Immediate and appropriate responses to emergency situations can save lives and reduce damages. The University of the Arts Emergency Guide contains basic reference information, procedures and key phone numbers to help you react to emergency situations on campus. It is intended for staff, students, faculty and the University of the Arts community at large.

When only internal help is required, you should call University of the Arts’ emergency line at x6666 (215-717-6666).

Download the Community Safety Guide (PDF).

If external help is required, it is important that both 911 and the UArts emergency line be contacted.
 

If you contact 911 via a University of the Arts landline (9 + 911), the Office of Public Safety will automatically monitor the call. But if you call 911 via cell phone, you must place a follow-up call to the UArts emergency line to notify them of the emergency, allowing them to escort emergency vehicles to the site.

Being prepared before an emergency occurs can significantly reduce its negative impact. The following steps are some of the things you can do to better prepare yourself for an emergency.

  •  Read this Emergency Guide thoroughly and keep it on hand.
  •  Participate in drills and training.
  •  Keep a copy of emergency contact numbers.
  •  Identify the emergency routes and exits from your office or classroom.
  •  Ensure your classroom or office has the appropriate emergency evacuation procedures signage.

Keep in mind that even the best prevention programs do not eliminate the possibility that a serious emergency can occur on campus.

All members of the University of the Arts community will receive emails in case of a serious emergency on campus. To receive text and voice alerts to your mobile phone, sign up for the UArts Alert system.

  • Log in to the UArts portal
  • Via the left-hand navigation menu, click “Emergency Alerts.”
  • Click on “UArts Alert Messaging Sign Up.”
  • Follow the instructions. 

IN CASE OF LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY, SEVERE INJURY OR VIOLENCE,
CALL 911 (9 + 911 FROM LANDLINE) AND THE UARTS EMERGENCY PHONE
NUMBERS: x6666 or 215-717-6666.

Emergency procedures for

General Emergency Call Procedure

If external help is required (police, ambulance, fire department):

  1. Contact Emergency Services: 911 (9 + 911 from an on-campus landline).
  2. Provide operator with
     
    1. Your name and phone number
    2. Location of the incident
    3. Nature of the incident
    4. Number of injured people and nature of injuries
    5. Nearest building entrance that emergency personnel can use
       
  3. Designate someone to meet emergency personnel outside building.
  4. Stay on the line with operator.
  5. Follow up with a call to the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666.

If only internal help is required (Public Safety):

  1. Call the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666 and provide the following information:
     
    1. Your name and phone number
    2. Location of the incident
    3. Nature of emergency
    4. Number of injured people and nature of injuries
    5. Nearest building entrance that emergency personnel should use
       
  2. Designate someone to meet emergency personnel outside building.
  3. Stay on the line with operator.

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Medical Emergencies

Should you require medical assistance, call the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666. If you need an ambulance, call 911 (9 + 911 from landline). If you are placing this call from a cell phone, immediately place a follow-up call to the UArts emergency line at 215-717- 6666.

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Severe Weather

During a severe storm:

  • Stay safe, warm, dry and calm.
  • Avoid driving.
  • Do not go outside if you don’t have to, but if you must, dress warmly to prevent frost and hypothermia.
  •  Information about class cancellations and school closings will be communicated via the UArts alert system and the University website.

If stranded at work:

  • Choose a comfortable location with co-workers.
  • Gather any emergency supplies that may be available.
  • Advise Public Safety of your location and the number of people you are with.
  • Make yourself comfortable and look after each other.

Be prepared:

  • Check weather information regularly.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Have adequate emergency supplies stored at your office, in your car and at home.
  • Have a family emergency plan in the event you cannot make it home on time.

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Power Outage

During a power outage:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. If emergency lighting does not come on, wait a few minutes: Power interruptions are frequently short.
  3. Do not use candles, matches, lighters or other open flames.
  4. If you work with hazardous chemicals, keep a flashlight available to allow you to safely shut down operations.
  5. If lighting is interrupted for more than 10 minutes, notify the UArts emergency team at 215-717-6666. Do not move around in the dark. Public Safety will evaluate the need to evacuate the building.

