Emergencies on Campus

Learn how you can prepare for most emergencies on campus in 60-seconds

Where to go in a building evacuation
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Where to shelter in severe weather
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Medical Emergency
What to do in a medical emergency
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Active Shooter Video
What to do during an active threat
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Preparing for Emergencies

In larger emergencies that may impact the entire campus and/or community, first responders may not be able to reach you immediately. As a result, there are several simple steps that you can take to be prepared to handle emergencies on your own. In order to be prepared, you should:

  • Know what emergencies can impact you and have a plan for each.
  • Always locate two exits in any building that you frequent.
  • At a minimum, have an emergency kit in your car and/or residence with a flashlight, whistle, small first aid kit and other items to sustain you for three days.
  • Think about how you will communicate with family and friends during an emergency when cell phone systems may be overwhelmed – try texting and/or establishing an out of town emergency phone contact person who family and friends can call to check in and relay messages.
  • It may be difficult to remember all the phone numbers that you have entered into your cell phone. Keep a printed list of phone numbers for family, friends and other contacts in case your cell phone is inoperable, the battery is dead or in the event you lose your phone.
  • Program emergency contact numbers in your cell phone under your emergency information.
  • If you have small children, talk with your schools and day care providers about their emergency procedures.
  • Consider taking a CPR/First Aid Class and/or participate in the UGA CERT program.

Emergency Preparedness in 10 Minutes

The UGA Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) certainly recognizes this fact and developed a brief online interactive learning module with a campus community sense of preparedness in mind. The module’s intent is to assist in preparing students, faculty, staff, parents, and visitors to be ready for a variety of emergencies that could occur on campus.

Active Shooter – Active Threat

Notify the UGA Police at 911 immediately.

  • Take the necessary precautions and actions to protect your well-being.
  • DO NOT pull the fire alarm to alert others of an active shooter or active threat.
  • Flee the area if you are able to do so safely and avoid danger. Leave your belongings and keep your hands visible as you exit the area.
  • If flight is impossible, lock (or barricade) all doors and secure yourself in a safe area. Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s (active threat’s) view.
  • Remain in place until an “all clear” is given by law enforcement.
  • Take action as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger. Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter or active threat by either throwing items or with physical aggression.
A male student in the library talking how what to do in an active shooter situation

What to do during an active shooter

Automated External Defibrillator- AEDs

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the heart of someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. This shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. AEDs (map of AED locations) can be found throughout the Athens Campus. UGA AED Program / additional information.

Below are a series of videos on how to perform hands-only CPR and how to use one of the two most common AEDs found on the UGA campus.

American Heart Association – Hands-Only CPR

American Heart Association – Hands-Only CPR + AED

How to use a Defibtech Lifeline AED

How to use a Zoll AED

Bomb Threat

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.

  • When will the bomb explode?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What does it look like?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Who placed the bomb?
  • Why did they place the bomb?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your name?
  • Notify the UGA Police at 911 immediately to give the information you have obtained. Describe the caller’s voice, any background noises you heard, and the exact wording of the message.
  • Notify your supervisor, a building representative and/or the Dean’s Office at the building where you are located.
  • Do not touch suspicious packages. Be sure to inform the UGA Police of any suspicious packages, items or people in the area.
  • Follow instructions from the Building Safety and Security Representative and the first responders in regards to evacuation assembly areas.

Bomb Threat Call Procedures for Athens Campus

Bomb Threat Call Procedures for Gwinnett Campus

Bomb Threat Call Procedures for Griffin Campus

Chemical Spill
  • Notify the UGA Police at  911 immediately.
  • Do not attempt to clean up the spill.
  • Remove yourself and others from the area.
  • Cordon off the area and do not let others enter the area.
  • If anyone had contact with the hazardous material, they should be isolated and await treatment by emergency personnel.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm unless there is a fire.
  • Provide first responders with information about the spill, chemical and the spill area.
  • Evacuate the building if first responders issue the evacuation order.
  • Re-enter the building only when an “all clear” is provided by first responders.
Civil Disturbance / Demonstration
  • Notify the UGA Police at 911 immediately.
  • Notify your supervisor, professor, building representative or Dean, as appropriate.
  • Remain calm and wait for instructions from the UGA Police.
  • Do not attempt to negotiate with the crowd unless directed by the UGA Police.
  • Do not attempt to conduct crowd control measures or to intervene unless instructed to by the UGA Police.
  • Evacuate the building or other areas as directed by the UGA Police.
  • Take cover immediately under a desk, chair or table for shelter.
  • Seek shelter between seating rows in a lecture hall or against a corridor wall if in a hallway.
  • Do not run outside during the shaking or use the stairways or elevators.
  • If outside, move to an open area, away from buildings.
  • Report injuries and/or building damage to the UGA Police at 911.
  • Be alert for aftershocks, do not use elevators and evacuate carefully.
  • Await instructions from first responders and do not re-enter buildings until they are deemed safe for reentry.
Emergency Contacts

UGA PoliceThe UGA Police Department is the primary contact for all campus emergencies. Calls will be routed to the appropriate campus and local first responders from UGA Police Communications.

