Environmental Health & Safety

Disaster and emergency planning

Emergency Planning Guidelines Template

Preparing for an Evacuation


In the event of:

 Earthquake

Before an earthquake

  • Prepare for an earthquake by taking a few minutes to go through your work area to identify possible hazards such as:
    • Top-heavy free standing items that could topple
    • Heavy or breakable items on high shelves
    • Heavy items hung on the wall or ceiling near the work area.  

During an earthquake

  • If you are indoors when an earthquake hits
    • STAY PUT
    • DUCK under a sturdy table or desk
    • COVER Stay under cover until the shaking stops
    • HOLD ON to the table or desk. If it moves, move with it.
  • If you are outside when a quake occurs:
    • Avoid trees, power lines and other hazards
    • Move to an open area if possible.
  • If you are in a motor vehicle:
    • Pull over and stop the car.
    • Remain in vehicle until the shaking stops.

After the earthquake

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check for injuries in your area.
  • Place all telephone receivers back on the telephones.
  • Tune in to radio to get news and instructions.

 Fire

RACE to Fire Safety

Plan ahead in case of a fire: Make sure you know two ways out of your residence or work area to safety.

Rescue and Relocate anyone in immediate danger.

Alert others by activating the building fire alarm and call WUPD (935-5555) at the Danforth Campus, Protective Services (362-4357) at the Medical School or 9-911 from all other campuses or activate any Blue Light Emergency Phone.  For off-campus emergencies, call 911.

Confine the emergency by closing doors. First close the door to the room in which the fire is located.

Evacuate immediately. Do not use the elevators, use the stairs instead. If there is smoke or heat, crawl close to the ground. If there is smoke in the hall, stay in your room, close the doors, dial WUPD (935-5555) at the Danforth Campus, Protective Services (362-4357) at the Medical School or 9-911 from all other campuses or activate any Blue Light Emergency Phone or for off-campus emergencies, call 911 for help and stand close to the window.

The Environmental Health and Safety Office can offer more information on fire safety and prevention.
 

Detailed Fire Safety Information:

PURPOSE AND SCOPE:
The purpose of this plan is to provide information regarding fire safety, to establish procedures for use in an emergency, and to outline responsibilities of the department and staff during an emergency condition.

FIRE ALARMS:

Smoke Detectors: When smoke enters the detector, the audible horn units will provide an initial warning of a fire throughout the fire floor, and the floor above and the floor below the fire area.

Pull Boxes: If a fire or emergency is observed, pull the handle and/or break the glass rod to activate the warning system.

PROTECTION SYSTEMS:

Automatic Sprinkler System: Heat from a fire will cause the sprinkler system to discharge water in the area where the fire is located.

Fire Extinguishers (A, B & C): These fire extinguishers are suitable for wood and paper fires, flammable liquid fires and electrical fires. Do not use the fire extinguisher, unless you have been trained, have backup, and have called Protective Services Medical School at (2-HELP)(2-4357) or Danforth  WUPD (5-5555) to notify the Fire Department. Leave the area if the fire is not extinguished in one minute.

Suggestions for the use of a fire extinguisher: PASS

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim the extinguisher at the base of the flame
  • Squeeze the trigger
  • Sweep from side to side at the base or source of the fire, and approach the fire slowly, keeping an exit behind your back

Fire extinguisher must be held in a vertical position.

FIRE EXITS:

  • Illuminated fire exit signs are located throughout the floor.
  • Corridors and fire exits must be kept clear and unobstructed at all times.

Responsibility of Employees:

  • Know the location of the fire alarm pull boxes.
  • Post the WUPD phone number Danforth (5-5555) or Medical School Protective Services (2-Help)(2-4357)on all telephones.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers.
  • Know the location of fire exits.
  • Know the designated evacuation route and alternate (see posted routes).
  • Know the designated person(s) (fire coordinator).
  • Report any fire to WUPD Danforth (5-5555) or Protective Services  Medical School (2-Help)(2-4357), using either the telephone or the fire alarm pull box.
  • Alert other occupants.
  • If trained, extinguish the small fire using the fire extinguishers.
  • If a large fire occurs, evacuate the building or floor.
  • Do not try to take personal effects or valuable work with you.
  • Do not run, jump, push, shout or panic. Walk deliberately to the fire exit.
  • Report to the designated person(s) at the emergency assembly point.
  • Remain at the emergency assembly point and follow instructions.
  • Report missing persons to the designated person.
  • Do not return for missing persons.
  • Do not return to the building for personal effects or work until authorized by the incident commander of the fire department.

