Management of Specific Emergency Situations Appendix A

This Appendix describes the courses of action that are unique to specific emergency situations. The purpose of this Appendix is to provide guidance for any individual who is faced with a specific emergency situation, including whom to notify, how to respond, and other situation-specific information.

Each specific emergency situation contains three different components: Initial Response, General Instructions, and Special Considerations. The information contained under the heading "Initial Response" is designed to serve as a guide for individuals who discover or identify a specific emergency situation. The information set forth under the heading "General Instructions" is designed to provide guidance to all students, faculty, staff, and others in responding to a specific emergency situation. The information under the "Special Considerations" heading includes other information that may be helpful in handling or responding to a specific emergency situation.

The list of specific emergency situations contained in this Appendix is not exhaustive. If you are faced with an emergency situation that is not specifically identified in this Appendix, you should contact the Office of Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus, or dial 911. In any situation, if you call either 911 or Public Safety, the other will be notified automatically. Given the communication between Public Safety and the 911 emergency responders, if you are responding to an emergency and are unsure as to which number to call, rest assured that either call you make will prompt an emergency response.

Some of the specific emergency situations contained in this Appendix could involve a bias, hate, or discrimination component. In such instances, the emergency situation itself will be handled under this Plan. After the emergency situation has been addressed, any bias, hate, or discrimination component will be addressed separately under W&L's University Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Other Than Sex, Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Policy, and/or other applicable University policies and procedures.

1. Bomb Threat

Initial Response

  • If you receive a bomb threat telephone call, remain calm and obtain as much information as possible. (See Bomb Threat Checklist below for detailed instructions.)
  • If possible, have someone else contact Public Safety during the call at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus. If no one else has contacted Public Safety, notify Public Safety immediately after the caller has ended the call.
  • If the threat was left on your voice mail, do not erase it.
  • If you receive a written bomb threat, ensure that the document is handled as little as possible and pass it on to Public Safety. If the written bomb threat is received by electronic means, save it to your computer.
  • Notify the immediate supervisor within your work area.
  • Public Safety will assess and investigate the situation, as appropriate, and determine whether to notify law enforcement or other external agencies. Public Safety may involve other University personnel as necessary or appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Pursue evacuation if instructed. (See Appendix B)

General Instructions

  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Pursue evacuation if instructed. (See Appendix B)

Special Considerations

  • A bomb threat may result in an explosion or a fire. If this occurs, see the Explosion section or the Fire section of this Appendix, as appropriate.
  • If a bomb threat results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of a bomb threat, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

Bomb Threat Checklist

Remain calm. Gather as much information as possible regarding the bomb and the caller. If possible, have someone else contact Public Safety during the call at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off campus. If no one else has contacted Public Safety, notify Public Safety immediately after the caller has ended the call.

Time:
Call Received:
Call Ended:
Caller's Exact First Words (ask caller to repeat if necessary):

Questions to ask

  1. When is the bomb going to explode?
  2. Where is the bomb located?
    1. What building?
    2. What floor?
    3. What room or area?
  3. What kind of bomb is it?
  4. What does it look like?
  5. What will cause it to explode?
  6. Why has the bomb been planted?
  7. Did you place the bomb?
  8. Where are you calling from?

Caller's Voice

  • Male
  • Female
  • Young
  • Old
  • Deep
  • High
  • Calm
  • Nervous
  • Rough
  • Refined
  • Angry
  • Excited
  • Rapid
  • Slow
  • Slurred
  • Upset
  • Loud
  • Quiet

Any Accent?
Familiar Voice?
Whose?
Any background noises?

Other information:
Your Name:
Telephone Number Called:

2. Civil Disturbance

A civil disturbance, for purposes of this Plan, is a disruptive event caused by a group of people, including, but not limited to, riots, protests, sit-ins, demonstrations, and illegal parades. A civil disturbance might include actual or potential violence or other crimes, either immediately or as the disturbance escalates.

Initial Response

  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • In the event of an injury, call 911.
  • Public Safety or other University personnel will assess and investigate the situation, as appropriate, and negotiate or take other appropriate actions to attempt to resolve the disturbance.
  • Public Safety or the Incident Commander will contact local law enforcement or other government agencies for assistance as necessary or appropriate.

