Campus Emergency Management
- Key Campus Contacts
- Emergency: 911
- University Police Newsline
- 805-756-NEWS (6397)
Radio Station 1610 AM (Cal Poly Alert System)
- Information Sources
- Learn about Emergency Management at Cal Poly (Under Construction 08/2010)
Campus Employees Communication Tree
Emergency Alert System *
920 AM, 1400 AM, 98.1 FM, 1610 AM (Cal Poly)
* only activated during emergencies
- Homeland Security Threat Code
Red - Severe Risk
Orange - High Risk
Yellow - Significant Risk
Blue - General Risk
Green - Low Risk
Emergencies or disaster can happen anytime and they usually occur with little or no warning. When an emergency occurs at Cal Poly, our safety and speedy recovery will depend on existing levels of preparedness and a coordinated response from students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Many emergencies will be minor in nature, requiring two or three people to be responsible for the majority of the incident management tasks. In the event of a major emergency, one in which the campus cannot operate normally, the Campus Emergency Management Plan will be activated and emergency activities will be coordinated from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Cal Poly's response to an emergency on campus will be guided by the following fundamental priorities:
- Life safety
- Secure and preserve infrastructure and facilities
- Restoration of the academic program
When an emergency occurs, employees are expected to remain at work unless they are directed to leave and be prepared to follow emergency procedures and exercise reasonable judgment.
Click on the following items to learn more about how experts advise us to prepare for specific campus emergencies and actions:
- A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate)
- Bomb Threat Checklist
- Evacuations and Sheltering
- Laboratory Safety Preparation & Hazardous Materials Spill
- Power Outage
- Stranger or Unauthorized Activity & Suspicious Objects
PolyAlert Campus Emergency Notification System
The PolyAlert Emergency Notification System is a text messaging service that will distribute brief messages in situations posing imminent physical threats to the campus community. By using Short Messaging System (SMS) technology, the system can convey messages to registered mobile phones, Blackberries, wireless PDAs, smart phones and satellite phones.
You must have your cell phone registered to receive these emergency text message notifications. Either click on the logo below or go to your My Calpoly Portal http://my.calpoly.edu and click on the Personal Info tab to register.
Comments or questions regarding campus emergency preparedness should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
ALICE = Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate
ALICE is a response plan to increase chances of surviving an active shooting incident. The acronym helps identify options available to you in an emergency, you may not need to implement ALICE in sequence or you may only use a few steps of the plan, not all 5.
An “active shooter” incident can vary. Always be aware of your surroundings and sounds. Assume that muffled “pop, pop, pop” sounds may be gunshots, do not assume otherwise.
Alert/Assess - Warning:
Hearing the sound of gunfire, seeing people running, an eye-witness account, Public Address (PA) announcement, text or email alert (PolyAlert).
Lockdown - Shelter-in-Place:
Lock the doors or barricade entry points with furniture. Cover windows if possible and stay out of view. Anything in the room may be used for self-defense, to slow down or stop the assailant if they enter the room.
Inform — Real-time Updates:
Listen to and share information in plain language to make common sense decisions about next steps. Call 9-1-1 if safe to do so. Do not assume someone else has called 9-1-1. You may have information unkown to responding emergency personnel.
If the assailant enters your area and/or confronts you; move, make noise, and throw things at the assailant. If you are in a group work together and use the greater numbers to your advantage. Try to disable the assailant and defend yourself, if you can. Escaping may be the best option. Only you can decide what is best for the situation at hand.
Evacuate/Escape - Remove yourself from danger zone:
If you can safely, flee the area. In an active shooter emergency, law enforcement personnel are there to first STOP the shooter, not to evacuate or assist the injured. Follow their instructions quickly and quietly. Stay calm.
For more information, see these videos about the ALICE response plan:
ALICE was originally developed by former SWAT team leader Greg Crane in 2002. http://www.responseoptions.com/
Bomb Threat Checklist
Most threats are made by telephone. If you receive a bomb threat telephone call:
- Remain calm.
- Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.
- Write down the telephone number of the incoming call if it is displayed on the telephone.
- Use this form to document the call.
- Notify a supervisor or co-worker nearby via a note.
Questions to Ask:
- When is bomb going to explode?
- Where is bomb right now?
- What kind of bomb is it?
- How do you know about the bomb?
- Why did you place the bomb?
- Who are you?
- Where are you calling from?
- Know how and where to take cover during a quake.
