TO:      West Lafayette Campus Faculty, Staff, and Teaching Assistants

FROM:  Debasish (Deba) Dutta, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

            Bill Sullivan, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

RE:       Message Regarding Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness

DATE:    August 11th, 2014


Dear Faculty and Staff, 

As we enter the 2014-2015 fall semester and you prepare for classes and other work you perform with students, we request that you refresh your preparedness for emergencies on campus. Below, you will find links and reminders for enhanced safety and emergency preparedness in your classroom. We appreciate your efforts to be informed and prepared, as well as your commitment to remaining vigilant and observant. Department heads are asked to ensure this letter reaches new faculty and all teaching assistants in their departments. 

New alert tools on campus:  The Alertus Beacon system has been installed in some of the large classrooms on campus. It is a wall-mounted text alert system that sounds for 10 seconds, flashes red lights when an alert is issued, and posts the text alert. If there is no Alertus Beacon in your classroom, you may want to designate one student with a cell phone to monitor text alerts and notify you if an alert message is received. This will enable others to turn their cell phones off during class. In addition, there is now a desktop pop up alert for emergency information on the computer monitor in your classroom. Other enhancements to campus emergency notification are listed at  

Syllabus Text:  You are strongly encouraged to include text in your course syllabus that indicates that adjustments in the course may be made in the event of a campus emergency or if classes are temporarily suspended, for example: 

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances beyond the instructor’s control. Here are ways to get information about changes in this course.

  • Course web page or Blackboard (list address)
  • Instructor’s email (list address)
  • Instructor’s phone (list numbers) 

Classroom Safety Briefings:   We require that you conduct a safety briefing in each of your classes on the first day of class.  Suggested text is included on page 2 of this memo.  The briefing should include the two principal concepts of emergency notification on campus: 1) the indoor fire alarm means to evacuate the building, and 2) the outdoor siren means to go into the nearest building, and seek further information.   In addition, you and your students should review the evacuation routes and shelter locations for the building(s) where your class is located.  

Training:   If you have not yet attended an all hazards emergency preparedness training session, please go to the emergency preparedness website and sign up to participate – in person or online on Blackboard or WebCert. 

Additional Emergency Resources:  Please review this information before fall semester and bookmark this link on your office and classroom computers.  The link:   

A little time for preparedness now will enhance your safety and the safety of your students – thank you!   


  • Prior to the first day of class, review the online building emergency plan for each building in which you will be teaching, as each building has a unique plan.  Note the evacuation route and outdoor emergency assembly area, as well as the indoor shelter in place locations, if specific locations are provided in the plan. 
  • On the first day of class, the following information is required to be presented to students: 

“As we begin this semester I want to take a few minutes and discuss emergency preparedness.  Purdue University is a very safe campus and there is a low probability that a serious incident will occur here at Purdue.  However, just as we receive a “safety briefing” each time we get on an aircraft, we want to emphasize our emergency procedures for evacuation and shelter in place incidents.  Our preparedness will be critical if an unexpected event occurs. 

Emergency preparedness is your personal responsibility.  Purdue University is continuously preparing for natural disasters or human-caused incidents with the ultimate goal of maintaining a safe and secure campus.  Let’s review the following procedures:

  • To report an emergency, call 911.

  • To obtain updates regarding an ongoing emergency, and to sign up for Purdue Alert text messages, view 
  • There are nearly 300 Emergency Telephones outdoors across campus and in parking garages that connect directly to the Purdue Police Department (PUPD).  If you feel threatened or need help, push the button and you will be connected immediately.
  • If we hear a fire alarm, we will immediately suspend class, evacuate the building, and proceed outdoors, and away from the building.  Do not use the elevator.
  • If we are notified of a Shelter in Place requirement for a tornado warning, we will suspend class and shelter in the lowest level of this building away from windows and doors. 
  • If we are notified of a Shelter in Place requirement for a hazardous materials release, or a civil disturbance, including a shooting or other use of weapons, we will suspend class and shelter in our classroom, shutting any open doors or windows, locking or securing the door, and turning off the lights.  
Your course syllabus includes additional preparedness information as it might impact this class, including class suspension for severe weather or other emergencies.  Please review the syllabus and the Emergency Preparedness website for additional information.

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