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Emergency Procedures Guide


In the event of a fire, activate the building’s fire alarm system BEFORE calling 911.
Evacuate the building immediately.

Refer to the Fire Evacuation section for more information.

When calling 911:

  1. Stay on the line with the dispatcher.
  2. Provide the address of the building involved and your exact location. This is especially critical if you are calling from a cell phone.
  3. Provide a thorough description of the incident to ensure that proper resources are dispatched.
  4. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to do so.

Emergency Telephone System (ETS)

Nearly 300 ETS boxes are located at almost every street intersection and other strategic locations on campus. The ETS boxes are yellow or black, have a blue light on top and are marked "EMERGENCY" or "911."

For emergencies, use the ETS in the following manner:

  1. Open the door and/or
  2. Push the button
  3. In a few seconds, Purdue Dispatch personnel will answer and send help.


Purdue Police: 765-494-8221,

Purdue Fire: 765-494-6919,

Radiological and Environmental Management: 765-494-6371,

Emergency Preparedness and Planning: 765-494-0446,

Disaster Recovery Call-in: 765-494-2000

Safe Walk Program: 765-494-SAFE (7233)

Physical Facilities Work Request Center: 765-494-9999

Purdue Student Health Center (PUSH): 765-494-1700,

Counseling and Psychological Services: 765-494-6995,

Employee Assistance: 765-494-7707,

PurdueALERT is the University’s emergency warning notification system. It is a collection of communication layers that will be used by public safety officials to notify students, faculty, and staff of imminent danger. PurdueALERT warning notifications are designed as the initial “heads up” warning for students, faculty and staff and should encourage all to seek additional information. The notification may be expanded to the community through news releases, TV, radio, siren system, etc., based on the judgment of the incident commander or public safety official.

PERIODIC TESTS: PurdueALERT will normally be tested at the beginning of each academic semester.

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

  1. Clicking on
  2. Click on "Change my emergency contact number"
  3. Enter your Purdue career account info
  4. Enter your phone number

PurdueALERT incorporates the following systems on campus (some to all layers may be used based on the specific incident):

  1. All Hazards Outdoor Warning Sirens
  2. Text message (one must opt into the system, see below)
  3. Twitter Feed: @purdueemergency
  4. Desktop Popup Alerts and Alert Beacons 
  5. Digital Signs
  6. Email, everyone with a address
  7. Information will be posted on the Purdue Campus Emergency Status website (
  8. Boiler TV Emergency Alert System
  9. Local TV stations and local radio stations
  10. WebEOC
  11. 800 MHz radio system
  12. NOAA Weather Radios

For more information, go to the PurdueALERT- Emergency Warning Notification site.


  1. Immediately evacuate the building, closing doors and windows behind you.
  2. Manually activate the building’s fire alarm system as you exit the building.
  4. Locate persons with disabilities, and provide assistance if possible.
  5. Otherwise, provide their location to emergency responders.
  6. When your safety is not in jeopardy, call 911 and provide the following information:
    1. Name of the building.
    2. Location of the fire within the building.
    3. A description of the fire and (if known) how it started.
  7. Report to your department’s designated emergency assembly area to be accounted for.


  1. Walk quickly to the nearest exit. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.
  2. If you are able, help those who need special assistance.
  3. Notify fire personnel if you believe someone may still be in the building.
  4. Gather away from the building and emergency responders at the emergency assembly area.
  5. DO NOT re-enter the building until the fire department or police personnel give an all-clear.


  1. Do not breathe the smoke.
  2. If you encounter smoke, stay low and go.
  3. Breathe through your nose, and use a shirt or towel to breathe through, if possible.


  1. If possible, move to a room with an outside window.
  2. Close all doors and windows.
  3. Stuff clothing, towels or paper around the cracks in the door to help keep smoke out of your refuge.
  4. Attempt to signal people outside of the building. If there is a telephone, call 911 and tell the dispatcher where you are. Do this even if you can see fire department personnel from the window.
  5. Stay where rescuers can see you through the window, and wave a light-colored item to attract their attention.
  6. Be patient. Rescue of occupants within large structures will take time.


