Campus Emergencies & Hazards

Emergencies can occur at any time, often without warning. The following information can help you manage many emergency situations appropriately.

Your judgment often determines whether an incident is an emergency. If in doubt, always err on the side of safety. It is important to understand how to receive information and warnings about emergencies affecting campus.

Listed below are several different ways campus affiliates can stay informed about emergencies affecting the Boulder campus and other important safety information.

Campus Emergencies & Hazards

In This Section

Evacuation

If You Hear a Fire Alarm

  1. Immediately evacuate the building via the shortest and safest route. Do not use elevators.
  2. If you notice smoke, use the alternative escape route.
  3. Test doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If the door is warm or if you notice smoke, use an alternative escape route. Check paths for safety before proceeding and close doors behind you.
  4. Crawl low if you have to go through smoke.
  5. Go to a safe area or to a pre-assigned assembly point for your building.
  6. If you are trapped during a fire emergency, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff cracks around the doors to keep out smoke. Wait at a safe window and signal/call for help. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department or 911 and tell them exactly where you are.
  7. Stop, Drop and Roll if your clothing catches fire.

If You Discover A Fire

  1. Leave the fire area and close the door to the area.
  2. Sound the fire alarm.
  3. Immediately evacuate the building via the shortest and safest route. (Proper use of fire extinguishers within extinguisher limits and by trained individuals is optional but should not be attempted until the building alarm is actuated and people are evacuated.
  4. Do not use elevators. A fire can disrupt the operation of elevators and trap occupants inside.
  5. If you notice smoke, use an alternate escape route.
  6. Test doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If the door is warm or if you notice smoke, use an alternative escape route. Check paths for safety before proceeding and close doors behind you.
  7. Crawl low if you have to go through smoke.
  8. Go to a safe area or to a pre-assigned assembly point  for your building.
  9. If you are trapped during a fire emergency, close all doors between you and the fire and stuff cracks around the doors to keep out smoke. Wait at a safe window and signal/call for help. If there is a phone in the room, call the 911 and tell them exactly where you are.
  10. Stop, Drop and Roll if your clothing catches fire.

Once You Have Evacuated

  1. From the nearest phone in the safe area, call 911.
  2. If you suspect that someone is missing or trapped, contact firefighters on scene or at the fire engine, police officers, or ambulance personnel.
  3. Await emergency response personnel at a safe location and direct them to the scene. Do not reenter the building until instructed to do so by the fire department.
  4. Follow directions from public safety and university officials.
  5. Report to the person who is taking roll.
  6. Never reenter the building to save your personal belongings.
  7. Stay calm.

Shelter-in-Place

What is Shelter-in-Place?

Shelter-in-place is a proactive action taken inside a building to protect internal occupants from external hazards. This action is intended to provide safety in circumstances when evacuation would present a greater risk to individuals than remaining in their current location. Although the reason for a shelter-in-place order may not be immediately communicated, circumstances that may warrant a shelter-in-place response may include:

  • Severe weather
  • HAZMAT incident
  • Active shooter or other violent criminal behavior in the area
  • Any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid an outside threat

What do I do if a shelter-in-place order is given?

When a shelter in place order is given it will depend on the threat or hazard as to what specific steps should be taken, however the following guidelines should be followed:

  • If outside, take shelter in the nearest campus building. During a flash flood move to the upper floors.
  • Find an interior room with the fewest windows.
  • Shut and lock all windows (this provides a tighter seal) and close exterior doors.
  • For some threats, it is not wise to turn on any noise source audible from the outside. Remain quiet unless instructed that it is safe to turn on such devices. 
  • If instructed, for weather-related events, or for HAZMAT incidents turn on a radio or television and listen for further instructions.
  • Remain alert for instructions and updates as they become available from emergency personnel and university administrators.
  • Remain calm and look after each other. You will be notified when it is safe to come out. Do not leave until you are sure that the identity or source of the announcement is a public safety or university official.

What if I am in class?

Faculty members and students should remain in place until directed to relocate by public safety officials.

What if I am off campus?

If you are off campus when a shelter-in-place order is ordered, remain where you are, seek shelter, and then follow city or local jurisdiction directives. Do not attempt to return to campus.

CU-Boulder Alerts

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing timely warnings and/or emergency notifications for situations that represent a serious or continuing threat to the campus community. Situations where CU-Boulder Alerts text messages could be issued include severe weather, campus operating status, and imminent dangers affecting our campus community.

To make it easier for students to receive these email and text alert messages, on April 1st, 2013 the university integrated the sign-up process into our registration system, and you will be able manage your information through the MyCUInfo student center throughout the year.

At this time, faculty, staff and non-student affiliates should still use https://www.getrave.com/login/cuboulder to manage their emergency notification information. 

We encourage all CU-Boulder students, faculty, staff and affiliates to manage all emergency notification information for the CU-Boulder Alerts system during registration and throughout the year, as these bulk messages are a vital method of sharing urgent campus information in emergency situations.

Faculty, staff, and students who are away from campus conducting business, on vacation, or when classes are not in session will continue to receive alerts as long as they are a subscriber. Only CU affiliates with university e-mail addresses may register for CU-Boulder Alerts. For more information and to register please click here.

 

Boulder County Emergency Alert Program

The Boulder County Emergency Alert Program allows you to receive alerts about off-campus emergencies and other important community news occurring in Boulder County. Please note that this service is provided for off-campus addresses only, and all campus affiliates are encouraged to register for CU-Boulder Alerts for emergency notifications specific to the Boulder campus. Please click here for more information and to register for the Boulder County Emergency Alert Program.

Local State & County Emergency Alerts

Please click here for a list of local state and county alert systems. 

CU-Boulder Website

The CU-Boulder homepage is a great source for information about emergencies affecting the campus. In the event of an emergency, the CU-Boulder homepage will display all relevant information about the emergency and where to find additional information and instructions.

 

Boulder Office of Emergency Management

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management website provides information about emergency situations that are occurring in the county on their Emergency Status Page. Click here for more information about emergencies that are occurring in Boulder County.

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