A campus lockdown will be initiated anytime there is any serious incident that would cause concern for the safety of individuals on campus and to prevent unlawful or unauthorized entry into campus buildings when there is an immediate threat of violence in or around the University.
These are the steps that should be taken in the event an incident occurs necessitating the locking of buildings on campus, or any portion thereof, to prevent unauthorized and/or dangerous person or persons from entering the building(s). A “Lockdown” is the temporary sheltering technique utilized to limit community member’s exposure to a critical incident. “Shelter-In-Place” is used when it is deemed safer for persons to remain at their current location, rather than evacuate to another location that may expose them to a more dangerous situation.
Guidance to Faculty, Staff, and Students
Should a Campus Lockdown occur, information will be provided by University authorities through NOVA Alert system. The important thing is for you to follow instructions of University authorities and know what to do if they advise you to lockdown/shelter-in-place.
Stop classes or work, or close business operations. If there are students, customers, clients, or visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay--not leave. When authorities provide directions to lockdown/shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors. The Wildcard access system will be shut down. Only emergency personnel will have access to Wildcard controlled doorways.
Proceed to a room that can be locked, close and lock all the windows and doors, and turn off all the lights, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains. If possible, get everyone down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room. One person in the room should call the VU Public Safety Dispatcher at 610-519-4444 (and/or 911), advise the dispatcher of what is taking place, and inform him/her of your location. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select if you need to report a life-threatening condition; cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
Use discretion in admitting anyone into a secure building by screening all individuals requesting access by having them:
- Stop and identify themselves;
- Leave all parcels, briefcase, backpacks, gym bags, etc. outside at a minimum distance of 20-30 feet from the building; and,
- The person seeking shelter will then open all outer garments for a visual inspection before being allowed to enter the building.
Remain in place until VU Public Safety or the police give the "all clear." Do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a Police Officer or a Public Safety Officer. When un-Securing an area:
- Consider risks before un-securing rooms.
- Consider the safety of masses vs. the safety of a few.
- If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured.
- The Fire Alarm/Emergency Evacuation Alarm may be used as a ruse to make secure occupants leave their safe refuge area. If the Fire Alarm/Emergency Evacuation Alarm sounds, carfully look for signs of an actual fire and/or check NovaAlert for further instructions and use your best judgement for your safety and the safety of others.