Loyola University Maryland

Public Safety


6. Emergency Evacuation Procedures and Policies

Emergency Response

Loyola University DPS will take all steps necessary to isolate and mitigate any emergency or dangerous situations that may affect the campus community.  All emergencies normally get reported through the DPS Support Operations Center by calling 410-617-5911 or 5010; Support Operations will in turn dispatch an officer to the situation.  DPS officers as well as members of Student Life will make early assessments to determine the size and scope of the emergency.  It is the policy of DPS, if the emergency is confirmed to be present and an immediate threat to the Loyola community, the Director of Public Safety, Assistant Director of Support Operations and Access Control or Assistant Director of Public Safety will be notified and a mass notification will be sent to the community.  All students and staff members are provided with a Loyola University Maryland email account at the start of employment or their academic process.  The process for opting into Loyola’s Greyhound Alert system can be found on the DPS webpage.

Some types of immediate threats:

  1. Natural disasters that will directly and adversely affect the community.
  2. Active shooter or hostile armed intruder/robber in or around campus.
  3. Bomb threat or explosion.
  4. Civil disturbance which could affect the Loyola community.
  5. Terrorist attack.
  6. Chemical, biological or norovirus incident or attack.
  7. Gas leak, water main break or a power loss which could have serious effect on campus or Loyola’s surrounding communities.
  8. Fire event.

Emergency evacuation

Loyola University draws upon a nationally recognized standard of the Incident Command System (ICS) developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This system is widely used at the federal, state, local levels and at University level.  This system lends consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness to the manner in which the University shall respond to an immediate emergency and/or a situation which may require the evacuation of all or part of Loyola’s campuses. Specific procedures are in place to respond to an immediate emergency or dangerous situation involving the health and safety of the Loyola community to include evacuation.  When buildings are ordered to be evacuated it is University policy that all faculty, staff and students exit the building to the pre-designated rally points at the direction of DPS or Student Life members.  These procedures are delineated in Loyola University Maryland’s general and fire evacuation plan which can be found on Loyola’s emergency preparedness webpage.  Moreover, these guides and information are distributed to all faculty, administrators, and staff on campus annually.

Students, faculty, administrators and staff may be directed to assembly areas after evacuating a building. If a building evacuation is necessary the following procedures should be followed.  General evacuation procedures include the following directions for occupants of any University building.  If a building evacuation is necessary, DPS will respond to all emergency situations.  They will notify appropriate first responders as needed.  Occupants of all floors will immediately evacuate the building when requested to do so.  In the event of an emergency evacuation follow all the instructions below:

1. Remain calm and go to the nearest stairwell, walk on the right side. Walk, do not run. Exit out of the building. Go to the building’s designated Rally Point.  (Note: Elevators will not be in service during a fire alarm condition.)

2. Assist in the evacuation of the building.  Give any disabled occupant information to DPS or the responding agency upon exiting.

3. Close all doors when leaving rooms.

a. Do not re-enter the building until the all clear has been announced, this occurs after the responding agency gives their all clear and DPS has completed a safety survey.

b. Residence Halls:  DPS and the Student Life Staff will assist in the complete evacuation of the building and control the occupants in the residence hall’s designated rally point until the emergency has been abated (see specific building evacuation procedures).

c. Academic Buildings:  DPS will assist in the complete evacuation of the building and control the occupants in the building’s designated rally point until the emergency has been abated (see specific building evacuation procedures).

d. In cases where there may be a prolonged evacuation, students, faculty, administrators and staff may be directed to supplementary assembly areas (Fitness and Aquatic Center or Reitz Arena) after evacuating to the building’s designated rally point.  Alternate housing locations will be assigned to the students at these assembly areas.

e. In instances in which a campus wide evacuation is required the following procedure will be followed.  Faculty, administrators, and staff members will be sent home.  Off campus, commuter and students with transportation will be sent home.  Students without transportation will be transported via University shuttles and staged at the Ridley Athletic Center until arrangements can be made for students to be picked up by family members.

Emergency Mass Notification / Greyhound Alerts System

Loyola University uses the systems described in the Timely Warning section matrix to immediately notify the campus community that a dangerous situation or emergency exists involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff on campus and when immediate action is required by the recipient. 

If the Department of Public Safety confirms (with the assistance of key campus administrators, local first responders or the National Weather Service) that there is an emergency or dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of some or all members of the Loyola community, the Director of Public Safety will collaborate with the Vice President for External Affairs and the Associate Director of Media Relations and Social Media, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or their designee  to determine the content of the message and will use some or all of the systems described below to communicate the threat to the Loyola community or to the appropriate segment of the community, if the threat is limited to a particular campus, building or segment of the population.

