VI. Life Safety and Security
- Emergency Communications Tools
- Campus Closure Guidelines
Incident Planning and Response
- Bomb Threat
- University Vehicle Relocation to Parking Garage
- Emergency Resources
All occupants of the Student Services Building (SSB) adhere to the Building Emergency Plan.
The scope, objectives and effectiveness of the Building Emergency Plan are evaluated and updated annually by the Building Manager. Any recommendations are presented to the SSB Policy Committee and will be reviewed with Campus Safety and Security before implementation.
During certain emergency conditions, it may be necessary to evacuate the SSB, or limit or restrict access to all or part of the building. Conditions may present the need to shelter in place. All occupants of the SSB should be trained and have fundamental knowledge of emergency procedures for the building.
It is the responsibility of each unit director within the SSB to identify a floor manager and to ensure that building emergency plans are covered with all occupants of the building.
This document is an annex to the University of Texas at Austin Emergency Management Plan. Units within the SSB are responsible for developing detailed unit plans within the context of the Emergency Management Plan to address the specific operational needs of their unit.
This plans describes critical functions and personnel during an emergency situation.
Access Monitor - A building occupant assigned to monitor an individual building entrance during an emergency.
Assembly Area – A designated area located outside the building in a safe and convenient location for building occupants to assemble after evacuating the building.
All Clear - The signal given by UTPD or AFD indicating that all staff and visitors may return into the SSB building.
Building Emergency Manager (BEM) – Responsible for developing and implementing the building emergency plan. During an emergency the BEM is responsible for managing evacuation or shelter in place functions. The BEM will conduct periodic training drills and manage, plan and coordinate activities associated with the physical, environmental and security conditions of the SSB.
Campus Operational Statuses
- Campus Open - The university is observing normal operating hours and activities.
- Campus Closed - Only those employees identified as essential will remain on campus. All other faculty, staff and students will depart campus. No one should return until a returning procedure is announced. Campus shuttles will be stopped and passengers will be returned to their boarding location.
- Campus Emergency - An emergency that threatens the campus will be announced by several means of communication. One method of communication is the Outdoor Warning System (siren). If you are outside and hear the siren at a time other that the schedule test which occurs on the first Wednesday of each month, you should immediately seek cover in the closet University building of facility. Campus emergency personnel will use other communication means to provide information on the correct protective action to take place in the interior of buildings. Please visit http://www.utexas.edu/safety/preparedness.html for additional information on communication means and the outdoor warning system.
- Lockdown - The directive "lockdown" is used to stop access and or egress as appropriate to all or a portion of the buildings on campus. Unless otherwise directed, consider that all buildings will initiate their "Lockdown" procedures.
- Restricted Access (Vehicle or Buildings or Area) - When "Restricted Access" is announced, the area restricted will be announced and campus emergency or law enforcement personnel will limit movement in that area. Facilities Services will dispatch blocking vehicles immediately.
Emergency Assistant - An Emergency Assistant is a person assigned by the floor manager to assist occupants who may require some form of assistance. Assistance may include:
- Ensuring occupants with hearing or visual impairments are aware of an emergency.
- Escorting occupants who need assistance to a designated staging area where occupants will gather when notified of an incident and staying with the individual until the incident is terminated or they are safely evacuated.
Each department within the SSB should designate essential personnel. Determining which staff members are essential personnel during emergency situations is the responsibility of the unit director. Each unit should develop and maintain a list of essential personnel that includes contact information for each essential staff member.
The immediate and rapid movement of people away from a threat or actual occurrence of a hazard. All occupants of SSB are required to evacuate the building when a fire alarm and/or an official announcement is made indicating a potentially dangerous situation within the building.
Fire Alarm Pull Stations - Fire Alarm Pull Stations are located at all the entrances, at the stairwells on every floor and at other key locations throughout SSB. When pulled, they activate the building fire alarm system.
Fire Extinguishers - Fire extinguishers are located on every floor at each of the three main stairwells.
