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Emergency Plan

In the event of an emergency, the library follows the procedures below. These action steps have been developed in collaboration with our Campus Safety partners.

Earthquakes: Duck, Cover, Hold On

In the event of an earthquake, best practice is to do the following in this order: DUCK, COVER, HOLD ON

Remain calm and urge others to remain calm.

  1. DUCK down onto your hands and knees (earthquakes can knock you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
  2. COVER your head and neck with both arms, clasping your neck with your hands. If a study desk or table is nearby, crawl beneath it while keeping one arm over your head. (If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.)
  3. HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

After the shaking stops, remain calm and assess your situation. If the earthquake was minor, you may be able to return to what you were doing. If the earthquake was major, you may be asked to evacuate the building. Follow instructions provided by staff and law enforcement.


In the event of an emergency just as a fire, flood, chemical spill, etc., you will be directed to evacuate the building. Follow these steps for a safe exit:

  1. Remain calm and urge others to remain calm.
  2. If there is fire or visible smoke, stoop low through smoke to exit the building. Do not stop to collect your belongings.
  3. Once outside, move as far away from the building as possible.

DO NOT USE ELEVATORS: If you are in an elevator when a fire alarm sounds, exit if possible. If not possible, push emergency button inside elevator.

If you are unable to exit the building due to accessibility, go to the nearest stairwell, which serves as a refuge area.

Active Assailant: Run, Hide, Fight

In the event of an emergency that involves an active assailant, best practice is to do the following in this order: RUN, HIDE, FIGHT

  1. Run if there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises and keep moving away from campus.
  2. Hide if evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where you are less likely to be found.(i.e., a room with a closed and locked door – move away from the windows)
    1. Be out of view
    2. Provide protection if possible (stack tables and furniture against the door, etc.)
  3. To prevent the person from entering your hiding place:
    1. Lock the door
    2. Blockade the door with heavy furniture
    3. Silence your cell phone
    4. Remain quiet
  4. Fight as a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the person.

How to respond when law enforcement arrives

  1. Remain calm, and follow officer’s’ instructions
  2. Put down any items in your hands (i.e., phones, bags, jackets)
  3. Immediately raise hands and spread fingers. Keep hands visible at all times
  4. Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  5. Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
  6. Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premise.