If you must evacuate in total darkness:

  1. Advise Public Safety that you are evacuating.
  2. Crawl on your hands and knees; do not stand.
  3. With the back of your right hand, feel and follow the wall to your right.
  4. Sweep your right hand in an up and down movement, feeling for door knobs.
  5. Feel any door for heat before you open it.
  6. With your left hand, sweep the floor in front of you for obstacles or stairs.
  7. Crawl down stairs backwards, feeling the steps with your feet (and with your left hand on the wall).
  8. Never lose contact with the right-hand wall—you will eventually find the exit.

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Fire/Smoke

In the event of a fire:

  1. Pull the fire alarm.
  2. Calmly proceed to the nearest safe exit.
  3. Use only the stairs; do not use elevators.
  4. Follow the instructions of Public Safety and emergency responders.
  5. Assist persons with disabilities or special needs.
  6. Inform the authorities of the location and the nature of the fire, unsafe exits, people who require assistance and other pertinent details.
  7. Wait for authorization from emergency personnel before re-entering the building.

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Shelter in Place

A shelter-in-place warning might be issued when conditions outside the building are unsafe due to severe weather, an airborne hazard, civil disturbance or other emergency. Once issued, individuals should immediately seek shelter inside the nearest campus building until the all-clear is given.

The basic steps of Shelter-in-Place are:

  • Cover or seal the windows, if possible.
  • Take shelter under or behind a sturdy piece of furniture (like a a desk).
  • Do not answer or open the door for anyone until an all-clear message is received.

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Evacuation

  1. Secure any hazardous materials or equipment before leaving.
  2. Calmly proceed to the nearest, safest exit.
  3. Close doors.
  4. Use only the stairs; do not use elevators.
  5. Follow the instructions of emergency responders.
  6. Assist people with disabilities or special needs.
  7. Move 100 meters from the building or to the meeting site as directed by emergency responders.
  8. Move to interior rooms.
  9. Close and lock all exterior windows and doors to prevent inadvertent opening.
  10. Turn off all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems (if manual controls are present) if the hazard is a chemical, biological or radiological release.
  11. Call 911 (9 + 911 from an on-campus landline) and the UArts emergency line when you are away from any danger.
  12. If you have special knowledge about the evacuation (injuries or persons requiring assistance) or incident (location or  nature of fire), remain available to Public Safety and the authorities.
  13. Wait for authorization from emergency personnel before re-entering the building.

Evacuation Planning

Be prepared for an evacuation.

  1. Know your primary evacuation route and an alternate route.
  2. Know the location of the two exits nearest to you.
  3. Know your evacuation meeting location.

Emergency evacuation instructions for people with disabilities

  1. When you hear the alarm, be sure an emergency responder can easily locate you.
  2. If needed, ask someone to assist you. It is important that you be seen during an emergency.

Also, specific to the following disabilities:

  • Hearing impairment:
    Emergency responders will communicate the emergency by whatever means necessary and ensure that someone accompanies you out of the building.

  • Visual impairment:
    Emergency responders will explain what is happening and ensure that someone is leading you safely out of the building and to a familiar location.

  • Mobility- impaired but ambulatory (walking with great difficulty):
    Emergency responders will be sure that someone escorts you safely out of and away from the building after the main flow of traffic has gone by, to avoid accidents.
    For a case of extreme emergency (fire or heavy smoke in proximity), emergency responders might ask you if and how you wish to be picked up.
     
  • Mobility-impaired with no capability of walking down stairs (like a severe heart problem, use of wheelchair):

    Emergency responders will help you identify the location where you will wait for evacuation. Ask someone to remain in the building with you until trained rescue workers arrive. Be sure someone will notify the authorities of your need for assistance.

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Hostile Intruder

A hostile intruder situation arises when one or more people participate in a random or systematic action demonstrating their intent to harm others. The culprit(s) may use firearms, explosives, knives, etc. to effect mass murder rather than engage in other criminal contact.

