UTSA Emergency Response Guide

Introduction

This guide is intended for use by the University of Texas at San Antonio faculty, staff, students and guests. This guide has been provided by the UTSA Police Department in coordination with several other departments and is designed to provide a quick reference during emergencies. Every employee should become familiar with its contents, and new employees should be trained to follow these procedures and the building evacuation plan for his/her respective area.

Keep the link to this guide handy in your favorites folder or save it to the top of your browser. You can also click here for a printer friendly version.

In instances where an evacuation plan differs from instructions in this guide, the evacuation plan for the building will supersede this guide.

UTSA Community Emergency Response Guide Printable Version

Emergency Contacts

UTSA Police Department

  • UTSA Police/Fire/Rescue/Hazmat – 458-4911 (911 UTSA Phone)
  • UTSA Police Non-Emergency – 458-4242
  • Office of Business Continuity & Emergency Management – 458-6756 or 458-6851

Counseling and Health Services

  • Student Counseling Services – 458-4140
  • Student Health Services – 458-4142
  • Employee Assistance & Wellness – 299-2400

Other Contact Numbers

  • Information Technology Services – 458-5538
  • Weather Hotline – 458-SNOW (7669)
  • Safety Escort Program – 458-4242

Web Pages

Gunfire/Shooter/Hostage

Remember the Outs

  • Figure OUT – A heightened state of situational aware­ness. Quickly assess the circumstances
  • Get OUT – If an easily accessible safe way out of the area is possible use it
  • Call OUT – Call the UTSA PD at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA Phone) to make them aware of the situation
  • Hide OUT – If unable to leave the immediate area find a place to hide, preferably behind a locked door. Be sure to turn cell phones to vibrate or silent mode
  • Keep OUT – Make it difficult for an aggressor to reach you
  • Spread OUT – Do not collect in large groups. Spread out to become less of a target
  • Help OUT – If possible assist those with injuries around you
  • Take OUT – If all else fails be ready to take out the aggressor.

Menacing Behavior

When you suspect a Menacing Behavior:

  1. Stay calm and unhurried in your response to the person. Alert others to the situation.
  2. Be empathetic and show your concern by active listen­ing.
  3. Try to sit down with the person, as sitting is a less ag­gressive posture than standing or moving around.
  4. Be helpful. Schedule an appointment for a later time, take notes.
  5. Provide positive feedback such as, “We can get this straightened out,” or “I’m glad you’re telling me how you feel about this.”
  6. Stay out of arm’s reach.
  7. Limit eye contact. Keep within social norms.
  8. Do not argue, yell or joke. Try to be genuine.
  9. Do not touch the person. Respect the person and their space.
  10. Don’t move quickly, speak too fast or too loud.

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

  1. Leave the scene.
  2. Notify the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  3. Alert co-workers using an agreed-upon code word to indicate trouble.
  4. Do not allow menacing behavior to go unreported.

Evacuation of the Mobility Impaired

Assisting Blind/Visually Impaired

  1. Clearly announce the type of emergency.
  2. Offer your arm for guidance.
  3. Tell the person where you are going, and alert him/her to obstacles along the way.

Assisting the Deaf/Hearing Impaired

  1. Turn lights on and off to gain the person’s attention.
  2. Indicate directions with gestures or written note.

Non-Ambulatory Individuals

Non-ambulatory individuals are those people with dis­abilities that require the use of wheelchairs. You should as­sist these individuals by:

  1. Calling UTSAPD at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone) if someone is immobile and needs additional assistance evacuating.
  2. Do not use elevators to move people with disabilities.
  3. Seek volunteers to assist students/personnel with physi­cal disabilities to the nearest enclosed stairway or desig­nated areas for rescue assistance.
  4. One individual should remain with the person(s) if it can be done without unreasonable personal risk. If the haz­ard becomes life-threatening (i.e., fire is getting close or the smoke becomes a choking hazard) move the individ­ual into a room and close the door. Vacate the building.
  5. Others should advise emergency personnel of the loca­tion so that the evacuation can be completed.
  6. If one is available, use the stairwell evac chair to trans­port someone who cannot walk down the stairs.

