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Preparedness

Responses
Evacuation back to top
When a building fire alarm is sounded, all occupants are required to leave the inside of the residential area via the nearest safe exit and gather in the established evacuation location. A building evacuation may also occur upon notification by police or University staff.

Evacuation drills in residential buildings are conducted for the safety of building occupants. Evacuation drills are not held just to comply with State or University regulations. Our goal is to properly inform residents of the evacuation plan that they may use in the case of fire or other emergency. To this end, the following policy on evacuation drills was adopted. Two drills are held each semester. Residential Life will coordinate the drill schedule. All scheduled drills are held from Monday through Thursday between the hours of 10:00 am-10:00 pm.

As individuals evacuate a building, they should move out of the way of fire/safety responders as they arrive. Individuals will not enter the building until permitted to do so by fire personnel, and subsequently the CD. All evacuation locations are identified on the map below as black dots.

Residence Halls back to top

  • Chesapeake - In the grass field in front of the Library.
  • Erickson - In the grass field in front of the Library.
  • Harbor - In the grass field in front of the Library.
  • Patapsco - In the grass next to Lot 3 on south side of Poplar Ave.
  • Potomac - In the grass in front of the building along the loop.
  • Susquehanna - In the grass field in front of the Library.

Apartments back to top

  • Hillside - In the metered parking lot behind Erickson Hall.
  • Terrace - In the metered parking lot behind Erickson Hall.
  • Walker Avenue 1 - Down Hilltop Circle away from Walker Avenue towards the Hillside Buildings.
  • Walker Avenue 2 and 3 - Across Hilltop Circle to the back of the parking lot behind Walker 2 and 3 near the Baltimore County Police Station.
  • West Hill - On the grass behind the buildings away from the parking lot.

Relocation back to top
If individuals must stay out of their building for an extended period of time, they should go to the following locations (staff may direct to other locations if needed). A staff member will accompany students to their designated location and facilitate the opening of the community or recreation room. The staff member will remain with the students for safety precautions.

  • Chesapeake - Potomac Community Room
  • Erickson - Chesapeake Recreation Room
  • Harbor - Chesapeake Recreation Room
  • Patapsco - Susquehanna Community Room
  • Potomac - Patapsco Community Room
  • Susquehanna - Chesapeake Recreation Room
  • Apartments - Apartment residents will receive relocation instructions from their Community Director (CD)

Shelter in Place back to top
“Sheltering in place” is when residents make a shelter of the room, community or place they are currently in to avoid safety hazards exterior to the area they are in.

  • To Shelter in Place, it is recommended that every student have water, food and other supplies on hand in their room.
  • Please refer to Red Cross guidelines and advice on actions one should take to prepare, www.redcross.org.
  • Please refer to the Center for Disease Control guidelines and advice on actions one should take to prepare for health emergencies, www.cdc.gov.

 

Threats
Bomb Threats back to top
Always treat bomb threats as valid! Call the University Police (x5-5555) and your community’s area desk immediately. Refer to Evacuation Points on the previous page.

If you receive a bomb threat by phone, ask questions to secure as much information as possible:

  • What time will the bomb go off
  • Where is it located
  • What kind of bomb is it
  • Why is it being placed there
  • Listen for information such as age, race, foreign or regional accent, background noises.

If you receive a written bomb threat:

  • Preserve the envelope or container.
  • Do not handle the note; place it in a clean envelope for police investigators.

If a suspicious package is found:

  • Do not touch it. Any item which is unusual, out of place, or abandoned should be treated with suspicion and be reported to the Police for handling.
  • Once a bomb threat is reported, Police will assess the risk and issue further instructions if evacuation or other actions are required. For your own safety, comply with all police directives.

Terror Threats back to top
Because terror threats are by their nature unpredictable, specific instruction and up to date information affecting the UMBC community will be posted at:
www.umbc.edu/safety.

 

Weather
Earthquake / Tornado / Severe Storms / Structural Failure Emergency Information
If you are inside:

  • Stay inside.
  • Watch for falling light fixtures, glass, bookcases, etc.
  • Stay away from windows or mirrors.
  • Do not use items that are plugged in to electrical outlets.
  • Do not turn on water.
  • During an earthquake, if possible, crawl under a table, sit or stand against an inside wall away from windows, or stand in a stable inside doorway.
    When it is lightning, do not use the telephone. Lightning may strike the telephone lines outside.

If you are outside:

  • Seek shelter in a building if possible. Refer to “Shelter in Place” on page 33.
  • Avoid high buildings, walls, trees, power lines, and other objects that may fall.
  • Move to an open area away from hazardous objects.

If you are in a vehicle:

  • Stop in the nearest open area if possible.
  • Stay in the vehicle.

After it is over:

  • Do not use the telephone except to report an emergency.
  • Open doors carefully.
  • Do not use anything electrical until lines have been checked.
  • Do not use matches or lighters. Open gas lines may be present.

Weather Communication back to top
Each community has a Weather Radio and an AM/FM Radio. Both devices are campus siren supplied and are battery operated if electrical power is not available.

Emergency Weather Inclement Telephone Number: Call x5-8881/8882/8883/8884/8885 for emergency weather alerts.

