Classroom Preparedness Checklist

As an instructor, you are the authority figure in the classroom and your actions will influence how students respond during an emergency. Please review the suggestions listed below that are intended to help you and your students prepare and respond to a classroom emergency. Remember, the emergency phone number for all emergencies is 911.

  1. Discuss classroom safety at the beginning of the semester. A template for what to say is listed below. To find out the appropriate evacuation and shelter locations, contact the Building Safety and Security Representative for the building or the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) ([email protected]).
    • Example
      There are a few important things for us to discuss in case an emergency occurs during class.

      • Most emergencies require quick action, but the response is usually easy. It is important to stay calm so you think clearly.
      • For any emergency call 911. Give them your location and then tell them what happened.
      • If the fire alarm goes off or if there is a fire emergency, we will exit the building quickly and safely. After exiting the building, we will meet at ________________ to make sure everyone was able to evacuate.
      • If there is a tornado warning, we will move to the shelter location at/in/on ___________________.
      • If there is a medical emergency, at least one student should flag down the ambulance outside and guide the emergency responders to our location.
      • An active shooter incident is an extremely rare event. However, if there is a report of a person with a gun or if we hear shooting we will quickly need to decide if we are able to leave the building or if we need to barricade the door.
  2. Request a classroom poster and a podium card from OEP ([email protected]) that explains what to do in most emergency situations.  See a sample of the poster.
  3. Familiarize yourself with UGA’s online learning management system. This can be useful if class is disrupted by a disease outbreak or if the class is not able to meet due to some other emergency. This system can be accessed at Let students know that course and assignment information can be found here if needed during an emergency.
  4. Ask if there is any person who might need assistance during an emergency and discuss the needs of the student privately.  If you need assistance in planning for a student with a disability or a mobility issue, contact OEP.
  5. Include a brief statement in the class syllabus about what to do in case of an emergency. Here is a sample statement that may be used:
    • If the fire alarm sounds, we will exit the building and reassemble at ___________ to make sure everyone exited the building. If there is a tornado warning, we will move to the shelter location at ___________ and account for everyone. If you have concerns about other emergencies or if you have special circumstances that I need to know about in case of an emergency, please speak to me after class.If you have questions about evacuation locations or shelter locations, contact OEP.
  6. Refer students experiencing hardships, distress, or other extraordinary circumstances to the Student Care & Outreach at 706-542-7774. You can find more information at
  7. Students who exhibit threatening or suicidal behavior should be referred to the Behavioral Assessment & Response Council (BARC). In emergency situations, call 911. In non-emergency situations contact Counseling and Psychiatric Services (706-542-2273), the Office of the Dean of Students (706-542-7774), or the UGA Police (706-542-2200). You can find more information at
  8. Make sure your information in UGAAlert is current at You may wish to request installation of the UGAAlert desktop application on the classroom computer from your IT professional. This program will scroll a message from UGAAlert across the bottom of the computer screen. More information on the UGAAlert Desktop program.
  9. Understand Active Shooter Response Options(1.) Run and flee the area if it is safe to do so (2.) Hide and barricade yourself in a room (3.) Fight back as a last resort and when there are no other options. To better understand response options watch this 60-second video.

Contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at [email protected] or 706-542-5845 if you have questions or if you need assistance with this checklist.

Download Classroom Preparedness Checklist

Emergency Preparedness is Everyone’s Responsibility