- Secure top-heavy furniture, bookcases or cabinets to walls. Department should contact Facility Services to perform this work or, if doing it themselves, obtain a campus building permit.
- Secure cabinet doors with latches.
- Do not store heavy objects where they may fall on people.
- Move tall bookcases away from exits and do not use them as room dividers.
- Store heavy items at floor level.
- Back up computer and other research data and store elsewhere on a regular basis.
- Determine beforehand the nearest exit from your work, residence, or classroom area and the route to reach that exit following an emergency, if necessary. Also, establish an alternate route to use if the first route is blocked or dangerous.
- Review the campus Chemical Hygiene Plan for specific seismic safety guidelines of hazardous materials (Chemical Hygiene Plan ).
When an Earthquake Occurs
- Duck, cover, and hold.
- Remain calm. Take cover: under a desk, table or chair; between seating rows in classrooms; against a corridor wall; outdoors, away from falling hazards.
- Stay away from glass windows, wall shelves and heavy equipment.
- Remain where you are. Do not run outside and do not evacuate until after tremors cease. Falling debris may cause injury.
- Evacuate carefully. Do not use elevators.
- Take any emergency supplies you may have.
- Give first aid to anyone injured or seek someone who can. Do not move the victim unless necessary to prevent further injury.
- Tune battery-powered radio to the Emergency Alert System for news and instructions (920 AM, 1400 AM, and 98.1 FM).
- Expect aftershocks.
- Restore calm, assist others.
- Only dial 911 to report injuries or fires.
- Report damage to Building Coordinator and Department Head. Do not touch anything that has been damaged until the damage has been assessed and recorded (video taped or photographed by Facility Services or Facilities Planning & Capital Projects staff only).
- Do not enter any area where hazardous materials are stored until area has been inspected by authorized personnel.
- Do not go into or return to a damaged building unless instructed by authorized personnel.
- Await instructions, be patient, help others.
Evacuation & Sheltering
Before an actual evacuation, you should familiarize yourself with the following:
- Know the location of alarms and extinguishers
- Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and have a strategy for evacuating
- Back up computer and other research data and store elsewhere on a regular basis.
- Know and practice proper chemical inventory and storage.
- Keep in mind the daily schedule of those you work with, thereby making the accounting for everyone faster and more accurate.
- Have flashlights/emergency lighting handy.
- Employees - Know the identity of your Building Coordinator and the location of the pre-assigned outdoor assembly area.
Every employee should be prepared to care for themselves and help others in the event of an emergency. During an emergency, all employees should remain calm. A successful outcome in an emergency situation always depends on the thoughtful and cooperative response of campus personnel working as a team. When you hear the evacuation alarm (fire alarm) or if the conditions in the building appear to warrant it, evacuate the building immediately. Your safety and the safety of others is the ultimate priority.
- Do not use an elevator.
- Take small and easily accessible personal belongings and secure any sensitive documents or valuables, if it is safe and expedient to do so.
- While you evacuate, carefully look for anyone injured or trapped.
- Direct everyone to the nearest exit.
- Assist persons with disabilities or injuries in exiting the building.
- Exit the building in the quickest way possible.
- Keep away from the building and any emergency operations. Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
- Move away, and assist others to move away, from all exits after leaving a building. This allows others to get out of the building without crowding or pushing.
- Move away from the building until you are a safe distance away.
- Rescue personnel will search all rooms to ensure they have been cleared. Do not lock doors when evacuating unless it is necessary to protect sensitive documents or valuables.
- Do not return to the evacuated building until the area is declared safe by authorized personnel.
- Employees: Following your exit from the building, immediately report in to the Building Coordinator for your group. Report any people that were unable to leave the building due to injury, disability, or being trapped. If multiple building evacuations are occurring, proceed to your pre-assigned outdoor assembly area and report in there to your Building Coordinator. Everyone should stay in their assembly area to await further instructions, if it is safe to do so. Do not go home without approval from management.
Individuals Requiring Assistance
An individual may require assistance during an emergency because of a disability or injury. When assisting an individual during an emergency, first assess how immediate the emergency is and communicate the nature of the emergency to the person. Second, ask the person how s/he would like to be assisted. If the individual has a mobility device, evacuate the device with the person, if possible.
In some cases, you may require assistance from rescue personnel to be evacuated and the following procedures are recommended:
- Identify your exact location and have an evacuee report it to the Building Coordinator or emergency personnel when they are outside the building.
