Campus alerts
Severe weather
Important links

Emergency preparedness program

The university has a Crisis Management Team which is involved in extensive planning for emergencies which could occur on campus. These plans are constantly reviewed and updated.

1. Campus alerts

Incidents on campus are provided to the campus community through Furman's emergency notification system (IRIS), email bulletin boards, University Police's web page and The Paladin newspaper.
The method used is determined by the reason for the alert and level of risk.  High risk alerts are communicated via IRIS. 

2. Community Response Checklist - To active shooter

a. Secure immediate area:
  • If possible, lock and barricade doors
  • Turn off lights
  • Close blinds
  • Block windows
  • Turn off radios and computer monitors
  • Keep occupants calm, quiet, and out of sight
  • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection [i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets (cover may protect you from bullets)]
  • Silence cell phones
  • Place signs in exterior windows to identify the location of injured persons
b. Un-securing an area:
  • Consider risks before un-securing rooms
  • Remember, the shooter will probably not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
  • Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area
  • Consider the safety of masses vs. the safety of a few
  • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured
c. Contacting authorities:
  • Use Emergency 911 (From campus telephones 9-911)
  • Campus Police emergency number 294-2111
Be aware that 911 systems will likely be overwhelmed. Program the Furman University Police line (864 294-2111) into your cell telephone for emergency use.

d. What to report:
  • Your specific location: building name, office/room number
  • Numb
  • Injuries: number injured, types of injuries
  • Assailant(s): location, number of suspects, race, gender, clothing description, physical features, type of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooter's identity (if known), separate explosions from gunfire, etc.
e. Police response:
  • The initial objective is to immediately engage assailant(s)
  • Evacuate victims
  • Facilitate follow-up medical care, interviews, counseling
  • Investigation

3. Fire and explosion

Immediate Actions: 

a. Fire:
  • All should evacuate to Assembly Area after closing doors to their areas.
b. Explosions:
  • Take cover   
  • Assist injured  
  • Evacuate to Assembly Area
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits, and alarm pull stations in your area and know how to use them.
c. Small fire procedures
* Avoid personal injury and excessive risks.
* Alert people in the immediate area and activate the alarm.
* Call ext. 2111.  Give specific details of fire location.
* Smother fire or use the nearest fire extinguisher if you feel comfortable doing so AND have
been properly trained.
* Always keep your back to an exit so that you do not become trapped by a fire.
* Avoid smoke and fumes. Stay low.
* University Police will respond to the scene to assist in building evacuation and to meet and
assist the Fire Department.
* Once the Fire Department has arrived, the responding Incident Commander will take charge
of all rescue and suppression activities.
* Do not re-enter the building until advised by the Fire Department or the University Police Officer.

d. Operating a fire extinguisher
Pull the pin;
Aim the extinguisher hose at the base of the fire;
Squeeze the lever;
Sweep from side to side.

e. During an alarm
* Don't panic; remain calm.
* Close door to your area if you are the last to exit.
* Walk to nearest exit.  Do not use elevators.
* If area is smoky, get on hands and knees and crawl to nearest exit.
* After leaving the building, go to the designated assembly area.

f. If You are trapped in a building:
1) If a window is available, place light-colored article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside a window as a marker for rescue crews.
2) If there is no window, stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic.  Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.  Do not panic.
3) Check to see if the door is warm.  If it is, do not open it.  If smoke is entering through the cracks around the door, stuff something in the cracks to slow the flow. 

g. Emergency systems
For information concerning evacuation drills, fire alarms, and other emergency systems, please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office:
Ext. 3287, Coordinator      
Ext. 3403, Fire Safety Specialist  

4. Hazardous materials (chemical / biological / radiological)

a. Chemical spills procedures

The range and quantity of hazardous substances used in laboratories require proper advanced planning in order to respond to chemical spills.

b. For major spills

* Call ext. 2111 so that University Police can notify that Environmental Health and Safety Office and/or
Fire Department.
* Do not enter the contaminated area.
* Alert people in the area to evacuate.
* Remove any injured personnel to fresh air or nearest emergency shower/eyewash unless
there is danger or further injury.
* If spilled material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources. 
* Close doors to affected area.
* Locate appropriate material safety data sheets and/or chemical dictionary.
* Have persons knowledgeable of area assist emergency personnel.