AREA OF REFUGE/SHELTER IN PLACE PROCEDURE back to top
"Areas of Refuge/Sheltering in place" is when people find refuge or make a shelter of the place they are in. It is a way for students to make their building as safe as possible. If a campus emergency such as sever eweather or the release of hazardous materals, exterior of the building, occurs, students should remain inside or to take shelter indoors on campus.
Students should move to an interior room away from as many windows and AC/heating units as possible. Remain in shelter until University staff members notify you that it is safe to leave.

  • If there is time, shut and lock all outside doors and windows. Locking them may provid ea tighter seal against danger. Turn off the air conditioner or heater. Turn off all fans, too.
  • In general, the safest locations in the residental area include:
    • In the halls" hallways, with the room doors shut, in the bathroom and away from the windows
    • In the apartments: bathrooms and hallways, shutting all bedroom doors
  • Under certain conditions, staff may advise students to mvoe to specific areas of a building (such as upper or lower floors). Students should comply with staff directions.
  • Please refer to http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/shelterinplace.html for Red Cross guidelines and advice on actions one should take to prepare.

Situations that may cause Area of Refuge necessary include but are not limited to: active shooter, incliment weather, etc.

Fire Safety Information for Residents back to top
In the event of a fire or alarm follow this procedure:

  • If not already sounding, activate the alarm at the nearest pull station and evacuate the building.
  • Prepare to evacuate the building as quickly as possible. If it is cold outside, you may want to grab shoes and a coat, but don’t stop to get dressed or gather valuables.
  • If the situation permits (no personal safety is jeopardized) call the UMBC Police at x5-5555 and report the fire/alarm.
  • If there is smoke in the air, drop to the floor and crawl. The air near the floor will be cooler and more pure. Take a damp towel with you to protect your head and face.

Prevent Fires:

  • Exercise care when smoking in authorized areas.
  • Use only UL approved appliances and never leave appliances on and unattended.
  • Use only UL approved extension cords. Never run extension cords under rugs or mattresses. Match the size of the extension cord to the appliance being used and use a grounded cord for large appliances.
  • Do not overload circuits by creating “octopuses” in your electrical outlets. If you have more appliances than outlets, unplug one appliance to use another or purchase and use a “power strip.”
  • Cooking is prohibited in residence hall rooms. Cook only in designated cooking areas such as lounges and hall or apartment kitchens.
  • Do not tamper with fire extinguishers, alarms, sprinklers, bells, detectors, and other fire equipment. Tampering with any fire equipment is a violation of your UMBC residential contract and could lead to your removal from residential facilities.
  • Report vandalized or non-operable fire equipment to residence staff immediately. Damaged fire equipment endangers you and the other residents of your building.
  • Keep all marked fire doors and stairwell doors closed. They are designed to block smoke and fire to provide a safe escape route during fire.
  • Do not cover smoke detectors with flags or other materials so they can not detect smoke. Check detectors periodically to ensure that they are functioning properly.
  • To aid in the prevention of fires, the following items may not be stored or used in or around residence facilities: motorcycles, mopeds, or other vehicles with gas tanks, gasoline, kerosene and other fuels, explosives, fireworks, lit candles or incense, hot plates and grills.

The following items are prohibited as fire risks:

  • Explosive materials (i.e. fireworks, flammable liquids, ammunition)
  • Open flame devices (i.e. candles, incense, charcoal)
  • Kerosene stoves
  • Appliances with open heating elements (i.e. hot plate, electric frying pan, floor heater, toaster/ovens)
  • Halogen lamps
  • Items suspended and hanging from ceiling or walls (i.e. flags, fish nets, blankets)
  • Grills and fires on balconies, breezeways, stairwells, walkways
  • Extension cords other than UL Approved strip outlets
  • Any item deemed to have unacceptable fire risks by Residential Life
  • Fire regulations prohibit more than fourteen (14) occupants in a residence hall room or in an apartment at one time.

The following behaviors will bring about judicial action:

  • Tampering with: Fire alarm horns or bells, Smoke detectors, Pull stations, Extinguishers, Evacuation ladders, Sprinklers, Fire doors
  • Igniting or attempting to ignite flammable items in residential facilities
  • Interfering with the building’s main points of exits.

Power Outages back to top
In case of a power outage:

  • Do not burn candles. Use flashlights if necessary.
  • In the residential halls, if you need lighting - prop open your room doors as there will be emergency lighting outside
  • Please go to your front desk for further assistance.

Alerts
Like terror threats the nature of health emergencies may vary from individual quarantines to evacuations of campus. Due to an increasing world concern about the possibility of pandemic flu, the Center for Disease Control is recommending that all residents be prepared to shelter in place or to evacuate campus if ordered by health officials. Because recommendations are changing as new information develops, we strongly suggest that you visit the Center for Disease Control web site for up to date information about prevention and supplies www.pandemicflu.gov/planguide/checklist.html. In the event of pandemic flu or any health related emergency, UMBC will issue information to the community via e-mail and web postings. back to top

Additional information can be found at the University Police website: http://police.umbc.edu/services/emergency-preparedness/