University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

What to do in an Emergency

In Case of an Emergency ... 

Emergency Phone Numbers
To report any police, fire, or medical emergency, call:

  • From campus: 7005 or 911
  • From a cell phone: 911 or 814-269-7005 
  • Off campus: 814-269-7005 or 911 
    • Stay on the line with the dispatcher.
    • Provide the location of the building involved and your exact location. This is especially critical if you are calling from a cell phone. 
    • Provide a thorough description of the incident to ensure that proper resources are dispatched. Do not hang up until the dispatcher tells you to do so.

Bomb Threat

Try to keep the caller on the phone. Be calm, courteous, listen and do not interrupt or hang up. 

Use the Bomb Threat Form » as a guide.

Call Pitt-Johnstown Police at 814-269-7005 and give them the above information. Notify your supervisor, professor, resident assistant, or nearest University authority.

Fire / Smoke

When smoke/fire is first discovered, immediately sound the nearest building fire alarm and evacuate the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. 

Contact Campus Police at 7005 or 911 from a campus phone or 814-269-7005 or 911 from a cell phone.

Calmly state:

Your name
The building and exact location of fire
Any other information requested by the dispatcher

Locate those with special needs, and provide assistance if possible. Otherwise, provide their location to emergency responders. (See Evacuation of Mobility-Impaired Persons).
Report to your building’s Outdoor Assembly Area to be accounted for. Do not re-enter building until the all clear is given by appropriate personnel.

If caught in smoke:

Do not breathe the smoke
Drop to your knees and crawl to the closest safe exit
Breathe through your nose and use a shirt or towel to breathe through, if possible.

If trapped in a building:

Close all doors and windows
Place wet cloth  around and under the door to prevent smoke from entering
Attempt to signal people outside of the building.
Call for help using a telephone or cell phone.

NOTE: In the case of a small fire, and if it is safe to do so and if you have had the training and confidence to do so, extinguish it with the nearest fire extinguisher. (You must use the proper type of extinguisher.) If you have any doubts as to whether you will be able to contain the fire, do not attempt to do so.

Power or Utility Outage

Notify Facilities Management at 814-269-7130 or Campus Police at 814-269-7005.

Identify critical areas (such as elevators, or any area where a prolonged power failure could adversely affect health or property).

Be prepared to evacuate if circumstances necessitate (See Evacuation of Mobility-Impaired Persons).

Violence / Active Shooter

If possible, call 911 or 814-269-7005 (7005 or 911 from a campus phone). Remain calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions.

If safe to do so, give a good description of the violent individual: height, weight, gender, race, approximate age, clothing, name if known, location or direction of travel.

Use your discretion during a violent/active shooter event whether to run to safety or shelter in place; however, best practices for an active shooter situation are listed below:

Stay inside the classroom/office and silence cell phones.
Close and lock the inside door to the room; barricade the door with furniture.
Close the blinds, turn off the lights, remain quiet and move behind available cover.
Stay on the floor, away from doors or windows, and do not peek out to see what may be happening.
If you have an outside window, use the red or green cards within the emergency packets that are in each room. Put the appropriate color (green for okay and red for in danger) in the window to alert responders to an active threat in your area.

Use your own discretion about when he/she must engage a shooter for survival.
Do not attempt to apprehend or interfere with the suspect except for self-protection.

Make the determination of whether to run, hide, or fight AND COMMIT TO IT.

Run: if there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate
Evacuate whether others agree to or not
Leave belongings behind
Help others escape if possible
Prevent others from entering area
Call 911 when safe

Hide: if evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide
Lock and/or blockade the door
Silence your cell phone
Hide behind large objects
Remain very quiet
Hiding place should: be out of shooters view; provide protection from shots fired in your direction; not trap or restrict your options for movement

Fight: as a last resort and only if your life is in danger
Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
Act with physical aggression
Improvise weapons
Commit to your actions
When Law Enforcement Arrives
Remain calm and follow instructions
Keep hands visible at all times
Avoid pointing or yelling
Know that help for the injured is on its way

Chemical/Biological/Radiation Spill

Chemical/Biological/Radiation Spill—Small
Employ departmental containment/spill procedures in the event of a release that does not pose a serious threat to people or to the environment.

Chemical/Biological/Radiation Spill —Large 
If release cannot be abated with on-site containment procedures; 
Evacuate the building
Call 911 or 814-269-7005 from a cell phone (x7005 or 911 from campus phones) 

Calmly state: 

Your name
Nature of the emergency
Building and exact location of the release
Quantity and type of hazard released (Chemical/Biological/Radiation). 
Your phone number

Chemical Emergency First Aid
If someone has been splashed with the chemical, immediately flush the contaminated area with water.
Assume the person needs medical assistance unless told otherwise by someone knowledgeable about the chemical.