The University uses Greyhound Alerts as our mass notification system to disseminate notice of immediate threats to the Loyola community. Students, staff, administrators and faculty are registered into this mass notification system. Employees can opt-out by visiting the Public Safety web site at http://www.loyola.edu/department/public-safety/services/greyhound-alerts

The mass notification system will send a text message to a registered mobile phone alerting of the immediate threat.  The size of the message that can be sent by SMS is limited so additional messages will continue to be passed as the situation develops.  Additionally information / incident alerts will also be disseminated through the Loyola intranet network and email systems. Loyola’s external public address system which delivers critical information externally when appropriate helps reach community members who may be out on the campus traveling from one place to the other. Additionally, the University’s Greyhound Alerts system sends emergency messaging to all University owned desktop computers and digital signage around campus to similarly notify the community of serious or ongoing threats.

These notification systems will be activated without delay when the situation becomes known and there is a confirmation of an immediate threat to the campus. There could be situations when notification might compromise the efforts of those responding to the event which may dictate holding the message until an appropriate time later. Loyola University will, immediately, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless issuing a notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. The University will alert the greater community by alerting BPD 911 of the incident who will in turn utilize Baltimore City’s Communicator system to alert specific neighborhoods affected via mass phone notifications. Parents of students can register their individual email accounts in order to be included in mass notifications. Additionally, all incoming undergraduate students are required to check their Greyhound Alerts registration, which allows them to share emergency text

After the initial immediate threat alerts have been disseminated additional information will be updated as the situation develops.  We anticipate a series of alert messages will be used as the situation evolves and as additional information becomes available.  A chronology of events and procedures will generally follow this sequence:

1. Event or incident.

2. First responders (DPS) dispatched.

3. Expansion of the situation and security needs (local perimeters if needed).

4. Calls for additional support BPD / BCFD.

5. Assistant Directors or Director notified.

6. Analysis of the critical information if serious and continuing threat remains send the warning(s).

7. Begin Greyhound Alerts if there is a serious or continuing threat.

8. Use Public Address (if appropriate).

9. Establish command post (if appropriate).

10. React, coordinate, implement, and mitigate the effect.

11. Continue operations and disseminate additional messages as needed.

The key positions at the University who interact throughout this process are:

1. Shift Commanders, Sergeants and the Officers in Charge.

2. Assistant Directors of Public Safety.

3. Director of Public Safety.

4. Associate Vice President of External Affairs

5. Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students

6. Associate Director Media Relations and Social Media

7. Any designated representative by the Vice Presidents

Greyhound Alerts and incident alerts, are messages that can be stratified by population and or location.  Undergraduate students, faculty, staff and administrators, and alumni can be reached by using the proper group addresses.  The dissemination of emergency information to the larger community is a collaborative effort between the Associate Vice President for External Affairs, Director of Public Safety and a representative of Media Relations and Social Media. 

Discussions then take place about the impact of a message release and what information needs to be released. Follow up information pertaining to a significant emergency or dangerous situation on campus will be sent using some or all of the systems listed below.

The primary responsibility for initiating the Mass Notification System belongs to the Director of Public Safety in collaboration with the Associate Vice President for External Affairs and a representative of Media Relations and Social Media.

The University tests the Greyhound Alerts system every first Monday of the month. This 1:00 pm test, includes activating the public address system.  Each standalone system is tested and evaluated to see if they will be able to perform their intended functions when needed.  DPS alerts the Loyola community of these monthly tests via the University’s online news/events publication “Loyola Today” which is distributed to all members Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer months. Fire Drills:  During any given calendar year there are several fire drills conducted and documented.  Two formal fire drills were conducted during the 2016 calendar year, during the weeks of April 18-21, 2016, and September 12 – 16, 2016, additionally there were also 70 evacuations in residence halls that were documented fire alarm events.  After action reviews were also documented in order to train, educate, and improve upon evacuation times with DPS and Student Life staff.

Our “Blue Light” emergency phones in and around campus are tested each semester.  DPS personnel are provided a designated number of stations to test; they record the results and submit work orders for those units that do not function properly.  These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency response plans and capabilities of the institution.  These tests may be announced or unannounced.  The Department of Public Safety’s officers have received training in Incident Command and Rapid Response.  General information about the emergency response and evacuation procedures is publicized each year as part of the University’s Clery Act compliance efforts and is available on the Loyola University Department of Public Safety website: http://www.loyola.edu/department/public-safety

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