- If a telephone is available, call 911, and describe the emergency and your location.
- Wait for rescue personnel to make their primary search and come to your aid.
It is suggested that individuals with permanent disabilities should prepare for emergencies ahead of time by instructing a classmate, instructor, or fellow staff member on how to assist them in case of emergencies.
In general, the following assistance is recommended for individuals with visual and hearing impairments and for those who use wheelchairs:
- Visual impairments - Offer your elbow to these individuals, and guide them to a safe area. Make sure that they are fully informed of the situation and what they are to do.
- Hearing impairments - Communicate with a short written message or speak slowly or directly to them. Use gestures to guide them toward the nearest exit.
- Wheelchair Users - Consult with the individual to establish the best course of action. Lifting these individuals without proper consideration for their medical needs may be dangerous to their well-being as well as the possibility of injury to the rescuer. When there is doubt if the situation is life threatening, wait for trained emergency personnel to respond with the proper evacuation equipment.
In the event of an emergency, it may be the recommended action to evacuate the campus. Persons will be advised to exit campus utilizing their vehicles by designated routes. Persons without vehicles may be instructed to walk, bike, or, if possible, obtain a ride. Three areas on campus have been designated by the San Luis Obispo County as staging areas for evacuation of carless persons who need to obtain a ride. The three designated staging areas are: 1) Cal Poly Mustang Stadium, California Boulevard 'O'Neill Green'; 2)Corner of Mount Bishop and Highland Drive;3) Parking Lot G1-R2, Grand Avenue and Slack Street. Destination (relocation sites) for people being evacuated will depend on the emergency. Evacuation of special populations, such as the Children's Center, will be coordinated through the Emergency Operations Center.
Sheltering, staying inside a campus building, may become the selected protective action when there is insufficient time to evacuate, when evacuation routes are blocked, or when a radioactive release has occurred. The campus community will be given the location of campus shelters and the designated routes for evacuation using campus emergency communication sources.
CLICK HERE For Campus Emergency Map
(Outdoor assembly areas, emergency blue phones, wheelchair evacuation chairs and carless pickup areas)
- Note the location of alarms and extinguishers.
- Clear obstructed corridors, aisles and room exits.
- If a door is permanently blocked, label it as no access.
- Use only grounded electrical outlets.
- Do not use an extension cord for permanent use.
- Do not use mechanical rooms, or utility rooms, or stairwells for storage or block the entrance to these rooms.
- Know the location of the emergency exits and stairwells and have a strategy for evacuating.
- In laboratories, teach students about fire safety first thing.
- Practice. During a fire drill, immediately evacuate the building you are in.
- Report strange smells which could be smoke or electrical overload.
- Practice and familiarize yourself with all escape routes.
When a Fire Occurs
- Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
- Feel doors for heat. If cool, exit carefully. If hot, do not open the door. Stay where you are until help arrives. If a telephone is available, call 911 and describe the emergency and your location. Place cloth material around the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire. Be prepared to signal from a window, but do not break glass unless necessary since outside smoke could enter your room.
- If caught in smoke, drop to your hands and knees and crawl as you exit. Hold your breath a long as possible. Breathe shallowly through your nose and use clothing as a filter.
- If you see fire, confine it by closing doors and windows.
- Start an orderly evacuation (even for small fires, a closed room can reach 1500 degrees within three minutes).
- From a safe location call 911 from a campus telephone.
- Use extinguishers on small fires only if it is safe to do so and when there is no personal risk. When operating a fire extinguisher, remember P-A-S-S: Pull the pin; Aim at the base of the fire; Squeeze the lever; Sweep from side to side.
- Never use an elevator during a fire.
- In laboratories, follow the fire safety training provided by the instructor or other department personnel.
Laboratory Safety Preparation & Hazardous Materials Spill
Laboratory Safety Preparation
- Maintain a clean work environment.
- Post lab safety work rules.
- Train all personnel on laboratory safety.
- Inventory and label chemicals. Segregate incompatibles.
- Keep flammables in nonflammable storage cabinets.
- Do not block access to eyewashes, showers, or fire extinguishers.
- Back up cultures and data off-site.
- Investigate emergency power options.
- Install seismic restraints on chemical storage shelves.
- Anchor equipment and furniture. Latch cabinet doors.
- Avoid high storage of heavy items.
- Chain compressed gas cylinders at 1/3 and 2/3 points.
