Emergency Procedures

Need Help? Call DPS 24/7, 365 days a year at 315.443.2224.

You can also reach the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by dialing 315.443.2224 or #78 (#SU) from your cell phone, dialing 711 from a campus landline, long distance toll free at 1-855-443-2224, sending an email or text message to 711@syr.edu or via the LiveSafe app, which can be downloaded and connected to Syracuse University.

The DPS office on Main Campus is located at 005 Sims Hall, and is open 8:30 am to 5:00 pm during the academic year.  You can also speak with Public Safety employees at security desks and other locations around campus.

Radioactive Chemical Spills

Any radioactive contamination of personnel, equipment, facilities or properties of Syracuse University must be reported to the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or his designee.  The RSO will direct the remediation and decontamination of radioactive material spills.  
  1. Clear the Area:  Notify all persons in the involved area/room to vacate the immediate area of the incident but instruct them to remain in the vicinity of the area until they have been properly monitored for possible radioactive contamination.  If circumstances immediately dangerous to life and/or health exist, involved individuals should exit to a safe area, notify response personnel as to their location, and remain in that area until monitored for possible radioactive contamination.
  2. Prevent the Spread:  Cover the spill with absorbent pads or paper, do not attempt to clean it up.  Confine movements of all personnel potentially contaminated to prevent further contamination.
  3. Shield the Source: If possible and as necessary, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing your radiation exposure.
  4. Close Off Access to the Area:  Restrict access to the area and secure the area to prevent entry.
  5. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer immediately (443-4132) or Public Safety after normal work hours (711 from a University phone, #78 from a cell phone, or 443-2224 from any phone).
  6. Personnel Decontamination: If an appropriate survey meter is available and individuals are able and knowledgeable of the isotope(s) involved, survey clothes and exposed skin.  Contaminated clothing should be removed and stored in plastic bags for evaluation by the Radiation Safety Staff.  If contamination is on the skin, flush the skin thoroughly with lukewarm water, then wash with mild soap and lukewarm water.  Survey again; if contamination remains, repeat the process as long as contamination remains.
  7. The RSO will supervise the cleanup of the spill and complete a report.

Inclement Weather/Severe Storms

The University remains open and observes its schedules in all weather, unless the determination is made by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer that current weather conditions warrant cancellation of classes and/or closing.

In the event of extreme weather emergency conditions, instructions will be communicated to the University community.

In the event of inclement weather,

Stay informed – listen and watch for advisories/alerts via:

  1. Campus e-mail
  2. Syracuse University’s website: www.syracuse.edu
  3. Weather Alert text message
  4. Campus Announcements: www.news.syr.edu
  5. Syracuse University’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/SUcampus
  6. SU’s radio station WAER-FM 88.3 and other local radio and television station for University information.

To report locations in need of snow clearing, please call 315.443.4984. Report any other hazardous conditions to Physical Plant at 315.443.1234 or the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224.

For additional guidance, view the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Severe Storm Guidelines.

Water Damage

Procedures for Recovering Print Materials and Air Drying Books 

1.    Books that are thoroughly wet:
  • Place absorbent paper on table or floor where books will be dried (unprinted newspaper works well). Change paper on the table/floor as it becomes wet.
  • Lay book at edge of table with foredge pointing off edge and gently, but firmly apply pressure from spine to foredge, pushing out excess water. Gently open book and insert paper towel every 20-25pp. Change when the paper towels are wet.
  • If cover is bleeding or coming off, remove and put aside to a place where it can be found again. In many cases, the book will need to be rebound.
  • Use fans to generate air circulation in room. Books should be dry enough for the next step: books that are partially wet.

CAUTION

 

Do not attempt to fan leaves. Do not remove covers unless they are bleeding. Leather and vellum bindings will present problems. When leather gets wet, especially red-rotted leather, it will turn black and take on a slimy consistency. These covers should be removed and put aside (inside to inside) with pieces of freezer paper between them to prevent transfer of discoloration. Likewise vellum bindings will need special attention because they will warp severely upon getting wet. Contact the Bird Library Preservation Department @ 443-4560/1947/9937 for help in recovery.

