDs. Additionally, over 80 AED units are strategically located across the Vanderbilt campus. Additional AED program information can be found on the VU Emergency Preparedness AED website.

Report any security concern or suspicious activity to the Vanderbilt  University Police Department (VUPD).

  1. If you encounter:
    1. A disruptive or hostile individual 
    2. Someone making threats (in person or cyber/social media)
    3. A person acting suspiciously 
    4. Harassing or threatening phone calls/text messages
  2. Contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD)
    1. Dial 911 from any campus phone
    2. Dial 615-421-1911 from any other phone
  3. Provide the following information:
    1. Your location
    2. Description of events
    3. Description of subjects
    4. Types of threats or possible weapons
  4. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher until instructed otherwise. 

If you smell smoke, see a fire, or hear a fire alarm:

  1. IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE THE BUILDING. Always use the stairs. Never use elevators during a fire. Help individuals requiring assistance in evacuating.
  2. If the fire alarm has not been activated, pull the manual fire alarm by the nearest exit.
  3. Before opening doors, check for heat:
    1. IF THE DOOR IS COOL:
      1. Open the door carefully and proceed to the nearest exit.
      2. Close doors behind you and leave lights on.
      3. If there is light smoke, stay low and cover your face with a cloth (shirt, blouse, etc.) to filter out particulates.
    2. IF THE DOOR IS HOT, DO NOT OPEN:
      1. Seek another exit.
      2. If you are on a ground floor, try to exit through a window.
  4. If you are trapped in a room on an upper floor:
    1. Dial 911 to report your building, floor, room number, and the number of people with you.
    2. Prevent smoke from entering the room. If available, place wet towels or cloth material at the bottom of the door and cover any vents.
    3. If the room begins to fill with smoke, you can open the window slightly. Never break the window because this might cause a chimney effect and help spread the fire.
  5. Assist the physically impaired as needed:
    1. Offer to guide the visually impaired.
    2. Instruct the hearing impaired to evacuate with you. If you encounter a wheelchair-bound person, assist them to a refuge point and instruct them to wait for Fire Department assistance.
    3. Call 911 to report your building, floor, and location of the person needing evacuation.
      1. The first choice for a refuge point would be a widened stairway landing that will accommodate a wheelchair without impeding patrons as they exit.
      2. If no stairway refuge exists, then have them remain in a room with a window.
      3. Make every attempt to ensure they have a phone or cell phone available.
      4. Make note of the individual’s exact location and continue to evacuate the building.
  6. After you safely evacuate from the building, report to your designated rally point.
  7. Report to your supervisor or designated point of contact and report:
    1. The location of anyone who could not be evacuated.
    2. The location and phone number of any mobility impaired person you assisted.
    3. Any problems you witnessed while exiting the building, such as hallways/stairs filling with smoke or blocked by fire.
  8. DO NOT go back into the building until the Fire Department or the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) indicates that it is safe to do so.

General Evacuation

Depending on the type of emergency, it may be necessary either to evacuate a building or to shelter in place, that is, to remain in the building until emergency personnel confirm that it is safe to leave.

  1. In the event of a fire alarm or if instructed by emergency personnel to evacuate,

EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY using the nearest emergency exit.

  1. Do not use elevators unless directed to do so. Never use elevators during a fire evacuation.
  2. Once outdoors, report to your designated rally point. Check in and report missing persons, injuries, damages and/or potentially hazardous conditions to your supervisor or designated point of contact. Keep streets, fire lanes, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
  3. Supervisors and designated points of contact should call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) to report any immediate emergencies.
  4. Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) or on-site emergency personnel.

NOTE: Review and practice evacuation routes, assembly areas, and procedures for your office, classrooms, laboratories, residence hall, or other facility BEFORE an emergency happens. 

 

EVACUATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

See also Emergency Evacuation - General.

When an emergency strikes, it is critical for everyone to take appropriate and deliberate action. If you observe a person with a disability having difficulty evacuating, remember to ask if assistance is needed before taking action. Inquire how best to assist the individual and whether any precautionary measures need to be taken or items need to accompany the person. Consider the following suggestions when assisting individuals with disabilities in an emergency:

Individuals who are blind or have low vision

  1. Describe the nature of the emergency and the location if relevant.
  2. Offer your arm to assist with guiding the individual.
  3. Provide details about where you are going and any obstacles the person may encounter along the route.
  4. Once at a safe location, orient the individual to the location and inquire if further assistance is needed before leaving the location.