- Do not store hazardous materials on mobile carts.
- Dispose of chemical waste properly.
- Review the campus Chemical Hygiene Plan for specific seismic safety guidelines for hazardous materials (Download the Safety Guidelines Document)
Hazardous Materials Spill
- Call 911. Dispatch will report the spill to Environmental Health & Safety.
- Evacuate the area.
- If the spill does not pose immediate danger, wear protective clothing, isolate the spill, evacuate the scene, and limit access.
- If there is exposure to radioactive material, keep all persons isolated until they can be examined to prevent further contamination.
- If the spill was handled by authorized departmental personnel, report the situation to Environmental Health & Safety, 6-6662.
- Notify the area supervisor
- Assess the extent of the outage in your area.
- During the day, report the outage to your Building Coordinator or Facility Services.
- In the evening, report the outage to University Police, 6-2281.
- Turn on battery-powered radios and listen to Emergency Alert Radio Stations (920 AM, 1400 AM, 98.1 FM) for further information if the outage is an area event.
- Use auxiliary light supplies (flashlights) conservatively.
- Unplug all electrical equipment not protected by surge protectors and turn off office light switches unless needed.
- If relocation is necessary, follow directions from authorized campus personnel.
- Help persons in darkened rooms move to safety.
- Keep refrigerators/freezers closed during outage.
- Open windows for additional light and ventilation.
- Laboratory personnel should secure experiments or activities which may be dangerous without power or when power is abruptly restored. When mechanical ventilation is interrupted, chemical vapors may reach hazardous concentrations.
- Open windows and doors. Clean up any spills, store chemicals and close containers.
- Remain at your work location and, if needed, work with your vice president's/executive director's office to relocate employees and classes to areas where there is natural light.
During a daytime power interruption, the campus will not close. Daytime class dismissal will be at the discretion of the instructor. If a blackout occurs at night, classes will be cancelled and the campus will be closed. The University Police Newsline (805-756-NEWS) as well as signs at main campus entrances will provide notification to the community.
Stranger or Unauthorized Activity & Suspicious Objects
Stranger or Unauthorized Activity
- Do not physically confront the person.
- Do not let anyone into a locked building/office.
- Do not block the person's access to an exit.
- Call 911 from a campus telephone and provide as much information as possible about the person and their direction of travel.
- Do not touch or disturb the object.
- Do not use your cell phone in close range of the object.
- Warn others to stay away from the object.
- Call 911 from a campus telephone.
- Notify your supervisor.
- Be prepared to evacuate.
Building Coordinators serve a dual purpose. In the event of a drill or an emergency situation, Building Coordinators are responsible for assisting in the safe and orderly evacuation of campus buildings, for reporting injuries and probable locations of trapped individuals to campus authorities, and, if the EOC is activated, situation reporting. In non-emergencies, Building Coordinators serve as a liaison between building occupants and Facility Services.
The coordinator should be familiar with personnel normally in the area, such as handicapped persons requiring special assistance during an evacuation and the applicable University Emergency procedures.
During a Non-Emergency
- Notifies occupants of impending interruption to areas/utilities in the building or other building related notifications.
- Reports maintenance and repair issues to Facility Services for building occupants.
- Attends all training meetings for Building Coordinators.
- Notifies alternate when on vacation, absent, or not available.
Before an emergency:
- Inspect your work area. Locate the two nearest exit routes to you.
- Make sure there is at least one flashlight in your immediate area in case of power failure.
- Identify yourself as a Building Coordinator to those in your area.
- Develop a roster of employees who normally work in your area of responsibility.
- Identify an alternate building coordinator, if possible.
- Tour your designated area (inside and outside) to familiarize yourself with the location of fire
- suppression equipment, hazardous material storage/chemical laboratories, highly combustible or explosive materials, large unsecured shelves, bookcases or cabinets, and building overhangs, patio covers, breezeways and bridges which may collapse.
- Identify individuals with special needs – persons with disabilities. Meet with each to determine their special needs and assure that they are aware of the planning taking place.
- Know the outdoor assembly area for your building in case of a multiple building emergency.
During any emergency:
- Remain calm.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, assess your immediate area for injuries and hazards.
- If safe to do so, retrieve the roster of employees in your area of responsibility, a Building Assessment form, and your Building Coordinator vest.
- Put on your Building Coordinator vest.
During an emergency where NO EVACUATION is required:
- Complete a Building Assessment form and forward, as indicated on the form.