2.   Books that are partially wet
  • Open book partially (at a fairly shallow angle) and interleave with absorbent paper (paper towels work well).
  • Begin at the back of the book and interleave every 20 or so leaves (i.e., pages).
  • Leave book flat until paper towels have absorbed some of the water–i.e., in about one hour. Change paper towels periodically until book is only very slightly damp, and then go to the next step: books that are damp.
3.   Books that are damp
  • Stand damp books on edge, lightly fanned, and dry in front of fans. If the cover is damper than the text, place absorbent paper between the boards and the book, changing them as needed. When almost dry, go to the next step: books that are almost dry.
4.   Books that are almost dry
  • Lay the book flat, push the back and boards gently into position, and place under a light weight. Leave in this position until book is thoroughly dry.
  • When books are dry to the touch at the gutter, stack from largest to smallest and foredge to spine with a board on top and underneath. Place weights on board to help flatten.
The drying time for a book can range from 1 to 7 days.

Keep in mind that coated paper (shiny paper) is a special case. If this paper is allowed to dry with pages stuck to each other, it will NOT be possible to separate them. For this reason it is important that they be interleaved between every page with paper towel. Change as often as necessary and then follow steps from “Books that are almost dry.” Pages should be carefully separated. If uncertain, contact the Bird Library Preservation Department @ 443-4560/1947/9937 for help in recovery.

Procedures for Air Drying Paper Documents or Pamphlets

  • Hang documents/pamphlets over fish line or clothesline to dry. Lines may be strung close together and items laid across them to dry.
  • Lay out small stacks of documents and/or single leaves on tables, floors, and other flat surfaces. Spread paper towels or unprinted newspaper on tables, etc.
  • Use fans to circulate air in recovery location.
  • Change newsprint/paper towels as necessary, i.e. when towels become damp.

CAUTION
Do not attempt to separate leaves that are very wet or that are sticking together unless you have been trained to do so.
Do not attempt to air dry manuscripts, drawings, or material with water-soluble colors except under the advice of a conservation specialist.
NOTE: Make sure that contents of folders and boxes are not separated from each other.

Power Outage

If You Work in an Office or Similar Setting

If a power interruption occurs:

  1. Remain calm
  2. Turn off any unnecessary appliances, computers, office equipment, tools, etc.  Leave lights on as an indicator of the return of power.
  3. Provide assistance to individuals not familiar with the area.
  4. Remain indoors and in the vicinity of your normal work area.  Evacuate if told by authorities to do so.
  5. During an extended power outage, call Physical Plant at 443-1234 for a status report.

NOTE:  Many campus buildings are equipped with backup power (generator power), which will either completely or partially restore power to the buildings.

 

If You Work in an Area with Hazardous Chemicals or Other Hazards

If a power outage occurs and personnel are present in an area where hazardous chemicals are used or other hazards are present, (e.g., in a laboratory, paint shop, print shop, art studio, wood shop, etc.), and power is not restored immediately, the following actions should be considered:

  1. Turn off all non-essential electrical devices, particularly if they are to be left unattended before power is restored.  Keep in mind that if no one is in the area when the power is restored, equipment that does turn on will be running unattended.
  2. Discontinue activities requiring local ventilation such as paint spray booths, laboratory fume hoods and biological safety cabinets, and close the sashes to those devices.  No work is allowed in these devices until power has been fully restored and the user verifies normal operation of the device(s).
  3. Ensure that all chemical containers are capped to eliminate off-gassing in an unventilated area.
  4. Turn off compressed gas cylinders at the tank valves.  If an inert gas is being used to “blanket” a reactive compound or reactive process in a laboratory, it may be appropriate to leave the gas flow on.  (The decision to do this should be part of a written Standard Operating Procedure specific to each of an area’s hazardous materials processes.)
  5. Also turn off actively flowing natural gas being delivered to a work area, (e.g., to a laboratory bench top or work station).  (This does not include the main natural gas supply to a building.  If needed, Physical Plant will provide that service.)