 

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing

  1. Alert the individual. Turn the lights on/off or wave your arms to gain the person’s attention.
  2. Use gestures or written notes. Indicate directions with gestures or write a note with evacuation instructions.

 

Individual with mobility limitations—Non-wheelchair user

  1. Discuss needs and preferences. Ask if assistance is needed. Inquire if the person is able to evacuate using the stairs without help or with minor assistance.
  2. Ensure a clear path of travel. If debris is present, it may be necessary to clear a path to the nearest exit route.
  3. No imminent danger. If there is no imminent danger, the person may choose to remain in the building or to be directed to an area of refuge (stairwell) until emergency personnel arrive. Fire Department personnel, who are trained in emergency rescue, can then enter the building and assist the person in exiting the building, either down the stairs or using the emergency elevator recall.
  4. Imminent danger. If danger is imminent, use a sturdy chair, with or without wheels, to move the person, or help carry the person to safety using a carry technique, or, if available, use an evacuation chair.
  5. Mobility aids or devices. Return any mobility aids or devices to the person as soon as possible.
  6. Once you safely evacuate, notify emergency personnel immediately about any individuals remaining in the building and their locations.

 

Mobility limitations—Wheelchair user

  1. Discuss needs and preferences. Non-ambulatory persons’ needs and preferences vary widely. Ask them how they would like to be assisted.
  2. Wheelchair-user on the ground floor. Individuals who use wheelchairs may choose to evacuate themselves from the ground floor with minimal assistance.
  3. Ensure a clear path of travel. If debris is present, it may be necessary to clear a path to the nearest exit.
  4. No imminent danger. If there is no imminent danger, the person may choose to remain in the building or to be directed to an area of refuge (stairwell) until emergency personnel arrive. Fire Department personnel, who are trained in emergency rescue, can then enter the building and assist the person in exiting the building, either down the stairs or using the emergency elevator recall.
  5. Imminent danger. If danger is imminent and the individual does not wish to be removed from his or her wheelchair, direct the person to the nearest area of refuge (stairwell) and notify emergency personnel immediately. While staying in place, the wheelchair user should keep in direct contact with VUPD Communications by dialing 615-421-1911 from a cell phone and reporting directly pertinent information including location.
  6. Carrying wheelchair users. Most wheelchairs are too heavy to carry down stairs. If the person wishes to be carried down the stairs without the wheelchair, ask about the best carry options, i.e., two-person cradle carry, office chair evacuation, or, if available, an evacuation chair.
  7. Mobility aids or devices. Return any mobility aids or devices to the person as soon as possible.
  8. Once you safely evacuate, notify emergency personnel immediately about any individuals remaining in the building and their locations.

 

CARRY TECHNIQUES

TO BE USED ONLY IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS WHERE DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY IS IMMINENT.

One-person Carry Technique (The Cradle Lift)

  1. The Cradle Lift is the preferred carry method when the person to be carried has little or no arm strength. It is safer if the person being carried weighs less than the carrier.
  2. Place one arm under the upper back and one arm under the knees.

Two-person Carry Technique (The Swing Carry or Chair Carry)

To use this technique:

  1. Carry partners stand on opposite sides of the individual. Wrap individual’s closest arm around one carry partner’s shoulder.
  2. Grasp carry partner’s forearm behind the individual in the small of the back.
  3. Reach under the individual’s knees to grasp the wrist of carry partner’s other hand.
  4. Both carry partners should then lean in close to the individual and lift on the count of three.
  5. Continue pressing into the individual being carried for additional support in the carry.

Bomb threats usually come by telephone. If you receive a bomb threat call, remain calm and obtain as much information as possible from the caller.

  1. Attempt to keep the caller on the phone line as long as possible.
  2. Ask caller to repeat the message and record every word.
  3. Use the telephone bomb threat checklist (listed below).
    1. Ask for the exact location of the explosive device.
    2. Get as much information as possible about the caller, i.e., vocal characteristic, sex, group affiliation, why the bomb was placed.
    3. Listen for clues from background noises, which might indicate the caller’s location.
  4. Immediately after the caller hangs up, report the threat to the Vanderbilt University      Police Department (VUPD). Make this and other notifications on a different phone if possible. Officials may be able to trace the call via Star 69 or caller ID.
  5. Refrain from speculating about the incident. Let the authorities share any information at the appropriate time.