  1. If unable to evacuate, shelter-in-place in an area with no immediate hazards and call 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 automatically send help.
  2. If you are unable to call 911, advise others around you of your location and have them inform emergency personnel of your location.
  3. If you are in no immediate danger, remain where you are and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
  4. 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.)
  5. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS during an emergency evacuation unless requested by Purdue Police or Fire personnel.
  6. You are encouraged to carry a sounding device like a small whistle, flashlight, and cell phone to alert emergency personnel of your location.

Note: It is best to have arrangements pre-planned for evacuation assistance. Arrangements can be made to reasonably assure that additional 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.

A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to himself/herself or is agitated and disruptive.

If it appears an individual may cause harm to themselves or to others, call 911 immediately.

If a psychological crisis occurs:


  1. Contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 765-494-6995 Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  2. After hours, call the Purdue Crisis Line at 765-495-4357.

Faculty and Staff

  1. Contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 494-0111 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  2. After hours, contact Purdue Police at 911.

At any time, contact the Purdue Crisis Center at 765-742-0244.

In an unusual or potentially dangerous situation, remember the following: 

  1. Never try to handle a situation that you feel might be dangerous. Call 911 for help.
  2. Notify Purdue Dispatch Center at 911 and clearly state that you need immediate assistance. Give your name, location, and state the nature of the problem.


Disability Resource Center
Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 830
155 South Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Counseling and Psychological Services
Psychological Sciences Building
601 Stadium Mall Drive, Room 246
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Office of Institutional Equity
Ernest C. Young Hall, 10th Floor
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Employee Assistance Program at Center for Healthy Living
1400 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Student Health Center
601 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
765-494-6995 (Health Center)
765-742-0244 (Crisis Center)
765-494-1724 (Extended Care)

The Purdue University Fire Department maintains an Advanced Life Support Transport Service. 

Medical emergencies should not be transported in personal or University vehicles.

  • The ambulance is on call 24 hours a day.

Purdue Fire Department personnel are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians. They will respond to all medical emergencies on campus. To obtain prompt professional emergency medical treatment, you should request a University ambulance. The following is a brief summary of the procedures for requesting the University ambulance.

Illness or injury to students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests:

  1. In the event of a serious injury or illness, immediately call 911. Provide the following information:
    • Your name and telephone number
    • Nature of the illness or injury
    • Location of the emergency (building and room number)
    • The extent of the accident/injury and the number of people involved: Is the victim conscious, breathing, bleeding?
    • Chemical or radioactive materials involved
  2. If possible, send someone to the building entrance to meet the ambulance personnel.
  3. Only trained personnel should provide first aid or CPR.
    • First aid is minor care only. Do not jeopardize your health or the health of the patient. Wait for professional help if you are not trained in first aid.
  4. Students with minor illnesses or injuries are eligible for minor care at the Student Health Center.
  5. The individual making the call should continue to stay on the phone with the dispatcher and answer as many questions as possible regarding the condition of the injured person so that information can be forwarded to the responding emergency personnel.

Faculty and staff must complete the First Report of Injury (FROI) form for all incidents of job-related illness and injury. Please visit the REM website for the form and instructions.

  1. If the crime is an emergency that requires immediate police and/or medical response, call 911.
    1. You do NOT need any coins to dial 911 from a pay telephone. Simply lift the handset and dial 911.
    2. Dialing 911 from a cell phone may connect you to the Tippecanoe County 911 Center. Tell them you are on the Purdue University campus. They have a direct line to the Purdue Police Department.
  2. If the crime is not an emergency, contact the Purdue Police Department at 765-494-8221 to report the crime.

Reporting crimes in progress:

  1. If you are a victim or a witness to any in-progress criminal offense, report the incident as soon as possible by dialing 911. You should attempt to provide as much of the following information as possible:
    • Nature of the incident. Make sure the dispatcher understands that the incident is in progress.
    • Location of the incident
    • Description of suspects involved
    • Injuries that have occurred
    • Description of any weapons involved
    • Description of property involved
  2. Stay on the line with the dispatcher until help arrives. Keep the dispatcher updated on any changes so responding units can be updated. Even if you cannot communicate, keep the line open. The dispatcher may be able to learn more about what is happening.