Fire Sprinklers - The fire sprinkler system throughout SSB is a modern, state-of-the-art system. When the heat from a fire melts the plastic safety device on a sprinkler, that sprinkler is activated, spraying water on the fire and sounding the fire alarm. Water is sprayed in a 10 foot radius from only those sprinklers that are affected by the heat. When a fire sprinkler is activated, the fire alarm is also activated.
Floor Managers - The floor managers are responsible for the safe evacuation of their area in the event of an emergency. Some of the floor managers located on the Ground and First Floors are also responsible for crowd management at the building entrances, including hanging signs on the external entrances indicating that there is an emergency in the building. Crowd management includes preventing people from entering the building until it is safe to do so, and regulating the flow of returning traffic on the escalators once the 'All Clear' has been given. Each department is responsible for assigning an individual to be the floor manager (it is also strongly recommended that there be an alternate for every floor manager).
Smoke Detectors - Smoke Detectors are located throughout the building and react when they encounter smoke. The light located on their base glows a steady red and the fire alarm system is activated when they encounter smoke.
Staging Area - A protected location where occupants who require assistance respond during the initial stages of an emergency. In the SSB, the staging area is an interior stairwell landing. The individual requiring assistance and the emergency assistants should remain until an incident is terminated or emergency responders arrive to conduct an evacuation.
Shelter in Place - The action of seeking immediate shelter indoors following the announcement of an emergency condition. The act of sheltering in an area inside a building that offers occupants an elevated level of protection. Sheltering can be related to a variety of situation, including: severe weather emergencies, hazardous condition, chemical release, or criminal activity.
Stairwells – Three stairwells within SSB provide the primary means of egress during an emergency. The stairwells are fire-resistant rated and become pressurized when the fire alarm is activated. Stairwell exit doors are fire-resistant rated and should never be propped open.
Emergency Communication Tools
Emergencies may range from inclement weather, to building evacuations, to campus closures, and the university has a variety of tools to communicate with the public in the event of these and other possible emergencies. Depending on the type of emergency, some or all of the following tools may be used to communicate with faculty, staff and students:
Emergency Website Up-to-date information regarding the status of the university is always available on the university's emergency website. During and following emergency situations, information as it applies to the university public will be posted on this Web page.
Local Media The Office of Public Affairs sends press releases and makes calls to contacts on a local media list. Because of the transient nature of our population, the university depends a great deal on broadcast media to notify students, faculty and staff of emergencies before or during their commutes.
Public Safety Patrol Car Announcements UTPD patrol cars are equipped with Public Address (PA) systems, which officers can use to provide instructions to pedestrians during emergencies.
Siren System This system is tested around noon on the first Wednesday of every month and delivers a siren warning and public address in the event of certain outdoor emergencies. Read more about the siren system.
Telephone Tree Individual units within the SSB should consider developing and utilizing a telephone tree to contact staff members within their unit during emergency situations.
Text Alerts An emergency text messaging service through a third party provider allows university officials to disseminate important information via text message directly to the cell phone of users subscribed to the service. Sign up for campus text alerts online.
University Group E-mail During emergencies, UT Safety Alert sends an "urgent" group e-mail to every student, faculty and staff member. The e-mail directs individuals to the emergency website for additional information and instruction.
University Emergency Information Line — 512-232-9999 Students, faculty and staff can call this main number for information about campus closures.
Voicemail to Office Telephones This tool leaves a voice message on every faculty and staff member's office phone on campus.
Campus Closure Guidelines and Decision Considerations - Weather Related
Decision to Close All Day or in the Morning
This decision will be made by 5:00 a.m. for an all-day or morning closure. This will stop most university employees from reporting to work for the typical day shift (Monday through Friday). The shuttle service starts at 6:30 a.m. and a 5:00 a.m. closure decision will stop the service from bringing passengers to campus. The unlock crew may already be en route or on campus at this time, but notice of the closure will reach them at least before they start working. In order to notify all employees in a timely manner, it is best to make the decision as soon as possible.