  • Emergency (UGA Police)  911
  • UGA Police – Emergency – Hearing Impaired (706) 542-1188
  • UGA Police – Non-Emergency (706) 542-2200
  • UGA Dean of Students / BARC (706) 542-7774
  • UGA Environmental Safety Division (706) 542-5801
  • UGA Facilities Management Work Order Desk (706) 542-7456
  • UGA Facilities Management Work Orders (after hours / holidays) (706) 542-2200
  • UGA Office of Emergency Preparedness (706) 542-5845
  • UGA Fire Safety Office (non-emergency) (706) 255-9170
  • UGA Biosafety Office (706) 542-2697
  • UGA Radiation Safety Office (706) 542-5801
  • Athens-Clarke County 911 (Non-emergency) (706) 546-5900
  • University Health Center (706) 542-1162
  • St. Mary’s Hospital (706) 389-3000
  • Athens Regional Medical Center (706) 475-7000
Emergency Notification

The following methods may be used to notify the campus community of various emergency events that may impact students, staff, faculty and visitors on the UGA campus.

  • UGAAlert – UGA’s emergency mass notification system (www.ugaalert.uga.edu) – Program (706) 542-0111 into your cell phone as “UGAAlert” to recognize calls from UGAAlert.
  • UGAAlert Desktop (https://eits.uga.edu/hardware_and_software/software/) scrolls across computers connected to the UGA network whenever the UGAAlert system is activated.
  • UGA Emergency Page – (www.emergency.uga.edu) UGA’s official website for weather closings and emergency event information updates.
  • Campus Outdoor Warning Sirens – Four campus sirens activated by Athens-Clarke County during tornado warnings for the county.
  • UGA Cablevision Emergency Screen Capture – Emergency messages will be displayed on the tv screens on all University controlled tv stations.
  • UGA Arch News – ([email protected]) Email notification method for crime updates and inclement weather closings
  • Twitter – @UGAOEP, @UGAAlert, @universityofga
  • Facebook – www.facebook.com/UGAOEP

During emergency situations, telephone lines will be congested, often impeding critical use by victims and emergency responders. Therefore, when emergency alerts are issued, you are encouraged to refrain from using your office or cell phone except to call for emergency assistance. For large-scale emergencies, updates will be posted on the UGA emergency website. Whenever possible, use email to communicate with relatives to alleviate concerns about your safety.

Emergency Procedures – Disabilities

UGA OEP encourages proactive planning by the entire University community for emergency situations. It is recommended that any person with a disability who needs assistance alerting, evacuation and sheltering in the event of emergency self-identify and compete an emergency assistance referral form (EARF). This will assist OEP and other appropriate UGA departments with the development of a personal emergency plan for the individual with a disability when requested. Individuals who do not wish to have a personal emergency plan may also simply meet with a member of the Office of Emergency Preparedness to discussion options and best practices in responding to an emergency situation.

Evacuating People with Disabilities

  • Visually Impaired Persons – Announce the type of emergency, offer your arm for guidance, tell the person where you are going, and ask if further help is needed once you reach safety.
  • People with Hearing Limitations – Turn lights on/off to gain the person’s attention, or indicate directions with gestures or write a note with evacuation directions, and assist to safety as needed.
  • People Using Crutches, Canes or Walkers – Evacuate these individuals as injured persons, assist and accompany to the evacuation site if possible, or use a sturdy chair (or one with wheels) to move the person, or help carry the individual to safety.
  • Wheelchair Users – Check with the individual on their preference, determine if an evacuation chair is available, remove any immediate dangers, immediately advise arriving first responders of special evacuation cases. Map of Evacuation Chairs on the UGA Main Campus.

Emergency Assistance Referral Forms for Students, Faculty, Staff and Visitors are available to help identify and support those with a disability who may need assistance during an emergency.