 

If you receive a WRITTEN MESSAGE about a bomb threat, remain calm and follow these instructions:

  1. Avoid handling the message unnecessarily, in order to preserve evidence such as possible fingerprints. This will prove essential in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.
  2. While written messages are usually associated with generalized threats and extortion attempts, a written warning of a specific device may occasionally be received; it should never be ignored.
  3. Immediately call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) by dialing 911 from any campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from any other phone.
  4. Refrain from speculating about the incident. Let the authorities share any information at the appropriate time.

 

 

Bomb Threat Checklist

 

Exact time of call: ___________AM / PM

Exact words of caller:___________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

Questions to ask the caller:

When is bomb going to explode?__________________________________________________

Where is the bomb?____________________________________________________________

What does it look like?__________________________________________________________

What kind of a bomb is it?_______________________________________________________

What will cause it to explode?_____________________________________________________

Did you place the bomb? ____ yes ____ no

Why?_______________________________________________________________________

Where are you calling from?______________________________________________________

What is your address?__________________________________________________________

What is your name?____________________________________________________________

Caller’s Voice (Circle all that apply):

Calm                            Disguised                    Nasal                           Angry

Broken                         Stutter                         Slow                            Sincere

Lisp                             Rapid                           Giggling                       Deep

Crying                          Squeaky                      Excited                        Stressed

Accent                         Loud                            Slurred                        Normal

If the voice is familiar, who does it sound like?________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

List any background noises you remember hearing____________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________

Remarks:____________________________________________________________________

Person receiving call: __________________________________________________________

Telephone number to which the call was made:______________________________________

Date: _____________

If you notice protruding wires, strange odors, smoke, vapors, beeping, ticking, or a suspicious powdery substance on letters, packages or any other items.  Treat as suspicious, and follow these instructions:

  1. If you are holding the item, set it down carefully and walk away from it, then wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Do not open, shake the item, or disturb the contents.
  3. Do not try to smell the item.
  4. If you have handled the item, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth, or any part of your face. Do not touch others or let others touch you.
  5. Do not pass the item to others or move its contents.
  6. Call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) by dialing 911 from any campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from any other phone.
  7. Provide the location of the item, a description including size, and your location and phone number.

 

If the suspicious letter, package, or item has a powdery substance on the outside or is leaking:

  1. Follow the instructions listed above.
  2. Do not try to clean up powders or fluids.
  3. If possible, cover the item and leave it undisturbed. Close windows; turn off fans, close door, and section off the area to minimize exposure to others.
  4. Wash your hands with soap and water, and move to an area that minimizes your exposure.
  5. Remain in the area and prevent others from entering until the arrival of Vanderbilt University Police (VUPD) or other first responders.
  6. After being cleared by emergency personnel, faculty and staff who are exposed should report immediately to Occupational Health 615-93(6-0955). If after hours, they should report to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Emergency Department 615-32(2-3391).
  7. Complete a “First Report of Injury” report if any employee is involved. If you have questions, contact Risk Management at 615-93(6-0660).

 

An item should be treated with suspicion if one or more of the following conditions are met:

  1. No return address
  2. Use of restrictive markings (“Personal,” “Confidential,” etc.)
  3. Excessive packing material
  4. Addressed to title only, misspelled common words, poorly typed or written
  5. Excessive postage
  6. Oily stains, discolorations or crystallization on wrapper
  7. Strange odor
  8. Protruding wires

If you witness a hostage situation:

  1. Immediately remove yourself from harm’s way.
  2. Notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD).
    1. Dial 911 from any campus phone
    2. Dial 615-421-1911 from any other phone
  3. Provide Police Dispatchers with the following information:
      1. Your name and location
      2. Location of incident
      3. Number of possible hostage takers
      4. Physical description and names of hostage takers, if known
      5. Number of possible hostages
      6. Types of weapons and threats

If you are taken hostage:

  1. Remain calm and be patient.
  2. The first (5) minutes can be critical, because captors are trying to control hostage(s) and the environment.
  3. Do not try to be a negotiator.
  4. Do not speak unless spoken to.
  5. If you have to speak, do not complain or become belligerent.
  6. Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with your captor(s).
  7. Sit, if possible, to avoid appearing aggressive.
  8. Maintain eye contact with the captor, but do not stare.
  9. Comply with instructions as best as you can.
  10. DO NOT draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements, statements, comments, or by looking hostile.
  11. Be observant, as you may be released or escape and the safety of others may depend on your memory. Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing or other details that would help you to describe them.
  12. DO NOT attempt escape unless there is an extremely good chance of survival. It is safer to be submissive and obey your captors.
  13. If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, either in writing or on a tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors. Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.
  14. Try to stay low to the ground or behind cover from windows or doors, if possible.

