Families and Visitors

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) at George Mason University manages a number of ongoing programs and services in support of Mason’s commitment to both individual and community preparedness. This page contains information on some of those programs and services, and has links to resources that you can use to stay in-the-know about emergency situations on campus or in the region.

Be Informed



Mason Alert

Visitors: Stay informed while you, your family, or friends are visiting campus for an event, camp, or program at George Mason University. Text “masonalert” to “226787” to receive text messages about emergencies on campus and changes to campus operations. You will receive emergency text message notifications until you text STOP to 226787. Visitors may also register to receive Mason Alert email and text message emergency notifications by creating a Mason Alert Guest Account at alert.gmu.edu. Please be advised that you must delete your guest account when you conclude your visit to Mason.



Campus Advisories

On occasion, George Mason University becomes aware of situations that occur on campus that do not warrant emergency notification but must be relayed to students. Any situation or condition that is dangerous, potentially harmful, or unresolved will be communicated by Mason Alert. However, when an incident that no longer poses a threat to the university community occurs, the university may distribute email messages regarding the incident and community support services to students, faculty, and staff. A record of these messages maintained by EHS and posted after the event here.



Visiting Campus

If you are planning a visit to campus please take a moment to become familiar with emergency preparedness information and resources available across university campuses. If you need directions or maps of campus, they are available online here.

Be Prepared

Emergency Signage

In addition to lighted EXIT signs in every building at Mason, additional signage is posted that we recommend you become familiar with to be prepared for emergencies.

Emergency Procedures Posters: Large green and gold Emergency Procedures Posters (PDF) provide quick and easy to follow instructions on how to respond to emergency situations. Posters are available in two sizes; 8.5 x 13 or 15.5 x 24 inches. If you would like to obtain generic or a Customized Emergency Procedures Poster for your work area, please send a request to safety@gmu.edu. You may also request that posters be installed in your classroom(s).

Evacuation Plans: These plans indicate primary and alternate exit routes, the location of fire extinguishers, location of AED, and provide the physical address of each building on campus.


Severe Weather Shelter Areas: These placards indicate publicly accessible shelter locations where you may seek shelter during severe weather emergencies. Severe Weather Shelter Area signs are posted outside certain stairwells, interior hallways, and rooms. For more information, please refer to the Tornado and Severe Weather Guide (PDF).

Emergency Equipment

Fire Extinguishers: All buildings at Mason are equipped with fire extinguishers and fire alarm activation “pull” stations.

Automatic External Defibrillator (AED): All large public venues and performance areas (such as the EagleBank Arena, Hylton Performing Arts Center, and the Johnson Center) have Automated External Defibrillators (AED). Click here to look up building addresses. A list of buildings with AED and the location of AED is available here.

Families

Student Emergency Preparedness Kits

The next time you send your student a care package, consider sending them a personal preparedness kit.   FEMA and local emergency management agencies recommend that all citizens be prepared to support themselves for up to 72-hours in a crisis.  Although the university has significant resources at its disposal to respond and emergencies that might occur on campus, everyone is encouraged to maintain essentials such as medication, food/snacks, water, flashlight, personal hygiene products, and warm clothing. For more information on how to assemble an emergency preparedness kit for your student or home, please visit http://www.vaemergency.gov/ .

Communications and Reunification Plan

History has shown that communications systems are often one of the first systems to fail in a crisis due to capacity issues, infrastructure failures, or power outages.   During an emergency it is best to use text messaging to reach those you are concerned about.  Text messages tend to work even when phone lines are congested or at capacity. Alternative communications plans are a critical part of emergency planning. Decide in advance how you and your student will contact each other if normal lines of communications are unavailable and identify one or two locations off campus where you can meet in the event that communications services are unavailable for an extended period of time.  If an emergency occurs on campus, University Police and university administrators will be working as hard as possible to protect the university community and provide information as it becomes available.

Student Privacy

Our student’s families are vital to the university community. In accordance with federal laws, we have an obligation to protect the privacy of students in addition to all members of the university community and we encourage you to be in conversation with your student about safety and preparedness.  In most cases the institution cannot disclose any information about our students unless emergency conditions warrant contacting a students designated emergency contact (whom they choose) or guardian in the absence of a designated contact.  For more information on the rules governing the release of student information please visit the university’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) website.

Emergency Response Information



Emergency Services

George Mason maintains its own full-time, sworn Police force. The Department of Police and Public Safety works closely with regional law enforcement, fire and rescue departments to protect our community and respond to emergencies on campus. To learn more about The Department of Police and Public Safety, visit police.gmu.edu.



University Emergency Response

George Mason maintains a comprehensive Emergency Management program. In an emergency, university officials convene and utilize emergency plans to coordinate response activities and provide support to first responders and those impacted by the emergency. University plans are designed to protect students, employees, and visitors. Click here for more information on Mason’s emergency management program.




Public Safety

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is a combined report that includes, but is not limited to; campus safety and security policies, statistics for Clery Act crimes on university property, adjacent property, and non-university property owned or controlled by the university for the previous three years; and fire statistics for on-campus student housing facilities for the previous three years. Title IX of the Education Amendments of the 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender under any education program or activity receiving federal funding. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are forms of sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX. More information related specifically to Title IX compliance, bystander intervention, etc. can be found on the Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics website here.

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To receive Mason Alerts on your mobile device, please register at alert.gmu.edu.