At no time should the fire alarm be activated. (That would signal occupants to evacuate the building and possibly place them in harm.)

x6666 (215-717-6666).If there is a safe way out, exiting the building is your best option:

  • Exit the building immediately.
  • Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately.
  • Call 911 (9 + 911 from an on-campus landline) and the UArts emergency line (215-717-6666) and provide the following information:
    • your name;
    • the location of the incident (be as specific as possible);
    • number of suspects,  as well as a physical description(s) if possible; and
    • your current location.

If exiting the building is not an immediate option or possibility due to being too close to the suspect or for any other reason, you should find a place to hide. 

  • Enter the nearest room.
  • Close, lock and barricade the door, if possible.
  • Cover the windows, if possible.
  • Take shelter under or behind a sturdy piece of furniture (like a desk).
  • Keep quiet, and act as if there is no one in the room (turn off the lights and all audio equipment).
  • Silence phones completely (including vibrate feature). Quietly call 911 (9 + 911 from an on-campus landline) and the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666.
  • Do not answer or open the door for anyone until an all-clear message is received.

Important

  • Know your surroundings, including exit doors and staircases, as well as where staircases and doors lead.
  • If an intruder enters your immediate area, or if you have been injured, try not to move (play dead).

As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger, fight. 

  • Attempt to incapacitate the intruder.
  • Act with physical aggression.
  • Improvise weapons.
  • Commit to your actions.
  • Once the intruder is incapacitated, call 911 (9 + 911 from an on-campus landline) and the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666.

Police officers are trained to respond to hostile intruders by entering the building ASAP and proceeding to the area where the incident is unfolding. They will move quickly and directly. Early in the incident, they might not be able to rescue people because their main goal is to neutralize the suspect.

Try to remain as calm as possible during any such incident, and adhere to the officers’ demands and instructions, so as to not interfere with police operations.

A rescue team is formed shortly after the first responders enter the building; they will be the officers who search for and help get everyone out of the building safely.

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Bomb Threat

If you receive a bomb threat: 

  1. Listen, and remain calm and courteous. Do not interrupt the caller.
  2. Obtain as much information as you can. Ask the following questions. 
    1. Where is the bomb?
    2. At what time will it explode?
    3. What does the bomb look like?
    4. Why did you place the bomb?
    5. Where are you calling from?
    6. What is your name?
  3. Write as much information as you can.
  4. Note identifying characteristics, if possible:
    1. Perceived gender
    2. Estimated age
    3. Accent
    4. Voice (loud, soft, is it familiar, etc.)
    5. Speech (fast, slow, etc.)
    6. Diction (clear, nasal, lisp, etc.)
    7. Manner (calm, emotional, vulgar, etc.)
    8. Background noises
    9. Is the caller familiar with the University?
  5. Relay the information immediately to the UArts emergency team at 215-717-6666. As soon as you have made your phone call to the emergency line, take a minute to write down everything you remember about the call you received. Record as much information as you can remember while the call is still fresh in your mind.

Under no circumstances should other people endanger their lives by trying to locate the bomb.

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Suspicious Envelopes or Packages

If you receive a suspicious letter:

  1. If it is a letter that you have opened, set it down gently at the location where you first read it. Leave it alone. Move to an area that will minimize your exposure to others. Avoid contact with others when possible, and remain in the area.
  2. Tell a coworker or classmate in the immediate area what has happened and ask them to call the UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666.
  3. Turn off any fans in the area; the Office of Public Safety will arrange to have the building's ventilation system shut down.
  4. Do not allow others into the area. If anyone enters, they must stay until emergency responders instruct them to leave.
  5. Remain calm. Exposure does not mean you will become sick. Public Safety and emergency responders will provide specific information and instructions about symptoms and effective treatments to prevent illness.
  6. Do not give the letter or note to others to look at.
  7. Do not disturb any contents in the letter or note. Handling the letter might only spread the substance inside and increase the chances of it getting into the air.

Though any threatened use of a biological agent must be treated as though it is real, experience has demonstrated that these are likely to be hoaxes.

If the suspected biological agent is reported as anthrax, be assured that it is not contagious, and treatment is readily available if administered before the onset of symptoms.

