For Natural Disasters and Other Large Scale Events

This plan will be utilized in event of a natural disaster or other types of large-scale emergency circumstances. Its primary purpose is to protect the safety and health of campus occupants through effective use of university and external resources.

The plan provides general guidance which must be tailored to the specific nature and impact of an event. In the Pacific Northwest earthquakes represent the most significant disaster risk. While much of this plan is oriented toward earthquake response, its guidelines and procedures can be adjusted for use in other emergency circumstances such as volcanic activity or a major power outage.

In a major disaster the university is prepared to operate without significant outside assistance for 72 hours. Outside resources might be available only on a limited, priority basis within the region and City for several days following a disaster.

General Response Procedures

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should respond initially to earthquakes according to the following procedures which are posted in buildings:

If indoors during an earthquake:

  1. Seek refuge under a desk, table, or other substantial furniture or fixtures. Stay away from windows and items that could topple over or fall from overhead.
  2. Do not exit buildings until the shaking ceases. After shaking concludes, proceed quickly to the nearest safe exit.
  3. Once outside, move to an open area away from buildings (50 feet or more if possible). Be prepared for aftershocks.
  4. Meet with other occupants of your building in designated outdoor waiting areas. After gathering outdoors, wait for directions from Disaster Response staff. The Fieldhouse and Tennis Annex are primary locations for temporary shelter, if necessary, after an earthquake.
  5. Do not reenter buildings until authorized to do so.

If outdoors during an earthquake:

  1. Move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, and other structures (at least 50' from structures if possible). Avoid downed power lines as they may be energized.
  2. If in an automobile, stop at the nearest safe location, preferably away from power lines. Stay in the vehicle for the safety it offers.

Building occupants should gather in groups outside of buildings after an earthquake subsides. You can view a campus map depicting emergency gathering areas for each major building. Occupants of university houses, whether student residences or offices, should gather a safe distance (at least 30 feet) from house main entrances. After building occupants gather outdoors, they should wait for instructions from emergency response staff.

Persons may return to their off-campus residences if they wish to do so. Individuals choosing to remain on campus will be provided shelter, food, and water.

The Fieldhouse and Tennis Annex may be used to provide temporary shelter and services for faculty, staff, students and visitors. These buildings are relatively earthquake resistant and should be occupiable even in the event of a major earthquake or other disaster. The Fieldhouse and Tennis Annex have sufficient capacity to temporarily shelter the entire campus population. Electricity generators are in place to provide lights, power, and communications in these buildings during a primary power failure. Persons could be housed and fed for several days in the Fieldhouse and Tennis Annex.

Other buildings also could be used for temporary shelter or services purposes. Temporary building use decisions will be guided by individual building conditions and campus service needs.

Students, faculty, and staff may return to their campus residences and worksite buildings after their facilities are declared safe and functional. It may be several days or longer before building damages can be adequately assessed and/or repaired. It requires a minimum of several hours to inspect and reoccupy all buildings.

Violent Act/Lock Down Procedures

What you should do:

  1. If in the vicinity of an act or potential act of violence, faculty, staff, students and visitors should flee to a safe location within or outside of the building (if feasible).
  2. If it is not safe to flee the area or if a building/campus lockdown is announced, Shelter in Place by immediately locking room doors (if possible), securing windows, closing window coverings, and turning off room lights. Room occupants should stay low to the floor, spread apart as much as possible, away from doors and windows, and as close to interior hallway walls as possible. Remain quiet and wait for directions from police or Security staff. Place cell phones or pagers on vibrate so you can receive emergency messages quietly.
  3. If outside and unable to access a building because of a lockdown, leave the area quickly and seek safety/shelter off campus. Do not return to campus until it is communicated the situation has been resolved.

What others will do:

  1. External major building doors will be secured by university staff involved in emergency response.
  2. The campus will be notified when the lock down has concluded and/or the situation is resolved.


All communications with the media will be coordinated by Office of Communications staff. Other staff, faculty, and students should not communicate with the media.