Reporting crimes not in progress:

Purdue Police, 765-494-8221

West Lafayette Police, 765-775-5200

Lafayette Police, 765-807-1200

Tippecanoe County Sheriff, 765-423-9321

If you have become a victim of a crime and it is not an emergency or life-threatening situation, telephone the local jurisdictional police department; be prepared to provide at least the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your telephone number
  • A brief synopsis of what occurred
  • Your exact location at the time of the call (room #, apartment #, campus building, etc.)

Be aware! Stay alert! If you see something, say something!

Report Suspicious Activity

Purdue Campus

In case of emergency, call 911. 

Shelter-in-place (or place of refuge) refers to a designated area of safety when it is not safe to go outside, such as an interior room with no or few windows, and taking refuge in that location. If you are told to shelter-in-place, follow the instructions provided. Different situations require different locations.

You may be required to shelter-in-place for events such as an active threat (for example, an active shooter incident), tornado warning, hazardous materials release and as directed by police personnel. When notified, you should seek immediate shelter inside a building or residence hall. If you are “sheltering” due to a hazardous material (HAZMAT) accidental release of toxic chemicals, the air quality may be threatened and sheltering in place keeps you inside an area offering more protection.

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

  1. You hear the Outdoor All-Hazards Emergency Warning Sirens.
  2. When directed by other PurdueALERT emergency warning notification layers.
  3. When directed by police or fire department personnel.

Try and obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (e.g. Purdue Campus Emergency Status webpage, TV, radio, email, etc.)

It would be useful to have a cell phone, hard-wired telephone, or computer system in the shelter location to assist in obtaining additional information as well as being able to report any life-threatening conditions.

Follow the shelter-in-place procedures in the Active Threat, Tornado Warning or Hazardous Materials release located in this document, as applicable.

If an active threat is outside your building, your best option may be to shelter-in-place:

  1. Proceed to a room that can be locked, barricaded, or secured in some way; close and lock all the windows and doors, and turn off all the lights.
  2. Hide under a desk, in a closet, or in the corner; if possible, get everyone down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room.
  3. One person in the room should call/text 911, advise the dispatcher of what is taking place, and inform him/her of your location.
  4. Remain in place until the police, or a campus administrator known to you, gives the “all clear”. Unfamiliar voices may be the threat attempting to lure victims from their safe space.
    • Do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer.
  5. After getting to a safe location and without jeopardizing your safety, try and obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (e.g. Text, Purdue campus status webpage, tv, radio, email, etc.)
    • It would be useful to have a cell phone, hard-wired telephone, or computer system in the shelter location to assist in obtaining additional information as well as being able to report any life-threatening conditions.
  6. Report any suspicious activity if you can do so without jeopardizing your safety. Call/text 911 if possible.
  7. Normally, police department personnel or the all-hazards sirens will be the notification method.

If an active threat is in the same building:

  1. Determine if the room you are in can be locked and if so, follow the same procedure described in the previous paragraph.
  2. If your room cannot be locked, determine if there is a nearby location that can be reached safely and secured, or if you can safely exit the building.
  3. If you decide to move from your current location, be sure to follow the instructions outlined below.

If an active threat enters your office or classroom:

  1. Try to remain calm.
  2. Call/text 911, if possible, and alert police to the location of the threat; if you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what’s taking place. Normally the location of a 911 call can be determined without speaking.
  3. You have options. You can make attempts to:
    • Run, hide, fight
    • Run: escape the area of threat
    • Hide: seek cover and/or concealment
    • Fight: overpower or distract with force (should be considered a very last resort)
  4. If the threat leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the threat.

Under all circumstances:

  1. If you decide to flee during an active threat situation, make sure you have an escape route and plan in mind.
  2. Do not carry anything while fleeing; move quickly, keep your hands visible, and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter.
  3. Do not attempt to remove injured people; instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible, continue activities and monitor the situation.

A severe Thunderstorm Warning means severe thunderstorms are imminent.

  • Keep people indoors and away from the windows, until the severe storm passes. If you are outside, seek shelter immediately.

Tornado Watch notification is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in a given area. Under a watch, conditions stay informed by listening to radio or television.

Tornado Warning notification indicates that a tornado has been sighted and poses a definite threat to a given area. If the warning is for your area you should take shelter immediately.