 

In a rescue situation:

  1. DO NOT RUN. Drop to the floor and remain still. If that’s not possible, cross your arms, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden moves that a rescuer may interpret as hostile or threatening.
  2. Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.
  3. Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer isn’t sure whether you are a suspect or a hostage.
  4. Even if you are handcuffed and searched, DO NOT RESIST. Just wait for the confusion to clear.
  5. You will be taken to a safe area, where proper identification and status will be determined.

Severe Thunderstorms and Lightning

Lightning kills more people on average each year than hurricanes and tornadoes combined. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a rain area.

 

The 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule:

During thunderstorms no place outside is safe but you can minimize your risk by assessing the lightning threat and taking appropriate actions. Count the number of seconds from when you see the lightning flash until you hear the thunder. If you count 30 seconds or less you are in immediate danger. Even if you can’t see the lightning, just hearing the thunder means lightning is likely within striking range.

 

If you are caught outdoors in a severe thunderstorm or when lightning threatens:

  1. Immediately seek shelter in the nearest building.
    1. DO NOT seek shelter under trees during thunderstorms.
    2. DO NOT seek shelter in unprotected open structures such as picnic pavilions, rain shelters or bus stops.
    3. If a building is not available, a metal-topped vehicle with the windows up is the next best option.
  2. Avoid contact with metal fences, metal bleachers, or metallic structures.
  3. Avoid using hardwired corded telephones or any electrical appliances. Cell phones are a safe alternative.
  4. Avoid plumbing—do not take a bath, shower, or wash your hands during a thunderstorm.
  5. Wait 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder clap or rumble before leaving the safe location.

 

If Caught Outdoors and No Shelter Is Nearby:

  1. Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles that is not subject to flooding.
  2. If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. DO NOT lie down. If you are swimming, get out of the water immediately.

 

REMEMBER: If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Once you have taken shelter indoors, you should monitor a weather radio, a commercial radio/television station, internet or other weather service provider. Even when a specific storm cell has passed beyond the area, conditions may still be right for high winds, lightning, and other hazardous weather conditions.

If you are caught outdoors and hear the Vanderbilt sirens or receive an AlertVU notice that a tornado may be approaching campus:

  1. Immediately seek shelter in the nearest substantial building.
  2. Never try to outrun a tornado. If you cannot seek shelter in a building, lie in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck.

 

Once you are indoors:

  1. Alert building occupants of the impending weather.
  2. Move quickly to a safe area indoors such as an interior hallway or an interior room away from windows, lobbies, and doors.
    1. Basements, which are often recommended for shelter in private residences, may not be practical for high rise buildings or some campus facilities—move to the most interior portion of the building.
    2. Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
  3. Close all doors leading to exterior rooms.
  4. Once you are indoors, stay indoors until the threat has passed. To determine when the threat has passed, monitor a weather radio, a commercial radio/television station, internet or other weather service. Even when a specific storm cell has passed beyond the area, conditions may still be right for high winds, lightning, and other hazardous weather conditions.

 

If you are in a classroom or meeting area:

  1. The instructor or staff member should direct occupants to the nearest interior hallways and/or interior rooms away from windows.
  2. Monitor your weather radio, television, or other weather service provider for additional information.
  3. Follow instructions from all AlertVU messages.

 

If someone is injured or there is damage caused by the weather, notify the Vanderbilt University Police Department:

  1. Immediately call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) by dialing 911 from any campus phone, or 615-421-1911 from any other phone.
  2. Exit a building that smells of natural gas or chemical fumes.
  3. Do not tour damaged areas.
  4. Do not go into damaged buildings.
  5. If you must be outdoors, watch for downed power lines and for possible falling debris.
  6. Use the telephone only to report emergencies.
  7. Monitor radio and television for reports and guidance.
  8. Assist persons with special needs.

Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning. The majority of earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If indoors:

  1. If you’re indoors, stay there. Get under – and hold onto – a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator.
  2. If you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
  3. In laboratories, extinguish all flames (if possible) before taking cover. Stay clear of areas with large quantities of hazardous materials.

 

If outside:

  1. If you’re outside, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.
  2. If you’re driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. Remain vigilant and be on the lookout for road hazards.
  3. Keep looking around to be aware of dangers, which may demand immediate movement.