General Instructions

  • Try to remain calm yourself and to maintain calm and avoid or reduce panic among those present. Avoid responses or measures that might exacerbate or escalate potential violence or chaos.
  • Stay away from doors and windows, secure work areas, and shut down computers, as appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Evacuate or shelter in place if instructed. (See Appendices B and C)

Special Considerations

  • If a disturbance escalates into a violent incident, see the Violent Incidents section of this Appendix.
  • Demonstrations by members of the W&L community generally should not be interrupted or disbanded unless one or more of the following conditions exists as a result of the demonstration:
    • Disruption of the normal operations of the University.
    • Obstruction of access to offices, buildings, or other facilities.
    • Threat of physical harm to persons or damage to facilities.
    • Willful demonstrations within the interior of any building or structure, except as specifically authorized, and subject to reasonable conditions imposed to protect the rights and safety of other persons and to prevent damage to property.
    • Unauthorized entry into or occupation of any room, building, or area of the campus, including such entry or occupation at any unauthorized time, or any unauthorized or improper use of any property, equipment, or facilities.

3. Death of a Student, Faculty or Staff Member

Initial Response

  • Call 911.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or (540) 458-8999 from off-campus.
  • Public Safety will notify law enforcement and other relevant agencies, as appropriate.
  • Comply with all law enforcement procedures and requirements.
  • The President and other appropriate University personnel, in consultation with law enforcement, will coordinate the effort to notify the University community and the decedent's family, as appropriate.
  • Refrain from communicating to others and on social media, until the family and the campus community can be notified through appropriate University personnel.
  • Counseling Services and Human Resources (through the Employee Assistance Program) will be available to provide support for members of the University community. The university's insurer, United Educators, can provide additional grief and trauma counseling services if needed.
  • As appropriate to the circumstances, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students or Public Safety, in conjunction with other University personnel, will assess the situation and determine whether an internal University investigation should be conducted. If so, Public Safety will assist in the investigation as necessary.
  • The Office of the Treasurer and Vice President for Finance/Administration or the Office of General Counsel will promptly notify the University's insurance broker of any student death, as required by the University's insurer.
  • The President and other appropriate University personnel will determine whether and to what extent to hold a ceremonial response or otherwise recognize the decedent.
  • The President and other appropriate University personnel will coordinate with the family of the decedent to make all post-death arrangements, as appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from the President, Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

General Instructions

  • Comply with all law enforcement procedures and requirements.
  • Cooperate with Public Safety, other University personnel, and law enforcement during any investigation.
  • Await and follow instructions from the President, Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Refrain from communicating to others and on social media, until the family and the campus community can be notified through appropriate University personnel.
  • Seek support from Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Program, as needed.

Special Considerations

  • The appropriate actions for University personnel will depend on the specific situation and those individuals who are involved. Because circumstances will vary, no predetermined procedure can dictate the appropriate actions for each individual situation. University personnel should communicate and determine how to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis.
  • In case of the death of an international student or scholar, consult with family (with assistance of Center for International Education, as appropriate) to identify religious and/or cultural considerations that need to be followed in handling and repatriation of remains. Also, Center for International Education may need to assist with reporting to immigration authorities and/or embassy/consulate, and/or to assist with confirmation of insurance coverage for repatriation of remains.

4. Earthquake/Aftershock

Initial Response

  • Shelter in place. (See Appendix C)
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • Once the earthquake or aftershock has ended, Public Safety, Facilities Maintenance, and other University personnel will assess the situation and take appropriate actions to address any damage or other issues.
  • The Incident Commander will establish an area for medical treatment, if necessary.
  • Depending on the damage, other support agencies, resource units, or specialized contractors may be brought in for service or assistance.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, other University personnel, or support agencies.

General Instructions

  • Assume a low position as close to the center of the room as possible.
  • Stay clear of book shelves, overhanging cabinets, lighting fixtures, etc.
  • Take cover under closest tables, desks, or other solid pieces of furniture.
  • Be prepared to quickly assess damage and injury and report it to Public Safety.
  • Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.
  • If there is any chance that the earthquake or aftershock has been severe enough to cause structural damage, evacuate the building as soon as it is safe to do so. (See Appendix B)
  • Do not reenter or leave the building or area under any circumstances until it has been cleared for reentry by Public Safety or through the Emergency Communications Systems.
  • If you are in a vehicle, stop at the safest place possible (away from power lines and trees) and stay in the vehicle for shelter.