Responsibility of the Designated Person:

  • Be familiar with all details of the fire plan and contact the Environmental Health & Safety office,  Safety & Emergency Preparedness Division at 362-6816 for assistance.
  • Instruct department staff in the fire plan.
  • Arrange with Protective Services and/or the Environmental Health & Safety office to conduct routine fire drills (at least annually).
  • Check fire extinguishers monthly.
    • Be sure the extinguisher is at the proper location.
    • Be sure the pin is secure.
    • Be sure the pressure is correct (in the green area).
    • Be sure the extinguisher is not damaged.
  • Arrange for extinguisher service from a contractor, annually or as required.
  • Provide annual fire extinguisher training and fire drills regarding the location of pull stations, fire exits, designated safe areas, evacuation routes, emergency telephone numbers and the location and use of fire extinguishers. (Assistance available through the Environmental Health & Safety office.)
  • Provide a employee contact roster for identifying which staff are present in the building at all times. This will assist in determining the number and identity of missing persons during an emergency incident. 
     

In the event of an emergency:

  • Assemble staff at the designated area, conduct a census, and report missing persons to the incident commander of the fire department.
  • Do not return to the area to locate missing persons.
  • During the emergency, supervise fellow employees and maintain order at the emergency assembly point, waiting for instructions.
  • If disabled staff are present:
    • Check the room/laboratory, if present, shelter in place or move to the adjacent fire zone.
    • Notify Protective Services or WUPD of your location.
    • Wait with the disabled staff until the fire department arrives for rescue.

Department Responsibility:

  • Identify the location of your emergency assembly point (contact EH&S), evacuation route and designated person.

Protective Services/WUPD/Facilities Responsibility:

  • Investigate all smoke alarm reports and advise occupants to either remain in or evacuate the area.
    • If a fire condition is present, contact 911, meet the Fire Department at the designated area on the locator map and escort the responders to the fire.
  • Report fire alarm pull box signals and all telephone calls indicating the presence of a fire immediately to 911.
    • Advise 911 of the location from the locator map, meet at the specified location on the locator map and escort the responders to the fire location.
  • Check all fire extinguishers in the public areas monthly and arrange for service annually and as needed.
  • Report all exit lights not fully operational, fire door closures with malfunctions, blocked fire exits and cluttered corridors immediately.

SMALL FIRE:

Trash can, small equipment, etc.

  • Notify WUPD at Danforth 5-5555 or Protective Services at the Medical School (2-Help) or  (2-4357)
  • Obtain backup
  • If trained, extinguish the fire with the appropriate extinguisher
  • If fire is not extinguished within 1 minute, evacuate.

LARGE FIRE:

  • Notify WUPD at Danforth (5-5555) or Protective Services at Medical School (2-Help)(2-4357)
  • Sound the alarm (use pull box)
  • Evacuate to the emergency assembly point
  • Report to the designated person
  • The designated person shall take a census
  • The designated person shall advise Protective Services/WUPD or the Fire Department of the number and location of missing persons.
  • Do not return for missing persons, personal effects or valuable work until authorized by the incident commander.
  • Wait at the emergency assembly point for further instruction.
  • Follow directions explicitly.

BSL-3 FIRE POLICY

Fire in the lab

  • Immediately leave the lab
  • If you can do so safely, remove PPE in the anteroom as you normally would
  • If you cannot safely remove PPE in the anteroom, evacuate the suite and remove PPE in the nearest safe area
  • Activate the fire alarm, call Protective Services at 2-HELP (362-4357), and proceed to your designated emergency assembly point
  • Contact the Biological Safety Officer (314-747-0309) to report the incident

 Fire outside of the lab

  • When you hear the fire alarm, exit the lab and remove PPE in the anteroom as you normally would
  • Proceed to your designated emergency assembly point
  • Contact the Biological Safety Officer (314-747-0309) to report the incident

More Links...

 Severe Weather

Before a tornado:

  • Develop a calling tree with names, numbers, and locations. This tree should include at least one person from each floor or area in that department.
  • Keep at least one flashlight with extra batteries on hand.
  •  Keep at least one battery-operated radio on each floor to use only in an emergency.

During a tornado:

  • Evacuate to the basement, an inside hallway, or an interior bathroom on the lowest level possible with a flashlight and radio.
  • Avoid places with wide-span roofs.
  • Once evacuated, get under heavy furniture.
  •  Use arms to protect head and neck.

After a tornado:

  • Help injured or trapped persons
  • Turn on the radio to get the latest emergency information.
  • Use the telephone for emergency calls only.

If you smell gas or chemical fumes:

  • Leave the building
  • Notify Protective Services at Medical School 2-HELP (362-4357); WUPD at Danforth Campus 5-5555.

