Emergency Procedures

Use the tabs below to learn about Seattle University's emergency procedures.

Emergency Procedures


What to Do

To report an off-campus emergency, dial 911. If the off-campus emergency involves a university activity, make a report to Public Safety when the emergency is over. To report an on-campus emergency, call Public Safety at (206) 296-5911 or use one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located at major intersections around campus.

When Calling:

Say, “This is an emergency,” and give the dispatcher the following information:

  1. Your location.
  2. The nature of the emergency.
  3. Your name.
  4. The phone number where best to reach you.
  • Stay on the line until you are sure no further information is required.
  • After notifying emergency personnel, notify building staff.
  • Watch for the arrival of emergency personnel and direct them to the appropriate location.

In the case of the following emergencies, contact our 24-hour emergency line at (206) 296-5911:

  • Fire
  • Medical emergencies
  • Crime in progress
  • Power outage

Suspicious Activity

If you see someone or something suspicious on or near campus, please contact our 24-hour emergency (206) 296-5911. Be sure to report something suspicious even if you are unsure what the person or persons are doing. Officers would much rather respond to a call regarding a suspicious person and have it turn up to be nothing, then not know about a suspicious activity and have it turn into a potentially dangerous situation.

To inform the responding units, there are a few items of information the officer on the line may ask from you, including:

  • Where the persons are/where the activity is taking place.
  • What they are doing.
  • How many people there are.
  • What they look like.


Sign up for Emergency Text Messages

Students, staff, and faculty are automatically enrolled into SeattleUAlert messaging. Seattle University’s emergency notification service is available to the public. If you would like to enroll in the service, text SeattleUAlert to 79516.

SeattleUAlert is a text messaging and email service that allows Seattle University to send emergency information instantly to students, faculty, staff, and community members who register. It allows us to send time-sensitive emergency communication and provide official notification of any emergency situation that poses an imminent physical threat to the community. We may also use the service to distribute important non-emergency information such as unexpected campus interruptions or closures.

All information you provide is private and will not be shared. Registration is free, however your cell phone provider may charge standard text messaging fees.

University Emergency Broadcast Alert System

Some 'Blue Light' safety phones strategically located around campus are equipped with Emergency Broadcast Alert capabilities. Public Safety will use this system to audio broadcast campus-wide emergency alert messages. In an emergency, you can push the emergency call button on the 'Blue Light' safety phone and be connected with the Public Safety dispatcher. The 'Blue Light' phones are located on campus malls, parking areas, residence hall entries, and intramural fields.


What to Do

  • Report all campus medical emergencies to Public Safety at (206) 296-5911 or use one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located around campus.
  • Indicate your location, the nature of the medical problem, and your name.
  • Remain with the victim until Public Safety officers or emergency personnel arrive.
  • If you are trained, give first aid.
  • Be aware that Public Safety is equipped with AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) to assist cardiac arrest victims.
  • In the event of a possible overdose, opioid overdose kits, which include nasal Naloxone spray, are available in all AED cabinets on campus.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t move the victim unless there is an immediate threat to safety.


What to Do

  • If you suspect an intruder is on campus, call Public Safety at (206) 296-5911 or use one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located around campus and provide the information requested. Stay on the line until told to hang up.
  • If you suspect an armed intruder is nearby, try to escape and leave campus, or find a safe location to hide.
  • If outdoors, find refuge in a nearby building.
  • When indoors, remain in your room or office. Lock the door if you are able. If you cannot lock the door, close it and pile furniture or other large objects in front of it. Turn out lights and hide under furniture, away from windows and adjacent to a solid wall.
  • Remain calm and quiet.
  • Wait for police to arrive.
  • If instructed by authorities to evacuate a building or the campus grounds, follow directions exactly.
  • If you witness any hostile acts or injuries, contact the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t leave your room to try to see what's happening.
  • Don’t confront or try to apprehend the intruder.
  • Don’t assume that someone else has called Public Safety or 911.


