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Types of Emergencies

The Integrated Emergency Management Plan is designed to react to natural, technological and human-caused emergencies.


Severe Weather (Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Hail)

West Lafayette is located at the edge of "Tornado Alley," a part of the central United States that is particularly susceptible to tornadoes. Tornadoes are a hazard that may result in large losses of life and property, coupled with extremely vulnerable populations gathered at large events, e.g. campus football and baseball games. 

Severe thunderstorms are also significant concerns because they are the most probable natural cause of emergencies or disasters for the University. Designated in-place building shelters have been identified in the event of an emergency. Refer to your location's Building Emergency Plan (BEP) or posted instructions within the building for more information.



All buildings on the West Lafayette campus have fire detection systems, and most have fire suppression systems. In the event of a fire, exit the building and call 911.

Hazardous Materials Accidents

Fuel and chemical spills are the most widespread materials likely to create accidents. Chemicals used in laboratories, water treatment and at the Wade Utility Plant are also sources of possible hazardous incidents. There is a central hazardous materials waste facility for the temporary storage of these materials until they can be safely transported off-campus.

Chemical/Biological/Radiological (CBR) Emergencies

When properly stored and handled, CBR materials pose no extreme threat. They are commonly present in academic buildings housing scientific experiments and research. However, during times of natural or human-caused disasters, these materials become a special hazard to the campus and to emergency personnel. 

Aircraft Crashes

Small private planes and charter aircraft are common in the air space over the Greater Lafayette area due to the location of the Purdue University Airport. Crashes may occasionally occur.


National Emergency (War, Terrorism)

There is a chance that Purdue University could be affected either directly or indirectly by a major war or terrorism incident. Any attack within Tippecanoe County could over-task local emergency response organizations, which the University relies on for mutual aid.

Civil Disorder

Planned or unplanned demonstrations may become large and uncontrollable. In some cases, participants could become violent. 

Active Shooter

An active shooter would place the campus community at risk by either targeting specific individuals or mass groups.