Fire or Explosion

Fire:

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm and leave via the preplanned evacuation route if safe to do so.
  2. Dial 4911 or 911 (UTSA Phone) and give your name and location of the fire. (If necessary, dial 911 from another building)

When a fire alarm sounds, occupants should:

  1. Proceed immediately to an exit according the posted evacuation plan and move a safe distance away from the building. If the primary exit is blocked, choose the best alternate route. If time permits, close doors and windows behind you.
  2. Do not use an elevator.

If there is smoke in the area, remain close to the floor.

  1. Before passing through any door, feel the metal door­knob. If it is hot, do not open the door. Before opening a door, brace yourself against it slightly; if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room.
  2. If you cannot leave the room:
    1. Open the windows.
    2. Seal the cracks around doors with clothing or other material, soaked with water if possible.
    3. Hang an object (bed sheet, jacket, shirt, etc.) out the window to gain attention.
    4. Shout for help.
    5. If possible, call 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone) and report that you are trapped.
    6. If all exits are found to be blocked, go to a room as far as possible from the fire, close the door, and the follow the above procedures.

As with any emergency, the best advice is to be prepared by familiarizing yourself with evacuation route plans.

Explosion:

  1. Immediately evacuate the building, using your pre-planned route if possible.
  2. Call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone). Inform them of the situation with as much information as is available. If it is safe to do so, stay on the phone with the police dispatcher.

Hazardous Materials

General Instructions:

  1. Placards are posted outside all rooms containing hazard­ous materials or equipment.
  2. Notify the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  3. Do not touch, taste or smell the material.
  4. Isolate the area.
  5. Notify people in the neighboring offices and classrooms.
  6. Hazardous material spills can result in fire, explosion, release of toxic fumes, and contamination of water, among other effects. In the event of a spill of possibly hazardous materials, leave the area via the preplanned evacuation route.

Chemical Spills:

Detailed safety procedures are in place in all campus labora­tories where dangerous materials are used and stored. If you encounter a chemical spill and there are not any trained indi­viduals are in the area:

  1. Turn off space heaters and extinguish open flames in the area if it is safe to do so.
  2. If there are vapors or noxious fumes, evacuate the af­fected area or building and do not re-enter the area until authorized emergency personnel give the “all clear sig­nal”.

Radioactive Materials:

  1. Radioactive materials are utilized in some campus labo­ratories. Those that might be encountered are consid­ered low-level sources of radiation and pose minimal threat when properly stored and handled.
  2. If you believe that you or others have come into contact with radioactivity on your skin, clothes or shoes, remain in the area at a safe distance until checked and cleared of radioactive contamination by Safety office personnel

Medical Emergencies

Medical Emergencies/Ambulances Guidelines:

  1. Immediately notify the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  2. Do not move a seriously injured person unless he or she is in a life-threatening situation.
  3. Render first-aid or CPR only if you have been trained.
  4. Do not leave the injured person except to summon help.
  5. When reporting the medical emergency, provide the following information:
    1. Type of emergency
    2. Location of the victim
    3. Condition of the victim
    4. Any dangerous conditions
  6. Comfort the victim until emergency medical services arrive.
  7. Have someone stand outside the building to flag down the ambulance when it reaches the vicinity.
  8. If you are exposed to another person’s body fluids, wash the exposed area and contact a health care professional.

Severe Weather

Flood:

  1. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
  2. If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of ar­eas subject to flooding.
  3. Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN
  4. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Never drive thru flooded roadways.
  5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to rec­ognize flood dangers.

Weather Closing Information:

Information regarding weather closings at UTSA is available via a variety of resources:

  1. Local residents, dial 210-458-SNOW (7669)
  2. The UTSA Homepage – www.utsa.edu — refer to the notice prominently posted on the home page
  3. Local Media – News of university closings are broadcasted via radio and television stations throughout the region.

Tornado/Severe Thunderstorms

A tornado or severe thunderstorm watch means severe weather is possible approaching. Continue normal activities but continue to monitor the situation.

Warning:

If the approaching severe weather is deemed to pose an im­mediate threat to the area, the watch may be elevated to a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning. You should take the following steps:

  1. Notify the building occupants of the server weather warning.
  2. If it is a thunderstorm warning, you should stay indoors and away from windows until the storm passes. Report injuries to 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone). When call­ing provide the following information:
    • Building name, number, and/or location
    • Type of emergency
    • Condition of the victim
    • Any dangerous conditions
  3. If it is a tornado warning, you should seek shelter in a safe haven immediately.
  4. If you are in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If a building is not available, a depres­sion such as a ditch or ravine offers some protection.
  5. Basements, interior hallways on the lower floors and small interior rooms on the lower floors offer the best shelter.
  6. After danger has passed, immediately report any injuries to 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  7. Immediately leave a badly damaged building and do not attempt to return to the building until directed to do so.
  8. Do not attempt to turn utilities or equipment on or off.

Shelter in Place

Guidelines:

  1. Seek shelter immediately in any campus building away from windows. If you are in a building, remain there, if not go inside immediately. Close all doors and windows and turn off the heating and air conditioning systems, if possible.
  2. If you are in a vehicle at the time of the notification to protect in place, you should close doors and windows, turn off your heating or air conditioning, and either drive out of the area at risk or to a building and enter for pro-tection-in-place.
  3. Persons should remain calm, conserve their energy, and wait for notification that all is clear or further instruc­tions regarding evacuation are given.

Suspicious Mail or Packages

Guidelines:

The following characteristics may identify suspicious par­cels

  1. Unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  2. Addressed to someone no longer with your organization or otherwise outdated (e.g., improper title).
  3. No return address, or one that can’t be verified as legiti­mate.
  4. Has any powdery substance on the outside.
  5. Of unusual weight, given its size, or lopsided.
  6. Marked with restrictive endorsements, such as Personal or Confidential.
  7. Protruding wires, strange odors or stains.
  8. Has unusual amount of tape.
  9. Has excessive postage applied to the parcel.
  10. A city or state in the postmark that doesn’t match the return address.

If you receive a suspicious parcel in the mail

  1. Do not open the parcel.
  2. Isolate the piece of mail.
  3. Call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone) for additional instructions.
  4. Do not pass the letter/parcel to others.
  5. Deny access to the letter to everyone except emergency responders.
  6. Move to an area that minimizes exposure to others and to the parcel.
  7. If possible, wash your hands and face with soap and water.

If you open a parcel that appears to be contaminated

  1. Do not move the parcel.
  2. Call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  3. Call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).
  4. Turn off any fans, window air conditioners and/or small area heaters.
  5. Isolate the area. Evacuate the adjoining areas.
  6. Everyone who is evacuated should report to the build­ing’s pre-planned assembly area.
  7. Do not pass the letter/parcel to others. Deny access to the letter to everyone except emergency responders.
  8. The individual who opened the parcel and anyone else who has come into contact with the parcel should remain isolated, in a area adjacent to the original location, and wait for additional instructions from responding emer­gency personnel.
    If possible, the individuals who had contact with the parcel should wash their face and hands with soap and water.

Threats (Bomb, Physical, Terrorist)

Bomb Threat:

All students and staff members will evacuate the build- ing(s) using the pre-planned evacuation route. No individu­als will be allowed to remain in the building at their own risk other than those designated as search party personnel.

If you receive a bomb threat, follow the following proce­dures:

  1. Bomb threats may be received by telephone, e-mail or letter. If you receive a bomb threat, remain calm and obtain as much information as possible:
    • Exact location of the bomb
    • When is it going to explode
    • What kind of bomb is it
    • Why was it placed here
    • Who the caller is
  2. Immediately call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone). Provide them any in­formation that you have received, specifically the loca­tion and the time the bomb is supposed to explode.
  3. If the threat was made in writing, do not handle the letter or note any more than necessary.
  4. Do not touch or move any unfamiliar objects, and wait for police to arrive on the scene.
  5. The senior UTSAPD official on site will determine if an evacuation is warranted. If the building is evacuated, account for all building occupants at the designated meeting area.
  6. The President or his/her designee will make all decisions regarding cancellation of classes.

Physical Threat

  1. Immediately evacuate the area, using your pre-planned evacuation route.
  2. Call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone). Inform them of the situation with as much information as is available. If it is safe to do so, stay on the phone with the police dispatcher.

Terrorism/Terrorism Threats

Terrorism threats should be reported immediately to UTSAPD at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone). Threats will be investigated as a crime. If a threat appears to involve im­minent danger facilities will be evacuated. UTSAPD will make this determination.

Utility Failure or Water Contamination

Utility Failure

In case of utility failure (electricity, water, gas) call the University Police Department at 458-4911 or 911 (UTSA phone).

If trapped in an elevator, call UTSAPD with the follow­ing information:

  • Building name
  • Floor number
  • Room # (if applicable)
  • Nature of problem
  • Person to contact or telephone extension

Remain in place until notified. Individuals in corridors and exit stairs should evacuate while emergency lights are on. Emergency lighting is temporary and is not provided to continue building operations.

Electrical Outage

  1. Evacuate the building if the fire alarm sounds or upon notification by authorized emergency personnel.
  2. In laboratory buildings, fume hoods do not operate dur­ing a power outage. Do not use laboratories until the ventilation is properly restored.

Gas Leak/Unusual Odors

  1. Cease all operations immediately.
  2. Do no use cell phones or other electronic equipment.
  3. Do no switch lights on or off.
  4. Evacuate as soon as possible.

Flooding/Plumbing Failure

  1. Cease using all electrical equipment.
  2. Avoid contact with the water.
  3. Evacuate the building if necessary.

Water Contamination

If there is an emergency affecting the water supply:

  1. Follow all instructions from local authorities about puri­fying your water (commonly called “boil orders”) or use other water sources until authorities notify your commu­nity that it is safe to drink from the regular water supply again.
  2. Use the safest water you have first before turning to other water sources.

After the Emergency

After the Emergency

Whether an emergency is weather related, workplace violence or a fire, appropriate actions must be taken to ensure that procedures are followed to protect the facility.

If an individual is injured or becomes ill due to the work­place environment, follow these procedures.

  • Ensure that the individual has received appropriate medical care.
  • Notify the individual’s immediate supervisor of the injury/illness and the surrounding events.
  • Ensure that an Accident Reports involving students should be submitted to Student Health Services at 458-4142. Reports involving faculty/staff should be submitted to Environmental, Health Safety and Risk Management at 299-2400.

Damage to your Building or other property

If your building, equipment, or UTSA vehicle has re­ceived damage during an emergency, you should notify the building supervisor or your immediate supervisor of the damage and the need to repair the facility on an emergency basis.

How to Report a Crime

How to Report a Crime

The University of Texas at San Antonio maintains a 24 hours a day, 7 days per week operation. Sworn police officers and state certified dispatchers are on duty to respond to any crime, suspected crime, or incident requiring police attention. Emergency phones are available throughout campus. The UTSA Police Department actively participates in new stu­dent orientation programs and other programs to promote crime awareness and reporting.

If you are the victim of crime, suspect that a crime has been committed, or have witnessed a crime, report this to the UTSA Police Department, One UTSA Circle, Physical Plant Building, phone (210)458-4242 or call 911 from a UTSA phone or 458-4911 (cell phone or other non UTSA phone) or through the Silent Witness Program at www.utsa.edu/utsapd/ witness.cfm.