What to Do

Certain types of emergencies may warrant campus and 911 authorities to issue Shelter-in-Place alerts. In these instances seek shelter inside an interior room (bathroom, internal office, classroom, etc.). Close all doors and windows. In the case of a CBR attack, cover all ventilation vents with damp clothing, towels, or papers. Stay in place and watch or listen for updates from campus or emergency authorities.

The best way to receive emergency notifications is by signing up for emergency messaging by texting SeattleUAlert to 79516.


Basic Anti-Crime Tips

Follow these basic anti-crime tips:

  • Don’t walk alone in isolated areas.
  • Don’t open residence hall doors to strangers to allow “piggy-backing” into buildings. Keep all doors closed and locked.
  • Don’t leave doors propped open or leave valuables unattended. Thieves know to look in your desk drawers and other hidden spaces.
  • At night, look inside your car before getting in or stay in your car if there are strangers around. Be aware of your surroundings.

What to Do

  • Call Public Safety at (206) 296-5911 or use one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located around campus.
  • Give your location, nature of the crime in progress, descriptions of people involved and your name.
  • If safe to do so, remain where you are until contacted by a Public Safety officer.
  • If safe to do so, note the suspect’s height, weight, age, sex, race, hair and eye color, tattoos, facial hair, clothing, weapons, and method and direction of travel.
  • If a motor vehicle is involved, note license plate number, make and model, color and outstanding characteristics.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t try to apprehend or interfere with the criminal except in the case of self-protection or the protection of others.


What to Do

  • Evacuate the building using exit stairs. Do not use the elevators. Take only your most important personal belongings.
  • Follow directions given by emergency personnel. 
  • If you are able and see someone in need of help, please provide assistance.
  • Go to the evacuation assembly area and check in. Evacuation assembly areas are posted inside all buildings. If necessary, emergency personnel may direct you from the evacuation assembly area to an evacuation camp at Championship Field.


What to Do

Bomb threats are most commonly received by phone. A person receiving a telephoned bomb threat should:

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.
  • Write down all the information obtained. Ideally, take notes when the caller is talking. Refrain from speaking to anyone until your notes are complete.
  • Notify Public Safety at (206) 296-5911.

For other types of bomb or suspicious situations:

  • Check your work area for suspicious packages or bags; if found, don’t touch. Report any suspicious objects to Public Safety.
  • Evacuate immediately if a bomb is discovered before authorities arrive.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t assume a bomb threat is a prank. Assume it is real.
  • Don’t touch, move or cover a suspected bomb. Note its description, exact location and report it to authorities.
  • Don’t use two-way radios or cell phones in the area.


What to Do

  • Report a fire by calling Public Safety at (206) 296-5911 or one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located around campus.
  • Sound the fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Notify Building Marshals and or Public Safety if you suspect anyone may be trapped in the building.
  • If clothing catches fire: STOP, DROP AND ROLL. DON’T RUN.
  • If caught in heavy smoke, drop to hands and knees and crawl, hold breath as much as possible, breathe shallowly through nose, and breathe through a blouse, shirt or jacket.
  • If trapped by fire, place wet towel or other clothing at the base of the door to prevent smoke from seeping in. Use a phone to request assistance by calling (206) 296-5911 or yell out a window for assistance.
  • If possible, retreat. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire. Be prepared to signal from windows, but don’t break glass unless absolutely necessary as outside smoke may be drawn in.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t attempt to extinguish a fire by yourself unless it is very small and localized. Always call (206) 296-5911 for assistance.
  • Don’t ignore alarms or assume they are false alarms.
  • Don’t use the elevators.
  • Don’t return to your building until you are notified by University officials that it is safe to do so.


How to Prepare

Decide on a pre-arranged meeting place to retreat to after an earthquake. Look at your surroundings and think about where you could seek shelter from falling objects. Secure overhead items in your work area to avoid injury during an earthquake. Keep a few supplies in your desk, such as a flashlight, emergency-contact phone numbers, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and a battery-powered radio. Become familiar with all the exits in your building.

