Office of Emergency Management and Business Continuity

What to Do in an Emergency

Emergency? Call 911

Calling 911 from a cell phone will route your call to UMass Boston Police via the Massachusetts State Police dispatch. The direct UMass Boston Police emergency line is 617.287.1212. Do not use emergency lines for non-emergency calls.

The following links serve as a quick reference guide for what to do in an emergency. For additional information on safety policies or procedures, click on the relevant links to the left of the page under the "What to Do in an Emergency" tab. 

ACTIVE SHOOTER

  • Evacuate: If there is a safe and accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
    • Have an escape route in mind. 
    • Keep your hands visible as you evacuate.
    • Follow the instructions of any police officers on scene.
    • Do not risk your life for personal belongings.
    • Help others escape if it is safe to do so. 
  • Take Cover - Shelter in Place: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide that is out of the shooter’s view which will provide protection. 
    • Lock the door.
    • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
    • Silence your cell phone/pager.
    • Turn off any source of noise.
    • Remain quiet.
    • Hide behind large items such as heavy cabinets or desks. 
  • Take Action: As a last resort, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter by:
    • Active as aggressively as possible against him or her.
    • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
    • Yelling. 
    • Committing to your actions.

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FIRE

  • To Report a Fire:
    • ​​Call 911 or pull a fire pull-station.
  • If a Fire Alarm sounds, signaling Building Evacuation:
    • Exit quickly and calmly, and remain at least 50 feet away from building.
    • Do not congregate in catwalks.
    • Do not use elevators.
    • Individuals needing assistance who are unable to exit should seek refuge in enclosed stairwells and attempt to call 911 to report their location to rescuers. 

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BOMB THREAT PREPAREDNESS/RESPONSE

  • If you receive a Telephone Threat:
    • Remain calm and do not hang up.
    • Signal others to listen to the call and make note of incoming phone number on screen.
    • Write down the wording of the threat.
    • Immediately contact emergency personnel (Public Safety – 617.287.1212 or 911)
  • If you receive a Verbal Threat:
    • Note the direction in which the perpetrator leaves. 
    • Notify UMass Boston Public Safety immediately (Public Safety – 617.287.1212 or 911)
    • Note the description of the individual who made the threat. 
  • If you receive an Emailed Threat:
    • ​Leave the message open on the computer. Do not delete it.
    • Notify UMass Boston Public Safety immediately (Public Safety – 617.287.1212 or 911)
    • Print, photograph or copy the message and subject line. Note date and time of message. 

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BLIZZARD/WINTER STORM

  • Be Prepared: Stock up on food, water, medication and other necessities.  Have batteries and flashlights on hand in case you lose power during the storm. 
  • If Campus Closes: 
  • Methods of Precaution and Preparedness:
    • Stay indoors and avoid exposure to blizzard conditions.
    • Do not drive if conditions are unsafe or if authorities have declared a travel ban.
    • If you shovel out a car, clear the area in and around the tailpipe fully.
    • Avoid overexertion when shoveling.
    • Watch for frostbite (whiteness in fingers, toes, earlobes, etc.)
    • Watch for hypothermia (excessive shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, etc).  

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EARTHQUAKE 

  • Drop, Take Cover under a sturdy piece of furniture:
    • ​Hold on until the shaking stops. 
    • Get as low as possible and protect your head and neck.
    • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls.
    • Stay inside until shaking stops, do not use elevators.
    • Move away from buildings if you are outdoors.

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EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

  • If a person's behavior is immediately threatening to themselves or others: 
    • Call UMass Boston Police at 617.287.1212
  • If a student is suffering from emotional distress or other issues: 
    • Contact the University Health Services Counseling Office (617.287.5690)
    • The Dean of Students’ Office (617.287.5899) also connects students with the resources they may need. 
  • Employees in emotional distress:
    • Contact the Office of Human Resources (617.287.5150).  HR provides a variety of health resources for UMass Boston employees.

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EVACUATION

  • Being Prepared to Evacuate:
    • Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, the Campus Evacuation Policy, and specific building evacuation plans before an emergency occurs.
    • Take fire drills seriously and pay attention to campus-wide evacuation maps (posted prominently in building lobbies on campus). 
  • In an Emergency:
    • ​If a building is evacuated, leave calmly and avoid the area so as not to impede first responders. 
    • Under no circumstances should anyone ignore a fire alarm or refuse to comply with an evacuation order. 
  • Anyone Requiring Additional Assistance:
    • ​Many building occupants who need assistance have voluntarily registered with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
    • The list of individuals needing assistance is provided to the Fire Safety Officer and the Public Safety.
    • Fire Safety Team Volunteers will help anyone in need of additional assistance by directing them to areas of refuge.
    • These volunteers will notify emergency response personnel of the person’s location.

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FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION ISSUES 

  • If you observe a facilities-related issue that poses an immediate emergency: 
    • Call 911 immediately.
  • If there is an urgent but not immediately dangerous facilities issue: 
    • Report it to Customer Service (617.287.4000)
    • Examples of these issues are broken pipes or routine maintenance problems. 

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HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

  • Be Prepared:
    • Familiarize yourself with Environmental Health and Safety's lab safety rules.
  • If there is any sort of emergency in the lab:
    • Call 911 immediately.

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HURRICANE

  • Be Prepared:
    • ​Sign up for National Weather Service alerts.
    • Have medications and essentials in a “go bag” in case you are told to evacuate by authorities.
    • Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. 
    • Close all interior doors, secure and brace external doors.
    • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.  

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MEDICAL EMERGENCY

  • Call 911:
    • Call 911 if anyone is having a medical emergency.
    • State the location and nature of the emergency. 
    • If it is safe to do so, stay with the person until help arrives.

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PANDEMIC

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SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR

  • Report Your Observations:
    • If anything seems like it could pose a threat to your safety or the safety of our campus, dial 911 and report it to the authorities.
    • If a campus phone isn't near by, dial 911 on your cell to be connected to State Police, who will route you to UMass Boston Police.
    • Dial 617.287.1212 to connect directly with UMass Boston Police.

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TORNADO

  • Seek Shelter Immediately: 
    • If there is a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately.
    • Go to the lowest building level and seek shelter in the center of a small interior room or hallway.
    • Stay away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. 

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UNATTENDED/SUSPICIOUS ITEM

  • Report Your Observations:
    • If you see an unattended or suspicious item, immediately report it to Public Safety (617.287.1212 or call 911).
    • Do not touch the item.
    • Provide a detailed description of the item and its location.
    • Do no report suspicious items to any other campus office. 

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  • Active Shooter

    • Evacuate: If there is a safe and accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
      • Have an escape route in mind. 
      • Keep your hands visible as you evacuate.
      • Follow the instructions of any police officers on scene.
      • Do not risk your life for personal belongings.
      • Help others escape if it is safe to do so. 
    • Take Cover - Shelter in Place: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide that is out of the shooter’s view which will provide protection. 
      • Lock the door.
      • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
      • Silence your cell phone/pager.
      • Turn off any source of noise.
      • Remain quiet.
      • Hide behind large items such as heavy cabinets or desks. 
    • Take Action: As a last resort, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the active shooter by:
      • Active as aggressively as possible against him or her.
      • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
      • Yelling. 
      • Committing to your actions.