Decision to Close in the Afternoon
This decision will be made by 11:00 a.m. for a 2:00 p.m. or later closure. This will stop the evening crew from coming to campus, and notify students and faculty in advance of afternoon/evening class cancellations. Note: campus event venues (i.e., the Frank Erwin Center, LBJ Library, and PAC) close at their own discretion and do not necessarily adhere to university closures.
The university will consider the following questions when deciding whether to close:
- Has AISD closed?
- Is there a request from city, state, or federal authorities asking to restrict or curtail traffic or movement?
- Has the city or state issued a closure message for their offices?
- Can/is Capital Metro operating?
Upon releasing the campus, the university may consider giving the campus this guidance:
- First priority for release should be employees with children to pick up.
- Second priority should be those who live the farthest from the university.
- Third priority should be all others.
- The university community should also give consideration to those faculty, staff and students with mobility disabilities.
Incident Planning and Response
If there is a need to evacuate the Student Services Building (SSB), occupants will be alerted through either the fire alarm system (for fires), or through the intercom system (for other emergencies requiring evacuation of the area). Upon hearing the fire alarm and/or evacuation instructions over the intercom, building occupants should put on appropriate clothing for outside weather conditions and proceed to the nearest stairwell or building exit to evacuate the building. Do not use elevators for evacuation. Upon exiting the building, proceed to a designated assembly area away from the building and remain in the assembly area until an "all clear" is given.
- Evacuate the facility upon hearing the alarm or by an official announcement
- Close office doors, and turn off lights and computers.
- Secure all areas containing money, pharmaceuticals and/or confidential information.
- Use designated corridors and fire exit stairs that lead to ground level.
- Leave the building in an orderly manner.
- Do not use elevators.
- Assemble in designated assembly areas.
- Follow instructions of fire and other first responders.
- Upon reaching the ground level, stay at least 300 feet (1 block) from the building.
- Report to emergency responders any individuals left in the building requiring evacuation assistance.
- Do not re-enter the building until emergency officials issue the "all clear".
Assembly Areas - The designated assembly areas for the occupants of SSB are:
- The Littlefield Patio at the corner of University and West Dean Keeton St.
- Parking Lot F92 northeast of the SSB on Wichita.
- Parking Lot F18 north of The Bridgeway Building.
Note: Your unit may have specific instructions for assembly and checking in during an emergency evacuation
During an evacuation the building manager will assume a command post in the southeast entrance vestibule on the first floor to monitor evacuation and communicate with emergency personnel. Floor managers will report to this area once they have evacuated their area of responsibility.
- For each person unable to traverse the stairs, an emergency assistant will assist with relocating the individual to a staging area (stairwell), notify the building manager, and then stay with the individual requiring assistance until an "all clear" has been issued or until AFD arrives to further assist the evacuation of the stairwells.
- As part of the emergency plan, the building and floor manager will identify occupants who require assistance and develop an evacuation strategy based upon individual needs and building resources.
- Individuals who require assistance may at any time contact the building or floor manager to request assistance and develop an individual evacuation plan.
Evacuation management is established to ensure occupants safely evacuate the building. Evacuation management involves dividing the building into manageable units, physical inspections to verify evacuation, and assembly areas for occupants to gather once outside the structure.
Floor managers are responsible for evacuation management during the hours of 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. Floor managers are encouraged to recruit and train volunteers from their work area to aid with evacuation management.