c. For minor spills

* Alert people in the immediate area of the spill, and avoid breathing vapors from the spill.
* Put on protective equipment, including eye protection, suitable gloves, and long-sleeve lab coat.
* Confine spill to small area.
* Use appropriate kit to neutralize and absorb inorganic acids and bases.  Collect residue, place in  appropriate container, and dispose of as chemical waste. 
* For other chemicals, use appropriate kit or absorb spill with vermiculite, dry sand, or
absorbent pads. 

Note: University Personnel should be aware that a major chemical spill on a nearby highway or railway could require a complete or partial campus evacuation.

d. Biological (blood) spills procedures:

Student Health Services or custodial personnel trained in blood borne pathogen cleanup should follow established protocols.  For blood or body fluid spills in residence halls, academic buildings, administrative buildings, or on outside surfaces such as walkways, contact University Police (294.2111).  * Always practice "Universal Precautions" when handling human blood or body fluids.
* Wear disposable gloves and absorb fluids with disposable towels or absorbent pads.
* Clean area of all visible fluids with detergent (soap/water).  
* Decontaminate area with an appropriate disinfectant such as diluted bleach.
* Place all disposable materials into a plastic leak-proof bag.  
* Contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office (294.3287) concerning details and disposal procedures.  

e. Radiation spills procedures

* Remove contaminated clothing.
* Rinse exposed area thoroughly with water.
* Obtain medical attention, if necessary.
* Report incident to lab instructor/supervisor and the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

For specific questions regarding chemical, biological, or radiological safety, call the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 295.3287 or 294.3403.  

5. Medical emergencies and personal injury

University Police Officers are trained in CPR and First Aid and will immediately respond to medical emergencies on campus.  Any injury occurring as a result of an existing hazardous condition should be reported to University Police at ext. 2111 and the Environmental Health and Safety Office at ext. 3287 or 3403.

In most cases, emergency response personnel are only minutes away and, unless an injury is life-threatening, applying first aid may not be necessary.  However, in the event of a disaster that extends beyond your location, response may be delayed, making it necessary for you to take appropriate action.

a. Quick response
* Do not move victim unless safety dictates.

* If trained, use pressure to stop bleeding, use CPR if no pulse and not breathing.

* Call ext. 2111, state that medical aid is needed, and provide the following information:
1) Location and number of injured person(s) (which building, room number).
2) Type of injury or problem and individual's present condition.
3) The sequence of events leading to the injury.
4) Medical history and name of injured persons' doctors, if known.
5) The phone number you are calling from.  (Stay on the phone with the dispatcher.)

b. Illness or injury to student
During the regular academic year, students with illnesses or minor injuries should be referred to Student Health Services at the Earle Infirmary, 294.2180.  Illnesses or injury to students during hours when the Student Health Service is closed should be reported to the University Police Department for referral information. 

c. Illness or injury to faculty / staff
Emergency treatment for job-related work injuries or medical illness may be obtained by calling the University Police Department.  University Officers will assist immediately and dispatch Emergency Medical Services, if necessary.  For minor illnesses or injuries, either apply first aid and/or transport employee to the off-campus facility responsible for providing worker compensation care to the university employees.  A report must be completed for all incidents of work-related illness or injury.  Please call the Personnel Office at ext. 2217 for forms and assistance. 

d. Illness or injury to guest
Request emergency medical assistance by calling University Police at ext. 2111. 

e. A-B-C'S of CPR
Begin Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) only if you are trained.  The following information is not intended to replace CPR training.  For information on CPR training, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office (ext. 3287 or 3403). 

Determine responsiveness
* If victim appears unconscious, gently shake a shoulder and shout: "Are you OK?"
* If no response, have someone call Emergency Medical Service (ext. 2111).
* If alone, call for help before proceeding to ABC's. 

A is for AIRWAY

* Roll victim onto back as a unit, supporting head and neck.
* Open airway by head-tilt /chin-lift maneuver.
* Look, listen and feel for breathing for 3-5 seconds.
* If no response, proceed to B.  If victim is breathing, proceed to C. 