Violence and Terrorism

Shooter On Campus

Several recent and tragic shootings on school campuses have heightened concern about what steps to take if you are confronted with a similar situation. The Washington University Police Department and the Washington University School of Medicine Protective Services Department offer the following recommendations:

Active Shooter

If you are involved in a situation where someone has entered the area and started shooting a firearm, or is threatening to shoot:

  • Exit the building immediately, if possible. If it is not possible to exit, lock yourself in an office or room (see steps below).
  • Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately.
  • Report to the emergency assembly point for the building you are in (need to make sure people know where this is). You should do this only if it is reasonably safe to do so. Otherwise, it may be better to leave campus.
  • On the Danforth Campus, notify Washington University Police by calling 935-5555 or 911.
  • On the WU Medical School Campus, notify WUSM Protective Services at 362-HELP (362-4357) or 911.
  • On the North Campus, West Campus, Tyson Research Center or off-campus clinic areas, call 911.

Give the Dispatcher the following information:

  • Your name
  • Location of the incident (be as specific as possible)
  • Number of shooters (if known)
  • Identification or physical description of shooter (if known)
  • Number of persons who may be involved
  • Your location

If you are directly involved and it is not possible to exit the building, the following actions are recommended:

  • Go to the nearest room or office
  • Close and lock the door
  • Cover the door windows
  • If your door cannot be locked, stack tables and chairs against the door
  • Turn off the lights and hide
  • DO NOT answer the door
  • Ignore any fire alarm bells; they may be a trick to draw people into the open.
  • Notify Washington University Police at 935-5555 or 911
  • On the WU Medical School Campus, notify WUSM Protective Services at 362-HELP (362-4357) or 911
  • On the North Campus, West Campus, Tyson Research Center or off-campus clinic areas, notify 911

Give the Dispatcher the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your location (be as specific as possible)
  • Number of shooters (if known)
  • Identification or physical description of shooter (if known)
  • Number of persons who may be involved
  • Wait for Washington University Police, Protective Services, or local authorities to assist you out of the building
Terrorism

Terrorism may involve devastating acts using weapons of mass destruction, including chemical agents, biological hazards, radiological agents, nuclear devices or explosives. The primary objective of a terrorist is to create widespread fear.

During a terrorist attack:

  • Stay calm
  • Be vigilant
  • Look out for secondary hazards such as falling debris or additional explosions
  • Follow the instructions of emergency service personnel
Suspicious Mail

An envelope or package is generally deemed "suspicious" if it has any of the below indicators:

  • No return address
  • Misspelled words or titles
  • Protruding wires
  • Strange odor
  • Oily stains
  • Lopsided or uneven shape
  • Excessive tape, string or postage

For suspect envelopes or packages:

  • DO NOT open the envelope or package.
  • DO NOT shake, empty, or disturb the contents.
  • LEAVE it and EVACUATE the room.
  • KEEP others from entering the room.
  • WASH your hands with soap and water.
  • NOTIFY your supervisor and campus security. For off-campus emergencies, call 911.

For letters or packages that are opened and contain powder:

  • DO NOT PANIC. Anthrax organisms can cause skin infection, gastrointestinal infection, or pulmonary infection only if they enter the skin through a cut or scrape or are swallowed or inhaled as a fine, aerosolized mist. All forms of disease are generally treatable with antibiotics.
  • Gently close the suspicious letter or package and place it on the nearest flat surface.
  • Do not disturb the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  • Do not smell or closely examine any powder or suspicious substance.
  • Do not place the letter or package in a plastic bag or other container.
  • Do not attempt to clean up any spilled powder.
  • Leave the room immediately and close the doors.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water if a sink is available. Do not use bleach or disinfectants on your skin.
  • Notify your supervisor and call campus security or 911, if off campus. Wait in an adjacent area until responders arrive.
  • Do not allow others to enter the area.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or any other part of your body.
  • Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag. Shower with soap and water.
  • Make a list all of the people who were in the room or area when the suspicious letter or package was recognized.
Bomb Threat

If you receive a bomb threat by telephone, try to remain calm and get as much information as possible from the caller. Try to write down the caller's exact words and the time of the call. Check to see if the caller's phone number or location is displayed on your phone.

Ask the caller:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • What is your name and address?

Try to notice descriptive or other useful details (preferably write them down):

  • Did the caller sound like a man? a woman?
  • Approximate age?
  • Distinctive voice, pronunciation or accent, or speech patterns?
  • Tone of voice and attitude?
  • Did the call seem to be a recording?
  • Were there background voices or noises or other clues about location or caller identity?

If the threat came in a form other than a call (e.g., a note was left or delivered):

  • Immediately notify campus security or call 911 if off campus.
  • Report the time, location, and content of the threat message, as well as your location and phone number.
  • Take a quick visual look around your area for any suspicious objects. Do not touch or move any object
  • If you are told to evacuate the area, take your notes about the call with you.
     

 

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