Special Considerations

  • An earthquake or aftershock may result in infrastructure failure. If this occurs, see the Infrastructure Failure section of this Appendix.
  • If an earthquake or aftershock results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of an earthquake, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

5. Explosion

Initial Response

  • If it is safe to do so, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • Call 911 from a safe location as soon as possible.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • If it is unsafe or not possible to evacuate, get under a sturdy table, desk, or other object to protect yourself from debris.
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • The Incident Commander will establish an area for medical treatment, if necessary.
  • Once the explosion has ended, Public Safety, Facilities Maintenance, and other University personnel will assess the situation and take appropriate actions to address any damage or other issues.
  • Depending on the damage, other support agencies, resource units, or specialized contractors may be brought in for service or assistance.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

General Instructions

  • If it is safe to do so, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • Do not reenter or leave the building or area under any circumstances until it has been cleared for reentry by Public Safety or through the Emergency Communications Systems.
  • Do not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building or other dangerous area.
  • If it is unsafe or not possible to evacuate, get under a sturdy table, desk, or other object to protect yourself from debris.
  • If you are trapped in debris, tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are.
  • Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

Special Considerations

  • If you suspect a fuel or other chemical spill or leak that could result in an explosion, follow the guidelines outlined in the Hazardous Materials section of this Appendix.
  • An explosion may develop into a fire. If this occurs, see the Fire section of this Appendix.
  • An explosion may result in infrastructure failure. If this occurs, see the Infrastructure Failure section of this Appendix.
  • If an explosion results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of an explosion, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

6. Fire

Initial Response

  • Extinguish the fire only if you can do so safely and quickly!
    • After the fire is extinguished, call 911.
    • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • If the fire cannot be extinguished:
    • Activate (pull) the nearest fire alarm.
    • Evacuate the area. (See Appendix B) If you can do so safely, confine the fire by closing the doors and windows as you evacuate.
    • Call 911.
    • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
    • Follow the General Instructions below.
    • If necessary, Public Safety, the Incident Commander, and other University personnel will assist the responding fire department in efforts to address the situation (to attend to persons involved, prevent the spread of the fire, etc.).
    • Depending on the nature and degree of the fire, other support agencies and resource units may be brought in for service or assistance.
    • Once the fire has been extinguished, Public Safety, Facilities Maintenance, and other University personnel will assess the situation and take appropriate actions to address any damages or other issues.
    • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

General Instructions

  • Close the doors and windows in your immediate area.
  • Activate (pull) the nearest fire alarm if it is not already activated.
  • Evacuate the area via the nearest exit. (See Appendix B)
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Do not block or prop open fire doors. In a fire situation, closed doors provide you with protection and time to exit safely.
  • Feel door from top to bottom. If it is hot, do not proceed; go back.
  • If door is cool, crouch low and open the door slowly. Close door quickly if smoke is present so you do not inhale it.
  • Avoid smoke-filled areas. If you are caught in smoke or heat, stay low to the ground where the air quality is better. Take short breaths through your nose until you reach safety.
  • If the nearest stairwell or exit is blocked by fire, heat, or smoke, go to another exit.
  • If no smoke is present, exit the building via the nearest stairwell or exit.
  • Do not reenter or leave the building or area under any circumstances until it has been cleared for reentry by Public Safety or through the Emergency Communications Systems.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.
  • If you become trapped, keep doors closed and place cloth material around and under the door to prevent smoke from entering. Signal for help by hanging an object at the window to attract the attention of rescue personnel.
  • If you catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll to smother the flames.

