Campus Emergencies

Browse through the emergency situations listed below to review Mason’s suggested response procedures, and to access relevant emergency preparedness guides per topic. Questions? Contact safety@gmu.edu.

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Bomb Threat

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)


Bomb Threat

If a bomb threat is received by phone:

  • Remain Calm. Contact or ask someone to contact University Police, 703-993-2810.
  • Record the time and phone number if you have a caller ID.
  • Record details of the call or keep the note/email.
  • Take no further action until advised to do so by the University Police. Responding officers will assess the threat and advise the building occupants if it is necessary to evacuate the building and/or area.

Bomb Threat

Communicable Disease

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Communicable Disease

Limit the spread of communicable disease before it has the potential to cause serious illness/disease by taking the following steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle; exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get sufficient sleep.
  • Avoid public places, work, or school when sick to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.
  • Maintain appropriate immunizations and vaccinations based upon the region in which you live and work, and your exposure risk.

Communicable Disease

Earthquake

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Earthquake

Follow the below recommendations for how to respond to an earthquake:

If you are indoors: Remain indoors and seek protection until the earthquake subsides. Stay calm and take precautions to protect yourself from potential debris by:

  • Drop to the floor and get under or adjacent to a sturdy table, desk, or permanent fixture.
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Hold On to the table or desk you are under as objects may shift during the earthquake.
  • If you are not near a sturdy table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Stay away from windows, overhead fixtures, objects on walls, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets filled with objects that may be displaced and fall during an earthquake.
  • If you are in an elevator you are afforded a reasonable amount of protection and should remain in place. Entrapment may occur; notify emergency response personnel by using the elevator phone, help button, or cell phone.
  • If you are in bed, remain in bed and cover your head with a pillow.

If You Are Outdoors: Move away from buildings, overhangs, trees, and power lines to a clear area such as a large open public area or field. If you’re driving, pull over and stop in an area that does not have any overhead hazards.

If getting safely to the floor to take cover won't be possible: Identify an inside corner of the room away from windows and objects that could fall on you. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

Earthquake Guide

Evacuation

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)


Evacuation

If you discover smoke or a fire, do the following:

  • Activate the fire alarm using a manual pull station located near the exit doors.
  • Notify others and evacuate the building.
  • Do not use elevators during a fire or evacuation
  • Assemble at a designated assembly area and await further instruction from emergency response personnel.

Emergency Evacuation Guide

Hazardous Materials Release

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Hazardous Materials Release

In the event of a release of hazardous materials, take the following steps:

  • Report all hazardous waste materials spills and releases to University Police.
  • Evacuate the area or building if safety permits.
  • Assemble at the designated assembly area and remain upwind of the chemical spill.
  • Notify emergency response personnel if you are exposed to a chemical.

Oil and Chemical Spill Response

Medical Emergency

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency on campus, follow the below instructions:

  • Contact University Police, provide information about the injury and the location of the victim(s).
  • Provide first aid or medical assistance if trained and necessary.
  • Remain with the victim until emergency response personnel arrive.
  • If a victim is unconscious and not breathing, start CPR (if trained), locate an AED, turn it on, and follow the instructions provided by the unit.

Medical Emergency

Power Outage and Utility Failure

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Power Outage and Utility Failure

In the event of a power outage:

  • Contact Facilities Management at 703-993-2525 to report a power outage.
  • Remain calm, turn off sensitive equipment. Exit the area, and provide assistance to others if necessary.
  • Buildings without power, water, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning should not be occupied until utilities are restored.

Power Outage and Utility Failure

Regional Emergency

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Regional Emergency

In the event of a regional emergency:

  • Check local news media for updates regarding evacuation, evacuation routes, and emergency shelters.
  • Monitor www.gmu.edu for closing or operational modifications.
  • Make an emergency plan and keep an emergency supply kit at home, at work, and in your car.
  • Visit ReadyVirginia.gov for an emergency plan template and tips on building an emergency supply kit.