Common features of anthrax threat letters:

  • No return address; postmark or name of sender is unusual
  • Excessive or inadequate postage
  • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  • Misspelling of common words
  • Restrictive markings like “Confidential,” “Personal,” etc.
  • Excessive weight and/or a feeling of a powdery substance
  • The letter is lopsided or unusually thick.
  • Rub-on block lettering
  • Receiving a letter or note threatening any type of contamination

If you notice a suspicious package:

  1. Do not handle the package.
  2. Call UArts‘ emergency line at 215-717-6666.
  3. Wait for instructions.

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Personal Safety

Street Safety

  • Be very careful using ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Walk in the middle of the sidewalk and facing oncoming traffic.
  • Try not to overload yourself with packages or other items. Keep your hands as free as possible.
  • Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging.
  • Refrain from texting or reading your phone, tablet or other device while walking or standing on a sidewalk.
  • If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front. Carry no more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.
  • If you use a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise, you could be knocked down and hurt.
  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Know your surroundings, and do not be reluctant to report illegal activities and suspicious loitering.
  • Study the campus and the neighborhood, so you know routes between your residence and classes or activities.
  • Be aware that your shoes and clothing may hinder an escape. Think of what to do in case of an attack (like kick off high-heeled shoes).
  • Avoid traveling alone. Avoid “shortcuts.” Use the University’s escort service after dark.

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Hazardous Materials Spills/Emergencies

1. Call UArts emergency line at 215-717-6666. Be prepared to provide the following information.

  • Your name
  • Your location
  • Type of spill (like a solvent spill, a liquid radioactive spill, bio-hazardous material, etc.)
  • Extent of damages (building, floor, room number, etc.)

Water Damage

If you notice a water leak:

  1. If there are electrical outlets or appliances near the leak, do not approach the water.
  2. Call UArts’ emergency line at 215-717-6666.
  3. Indicate the exact location and severity of the leak.
  4. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area.
  5. If you know the source of the water and are confident in your ability to stop it (like unclogging the drain, turning off the water, etc.), do so cautiously.

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Earthquake

During an earthquake:

INDOORS

  • Remain indoors.
  • DUCK, COVER and HOLD. Take cover under a table, a bench or a desk and hold on, or go to an interior wall, supported doorway, or hallway.
  • Keep clear of windows that might break and large objects that could fall over.
  • Expect fire alarms and sprinkler systems to activate.
  • Do not evacuate until the shaking has stopped.
  • When evacuating, be careful and alert about falling debris.

OUTDOORS

  • Stay outdoors.
  • Move to an open area away from trees, buildings, windows, utility poles and signs.

After an earthquake:

  • Evacuate cautiously, taking your key personal belongings and any emergency supplies. Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Do not use elevators or turn on lights.
  • Look for any signs of structural damage and for people who might be injured or trapped. Watch for falling objects.
  • Go to your evacuation meeting location.
  • Report injured or trapped persons and any signs of structural damage to emergency personnel.
  • Only use your phone for emergencies; overloading the phone system can delay the arrival of emergency assistance.
  • Information on class cancellations and school closings will be communicated via the UArts alert system and the University website.

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Outside Agencies

  • Phila. Emer. Mgmt. (215) 686-1100
  • PA Emer. Mgmt. (800) 372-7362
  • PECO (electric) (800) 841-4141
  • PGW (gas) (215) 235-1212
  • Homeland Security - PA (717) 346-4460

Hotlines

  • Suicide Prevention (215) 686-4420
  • Rape Crisis (215) 985-3333
  • Poison Control (215) 386-2100
  • Domestic Violence (800) 799-SAFE
  • Alcohol/Drug Abuse (800) 777-2721
  • AIDS/HIV (800) 848-3367

Emergency Line 215-717-6666

Campus Telephone Numbers (215-717-XXXX)

  • President 6380
  • Provost 6388
  • Student Affairs 6617
  • Public Safety-Office 6404
  • Facilities 6826
  • Network Services 6437
  • Technology Services 6677
  • Health Services 6230
  • Student Life 6970
  • Counseling 6630
  • Student Activities 6615
  • Educational Accessibility 6616
  • University Operator 6000