Special Considerations

  • Reasons for evacuating a building:
    • Visible signs of smoke and/or fire
    • Activation of a building's fire alarm
  • A fire may result in an explosion. If this occurs, see the Explosion section of this Appendix.
  • If a fire results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of a fire, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

7. Flooding

Initial Response

  • If, based on the severity of the flooding, there is any potential danger if you remain inside the building, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • If it is safer to remain inside the building, shelter in place. (See Appendix C)
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus, and report the exact location and severity of the flooding.
  • If the flooding presents any danger to persons, call 911.
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • Public Safety will notify University Facilities or other appropriate University personnel.
  • Public Safety, University Facilities, or other University personnel will assess and investigate the situation and take steps to mitigate the damage, remove the water, and perform repairs, as appropriate.
  • Depending on the nature and degree of the flooding, other support agencies and resource units may be brought in for service or assistance.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

General Instructions

  • Use extreme caution around any electrical appliances or outlets near any leak or water.
  • Take only essential steps to avoid or reduce immediate water damage, such as covering objects with plastic sheeting or moving small or light objects out of danger.
  • If it is safe to do so, secure vital equipment, records, and hazardous material, and shut off all non-essential electric equipment.
  • If there is any potential for danger if you remain inside the building, or if otherwise instructed, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • If it is safer to remain inside the building, shelter in place. (See Appendix C)
  • If instructed to shelter in place, move to the upper floors of the building, if possible.
  • Do not reenter or leave the building or area under any circumstances until it has been cleared by Public Safety or through the Emergency Communications Systems.

Special Considerations

  • This section is intended to cover isolated floods (caused by water leaks in a particular building or area of campus) as well as larger floods that impact the local and/or campus community (caused by flooding of a river or other body of water). The response to a particular flood may vary depending on the specific circumstances.
  • If flooding results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of a flood, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

8. Food-Borne Illness or Incidents

Initial Response

  • Seek appropriate medical care for any affected persons, including calling 911, if appropriate.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999 (540.458.8999 from off-campus) or the Student Health Center at extension 8401 (540.458.8401 from off-campus).
  • Attempt to gather as much information as possible regarding the cause of the food-borne illness and the related symptoms.
  • Public Safety or the Student Health Center should contact Dining Services or other University personnel, as appropriate.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, Dining Services, or other University personnel should assess the problem, determine the risk to the community, and if needed, begin preventive measures to hinder the spread or recurrence.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, Dining Services, or other University personnel should notify other members of the University community and provide further information and instructions, as appropriate.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, Dining Services, or other University personnel should coordinate with the health department or other external agencies to treat affected victims, collect specimens, perform laboratory testing, or take any other appropriate actions as necessitated by the specific problem.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, the Student Health Center, Dining Services, other University personnel, or external agencies.

General Instructions

  • If an individual requires immediate medical attention as a result of a pandemic or infectious disease, call 911 or otherwise seek medical attention, as appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, the Student Health Center, Dining Services, other University personnel, or external agencies.

9. Hazardous Materials Incident

A hazardous materials incident may be a spill or release of chemicals, radioactive materials, or biological materials that endangers people or the environment. Simple spills that can be managed by the user and do not endanger people or the environment can be cleaned up by an individual who has been trained pursuant to the Chemical Spill Response Plan, the Chemical Hygiene Plan, and/or the Radiation Safety Manual, as applicable, and do not constitute an emergency situation for purposes of this Plan.

Initial Response

  • If it can be done safely, isolate the area, but do not walk into or touch any spilled materials and avoid inhalation of gases/fumes/smoke.
  • If the spill occurred inside of a building, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • Call 911 and provide as much information as possible from the list below about the hazard, making sure to report any person(s) unable to evacuate the area due to illness/injury.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus providing as much information from the list below, making sure to report any person(s) unable to evacuate the area due to illness/injury.
  • When reporting a hazardous materials incident, provide the following information about the hazard, if known (or request that the Chemical Hygiene Officer or the Radiation Safety Officer do so):
    • Name and quantity of the material.
    • Location and time of the release of the material.
    • Any exposures or injuries to persons.
    • If any fire or explosion is involved.
    • Your name, phone number, and location.
    • Present the Material Safety Data Sheet of the hazardous material involved to emergency responders if it is available.
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • Public Safety will assess and investigate the situation, as appropriate.
  • In the event that there are any individuals injured or ill as a result of a hazardous materials incident and unable to evacuate the area, Public Safety will either assist in evacuating such individuals, if safe to do so, or contact other University personnel or local emergency responders for assistance in responding to the injured/ill individual(s).
  • Public Safety will notify University Facilities, the Chemical Hygiene Officer, or other appropriate University personnel, as appropriate.
  • If the incident involves any radioactive materials, Public Safety should notify the Radiation Safety Officer.
  • Depending on the nature and degree of the hazardous materials incident, other support agencies, resource units, or specialized contractors may be brought in for service or assistance.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, other University personnel, or support agencies.