All hazards warning sirens:

  1. Outdoor sirens will sound for a period in excess of approximately three minutes. When you hear the sirens seek shelter first, then seek more information through the PurdueALERT layers including local radio and TV stations to determine the nature of the emergency.
  2. The all-clear signal is announced by radio and television stations. The sirens remain silent.

Siren testing:

All Tippecanoe County sirens to include the sirens located at Purdue University are tested at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month, except during periods of adverse weather conditions.

What to do during a tornado warning:

Move to the pre-determined shelter location as designated in your Building Emergency Plan.

  1. The shelter location is normally the basement, sub-walk or lowest level of the building away from windows and exterior doors.
  2. Interior hallways and restrooms on the lowest level offer the next best shelter.
    • Be prepared to kneel facing the wall and cover your head.
  3. In a high-rise building, vacate the top floors and move to a lower floor or basement.
    • If not able to reach the basement, go to an interior room, hallway, or restroom with no windows on the lowest floor possible.
      • Be prepared to kneel facing the wall and cover your head.
    • If time permits, occupants of wood-frame or brick buildings with wood floors should leave the building and go directly to a more substantial concrete building, preferably with a basement.
    • Share notification with others; assist persons with disabilities, if possible.
    • Try and obtain additional clarifying information by all means possible (e.g. Purdue Campus Emergency Status webpage, TV, radio, text message, email, etc.)
      • It would be useful to have a cell phone, hard-wired telephone, or computer system in the shelter location to assist in obtaining additional information as well as being able to report any life-threatening conditions.
    • If in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If a building is not available, lying flat in depression such as a ditch or ravine offers some protection. Be aware of potential flooding.
    • Watch out for flying debris; do not call 911 unless you require emergency assistance.

For spills, releases or incidents requiring special training, procedures or personal protective equipment (PPE) that is beyond the abilities of present personnel, take the following steps:

  1. Immediately notify affected personnel and evacuate the spill area. Pull the fire alarm if building evacuation is required.
  2. Call 911 to report the incident.
  3. Give the operator the following information:
    • Your name, telephone number, and location
    • Time and type of incident
    • Name and quantity of the material, if known
    • The extent of injuries or damage, if any
  4. If possible, seal off the affective area to prevent further contamination of others until the arrival of emergency personnel.
  5. Anyone who is contaminated by the spill should wash off the contamination; remain in the vicinity, and give his/her name to the emergency personnel. If needed, first aid can be started immediately.
  6. No effort to contain or clean up spills and or releases should be made unless you have been trained in the proper methods to do so.
  7. Take appropriate steps to make sure no one evacuates through the contaminated area.
  8. If an alarm sounds, follow established building evacuation procedures (see Evacuation).
  9. An incident command post may be set up near the emergency site. Keep clear of the incident command area unless you have official business, including information regarding the chemical or other material that has been spilled.
  10. Do not re-enter the area until directed by emergency personnel.

If you are directed to shelter-in-place due to a hazardous material (HAZMAT) accidental release, the air quality may be threatened and sheltering keeps you inside an area offering more protection. For a HAZMAT shelter-in-place situation you should, if possible, take the following actions:

  1. Close all windows and doors.
  2. Move to the shelter in place location.
    • Select an interior room above ground with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to sit.
  3. Do not go outside or attempt to drive unless you are specifically instructed to evacuate.
  4. Do not use elevators as they may pump air into or out of the building.
  5. Share notification with others; assist persons with disabilities, if possible.
  6. Try and obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (e.g. Purdue Campus Emergency Status webpage, TV, radio, email, etc.)
    • It would be useful to have a cell phone, hard-wired telephone, or computer system in the shelter location to assist in obtaining additional information as well as being able to report any life-threatening conditions.

Earthquakes are rare in Indiana. Unlike other emergencies, the procedures to deal with an earthquake are much less specific. Since earthquake magnitude cannot be predetermined, everyone must initiate emergency precautions within a few seconds after the initial tremor is felt, assuming the worst possible case.

The best earthquake instruction is to take precautions before the earthquake (e.g. secure or remove objects above you that could fall during an earthquake).

