Building evacuation

Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place

In some emergency situations, such as flooding or release of hazardous materials, emergency responders may order protective actions for persons who live or work on campus. Typically, these protective actions are to evacuate to a safer area or to shelter-in-place. It is possible that some emergency scenarios could result in one of these protective actions being ordered for one part of campus and the other protective action for a different area of campus. When such actions are warranted, you will be appropriately advised by police, fire, safety or university officials via radio and television stations and the Emergency Alert System (EAS), public address systems, loudspeakers, door-to-door notifications, or other appropriate means.

Area Evacuation

An evacuation is an organized withdrawal from a building or area to reach safe haven. Upon notification to evacuate, quickly:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather
  • Take only essentials with you (e.g., eyeglasses, medications, identification and cash/checkbook/credit cards) - do not pack belongings;
  • Turn off unnecessary equipment, computers and appliances;
  • Close the door as you exit your room or office;
  • Follow the directions provided for safe routes of evacuation;
  • Listen to radio, if available, to monitor emergency status;
  • Do not use your personal vehicle for evacuation unless specifically instructed to do so. If cars are used to evacuate, protect against hazardous materials by keeping windows closed and outside air conditioning systems turned off;

If you need special assistance, contact your Resident Advisor, Building Proctor, or other appropriate emergency contact. If these persons are not available, call University Police Dispatch at (979) 845-2345 for assistance.


Campus-wide Evacuation

  • Evacuation orders to be disseminated via Code Maroon
  • Do not activate the building fire alarm system to achieve evacuation
  • Remain calm but act quickly
  • Promptly secure equipment, research, etc. in safe shutdown condition before leaving
  • Spread the word of the evacuation order to others as you exit the building
  • Remember to take personal belongings with you (backpacks, briefcases, purses, car keys, personal computing devices, etc.)
  • Pedestrians should exit campus by the shortest route, walking north towards Church Street or south towards Anderson park - use crosswalks, obey police direction - do not impede traffic flow
  • Exit campus as directed in the Code Maroon message
    • You may use your vehicle to leave campus unless directed otherwise in the Code Maroon message
    • If possible, Transportation Services will continue to operate off-campus routes, outbound only.  Bus pickup locations may be altered, changes will be announced and posted at 
    • Transportation Services Paratransit can be reached by calling (979) 845-1971
  • Transportation Services staff may direct traffic at some on-campus intersections
  • Police will assist with traffic control off campus
  • Do not call 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone) unless there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency
  • Go to for regular updates on the emergency situation and information on returning to campus



When emergency conditions do not warrant or allow evacuation, the safest method to protect individuals may be to take shelter inside a campus building and await further instructions.

  • Move indoors or remain there – avoid windows and areas with glass.
  • If available, take a radio or television to the room to track emergency status.
  • Keep telephone lines free for emergency responders, do not call 911 for information.

If hazardous materials are involved:

  • Turn off all ventilation systems and close all inlets from the outside.
  • Select a room(s) which is easy to seal and, if possible, has a water supply and access to restrooms.
  • If you smell gas or vapor, hold a wet cloth loosely over your nose and mouth and breathe through it in as normal a fashion as possible.

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