General Instructions

  • Do not walk into or touch any spilled materials.
  • Avoid inhalation of all gases, fumes and smoke; stay up wind. Do not assume gases/vapors are harmless because they lack odor.
  • If it can be done safely, isolate the area by closing doors and windows.
  • Make no attempt to clean up hazardous materials.
  • Evacuate or shelter in place if instructed. (See Appendices B and C)
  • If safe to do so, assist any person who has been injured or who is overcome from exposure and cannot evacuate or shelter in place without assistance. Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.
  • If instructed to shelter in place:
    • Move to a location that is above ground level, if possible.
    • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
    • If possible, turn off all ventilation systems such as air conditioners, heating units, exhaust fans, or air handlers.
    • If there is a danger of explosion, close any shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, other University personnel, or support agencies.

Special Considerations

  • When responding to a chemical spill, contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer and see the Chemical Spill Response Plan for more information.
  • When responding to an emergency situation involving radioactive material, contact the Radiation Safety Officer and see the Radiation Safety Manual for more information.
  • A hazardous materials incident may develop into a fire. If this occurs, see the Fire section of this Appendix.
  • In the event of a threat of hazardous materials such as a bomb threat or suspicious package/mail, see the Bomb Threat section or the Suspicious Packages/Mail section, as appropriate.
  • For chemical burns, flush chemicals off of the surface of the skin under cool running water for 20 minutes or more, remove any contaminated clothing or jewelry, and wrap burned area with a clean, dry cloth.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of a hazardous materials incident, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

10. Infrastructure Failure

From time to time, infrastructure problems could render work sites, classrooms and residence halls unsafe or uninhabitable. These problems include, but are not limited to, failures of electricity, computers, steam, water or telephones.

Initial Response

  • If based on the severity of the infrastructure failure there is any potential for danger, or if otherwise instructed, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • If an individual requires immediate medical attention as a result of an infrastructure failure, call 911.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • Public Safety will assess and investigate the situation, as appropriate, and notify University Facilities, Information Technology Services, or other appropriate University personnel.
  • Depending on the nature and degree of the infrastructure failure, other support agencies, resource units, or specialized contractors may be brought in for service or assistance.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, Information Technology Services, other University personnel, or support agencies.

General Instructions

  • If based on the severity of the infrastructure failure there is any potential for danger, or if otherwise instructed, evacuate the area. (See Appendix B)
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, Information Technology Services, other University personnel, or support agencies.
  • Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.

Special Considerations

  • Infrastructure failures may lead to further emergency situations, such as fires or flooding. In such an event, see the Fire section or the Flooding section of this Appendix, as appropriate.
  • If an infrastructure failure results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of an infrastructure failure, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

11. Pandemics and Infectious Diseases

Initial Response

  • Seek appropriate medical care for any affected persons, including calling 911, if appropriate.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999 (540.458.8999 from off-campus) or the Student Health Center at extension 8401 (540.458.8401 from off-campus).
  • Attempt to gather as much information as possible regarding the symptoms of the affected individual and the cause of such symptoms.
  • Public Safety or the Student Health Center should contact other University personnel as appropriate.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, or other University personnel should assess the problem, determine the risk to the community, and if needed, begin preventive measures to hinder the spread.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, or other University personnel should notify other members of the University community and provide further information and instructions, as appropriate.
  • Public Safety, the Student Health Center, or other University personnel should coordinate with the health department or other external agencies to treat affected victims, collect specimens, perform laboratory testing, or take any other appropriate actions as necessitated by the specific problem.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, the Student Health Center, other University personnel, or external agencies.

General Instructions

  • If an individual requires immediate medical attention as a result of a pandemic or infectious disease, call 911 or seek medical attention, as appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, the Student Health Center, other University personnel, or external agencies.