Campus Employees Communication Tree
The effective dissemination of information to campus employees is critical during an emergency. The campus has in place many ways to communicate (756-NEWS, "Big Voice," e-mail, voice mail, bull horns, local radio stations, etc.). The use of each of these depends on the resources available during an emergency situation. It is recognized that in a major disaster these communication channels may not be available. If that occurs, the campus will communicate to its employees via a campus communication tree.
The communication tree follows the campus organizational structure. The President will communicate with the Vice Presidents and Auxiliary Executive Directors, who will in turn communicate with their direct reports. This process will continue throughout the organization until all employees have been contacted. It is the responsibility of each member of the organization to make sure that any employee that report directly to them receives the appropriate information in whatever manner is available to him.
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- An in-depth guide to citizen preparedness
- American Red Cross
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United States Department of Justice
- Governor's Office of Emergency Services
- San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services
- Cal Poly University Police Emergency Information
- Family Disasters Supply Calendar
- National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
- Campus Emergency Management Powerpoint
- Building Coordinator Training
- Am I required to work during a disaster?
- All persons employed by the state or any state agency, excluding aliens legally employed, are designated as disaster service workers. Therefore, they are subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.
The major bodies of law discussing the rules and obligations of Disaster Service Workers are the following:
- Chapter 8, Division 4, Title 1 of the Government Code (§3100 et. seq.)
- Chapter 7, Division 1, Title 2 of the Government Code (§8550 et seq.)
- Chapter 10, Part 1, Division 4 of the Labor Code (§4351 et seq.)
- If I am called upon to work during a disaster, am I liable for my work as a disaster service worker?
- Disaster service workers who perform disaster services during a declared state of emergency are immune from civil liability of injury to person or property except if the act is willful.
- What is the EOC?
- The EOC is the Emergency Operations Center. It is the coordination center of campuswide efforts in a disaster. It is located in the Old Fire House (Building 74) at University Police and will be staffed with Emergency Managers. The EOC is not open to the public.
- How does someone know to leave their workstation and where to go?
- If you hear the evacuation alarm (fire alarm), if the conditions in the building appear to warrant it , or your supervisor instructs you, evacuate the building immediately. Go directly to your designated outdoor assembly area and report to the Building Coordinator for your group. Do not go home without approval from management and, if approved, check in with your Building Coordinator before leaving.
- How does someone know to return to their workstation?
- Authorized personnel will notify you when it is safe to return to your area.
- How does someone find out the status of the campus if an emergency happens and they are away?
- Current status of the campus will be available on the University Police Newsline at 805-756-NEWS (6397).
Information sources available during catastrophic emergencies include:
- Emergency Alert System Radio Stations: 920 AM, 1400 AM, 1610 AM, and 98.1 FM
- Cal Poly Emergency Web Page
- Some rooms are designated as "radiation shelters." What does that mean?
- These designations are an artifact of the old Civil Defense program for protection from fallout from a nuclear detonation. The signs that are still in place are in the process of being removed. Special shelters aren't necessary for nuclear plant emergency planning since the hazards are different from those of bomb fallout.
- What is Shelter-in-place?
- When can shelter-in-place be used?
Shelter-in-place is an immediate short term strategy to use in a disaster or dangerous situation. Staying inside a building may be the best protective action during a manmade or natural critical incident.
For many possible situations, some of the most common are:
- Shooting Incident (Follow “ALICE” instructions)
- Civil unrest or riot
- Hazardous materials release (accidental or intentional)
- Chemical or biological
- Radiological (i.e., Diablo Canyon)
- Inclement weather (i.e., Storm or Flood
University Policy or Campus Administration will advise when to shelter-in-place. This can be done by or in a combination of the following forms.
- Personal observation or message received that a dangerous situation is imminent
- PolyAlert System – text message and/or email notification
- Campuswide Emergency Broadcast/Public Address System (PA or “Big Voice”)
- Campuswide Digital Signage
- Campus Phone Alert System notification
Situations vary but some common things to do are:
- Get into or stay inside a building, move to an interior room away from windows;
- Lock and/or barricade doors and cover windows if possible;
- Silence electronic devices; do not use your phone except for emergency 9-1-1 calls.
- Follow instructions of emergency personnel; and
- Wait until the threat has ended and authorities give an “all-clear” and do not leave the area until notified to do so and in a manner directed by emergency personnel.