* Pinch victim's nose shut.  Put your mouth over victim's, making a tight seal.
* Give 2 slow breaths.
* If breathing does not go through (chest does not rise), re-tilt head and try again.  If breaths still do not to through, perform 3 to 5 abdominal thrusts.  Then do finger sweep and give 2 full breaths.  If breaths do go through, proceed to C.  If breaths do NOT go through, repeat abdominal thrusts and finger sweeps. 


* Check carotid pulse for 5-10 seconds.
* If there is a pulse but no breathing, give 1 breath every 5 seconds (about 12 breaths per minute) until victim is breathing or help arrives.
* If no pulse, begin chest compressions.

One-Rescuer Adult CPR

* Perform 15 external chest compressions at the rate of 80 to 100 times per minute.
* Reopen airway and give 2 full breaths.
* After 4 cycles of 15:2 (about one minute), check pulse.
* If no pulse, continue 15:2 cycle beginning with chest compressions until advanced life support is available. 

f. Heimlich maneuver for choking
* Ask: "Are you choking?"
* If victim can't breathe, cough, or speak have someone call University Police at ext. 2111 and begin the Heimlich maneuver:
1) Stand behind the victim.
2) Wrap your arms around the victim's waist and grab the fist of one hand with your other hand. 
3) Place thumb side of your fist against the victim's stomach, slightly above the navel and below the rib cage.
4) Press your fist into the victim's stomach and give up to 5 abdominal thrusts.
5) REPEAT series of thrusts until effective or victim becomes unconscious. 

Note: This procedure is not recommended for infants.

7. Psychological crisis

A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to himself/herself or to others, or is out of touch with reality due to severe drug reaction or psychotic break.  A psychotic break may be manifested by hallucinations, uncontrollable behavior, or complete withdrawal.  Psychological crisis may occur in response to traumatic or tragic events affecting the campus community.  In addition, psychological crises may involve individuals in severe distress who are unable to manage themselves and may be creating serious adverse responses in people around them. 

a. Quick response
* Call University Police at ext. 2111
* If NOT an emergency during normal working hours, call the Counseling Center at ext. 3031. 

b. For an unusual or potentially dangerous situation:
* Never try to handle a situation by yourself that you feel is dangerous.  Call University Police.
* Clearly state that you need immediate assistance.  State your name, where you are calling from, and the nature of the problem.
* All suicide attempts should be reported to University Police so that proper procedures may be followed to ensure the safety of those involved. 

c. Avoiding violent situations
Inform management about threats.  Eliminate opportunities for violence by:
1) Alerting University Police,
2) Giving yourself an out,
3) Having a second person in the room,
4) Standing behind a barrier,
5) Using effective people skills.

d. Reacting to violent situations
1) Send positive body signals by keeping a positive posture and maintaining eye contact. 
2) Do not touch or approach a person who may become violent.
3) Be in control by not getting angry and keeping the person talking.
4) Show concern yet maintain a distance.
5) Call ext. 2111 or have someone else call.

e. Emotional stress
1) If there is someone in the university community that you know who is in emotional distress, 
please make a university staff person (see resource list ) aware so that counseling and    
other assistance can be obtained for that person. 
2) If you know of an off-campus situation involving a member of the university community that
could spill over onto the campus, please inform a university staff (see resource list).
3) Any threats of violence or indications of volatile behavior, regardless of how insignificant it
may appear, need to be reported.
4) Weapons are not permitted on the Furman campus.  If you become aware of dangerous
weapons or firearms on campus, please inform University Police immediately.

f. Resource list (and extensions):
* Student Services (2202 or 2203)
* Housing Staff (2092)
* Counseling Center (3031)
* Student Health Services (2180)
* Chaplain's Office (2133)
* University Police (24 hours - 2111)

g. The University Counseling Center provides:
For Students:
* Crisis intervention and debriefing
* Individual and group counseling
* Consultation
* Referral services

For faculty and staff:
* Consultation
* Referral services
* Crisis intervention and debriefing when available.