Special Considerations

  • A pandemic may affect multiple communities across Virginia and the country simultaneously. Individuals are urged to plan in advance based on campus and external agency guidance and instructions.
  • In case of world-wide health emergencies or alerts from agencies such as the World Health Organization and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding infectious diseases that may be transmitted by persons entering the United States from certain foreign countries, the Student Health Center, or external agencies, may issue guidance to individuals entering the United States from those countries, and/or guidance to persons who may come into contact with individuals coming from those countries, regarding preventive measures to take to avoid or minimize the likelihood of spreading the infectious disease. All faculty, staff, and students are urged to stay informed and to follow guidance issued by the Student Health Center and/or external agencies. 

12. Snow or Ice Storm

Initial Response

  • When weather conditions exist such that there is actual or predicted snow and/or ice, the Provost or his/her designee will evaluate the conditions of the roads and walkways, among other things, and decide whether to postpone or cancel classes or any other activity due to the weather. In making this decision, the Provost or his/her designee may consult with University Facilities or other University personnel, as appropriate.
  • The Provost or his/her designee will communicate any cancellations or postponements to the University community.
  • University Facilities will work to remove the snow and/or ice and take other appropriate steps to prepare and protect the University community and facilities from snow and/or ice.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, or other University personnel.

General Instructions

  • Stay in a warm, secure location.
  • Avoid travelling if you cannot do so safely.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, University Facilities, or other University personnel.

Special Considerations

13. Suspicious Packages/Mail

Initial Response

  • Do not move, touch or carry any suspicious letter or package, regardless of the position or condition of the letter or package.
  • Notify the Mail Room Supervisor at extension 8573, or 540.458.8573 from off-campus.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • If it is safe to do so, close the Mail Center or other area where the package was received, ensuring that all doors and windows are secure before leaving the area.
  • Public Safety will assess and investigate the situation, as appropriate, and determine whether to notify law enforcement or other external agencies. Public Safety may involve other University personnel as necessary or appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Pursue evacuation if instructed. (See Appendix B)
  • If the package is determined to be dangerous, Public Safety may notify other offices in case similar packages have been received, as appropriate.

General Instructions

  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.
  • Pursue evacuation if instructed. (See Appendix B)

Special Considerations

  • Signs of a potentially dangerous package include:
    • No return address or one that cannot be verified as legitimate
    • Restrictive markings
    • Excessive postage
    • No postage
    • Non-canceled postage
    • Misspelled words
    • Addressed to title only or incorrect title
    • Wrong title with name
    • Addressed to someone no longer with the University or otherwise outdated
    • A city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address
    • Unexpected or from an unfamiliar source
    • Rigid or bulky
    • Lopsided or uneven
    • Oily stains, discolorations, or crystallization on wrapper
    • Powdery substance on the outside
    • Excessive tape or string
    • Strange odor
    • Packages that are not wrapped, but are sealed with tape
    • Addresses that are written very sloppily, often with black marker
    • Letters that are cut out of other publications that are either glued or taped to a package or letter
    • Suspicious or threatening messages written on packages1
  • A suspicious package situation may develop into a bomb threat or a hazardous materials incident. If this occurs, see the Bomb Threat section or the Hazardous Materials section of this Appendix.

14. Tornado/Derecho/High Winds

Initial Response

  • If a tornado, derecho, or other dangerous high wind event is imminent based on a National Weather Serving Warning, the Emergency Communications Systems will be activated.
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or support agencies.
  • After a tornado, derecho, or other dangerous high wind event has passed, Public Safety, University Facilities, and other University personnel will assess the situation and take appropriate actions to address any damage or other issues.
  • Depending on the nature and degree of the tornado, derecho, or other high wind event, other support agencies, resource units, or specialized contractors may be brought in for service or assistance.