NOTE:  If there is potential to breath in chemicals due to lack of exhaust ventilation during a power outage, personnel should remove themselves from the area and contact their supervisor for further direction.

NOTE:  Planning prior to an outage should include a well-defined list of procedures to be used by those working in hazardous-use areas.  It is important to remember that some campus buildings have no backup power (generators) and that buildings with backup power are usually only partially powered in an emergency.

Crime in Progress

In the event that you are the victim of or witness a crime in progress, immediately:
  1. Call the Department of Public Safety at 711 from a University phone or 443-2224 from any other phone and provide the dispatcher with:
    • Your name
    • Your location
    • Your phone number
    • Details of the situation
  1. Get away from the suspect; do not attempt to confront the suspect.
  1. When it is safe to do so, provide the Department of Public Safety with a clear description of the suspect/incident:
    • Height and weight
    • Gender
    • Hair color/length and presence of any facial hair
    • Race/complexion
    • Clothing description
    • Approximate age
    • Vehicle type, color, and plate (including state)
    • Direction of travel
  1. Follow all instructions of the responding Department of Public Safety officer or Syracuse Police officer.
  1. Notify your supervisor/department head.

Nuisance Wildlife

Wild animals, alive or dead, can spread disease and may pose potential physical hazards. Avoid all contact with wild animals.

Contact includes:

  • Bite, scratch, or kick from a wild animal
  • Exposure of eyes, nose, mouth and non-intact (cut, scratched, burned, etc.) skin to animal blood or animal saliva

At Syracuse University, only designated, trained individuals may handle and remove wild animals (alive or dead).

If there is nuisance wildlife in your work area:

  • Notify your supervisor and the Department of Public Safety immediately (711 from a University phone or 443-2224 from any other phone.
  • Do not attempt to remove or disturb the animal.
  • Depending on the incident, Physical Plant/Housing will respond and/or contact a pest management vendor.

If there has been potential contact with nuisance wildlife, notify your supervisor and the Department of Public Safety immediately.
Be prepared to tell Public Safety your name, phone number and location from which you are calling, and the nature of the incident (type of animal, animal behavior, injuries sustained).

For more information & non-emergency questions, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office (443-4132).

Chemical Spill

In the event of a chemical spill or release of toxic or hazardous material that presents a potential for or has already caused:

  • A personal injury
  • A chemical overexposure
  • An exposure to a chemical of unknown health risk, including the detection of a noxious odor
  • An adverse environmental impact
  • Any other situation immediately dangerous to life, health, or property

1. Immediately notify all personnel in the affected area of the spill or release and evacuate all personnel from the affected area.

2. Call Public Safety at 711 from a campus phone or #78 from a cell phone from a location not affected by the spill. Public Safety will dispatch the appropriate response personnel.

3. Be prepared to give Public Safety the following information:

· Your name, phone number, and location from which you are calling from
· The nature of the incident
· The location of the incident (building, floor, room number)
· The name or type of substance (if known)
· The quantity of substance (estimate)
· The hazards (flammable, explosive, toxic – if known)
· Advise if there are injuries
· Suggest a secure location to meet emergency responders

4. Stay in the secure area to meet emergency responders.

5. Do not re-enter the spill area to perform rescue operations or participate in cleanup.

 

NON- EMERGENCY CHEMICAL SPILLS
If the spill does not involve or have the potential to cause a personal injury, chemical overexposure, exposure to a chemical of unknown health risk, adverse environmental impact, or any other situation immediately dangerous to life, health, or property, it is not necessary to evacuate personnel from the area or call Public Safety. You may contact the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office directly at 315-443-4132 during normal working hours for spill information and clean-up assistance.

Biohazard Spill

In the event of a biohazard spill, a spill of human blood or bodily fluids, or release of infectious material that presents a potential for or has already caused:

  •  A personal injury
  •  An exposure to a biological material of known or unknown health risk
  •  An adverse environmental impact
  • Any other situation immediately dangerous to life, health, or property

Please proceed as follows:

  • Immediately notify all personnel in the affected area of the spill or release and evacuate all personnel from the affected area.
  • Call the Department of Public Safety at 711 from a University phone or #78 from a cell phone from a location that is not affected by the spill (secure location). Public Safety will dispatch appropriate response personnel.

