Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does Purdue University have an emergency management plan?
  2. How often is the emergency plan updated?
  3. How do I report an emergency?
  4. What should I do if I see suspicious activities or behaviors?
  5. What can I do to prepare for an emergency or disaster?
  6. What should I do in the event of an emergency or disaster?
  7. How will I know when to “evacuate” my building?
  8. What should I do if I am unable to “evacuate” my building?
  9. How will I know when to "shelter-in-place” in the nearest building?
  10. If I hear the All Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens, what does it mean?  What should I do?
  11. When are the All Hazards Outdor Warning Sirens tested?
  12. Does the University have an emergency warning notification system?
  13. Will classes be canceled in anticipation of an emergency?
  14. How can I find out more about Purdue University safety and preparedness programs?

TEXT MESSAGE FAQs

  1. How do I sign-up to receive text messages via the Purdue ALERT system?
  2. How do I unsubscribe from the Purdue ALERT text messaging system?
  3. Who can sign up to receive Purdue ALERT text messages?
  4. Can parents sign up to receive Purdue ALERT text messages?
  5. Why should I subscribe to the Purdue ALERT text message service?
  6. Does the Purdue ALERT text message service cost anything to use?
  7. What should I do when I receive a Purdue ALERT text message?
  8. Where can I get help with Purdue ALERT text message system?

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Q1:  Does Purdue University have an emergency management plan?

A1:  The University has an All-Hazards Integrated Emergency Management Plan (IEMP).   The plan contains policies, guidelines, and procedures to follow before, during and after an emergency.

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Q2:  How often is the emergency plan updated?

A2:  The emergency plan is reviewed and updated as needed or at a minimum of annually.

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Q3:  How do I report an emergency?

A3: To report an emergency call 911.  On-campus telephones will send you immediately to the Purdue University Dispatch Center.  If you call by cell phone, you may be sent to another local dispatch center.  Inform the dispatcher of your campus location and you will be immediately transferred to the Purdue Dispatch Center. 

You can also report an emergency by using one of nearly 300 “blue light” Emergency Telephone Systems (ETS), strategically located throughout campus.  Simply open the door and/or push the button to contact the Purdue Dispatch Center.

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Q4: What should I do if I see suspicious activities or behaviors?

A4:  Please be alert and report any criminal incident, suspicious behavior, or improper security activity to the Purdue Police Department by calling 911 (for emergencies) or 765-494-8221 (for non-emergencies).

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Q5:  What can I do to prepare for an emergency or disaster?

A5: The safety of our stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, and visitors) is our number one priority.   However, one must understand that each of us must be prepared and take responsibility for our safety. Here are some things you can do to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster:

  • Create a personal emergency plan that includes a method for making contact with family and friends in the event of disaster.
  • Periodically review the Emergency Procedures Guide.
  • Review your specific Building Emergency Plan (if unable to locate the plan contact your Building Deputy).
  • Know the following:
    • The Purdue Emergency Warning Notification System: Purdue ALERT
    • Building evacuation routes, exit points, and where to report for roll call after evacuating.
    • When and how to evacuate the building.
    • When and how to shelter in place in the building.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.  Identify exits, life safety equipment, building shelter areas, and emergency telephones.
    • Procedures for notifying emergency responders…dial 911 for any emergency.
    • Report suspicious activity, packages, or conditions to the Purdue Police Department by calling 911 (for emergencies) or 765-494-8221 (for non-emergencies).

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Q6: What should I do in the event of an emergency or disaster?

  • You should:
    • Have a personal emergency plan.
    • Remain calm, be patient, use common sense, think before you act, and give assistance as needed.
    • Follow the advice of University Public Safety personnel and local emergency officials.
    • Closely monitor news reports and Purdue ALERT warning notifications for news and instructions.
    • Keep ready access to your medicines and family & medical phone numbers.
    • Avoid crowded public areas.
    • If a natural disaster or human-caused incident occurs, stay away from the area.
    • Know where emergency devices are located and the location of at least two emergency exits close to your living/working area.
    • Make sure to have access to an adequate first aid kit.
  • You should not:
    • Use the telephone (landline or cellular) except to report the emergency situation.
    • Use elevators.
    • Jeopardize your life or the lives of others by attempting to save personal or university property.

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Q7:  How will I know when to “evacuate” my building?

A7:  You must evacuate your building if the building fire alarm is activated or if directed by University Public Safety personnel.  You should immediately proceed to your Emergency Assembly Area as specified in your Building Emergency Plan.

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Q8:  What should I do if I am unable to “evacuate” my building?

  • If not… shelter- in- place in an area with no immediate hazards and telephone 911. Advise the police dispatcher of your location. The use of 911 routinely identifies the location of the caller if you are calling from a Purdue University land-line phone. Even if the caller is unable to speak, the dispatcher will then automatically surmise that the caller may be in trouble and will send emergency responders accordingly.
  • If you are unable to call 911, advise others around you of your location and have them inform emergency personnel of your location.
  • If you are in no immediate danger, remain where you are and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • If you are in immediate danger, move to an area where you can shelter-in-place (recommended areas would be a room with an outside window or a room with a sprinkler system if available.)
  • You are also encouraged to carry a sounding device like a small whistle, flashlight and cell phone to alert emergency personnel of your location.
  • It is best to have arrangements pre-planned for evacuation assistance. Arrangements can be made to reasonably assure that assistance is provided to anyone who requires it. Having a plan and practicing it may save your life. Contact the Purdue Fire Department for arrangements or questions at (765) 494-6919.