Floor Number Department/Area Responsible for Ground floor 1 person Office of the Ombudsperson Evacuate office area and ground floor bathrooms. Ground floor 1 person UHS/CMHC Evacuate office area and public meeting rooms. Place emergency sign on ground floor north doors. Also responsible for preventing people from entering the building at the ground floor north entrance at a safe distance. Ground floor 1 person UHS Materiel Management Evacuate material management area and also responsible for preventing others from entering via the delivery entrance at a safe distance. First floor 1 person Campus Environmental Center (CEC) Evacuate the CEC office area. Place emergency sign on east entrance door. Also responsible for preventing people from entering the SSB east entrance door at a safe distance. First floor 1 person UHS Health Promotion Evacuate health promotions area. Place emergency sign on south doors. Also responsible for preventing people from entering the building at the south (main) entrance at a safe distance. First floor 1 person UHS Pharmacy Evacuate pharmacy area. Place emergency sign on west entrance doors. Also responsible for preventing people from entering the building at the west entrance at a safe distance. First floor 2 people UHS Urgent Care/Sports Medicine/Physical Therapy Evacuate urgent care, sports medicine and physical therapy areas, the restrooms, and atrium. Place emergency sign on north entrance doors. Also responsible for preventing people from entering the building at the north entrance at a safe distance. Additionally, the floor manager has crowd management duties, including regulating the flow of returning traffic using the escalators. Second floor 1 person UHS Administration Evacuate UHS office administration area, including Human Resources and HITS. Second floor 1 person UHS Cashier/ Insurance Evacuate office area and 2nd floor atrium area. Second floor 1 person UHS Medicine A and Laboratory Evacuate office area and examination rooms. Second floor 1 person UHS Health Information Management Evacuate area. Second floor 3 people UHS Medicines C,D, Allergy & Immunizations Evacuate office area, examination rooms and 2nd floor public bathrooms Third floor 1 people UHS Women's Health Services Evacuate women's health services area Third floor 1 person New Student Services Evacuate office area, 3rd floor public bathrooms and 3.406 meeting room. Third floor 2 person Office of Student Financial Services Evacuate office area, OFSA lobby and 3rd floor atrium area. Fourth floor 2 people Office of the Dean of Students Evacuate DoS office area, Student Organization Center and the 4th floor atrium area. Fourth floor 1 person Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Evacuate DDCE office area, 4.212 meeting room and the 4th floor public bathrooms Fifth floor 3 people Counseling and Mental Health Center Evacuate CMHC office and lobby areas.
Floor Manager responsibilities
The purpose of the floor manager is to manage the evacuation of his/her assigned floor with the goal of ensuring all occupants have safely evacuated and have been accounted for. Floor managers are assigned by the building manager with approval of the unit director. Alternate floor managers should be assigned to perform emergency functions when the primary manager is not available.
Each floor manager is responsible for ensuring the following functions are performed during an evacuation of their floor:
- Occupant Notification - The floor manager should ensure all occupants of the floor are aware of the alarm condition.
- Elevator Monitoring - The floor manager should assign personnel to monitor the elevator lobby upon activation of the alarm. Elevator monitors should inform occupants not to utilize elevators and direct them to exit stairs. Elevator monitors should remain at their assigned lobby until the floor has been evacuated or the incident is terminated.
- Evacuation Assistance - The floor manager should ensure all occupants who require evacuation assistance receive the necessary level of support. This will include identifying occupants who require assistance, designating staging area, and recruiting escorts to assist occupants.
- Floor Inspection -A floor inspection is a physical inspection of a floor to verify all occupants have evacuated. This inspection should include offices, break rooms and common areas. Special attention should be given to restrooms, storage rooms, and similar areas where occupants may not be aware of the alarm condition. Once a floor inspection is completed, the floor manager should provide the building manager with a status report.
- Stairwell Inspection - Most SSB occupants will evacuate through exit stairs. A physical inspection of exit stairs should be conducted to ensure all occupants have successfully navigated the stairs and exited the building. A stair inspection should begin at the highest level and proceed down to the level of exit discharge. For stairs that extend below ground level, a separate inspection of the lower levels may be required. An inspection of lower levels should begin at the lowest level and proceed up to the level of exit discharge.
- Floor Status Report - Upon completion of evacuation management duties each floor manager should report to the building manager and provide a floor status report. The building manager will be located in the southeast entrance vestibule on the first floor. The floor manager should notify the building manager if there are occupants who have ignored the evacuation notice and notify the building manager if occupants who require evacuation assistance have reported to the staging area.
Each floor manager is responsible for the following planning activities:
- Recruit personnel to perform various evacuation functions as needed.
- Maintaining a current roster of personnel assigned evacuation functions.