Quickly try to determine what was spilled; however, do not come into contact with the substance or inhale fumes.

Demonstration/Civil Disturbance/Riot

In the event of a civil disturbance:

Call 7005 or 911 from any campus phone or 814-269-7005 or 911 from a cell phone or from off campus. Do so from a safe location.

Provide the address, location, and all possible details to the dispatcher.

Do not provoke or become involved in the disturbance.

Secure your work area, log off computers, and secure sensitive files, if safe to do so. If the disturbance is outside, stay away from doors and windows. Remain inside. 

Suicide Threat/Psychological Emergency

If it appears an individual may cause harm to themselves or to others:

Call 7005 or 911 from any campus phone or 814-269-7005 or 911 from a cell phone or from off campus

If the individual has threatened others or appears to be armed, go to Violence / Active Shooter.

Observation of a Crime

Do not get involved in trying to prevent the crime unless it involves self-defense. If the suspect is armed, see Violence / Active Shooter.

Observe as much information as possible about the criminal: height, weight, sex, age, clothing, vehicles involved, whether the individual is armed. If possible, evacuate to a safe location.

Call 814-269-7005 or 911 from a cell phone or off-campus, X7005 or 911 from an on-campus phone, and calmly state:

Your name
Type of crime
Exact location of crime
Your phone number
Answer any questions from the dispatcher; do not hang up until told to do so.

If you are safe, stay where you are until authorities arrive. 

Gas Leak/Fumes/Vapors

Call x7005 or 911 from any campus phone or 814-269-7005 or 911 from a cell phone or from off campus to report the situation.

Clear the area immediately if instructed to do so by the emergency dispatcher, providing assistance to those with special needs (See Evacuation of Mobility-Impaired Persons).

Provide your location and the location of the odor to the dispatcher.

Provide as many details as possible to the dispatcher. If a building or area evacuation is ordered by the emergency responders:

Pull fire alarm

Leave all ventilation systems operating unless instructed otherwise by emergency responders.

Leave the area immediately, avoiding the use of elevators unless necessary.

Identify those persons with special needs, and provide assistance if possible. Otherwise, provide their location to emergency responders (See Evacuation of Mobility-Impaired Persons).

Report to those buildings designated Outdoor Assembly Area to be accounted for. 

Suspicious Package

Do not use a cell phone or 2-way radio within the area of the suspicious package. Do not use the building fire alarm system.

DO NOT TOUCH IT OR MOVE IT! Obtain a good description of the package and LEAVE the room. CLOSE the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering. WARN others away. WASH hands with soap and water if you have touched the object.

Calmly state:

Your name
Nature of emergency
Building and exact location of suspicious package
Description of the object
Your phone number
List all people who were in the room/immediate area when this suspicious letter or package was first observed and give the list to the Pitt-Johnstown Police.

Flooding and Water Damage

Do not enter wet areas because of the danger of electrocution! If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area. Call 911 (7005 from a campus phone).

If there is no danger, call Facilities Management at 814-269-7130 or Campus Police at 814-269-7005 and advises the dispatcher of the problem, including:

  • Location of the leak/flooding
  • Severity
  • Whether any valuables, equipment, or books are involved or threatened.

If you know the source of the water and are confident in your ability to stop it (i.e., unclog the drain, turn off water, etc.) do so cautiously.

Be prepared to assist, if directed to do so, in protecting University and personal property that is in jeopardy. Take only those steps that are needed to avoid or reduce immediate water damage: cover large objects with plastic sheeting; carefully move small or light objects out of the emergency area. 


Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms, and be prepared to seek shelter.

Tornado Warning means a tornado is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters. Move to a place of safety (refer to Location-Specific Information sheet in this flip chart) immediately!

Move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement. Assist those with special needs in getting to the shelter area (See Evacuation of Mobility-Impaired Persons).

Do not activate the fire alarm, as this will cause people to go outside.

Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use arms to protect head and neck. Stay away from windows and open spaces. Stay there until the danger has passed.

If there is no basement, go to an interior room on the lowest level (closets, interior hallways, or restrooms). Do not open windows.

In a taller building, go to a small, interior room or hallway with no windows on the lowest floor possible.

Do not call 911 unless you need to report an emergency, such as a fire, medical emergency or severe building damage. 911 lines need to be kept open and available for emergency calls.

Evacuation of Mobility Impaired Persons

In case of a fire alarm situation in any Pitt-Johnstown building, contact the campus police at x7005 or 814-269-7005.

MOBILITY IMPAIRED PERSONS are to exit the building via the nearest exit; however, if the mobility-impaired persons are on a floor that has no direct exit to the outside, they should go to the Emergency Assistance Area (EAA) (refer to Location-Specific Information sheet in this flip chart) and await evacuation by trained rescue personnel (Richland Township Fire Department and/or Police).