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Q9: How will I know when to "shelter-in-place” in the nearest building?

A9: You must immediately seek shelter in the nearest facility or building (preferably in a room with no windows) when:

  • You hear the All Hazards Outdoors Emergency Warning Sirens.
  • When directed by Purdue ALERT communications layers.
  • When directed by police or fire department personnel.

(Reference the Emergency Procedures Guide for more detailed “how to” information.)

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Q10: If I hear the All Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens, what does it mean?  What should I do?

A10:  Purdue University has sirens that are part of the Tippecanoe County All Hazards warning notification system.  Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Agency personnel may activate the sirens for county-wide alerts.  Moreover, University Public Safety personnel may activate the University’s sirens, independent of the county actions, to alert anyone outdoors in the Purdue University area of an emergency situation.
You may be required to Shelter In Place for events such as:

  • Tornado warning or other severe weather events.
  • Hazardous materials release.
  • Active shooter, building intruder, or civil disturbance.
  • As directed by police personnel for any other situation that requires you to find protection within a building.

Outdoor sirens will sound for a period in excess of three minutes.  If the sirens are activated, you should immediately seek safety in the nearest building and seek more clarifying information by all possible means.  Purdue ALERT communication layers will send out additional information.   Your place of refuge will be determined by the type of emergency.  Reference your Building Emergency Plan for specific locations, or use the below table as a guide:

All Hazards Siren Guidelines

EMERGENCY

EMERGENCY ASSEMBLY AREA (EAA)—SHELTER IN PLACE

Weather-Related—Tornado Warning

Basement corridors, basement offices, basement restrooms or the lowest level of the building (stay away from windows and doors)

Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Release

Remain or find an unaffected office or work area and close windows and doors.

Civil Disturbance—Active Shooter

Seek a safe location, preferable a room without windows that can be locked or secured by barriers.

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Q11: When are the All Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens tested?

A11:  Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Agency performs a test of the county sirens (to include the sirens at Purdue) at 11:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month except during periods of adverse weather conditions.

In addition, the seven University sirens are normally tested at the beginning of each Fall and Spring academic semesters.

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Q12: Does the University have an emergency warning notification system?

A12:  Yes, Purdue’s emergency warning notification system is called Purdue ALERT.  It is designed as a multi-layered system that will help spread the word quickly and accurately.  It is comprised of the multiple layers (some or all may be activated depending on the emergency.) Click here to learn more about PurdueALERT Layers

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Q13: Will classes be canceled in anticipation of an emergency?

A13: While weather related events, such as winter weather may cause a class cancellation, it is highly unusual for classes to be canceled. The campus will continue to operate as usual unless specific, credible information is obtained indicating an increased risk to the Purdue community. This information will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by campus officials and relevant government agencies to determine the most appropriate course of action.  Students, faculty, and staff should go about their normal activities unless directed otherwise.

You should always check the Purdue University homepage for the latest information.

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Q14:  How can I find out more about Purdue University safety and preparedness programs?

A14:  Depending on your specific question, you should be able to find additional information on the following websites:

Additionally, you should review the University’s annual security and fire report…Your Campus Your Safety.  

You can also go to the Emergency Preparedness website and submit a “Contact Us” form or emailehps@purdue.edu.  Someone from the Emergency Preparedness Office will contact you.

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TEXT MESSAGE FAQs

Q15:  How do I sign-up to receive text messages via the Purdue ALERT system?

A15:  To receive a text message one must opt into the system by:

  •  Click on: http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue/
  • Click on “Change my emergency contact number”
  • Enter your Purdue career account info
  • Click on “Emergency Contact Number”
  • Enter your phone number

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Q16:  How do I unsubscribe from the Purdue ALERT text messaging system?

A16:  To unsubscribe:

  •  Click on: http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue/
  • Click on “Change my emergency contact number”
  • Enter your Purdue career account info
  • Click on “Emergency Contact Number”
  • Delete your phone number

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Q17:  Who can sign up to receive Purdue ALERT text messages?

A17:  To ensure the prompt delivery of messages to the people directly affected by an incident on campus, the service is limited to students, faculty and staff.

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Q18:  Can parents sign up to receive Purdue ALERT text messages?

A18: Yes, by using the "Fast Follow" function offered through Twitter, or by directly following @purdueemergency via Twitter

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Q19:  Why should I subscribe to the Purdue ALERT text message service?

A19:  No one can predict when a campus emergency will occur, or where you will be when it happens. If you have a cell phone, Purdue ALERT text messages will provide urgent, time-sensitive information directly to you, whatever your location.

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Q20:  Does the Purdue ALERT text message service cost anything to use?

A20:  Subscribing to emergency text messages is free. However, your cell phone carrier may charge you to receive text messages.  Please check with your phone company for details.

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Q21:  What should I do when I receive a Purdue ALERT text message?

A21:  Purdue ALERT text messages provide you quick but very basic information due to text limitations (160 character messages).  Text messages are designed to provide you a quick message that an incident has occurred on campus.  You should avoid the area, stay vigilant to your surroundings’ and seek a safe place of refuge.  You should also seek additional information by all means possible to help you determine your course of action.

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Q22:  Where can I get help with Purdue ALERT text message system?

A22:  Go to the Emergency Preparedness website and submit a “Contact Us” form.  Someone from the Emergency Preparedness Office will contact you.

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