8. Bomb threats

All bomb threats must be treated as a serious matter. To ensure the safety of the faculty, staff, students, and the general public, bomb threats must be considered real until proven otherwise.  In most cases, bomb threats are meant to disrupt normal activities.  However, building evacuation is not a decision to make except by the proper authorities as listed below.  The procedures described below should be implemented regardless of whether the bomb threat appears real or not.

a. Quick response
  • Call ext. 2111 and report the incident.
  • If a suspicious object is observed, DO NOT TOUCH IT!  Immediately evacuate the area.
b. All personnel should respond in the following manner:
A) If a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered, do not handle the object. Evacuate the immediate area and call ext. 2111.  Be sure to include the location and the appearance of the object when reporting.
B) If a phone call bomb threat is received, ask the caller the following questions and record the answers:
1st  When is the bomb going to explode?
2nd Where is the bomb located?
3rd  What kind of bomb is it?
4th  What does it look like?
5th  Why did you place the bomb?
6th  Who are you?

Keep the caller talking as long as possible and try to also determine and record the following information:
  • Time of call
  • Sex and approximate age of caller
  • Speech pattern (accent, possible nationality, slur, etc.)
  • Emotional state of caller
  • Background noise
  • Do not hang up the phone, even after the caller hangs up.  The call may be traceable.
Immediately call 2111 and notify University Police.  Do not evacuate the building unless directed to do so by University Police or the Fire Department.  Early evacuation before the evacuation route has been searched may place more people in jeopardy that not evacuating at all.

c. Important :

After evacuation, report to an Emergency Assembly Area.  Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by appropriate personnel (University Police or the Fire Department).

9. Crime reduction and awareness programs

One of the goals of the University Police Department is to prevent crime.  Review the following services available to you.

a. Weekly summaries of crimes on campus
So that you are aware of your environment, a summary of campus crimes and other incidents are posted weekly on the Information Services Computer Bulletin Board.  During the months in which The Paladin newspaper is distributed, there is a crime summary in each edition.

b. Department and faculty security assessments The University Police Department conducts assessment on surveys of all departments and facilities every three years to assist in identifying security risks, address known problems, and develop a security plan.  If your security needs change or if you are experiencing problems, you may request an immediate survey by contacting the Director of University Police.

c. Prevention pamphlets and lectures University Police staff provide orientation briefings on services and crime prevention programs to all new students and staff.  They offer free self defense courses and lectures on specific subjects on request.  The department maintains a crime prevention video library on numerous subjects.  The videos are available for loan at no charge.  There are over 50 crime prevention pamphlets available in the University Police Office.

d. Operation identification
To mark university property to discourage theft, the department has engravers and a branding iron for loan.  Upon request, University Police will provide campus departments with a plastic stencil and permanent marking materials (black and white) to mark your property.

e. Technical equipment and support Over 150 security alarm systems are currently in use on campus.  Computers in public areas such as labs and reception desks have been secured with special equipment. Card access control systems are in place in some facilities, and we are expanding these systems.  An emergency telephone has been installed in the public area of all campus facilities.  There are some campus telephones located on the exterior of the residence complexes.  If you are interested in this type of technology, contact the Director of University Police for assistance.

10. Building evacuation

  • All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds continuously and/or upon notification by emergency personnel or by the University Police Department.
  • If necessary or if directed to do so by a designated emergency official, activate the building alarm.
  • Be aware of people with disabilities in your area who might require assistance in an emergency evacuation.  Be prepared to render assistance if necessary.  (Note: It is suggested that people with disabilities prepare for emergencies by learning the locations of exit corridors and by informing co-workers, professors, and/or classmates of best methods of assistance during an emergency.)
  • Do not use elevators during an emergency evacuation.  Emergency response personnel may use an elevator for evacuation after review of the circumstances.
  • When the building evacuation alarm is sounded or when told to leave by a designated emergency official, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and ask others to do the same.
  • Once outside, move to an Emergency Assembly Point at least 300 feet from the building.
  • Remain at the emergency assembly point until a headcount is taken and further instructions are provided by emergency personnel or University Police.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until advised by the Fire Department or University Police.
Quick response
  • When the alarm sounds, leave immediately.
  • Alert others to the emergency and ask if they will need help in an evacuation.
  • Do not use elevators unless instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
  • Go to an emergency assembly point at least 300 feet from the building.