Regional Emergency

Shelter-in-Place

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Shelter-in-Place

During severe weather, a hazardous materials spill, or an on-campus violence emergency, do the following:

  • Warn others in the area to move to a shelter.
  • Move to an interior room without windows, close the door, and lock the door if appropriate.
  • Do not exit the area until the emergency has passed or you are instructed to do so by emergency response personnel.

Tornado & Severe Weather, Workplace & On Campus Violence, Oil and Chemical Spill Response

Suspicious Package

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Suspicious Package

If you come across a suspicious package:

  • Do not handle a suspicious package.
  • Contact University Police and provide as much information as possible about the situation.
  • Notify your supervisor or professor.
  • Leave the area or await further instruction from University Police.

Suspicious Package

Tornadoes and Severe Weather

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Tornadoes & Severe Weather

Follow the below recommendations for how to respond to severe weather:

  • Monitor television, radio, or weather radio for information about approaching storms.
  • If severe weather is expected to impact your area, seek shelter in a hardened structure and follow shelter-in-place procedures (above).
  • Stay away from large objects that may fall during a storm, e.g., book cases and shelves.
  • If you are unable to find shelter, lie down flat and cover your head with your hands.

Tornado & Severe Weather

Workplace and On Campus Violence

Type of Emergency

Suggested Response

Corresponding Guide(s)

Workplace & On Campus Violence

In the event of violence on campus:

  • RUN: away from danger to a secure location.
  • HIDE: in a secure location if danger is near.
  • FIGHT: by whatever means necessary to defend yourself and others as a last resort
  • .

Workplace and On Campus Violence Response (web page), Workplace and On Campus Violence Guide

Emergency Resources

Resource

Description

How to Access

More Details

Mason Alert

Mason Alert is the university’s official emergency notification system. Mason Alert is used to issue emergency notifications and other important announcements that may affect your safety.

Visit alert.gmu.edu

Register your cell phone to receive text messages from Mason Alert.

Emergency Preparedness App

Rave Guardian is a campus safety mobile application that enhances preparedness and safety on-campus using interactive features and allowing students to create a virtual network of friends, family and campus safety personnel. The application also includes anonymous, two-way crime reporting through text and picture messaging.

Download for free from the iTunes store or the Google Play store.

The application also includes anonymous, two-way crime reporting through text and picture messaging. The application is available to all students with a university email address for free through the iTunes store and Google Play store. For more information, click here.

Emergency Preparedness Flipbooks

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) provides Emergency Procedures Guide flipbooks for, students, faculty, and staff. This pocket sized resource contains information on how to prepare for and respond to various emergencies that may occur on campus.

Faculty & Staff: To request a flipbook for yourself or others, Please contact safety@gmu.edu.

Students: Flipbooks are available for pick up from University Information kiosks at Student Centers and information desks on the Fairfax and regional campuses.

Emergency Procedures Posters

Emergency Procedures posters have been updated to reflect current best practices and additional information. The poster is available in two sizes; 8.5 x 13 or 15.5 x 24 inches.

If would like to obtain posters for your work area please send a request to safety@gmu.edu with the number and size of posters desired.

Download a digital PDF of the poster by clicking on the image to the left, or by clicking here.

Emergency Guides

EHS has developed Emergency Preparedness Guides that provide information on how to prepare and respond to emergencies that may occur on campus to include: building evacuation, severe weather, shelter-in-place procedures, and on-campus violence.

Click the image to the left or click here to access and/or download Mason's Emergency Guides.

If you have any questions or feedback about our guides, please contact EHS at safety@gmu.edu.

Virginia Emergency Response Team (VERT)

VERT is supported by the Adjunct Emergency Workforce (AEW), which is comprised of non-designated Commonwealth employees. As a member of AEW, you may be assigned to an emergency state shelter during a regional mass evacuation of Virginia citizens, performing a wide array of duties.

For a participation request form and to learn more, please complete the VERT Participation Request Form

For Commonwealth of Virginia employees only. Approval from your supervisor is required prior to attending mandatory training.

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