During the Earthquake

Remain calm and ACT, do not react.

  1. If indoors, DROP to the floor under a desk or table or in a doorway; COVER your head and face with your arms, and HOLD. Stay away from windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.
  2. Do not use elevators.
  3. If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, overhead wires, parking garages and other structures. CAUTION: Avoid downed power or utility lines as they may be energized. Do not attempt to enter buildings until you are advised to do so by Purdue Police or Fire Department personnel.
  4. If in an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably an open area away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle for the shelter it provides.

After the initial shock:

  1. Be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks are usually less intense than the main quake, but can cause further structural damage.
  2. Protect yourself at all times.
  3. Evaluate the situation and call 911 for emergency assistance, if necessary.
  4. Do not use flares, torches, lighted cigarettes, or open flames, since gas leaks could be present.
  5. Open windows, etc. to ventilate the building. Watch out for broken glass.
  6. If a fire is caused by the earthquake, implement the FIRE PROCEDURES.
  7. Determine whether anyone has been caught in the elevators or was trapped by falling objects. If so, call 911.
  8. If the structural integrity appears to be deteriorating rapidly, evacuate the building.
    • Heavy use of the telephone will tie up the lines and prevent emergency calls from going out.
  10. Damaged facilities should be reported to Purdue Dispatch Center at 765-494-8221.
  11. Should you become trapped in a building, stay calm.
    • If a window is available, place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews.
    • If there is no window, tap on the wall at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.
    • Emergency personnel will check buildings immediately after a major quake.

Electrical/Light Failure

At present, some buildings may not be equipped with emergency lighting, or the emergency lighting may not provide sufficient illumination for safe exiting. It is recommended that you consider keeping a flashlight and a portable radio in your office/work area. Check the batteries on a monthly basis.

Plumbing Failure/Flood/Water Leak

Cease using all electrical equipment. Call the Physical Facilities Work Request Center at 765-494-9999; after hours call 765-494-8221 (Purdue Dispatch Center).

Natural Gas Leak

Cease all operations, exit the area immediately, and call the Purdue Dispatch Center at 765-494-8221. Do not attempt to correct the problem yourself. Do not concern yourself with appliances or equipment. Leave the area immediately.

If you discover a major water leak, gas leak or other major utility failure, take the following action:

  1. Call 911.
  2. Give the building name, floor, room number, and nature of the problem.
  3. Provide the name of a person to contact and their phone number.
  4. Do not attempt to correct the problem on your own. Purdue Dispatch Center personnel will notify the necessary emergency, maintenance personnel, clean up, and insurance representatives.
  5. For all non-emergency situations, call the Physical Facilities Work Request Center at 765-494-9999.

Elevator Malfunction

If you become trapped in an elevator, use the emergency telephone or activate the elevator emergency bell within the elevator car.

If you are not inside the elevator but hear an elevator bell, please take the following actions. Most elevators on campus are equipped with an emergency telephone.

  1. Call 911.
  2. Give the emergency dispatcher the following information:
    • Name of the building
    • Location within the building of malfunctioning elevator
    • Where the car is stopped if known
    • Whether a medical emergency exists
  3. Before you hang up, make sure the dispatcher has all the information they need.

Elevators have mechanical safety brakes that will operate in all situations, even during power failures. Try and keep the occupants calm and wait for help to arrive.

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. The procedures described below should be implemented regardless of whether the bomb threat appears real or not.

  2. If a suspicious object or potential bomb is discovered, DO NOT HANDLE THE OBJECT, CLEAR THE AREA, AND CALL 911.
    • Be sure to include the location and appearance of the object when reporting.
  3. If a phone call bomb threat is received:
    • DO NOT put the caller on hold.
    • DO NOT attempt to transfer the call.
    • DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE THAT THE CALL CAME IN ON. If possible have someone else use another phone to call 911.
  4. Pay particular attention to background noises, such as running motors, music, or any other noises that may indicate the location from which the call is being made.
  5. Listen closely to the voice to determine voice quality, accents, speech impediments, sex, or any unusual characteristics.
  6. Complete the BOMB THREAT CHECKLIST.


    1. ACCENT 




Caller Voice:


Background sounds:


Threat language: