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Emergency Procedures

Emergencies are varied and unpredictable, but ISU Public Safety wants to provide as much information as possible to keep our campus community safe and informed. Idaho State University takes an all-hazards approach to planning for emergency situations. This helps to ensure consistency in communication and decision-making. However, an individual may have to use different actions depending on the type of emergency or disaster situation. 

During certain emergency conditions, it may be necessary to evacuate a building (i.e. smoke/fire, gas leak, bomb threat, active shooter, weather extremes, etc.) Evacuation may be necessary before university officials or first responders arrive, so individual preparedness is essential. 

Evacuation Guidance

  • Preparing for Evacuation: 
    • Know how to report an emergency (call 911, or Public Safety at 208-282-2515 or 2911)
    • Be familiar with floorplans and locations of stairwells
    • Locate emergency equipment including first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and automated external defibrillators (AED), as appropriate. 
    • Locate and utilize emergency evacuation signage posted throughout the building to identify: 
      • Primary and alternate exit routes,
      • Areas of Rescue Assistance, and
      • Area of Assembly. 
  • During Evacuation:
    • Personal safety is the priority.
    • Stay calm- avoid panic and confusion.
    • When the fire alarm sounds, ensure that nearby personnel are aware of the emergency, close doors (but do not lock them), and exit the building.
    • Assist visitors, students, and others who are not familiar with the plan to safely evacuate. 
    • Do not use elevators as an escape route.
    • Go to the designated Area of Assembly and wait for further instructions from the Department of Public Safety, or other emergency responders. 
  • After Evacuation:
    • Remain at the Area of Assembly until an accurate headcount has been taken.
    • Do not re-enter a building, until instructed by emergency personnel or university officials to do so. 

The terms shelter-in-place and lockdown are used interchangeably however there are a few key differences. The term shelter-in-place refers to those situations where building occupants are advised to remain indoors for a period of time, rather than evacuate the building. This may be utilized in situations of chemical, biological, or radioactive material release, active shooter, or severe weather emergencies. 

Shelter-in-place Guidance 

  • Prepare
    • Identify areas suitable for shelter-in-place prior to an incident.
    • Review your building's emergency procedures and be vigilant of threats in your vicinity. 
  • Act
    • Shelter in an area that will shield you from the hazard. 
      • When sheltering against storms, try to shelter in a basement or the lowest-lying ground possible.
      • Stay away from all windows and doors. If possible, move to an interior corridor.
    • Stay away from lobbies, walkways, atriums, and other large glassed-in areas. 
    • If possible, take a cell phone and flashlight. 
    • If outside, seek shelter in the nearest building.
    • Consider that a shelter-in-place event can last minutes to hours. Be cognizant of seating areas and of access to restrooms. 
  • Recover
    • Remain in a sheltered area until given the all-clear.
    • All clear messaging may be provided in person or via the ISU Emergency Alert System. 

The term lockdown is used to describe a condition where a particular human threat exists, and a building (or buildings) needs to have exterior doors/entrances locked to prevent an unauthorized person or persons from entering. If a building is placed in lockdown, exiting the building is discouraged, however, no physical prevention strategies are utilized. The building will remain in lockdown until authorities have determined the threat no longer exists. 

Lockdown Guidance

  • Prepare
    • Think about suitable lockdown rooms in a facility prior to an incident. 
  • Act 
    • Choose a room with a sturdy door and a strong lock. 
    • Do not attempt to leave the building or room until safe to do so. 
    • If possible, avoid locking down in rooms with glass windows or panes as they are easily penetrable.
    • Be cognizant of which way the doors open.
    • In addition to locking, fortify entranceways with heavy items such as furniture.
    • Stay low and hide behind large items that may provide full or partial cover.
    • Position yourself so you can react quickly to escape and/or fight. 
    • Avoid detection:
      • Be out of view of the hazard (stay away from glass windows or doors) 
      • Turn cell phones on silent (not vibrate, a vibrating phone is still audible) 
      • Turn off room lights 
      • Turn off other items that may cause noise such as TVs, radios, or web browsers. 
    • If communication is needed, consider using text messages. Emergency information can be shared with the Department of Public Safety by texting or emailing emergency@isu.edu. This is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • Recover 
    • Return to normal operations when instructed to do so.
    • An "All Clear" announcement will be provided via the ISU Emergency Alert System. 

Hazard Specific Procedures

PUBLIC SAFETY              pubsafe@isu.edu              (208) 282-2515              625 E Humbolt St Pocatello, ID, 83209              @isupublicsafety     @isupublicsafety     @ISUPublicSafety     @isupublicsafety71