Be prepared to tell Public Safety the following information:

  • Your name, phone number, and secure location from which you are calling
  • The nature of the incident
  • The location of the incident (building, floor, room number)
  • The name or type of substance (if known)
  • The quantity of substance (estimate)
  • The hazards (if known)
  • If there are known injuries

Stay in the secure area to meet emergency responders or suggest another area if the current location is now inappropriate. Do not re-enter the spill area to perform rescue operations or participate in cleanup.

For more information and non-emergency questions, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office (ext. 4132, 315-443-4132) or visit ehosu.syr.edu/EHOSU/display.cfm

Elevator Malfunction

In the event of an elevator malfunction:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Activate the emergency phone in the elevator.  If for some reason the phone does not work, push the “EMERGENCY CALL” button.  Emergency personnel will respond shortly.
  3. If you have a cell phone available, call the Department of Public Safety at 443-2224 or #78
  4. Do not try to force the elevator doors open.
  5. Do not attempt to leave or climb out of the elevator.

Motor Vehicle Accident

In the event that you are involved in or witness a motor vehicle accident on campus, immediately:
  1. Call 711 from a University phone or 443-2224 from any other phone and provide the dispatcher with:
    • Your name
    •  Your location (including nearest cross streets)
    • Your phone number
    • Description of any injuries
    • Number and description of vehicles involved
  2. If the vehicles are operational, move them out of the roadway.
  3. Do not move any injured person.  Keep the person calm and as comfortable as possible.
  4. Remain with any injured person until emergency responders arrive.
  5. If possible, have drivers license, vehicle registration, and insurance cards ready for the responding Department of Public Safety officer or Syracuse Police officer.
  6. Follow instructions of emergency responders.

Medical Emergency

If a person becomes ill or is injured and requires immediate assistance:
  1. Call 711 (campus phone) or 443-2224 (all other phones) and give the following information:
    • Building name
    • Floor/office number
    • Details of the illness/injury
  2. Stay on the phone for further instructions
  3. Do not move the injured/ill person.
  4. If you are not trained, do not attempt medical assistance before trained assistance arrives, unless the circumstances require immediate steps to preserve the life or health of the injured person before the arrival of such trained assistance.
  5. If possible, assign someone to meet emergency personnel at the closest entrance.
  6. Remain with the victim until first responders arrive.  Limit communication with the victim to no more than quiet reassurances.
  7. Report all information to emergency personnel (Department of Public Safety/Environmental Health and Safety Services Office/Syracuse University Ambulance).

Inclement Weather

The University remains open and observes its schedules in all weather, unless the determination is made by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer that current weather conditions warrant cancellation of classes and/or closing.  In the event of extreme weather emergency conditions, instructions will be communicated to the University community.

In the event of inclement weather:
  1. Stay informed – listen and watch for advisories/alerts via:
    • Your e-mail
    • Syracuse University’s website: www.syr.edu/
    • Weather Alert text message
    • Campus Announcements: www.news.syr.edu
    • Syracuse University’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/SUcampus
    • SU’s radio station WAER-FM 88.3 and other local radio and television station for University information.
  2. To report locations in need of snow clearing, please call 443-4984. Report any other hazardous conditions to Physical Plant at 443-1234 or the Department of Public Safety at 443-2224.
  3. For additional guidance, the National Oceanic and Atmostpheric Administration’s (NOAA) Severe Storm Guidelines are attached below.

Gunshots/Shots Fired

In the event that you are the victim of, a witness to, or have reason to believe that there has been a shooting incident including any firearm discharge, immediately get away from the suspect. Do not attempt to confront the suspect. Find a safe location to take refuge.

When it is safe to do so, call the Department of Public Safety at 711 from a University phone or 443-2224 from any other phone and provide the dispatcher with:

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • Your phone number
  • Details of the situation
  • A clear description of the suspect/incident, including height and weight, gender, hair color/length and presence of any facial hair, race/complexion, a clothing description, approximate age.
  • If the suspect was driving a vehicle, provide the vehicle type, color and plate number (including state) to the best of your ability, along with the direction of travel.