 

When the shaking stops:

  1. Check for injuries to personnel in your area. DO NOT attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.
  2. Check the area for safety hazards such as building damage, fires, chemical spills, or gas leaks.
  3. Exit the building and go to your designated rally point. Stay at least 500 feet away from the affected building or other hazards. Keep streets, fire lanes, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.
  4. Take roll and report missing persons, injuries, damages and/or potentially hazardous conditions to your supervisor or designated point of contact.
  5. Supervisors and designated points of contact should call the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) to report any immediate emergencies.
  6. Once you have exited the building, DO NOT re-enter the building until the building has been inspected by emergency personnel.
  7. Use the telephone to only report emergencies.

Because an active shooter incident requires rapid response, the best time to consider how to react is in advance. By familiarizing yourself with your surroundings and possible escape routes, and considering how you might react in such a situation, you can act quickly and more efficiently if the need arises.

There are three options to consider if faced with an active shooter incident: RunHide, or – as a last resort – Fight, if your life is in imminent danger.

  1. RUN – If there is a way to escape the threat and you are reasonably sure you can do so without being harmed, do it. This is your first and best option. Be sure to:
    1. Have an escape route in mind.
    2. Evacuate regardless if others agree to follow.
    3. Leave your belongings behind. (Keep your cell phone in your pocket.)
    4. Help others escape, especially those with special needs.
    5. Tell others not to enter the area where the active shooter may be.
    6. Keep your hands visible at all times.
    7. Follow the instructions of any law enforcement personnel.
    8. Do not attempt to move injured people.
    9. Call 911 when it is safe to do so and provide the following information:
      1. Your name and location
      2. Location of the incident (be as specific as possible)
      3. Number of shooters (if known)
      4. Number of persons who may be involved
  2. HIDE – If evacuation is not possible, you are told “to shelter in place,” or the active shooter is outdoors, find a place to HIDE where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Choose the best space that is available quickly.
    1. Your hiding place should:
      1. Be out of the view of the active shooter.
      2. Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., lock or barricade a door by any means available).
      3. Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
    2. To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place, you should:
      1. Turn off lights.
      2. Lock all doors and windows, if possible.
      3. Place heavy furniture or equipment in front of any doors (especially if the door does not lock or opens into the hallway).
      4. Close blinds, and cover and move away from windows.
    3. To keep yourself safe while hiding you should:
      1. Remain quiet.
      2. Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks).
      3. Silence your cell phone and turn off vibrate mode.
      4. Turn off any sources of noise (i.e., radios, TV’s).
      5. Don’t respond to voice commands or move barricades until you are sure that commands are coming from police.
      6. If you can speak to a dispatcher without being overheard by the assailants, dial 911, to alert police to the situation.
      7. If you cannot speak, mute the speaker and leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen.
      8. Do not approach emergency responders; let them come to you.
    4. If outside when a shooting occurs:
      1. Drop to the ground immediately, face down and as flat as possible. If within 20 feet of a safe place or shelter, duck and run for safety.
      2. Move or crawl away from gunfire, trying to use any obstacle between you and the gunfire. Remember, obstacles may conceal you from sight, but may not be bulletproof.
      3. When you reach a safe place, stay down, do not move. Do not peek or raise your head to try to see what is happening.
      4. Wait and listen for further instructions from law enforcement personnel.
  3. FIGHT, as a last resort if your life is in danger. If you cannot evacuate or hide effectively, or have been discovered, be ready to fight.
    1. Take steps to incapacitate the active shooter:
    2. Act as aggressively as possible against him or her.
    3. Throw any items available at the intruder(s) to distract them (books, backpacks, etc.).
    4. Use improvised weapons such as a fire extinguisher or chair.
    5. Yell.
    6. Commit to your actions to save your life.

Vanderbilt University Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Power-Based  Personal Violence and Campus SaVE Act Support and Resource Information

Vanderbilt University seeks to maintain a safe and healthy environment for faculty, staff, house staff, and postdoctoral fellows and trainees. We take reports of sexual misconduct and other forms of power-based personal violence seriously, and how we respond depends on, among other things, the facts and circumstances of the specific incident, to whom it was reported, and the University’s obligations under applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The policies governing our investigative and accountability processes include the Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Power-Based Personal Violence Policy available in the Student Handbook, and the Campus SaVE Act Policy for Faculty, Staff, House Staff, Postdoctoral Fellows or Trainees. Vanderbilt policies forbidding sexual harassment are also found in the Faculty Manual, the House Staff Manual, and the Human Resources Anti-Harassment Policy. Information about support services is outlined in more detail below.