What to Do

  • Remain calm.
  • If indoors, DROP, COVER and HOLD under a freestanding desk or table.
  • Stay away from windows, tall objects and overhead lights.
  • If there is no heavy item to take cover under (i.e. furniture, doorway, and entryway), then crouch near a sturdy wall and cover your head with your arms.
  • Shield your head and face from falling debris.
  • If outdoors, move away from buildings, utility wires, and all other overhead obstructions.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t rush outside. Many earthquake injuries occur due to falling debris just outside doorways.
  • Don’t use the elevators.
  • Don’t use the phone and don’t call 911 or Public Safety unless a subsequent emergency exists, such as an injury from falling debris.
  • Don’t use matches, lighters or other open flames and don’t turn on lights or electrical equipment in case of gas leaks or electrical damage.

What to Do After

  • Check for injuries to yourself and others, report injuries to Public Safety at (206) 296-5911, and administer first aid if necessary and you are qualified to do so.
  • Don’t move seriously injured individuals unless there is an immediate threat to safety.
  • Evacuate the building if it is damaged, if there are gas leaks or fires, or if directed to do so by University officials. Move away from the building to a designated evacuation area.
  • Use extreme caution in rescue attempts if others are trapped. If possible, wait for trained personnel to guide rescue efforts.
  • Make note of people who are missing and report them to a Building Marshal. A Building Marshal will be at each designated evacuation location and can be identified by a bright colored traffic vest.


What to Do Inside

  • Notify Public Safety from a safe location as soon as it is practical at (206) 296-5911 or one of the 'Blue Light' emergency phones located around campus.
  • If you are inside where a spill has occurred, immediately evacuate the building.
  • If you cannot evacuate, go to a protected, interior area of a building where toxic vapors are reduced, close all windows and doors and seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and thick tape, such as duct tape.
  • If there is risk of an explosion, close all shades and draperies.
  • Stay away from the windows to prevent injury from flying glass.
  • If you suspect that gas or vapors have entered the building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.

What to Do Outside

  • Notify Public Safety from a safe location as soon as it is practical at (206) 296-5911.
  • Move uphill and upwind; hazardous materials can be transported quickly through air and water.
  • Go to a protected, interior area of a building where toxic vapors are reduced.
  • Don’t attempt to clean up a spill.
  • Don’t touch or step in spilled materials.

What to Do After Exposure to Hazardous Materials

Corrosives: these are substances that cause visible destruction or permanent changes of the skin tissue upon contact.
  • Wash your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes if they are affected. Eyelids must be open; don’t rub the injured area.
  • Get under a shower, remove all clothing, and wash with soap and water.
Flammables: these are liquids with a flash point below 100 degrees F with vapors that burn readily.
  • Turn off the electricity main and gas jets.
  • Evacuate the building.
Toxics: these are poisonous substances.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Discard contaminated clothing or objects.
Reactives: these are substances that can undergo a chemical or other change that may result in explosions, burns, or corrosive or toxic conditions.
  • Close all doors.
  • Evacuate the danger area.
  • Follow decontamination instructions from local fire or health authorities.

Chemical, Biological, or Radiological (CBR) attack

A CBR attack involves a possible range of hazardous materials being disseminated through the air.

What to do

Remain indoors, close windows and doors (blocking space under the door with towels, blankets, or spare clothes), and turn off ventilation systems (heat, bathroom fans). We will follow a shelter in place process, indicating that persons should remain inside and keep doors and windows closed. Ventilation systems will be shut down as needed.

In case of a chemical, biological, or radiological attack, there may not be time to evacuate an area before the wind carries particles away from the point of origin. To prevent exposure to these agents, buildings can provide a barrier against airborne chemical or biological agents and clean air can be trapped inside of buildings providing hours of breathable air. Facilities Operations has installed equipment to assist in the campus sheltering in place plan by shutting down air handling systems. With time, prevailing winds can carry the hazard away, making it safe to leave again.

Shelter in place instructions can be found online at Seattle Emergency Management. 

How long will a shelter in place order last?

Although it's hard to determine, in most CBR attacks, clouds of particles will usually pass over an area within a few hours.

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