General Instructions

  • Move to the lowest level of the building, if possible.
  • Go to an area of safety such as a room or corridor in the innermost part of a building.
  • If you are outside and cannot get inside to an area of safety, stay away from buildings, windows, telephone poles, and electric poles. If possible, seek out a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine, lie face down, and cover your head.
  • Avoid windows, corridors with windows, and large, open spaces (such as auditoriums and cafeterias). There is no guaranteed safe place during a tornado. Seek shelter in the best location to minimize your exposure.
  • Do not use elevators during a tornado warning.
  • Close all doors, including main corridors, making sure they latch.
  • Crouch near the floor or under heavy, well-supported objects and cover your head.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or support agencies.
  • Pursue evacuation if instructed. (See Appendix B)

Special Considerations

  • For information on W&L's inclement weather policies and operations, see the Inclement Weather Policy for Employees on this site.
  • A tornado watch means that conditions are right for a tornado. Stay alert to weather conditions and watch for any emergency communications.
  • A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by the National Weather Service radar in the Lexington area. If the University becomes aware of a tornado warning, the Emergency Communications Systems will be activated.
  • A tornado, derecho, or other high wind incident may result in a fire or infrastructure failure. If this occurs, see the Fire section or the Infrastructure Failure section of this Appendix, as appropriate.
  • If a tornado, derecho, or other high wind incident results in physical compromise to a building or facility on campus, contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer to assess damage or compromise to any hazardous materials in the building/facility.
  • If lab animals are at risk as a result of a tornado, derecho, or other high wind event, contact the Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or the University Veterinarian and see the Animal Care Program Emergency Plan.

15. Violent Incidents

For purposes of this Plan, violent incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Active shooters
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Assaults
  • Violent campus intruders
  • Violence resulting from a civil disturbance
  • Sex offenses
  • Violent crimes
  • Workplace violence

Initial Response

  • Call 911.
  • Contact Public Safety at extension 8999, or 540.458.8999 from off-campus.
  • When reporting a violent incident, provide the following information about the incident, if known:
    • What is happening
    • The location
    • Who is involved
    • Type of weapon(s) involved, if any
    • Whether anyone has been injured or killed, to your knowledge
  • Follow the General Instructions below.
  • Public Safety will assess and investigate the situation and notify other appropriate University personnel or law enforcement, as appropriate.
  • Public Safety and other University personnel will assist law enforcement or other external agencies, as appropriate.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

General Instructions

  • If safe to do so, evacuate the area as quickly as possible. (See Appendix B)
  • If it is not safe to evacuate, or if otherwise instructed, shelter in place. (See Appendix C)
  • If you are in a secured area, or if you are instructed to shelter in place:
    • If you are aware of the location of the incident, move to the opposite side of the building if it is safe to do so.
    • Lock the doors and/or barricade the doors and any other entrances or openings with furniture or other available items, as appropriate.
    • Take adequate cover/protection behind solid objects (e.g., walls, desks, filling cabinets, etc.) as far away from the doors and other entrances and openings as possible.
    • Close all blinds, shades, and curtains, and/or cover all windows.
    • Turn off all lights, computer monitors, radios, and other electronic equipment.
    • Silence all mobile phones, if possible.
    • If there are multiple individuals in an area, attempt to spread out as much as possible.
    • Keep the area secure until otherwise directed by Public Safety or other law enforcement personnel.
  • If you are in an unsecured area and unable to evacuate or shelter in place safely:
    • Immediately seek protection.
    • If the violent incident is close by, seek to establish a barrier between you and the violent incident.
    • If you are confronted by an immediate violent incident and you cannot flee, try to hide. If other victims are around you, consider playing dead.
    • Your last option should be to fight back using anything available (e.g., books, backpack, chair, etc.).
  • DO NOT REENTER OR LEAVE THE BUILDING OR AREA UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES until it has been cleared by Public Safety or through the Emergency Communications Systems.
  • Administer basic first aid when possible and appropriate. If not safe to do so, or if the extent of injury is serious, call 911.
  • Await and follow instructions from Public Safety, other University personnel, or law enforcement.

Special Considerations

  • Initial law enforcement response will be primarily focused on locating, containing, and ending the violent incident.
  • Once the violent incident is ended, responding officials will then begin to treat any injured individuals and evacuate the affected area(s), as appropriate. (See Appendix B)
  • If a violent incident results in the death of a student, faculty, or staff member, see the Death of a Student, Faculty, or Staff Member section of this Appendix.

1This information has been compiled from guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Postal Service.