 

  Resource Information Support Obtaining Counseling Interim Accomidations* Filing a Complaint** Confidentiality Levels***

EAD              

615-32(2-4705)

Yes Refers Refers Coordinates Yes Private

Human Resources

615-32(2-2571)

Yes  Refers No  Yes  No Private

Project Safe

615-34(3-7000)

Yes Yes Assists Coordinates Assists Private

****Protection of Minors

615-93(6-0660)

Refers Refers Refers Refers Yes Private

VUPD

615-32(2-2745)

(Emergency)

615-421-1911

Refers Refers Refers Refers Yes Not Confidential 

Employee Assistance Program/ Physician Wellness/Nurse Wellness

615-96(6-1327)

Yes Yes  Yes No No Confidential

Office of LGBTQI Life

615-32(2-3330)

Yes Refers Refers Refers Refers Private

 

*INTERIM ACCOMMODATIONS: Some examples of interim accommodations include administrative leave and work schedule changes.

 

**FILING A COMPLAINT: Filing a complaint with VUPD may lead to a criminal investigation and prosecution by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Filing a complaint with the EAD will lead to an investigation and may result in disciplinary outcomes, including termination of employment. An employee may file a complaint with VUPD, the EAD, or both, and the criminal and EAD processes may occur simultaneously.

 

***CONFIDENTIALITY LEVEL

 

CONFIDENTIAL: Conversations are confidential. Except in rare and extreme circumstances, nothing will be shared without your explicit permission.

 

PRIVATE: Conversations are kept private to the extent possible, but information about incidents of sexual misconduct and other forms of power-based personal violence and abuse of minors must be shared with relevant administrators and the Title IX Coordinator so that the University can take action, if necessary, for reasons of safety. In planning any response, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the interests of the victim and the University’s commitment to a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the University community.

 

NOT CONFIDENTIAL: Police reports are maintained at the Metropolitan Nashville

Police Department Central Records Division and are subject to provisions of the

Tennessee Open Records Act. As long as the investigation is open and ongoing, reports are not released.

 

****PROTECTION OF MINORS

Suspected abuse of a minor under 18 years of age requires mandatory reporting to the Department of Children’s Services or local law enforcement as per Tennessee state law (TCA 37-1-403). Questions regarding reporting obligations may be directed to Vanderbilt’s Protection of Minors office.

 

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct or another form of power-based personal violence, you can call the 24-hour Project Safe Hotline at 615-322-SAFE (7233) or the Vanderbilt University Police Department Emergency  Line at 421-1911.

Vanderbilt University Police Department

Dial .................................................................................................... 911from any campus phone

Dial......................................................................................... 615-421-1911from any other phone

 

Student Health Center

Schedule or cancel appointment............................................................................615-32(2-2427)

 

Project Safe

Support Hotline..........................................................................................615-32(2-SAFE) (7233)

 

EAD/Title IX Coordinator

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-4705)

 

Chaplain and Religious Life

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-2547)

 

Psychological and Counseling Main Center

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-2571)

 

Student Accountability

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-7868)

 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Department

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-3391)

 

Plant Operations

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-2621)

 

Dean of Students Office

Normal business hours...........................................................................................615-32(2-6400)

Housing and Residential Education

Normal business hours...........................................................................................615-32(2-2591)

The On Call Housing Representative........................................................................615-566-1010

 

Work Life Connections / Employee Assistance Programs

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-93(6-1327)

 

Risk Management

Normal business hours...........................................................................................615-93(6-0660)

After business hours.................................................................................................615-878-0705

 

Office of Clinical and Research Safety

Normal business hours...........................................................................................615-32(2-2057)

After business hours.................................................................................................615-875-3779

 

Vanderbilt News and Communications

Main Number..........................................................................................................615-32(2-2706)

AlertVU rapidly sends messages to the delivery points the user has chosen—cell phone (voice or text), land line phone (home or office), or personal email account. All Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in the system using their Vanderbilt email address. AlertVU will notify you in the event of an emergency that poses an imminent threat or danger to the Vanderbilt community. Examples of such a threat include a tornado forecasted to strike Vanderbilt, or an active shooter on campus.

Students, faculty, and staff members are encouraged to update their AlertVU emergency contact information at the beginning of each semester or as needed.

More information about AlertVU, including instructions on how to update your contact information can be found on the AlertVU website.

The Vanderbilt University Emergency Preparedness website is a valued resource for students, faculty, and staff members to research emergency preparedness information and better understand the university EP program initiatives. This and additional information can be found on the VU Emergency Preparedness website.