Follow all instructions of the responding Department of Public Safety officer or Syracuse Police officer.

If directed by SU Public Safety or Syracuse Police to “evacuate,” take the following steps:

  • Know the building in advance: Know the nearest exit. Know two ways out of the building.
  • During an extended evacuation, you may be instructed by emergency personnel to report to a designated short-term emergency evacuation center (i.e. Hendricks Chapel, Schine Student Center, Goldstein Student Center, Manley Field House, or Skybarn). Members of the Critical Incident Response Committee, Safety Officers, Public Safety, or a building coordinator will arrive at the center to act as communications liaison.
  • When you are instructed to evacuate, remain calm. Leave promptly using the nearest exit and alert other persons on your way out.
  • Meet at the designated meeting location if established for the building and account for your personnel.
  • Take keys and essential personal items.
If directed by SU Public Safety or Syracuse Police to “remain in place,” take the following steps:
  • Proceed to or remain in an office, classroom, conference room, or other area with a door.
  • Lock the door if possible.
  • Close blinds / curtains if possible.
  • Stay low, crouch or sit down in areas that are out of sight from doors and windows.
  • Note the names of all present, including the names of any visitors, so they can be accounted for later.
  • Turn off the lights and remain quiet and calm.
  • Do not open the door for anyone. Faculty and staff will be contacted by phone, radio and/or e-mail, or the Department of Public Safety or other designated University personnel and will unlock the door to the room you are in to notify you that the incident is under control and that the emergency has passed.
If the shooter is in the room – as a last resort:
  • Take action, and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression, yell and throw items at the active shooter.

How to React When Law Enforcement Arrives:

  • Officers might use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
  • Officers might be armed with rifles, handguns or shotguns.
  • Officers might shout commands and might push individuals to the ground for their safety.
  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands and immediately raise hands and spread fingers.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.

Fire/Smoke

How to Report a Fire:

  • If fire or smoke is seen, leave the area immediately and pull the fire alarm as you evacuate the building.
  • Alert other persons on your way out and close all doors behind you to confine the fire (see evacuation procedures).
  • Do NOT use elevators.

After evacuating, call the Department of Public Safety at 711 (campus phone) or 443-2224 (all other phones) to report the fire and give the following information:

  • Building name
  • Floor/area of fire/smoke
  • Any details of the fire
  • If you have specific information, notify the Department of Public Safety officers, Safety officers, or firefighters as they arrive on the scene.

Audible Fire Alarms Response:

  • When the fire alarm sounds, all persons are to evacuate the building.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Shut/lock doors behind you as you leave.
  • Take keys and essential personal items.
  • If instructed to evacuate, move at least 500 feet away from the area (take your keys and personal belongings with you) and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Do not re-enter building until instructed by emergency personnel.

Bomb Threat/Suspicious Package

In the event that you receive a bomb threat:

1. Remain calm and attempt to obtain as much information from the caller as possible. Try to write down or remember:

a. Words the caller used
b. What the caller wanted
c. Person the caller asked for

2. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Listen for:

a. Tone and characteristics of the caller’s voice
b. Your familiarity with the caller’s voice
c. Gender/age of the caller’s voice
d. Background noise

3. Call the Department of Public Safety at 711 from a University phone or 443-2224 from any other phone (avoid using a cellular phone if possible) and provide the dispatcher with:

a. Your name
b. Your location
c. Your phone number
d. Details of the situation
e. Time you received the call

4. Notify your supervisor/department head

5. Look for anything unusual in your work area. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING UNUSUAL. If you spot something unusual, point it out to any responding Public Safety officer or Safety officer.

6. Follow all directions of the Public Safety officer or Safety officer responding to the scene.

7. If instructed to evacuate, move at least 500 feet away from the area (take your keys and personal belongings with you) and await further instructions from emergency personnel.

8. Do not re-enter the building until instructed by emergency personnel.