11. Building utility and maintenance problems or failures

Facilities Services is a service department with the responsibility to provide systems and building support including:
  • Electrical Problems
  • Power outages
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Heating/air conditioning
  • Plumbing problems
  • Gas systems
  • Elevator problems
Contact Facilities Services for maintenance emergencies at ext. 2103 or 2179 during normal working hours.  If a utility emergency occurs after normal working hours, contact University Police at ext. 2111.

a. Electrical / light failure All buildings are equipped with emergency lighting.  However, in some areas, emergency lighting may not provide sufficient illumination for safe exiting; it is therefore advisable to have flashlights available for emergencies.  If it appears that only your area or building is without power, notify Facilities Services.

b. Plumbing failure / flooding / water leak
Stop using all electrical equipment, notify Facilities Services, and the evacuate the area.

c. Natural gas leak
Stop all operations, notify University Police at ext. 2111, and exit the area immediately.  To avoid sparks, leave all electrical equipment (lights, computers, appliances, etc.) as is. Electrical arcing can trigger an explosion.

d. Ventilation / fume hood problems
If smoke or odors come from the ventilation system, immediately notify Facilities Services.  If necessary, stop all operations/lab work and vacate the area.

e. Unsafe work conditions
The primary goal of the Environmental Health and Safety Office is to improve and protect the health and safety for our employees, visitors, students, and the surrounding environment through the identification f workplace hazards and the development of appropriate control measures.  All unsafe work conditions or practices are to be reported to the Environmental Health and Safety Office Coordinator (ext. 3287), Fire Safety Specialist (ext. 3403), and Facilities Services Front Office (ext. 2179).

f. Emergency response
Furman University maintains an Emergency Response Plan which is implemented whenever emergency situations escalate to a point which demands the coordinated efforts of numerous University departments and/or officials.  This plan activates the Crisis Management Team which evaluates and responds to crisis situations.  For additional information, contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at ext. 3287.

12. Severe weather plans and natural disasters

Violent weather by its nature is unpredictable; however, the approach of such weather is often known in advance.  Good communication and quick response throughout the Furman University community will minimize serious injuries.  Every reasonable effort will be made to advise faculty, staff, and students of the approach of violent weather, via phone or e-mail.

a. Immediate action
  • Remain calm.
  • Move away from windows.
  • Call ext. 2111 if assistance is necessary.
  • Evacuate building if alarm sounds.
  • DO NOT use the fire alarm system unless a fire is present.
b. Things to watch for:

Severe Weather Watch is issued when conditions exist for severe weather activity.  You should be prepared in the event the watch is upgraded. Severe Storm Warning indicates that severe weather has actually been confirmed in the area or is indicated by radar.

c. Tornado / hurricane
  • Move away from open doors and windows and move into an interior hallway.
  • Do not use electrical equipment.
  • Do not use elevators.  Go to lowest level of the building away from windows.  Take shelter.
  • Sit on the floor and put your head in your lap.  Cover head with arms.
  • Remain in place of shelter until you are notified that the hazard has passed.
d. Winter storms

The University will provide radio stations with timely updates on any campus closings, cancellations, and delays due to inclement weather.  A list of radio and television stations that will be broadcasting information can be found in the University telephone directory.  Employees may call the Furman University's weather line at 294-FSNO for details.  Employees and students are urged not to call University Police for weather-related updates because this prohibits staff from performing their duties.  Employees required to be at work during campus closings should arrange for suitable transportation ahead of time.

e. Earthquake
  • Stay inside.
  • Watch for falling objects.
  • Crawl under the table or desk or stand in a doorway and hang on to something.
  • Do not use open flame since gas leaks may be present.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Remain calm and be prepared for aftershocks.
  • If evacuation is ordered, proceed to assembly area.
  • Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by the Fire Department or a University Police Officer.

13. Important links:

Furman University Police
Homeland Security
U.S. State Department Travel Warnings
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
Red Cross
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Disaster Help

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