  • Evacuate the building immediately (When the fire alarm is activated, evacuation is mandatory).
  • Notify the UGA Police at  911 immediately.
  • Notify others as you leave.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Always use the stairs to exit upper floors and if smoke is present, stay low.
  • Take your personal belongings (purse, wallet, keys, etc.) as long as these items do not hinder your ability to exit the building quickly.
  • Follow directions given by your building’s emergency coordinator, fire department, or the police.
  • Assist individuals who may need assistance to move to a safe area.
  • Meet with students and staff at an established outside evacuation location.
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by emergency personnel.
A female student in the library talking about how to evacuate a building

Where to go in a building evacuation

Medical Emergency
  • Notify the UGA Police at  911 immediately.
  • Provide the emergency dispatcher with your name, location, number of people injured, and a description of the medical emergency.
  • Stay on the phone for instructions of how you can assist.
  • Send a responsible person to meet first responders outside of the building on the street to lead the emergency responders back to the injured individual(s).
  • Do not move the person unless there is an immediate threat to the injured person in that location.
  • Be sure to wear personal protective equipment and avoid body fluids.
  • Report the medical injury to your supervisor once the victim receives professional medical attention.
  • UGA has several Automated External Defibrillators(AEDs) throughout campus.
A female student in the library talking about what to do in a medical emergency

What to do in a medical emergency

Severe Weather
  • A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when tornadoes are possible in the area.
  • A tornado warning is issued when a  tornado has been sighted, or indicated by weather radar, in the area.
  • Monitor local TV stations, radio stations, NOAA weather radio, weather-related Websites, etc., for severe weather updates.
  • Be prepared to take shelter on the lowest level of your building or residence hall if a tornado warning is issued.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm to alert others of a tornado warning.
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors.
  • Move to an interior hallway for shelter.
  • Wait for an all-clear notification prior to returning to your work area, classroom, or living area.
  • If outdoors, lie in a ditch, low-lying area, or crouch near a building if a shelter is not available or if there is no time to get indoors.


A male student sitting in the library talking about what to do in severe weather on campus

What to do in Severe Weather

Student Crisis Response

If you are in contact with a student who appears to be an immediate threat to his or her own safety or that of others, please call 911.
Crisis situations include:

  • Stated intention to commit suicide or inflict serious harm to self
  • Stated intention or obvious behavior indicating an imminent threat to harm others

Non-emergency situations in which the student does not pose an immediate threat to self or others, but exhibits behavior revealing a  potential for harm may be referred to:

  • Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at (706) 542-2273
  • Office of the Dean of Students at (706) 542-7774
  • University Police at 911 immediately

The Behavioral Assessment & Response Council (BARC) is a group of key administrators who assess and determine the appropriate response to students who exhibit threatening behavior to self and/or others. BARC is empowered to take necessary steps to remove from campus any student who may present a direct threat of harm to themselves, to other students, and/or to other members of the campus community.

Suspicious Package
  • Do not open the suspicious item. If you have opened it, remain calm.
  • Notify the UGA Police at 911 immediately.
  • Do not move the letter or package or examine it further.
  • Keep others out of the area. Close off the area if possible.
  • If possible, limit the use of two-way radios and cell phones near the suspicious item.
  • If the package is leaking a substance or powder and you came in contact with the substance, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth or any part of your face. Do not touch others or let others touch you.
  • Wash your hands and arms from the elbow down with soap and hot water.
  • Do not attempt to clean or cover anything that might have spilled from a package.
  • Follow all instructions given by the UGA Police.
Utility Failure
  • Immediately report utility failures during regular work hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) to the Facilities Management Work Order Desk at (706) 542-7456.
  • Immediately report utility failures after regular work hours, on weekends, and on holidays to the UGA Police at (706) 542-2200.

Gas Leaks:

  • Evacuate the area immediately.
  • Do not attempt to shut off or manipulate valves.
  • Activate building emergency notification procedures to ensure everyone in the building is notified.
  • Call the UGA Police at (706) 542-2200 and the Facilities Management Work Order Desk at (706) 542-7456 to report the problem.
  • Do not switch on lights or any other electrical equipment. Do not smoke in the area.
  • If leak is outside, do not remove any vehicles from the immediate area until cleared by the UGA Police or fire department.
  • Account for all building personnel once outside and wait for further instructions from UGA Police and fire department.

Power Outage:

  • Report the outage to the Facilities Management Work Order Desk at (706) 542-7456 and the UGA Police at (706) 542-2200.
  • Help co-workers in darkened areas move to safer locations.
  • Secure current experimental work and keep refrigerators and freezers closed.
  • Unplug personal computers, appliances and non-essential electrical equipment.
  • Open windows for additional light and ventilation.
  • Check all building elevators for stranded personnel / students. Advise UGA Police of locations of any disabled elevators with occupants.
  • Follow the instructions given by the UGA Police, Facilities Management personnel and the fire department.
Winter Storm

After the Emergency

Workplace Injury / Illness

  • Make sure the injured person has received appropriate medical care
  • Call UGA Police and EMS for any injuries that require immediate medical attention
  • Notify the injured person’s immediate supervisor to file appropriate reports

Building Damages

  • Call UGA Facilities Management Division at (706) 542-7456
  • Notify the UGA Police after normal business hours and on weekends
  • Take the necessary steps to protect property from further damage
  • Report all claims upon discovery of the incident to the Insurance and Claims Management Office within 48 hours. ([email protected] or (706) 425-3083)

Emergency Preparedness is Everyone’s Responsibility