- Maintaining a current roster of occupants who may require evacuation assistance.
- Ensuring that floor occupants have received training in the building emergency plan.
- Participate in periodic evacuation drills.
Note: The building emergency plan is intended to be flexible with the ability to expand or contract according to situational needs. Each floor manager should evaluate the circumstances on their floor with the building manager and assign sufficient personnel to perform the necessary functions.
Building Manager Responsibilities
The building manager is a designated building occupant responsible for developing and implementing the building emergency plan. During an emergency, the building manager is responsible for managing the building evacuation and ensuring all occupants are evacuated and accounted for.
During an evacuation, the building manager is responsible for ensuring the following functions are performed:
- Elevator Management
- Evacuation Assistance
- Evacuation Management
- Communications Management
- Ensure building occupants are notified of the emergency.
- Ensure occupants are provided with information regarding the nature and status of the incident.
- Facilitate communication between members of the building emergency management team.
- Facilitate communication between the building manager and emergency response personnel.
During an evacuation the building manager will establish a check-in point in the southeast entrance vestibule on the first floor to receive status updates from floor managers.
Assisting Emergency Responders
The building manager should be prepared to provide emergency responders with information regarding the building, nature of the incident, and status of the building evacuation.
- Once UT Incident Command has been established during an emergency the building manager should report to the UT Commander and provide an evacuation status report. The building manager should remain at the Command Post and assist the UT Commander.
- If UT Incident Command has not been established, the building manager should report to the AFD Incident Command Post and provide the Incident Commander with an evacuation status report. The building manager should remain at the Incident Command Post and assist the AFD Incident Commander.
The building manager is responsible for the following planning activities:
- Developing an emergency plan for his/her building with the assistance of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention Services.
- Maintaining a written copy of the emergency plan.
- Ensuring that building occupants receive training in the emergency plan.
- Conducting periodic emergency drills.
- Revising the emergency plan as necessary.
The directive "shelter-in-place" is used in weather related incidents and environmental incidents. UT officials will use the siren system to notify of shelter-in-place. All personnel are directed to:
Shelter in Place – Weather Related
- Go to the lowest level of the building, if possible.
- Stay away from the windows.
- Go to interior hallways.
- Use arms to protect head and neck in a "drop and tuck" position.
- Monitor emergency communications for specific instructions.
Room use for shelter-in-place has priority over all room reservations in the SSB. When shelter-in-place for weather related incidents is directed, SSB occupants should seek shelter in ground floor conference rooms, the hallway of UHS Material Management, and the vending area and hallway area leading to the ground floor restrooms.
If occupants cannot shelter-in-place on the ground floor, occupants on upper level floors of the SSB should seek shelter in internal hallways and other rooms without windows.
SSB north, southeast and west stairwells are protected areas for weather related shelter-in-place incidents.
Shelter in Place – Environmental – biological, chemical or radiological
- Go inside the nearest building.
- Close all doors, windows and other inlets from the outside.
- The building manager will shut down the fresh air intake or Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System, if possible.
- Monitor emergency communications for specific instructions.
The directive "lockdown" is used to stop access to or egress from all or a portion of the buildings on campus and is intended to secure and protect occupants who are in proximity of an immediate threat. By controlling entry/exit and movement within a facility, emergency personnel are better able to contain and resolve any threat. When feasible, the "lockdown" announcement will indicate specific buildings. If no specific directions or locations are given, all buildings will initiate the "lockdown" procedures below.
If you are inside the building
Should you discover that there is a violent or potentially violent person in your building or area, take the following steps:
- FIRST AND FOREMOST, DO NOT CONFRONT THE PERSON UNLESS THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
- Follow the 5 OUTS:
- Get OUT OF THE FACILITY, if possible.
Call OUT: Use mobile phones or other devices only to contact law enforcement personnel with emergency information.
Call UTPD at 471-4441 or 911 first or as soon as possible and provide as much information as possible to the police including:
- The location of the suspect — including building name, location, floor, and room, if possible
- Description of suspect — including name (if known), gender, race, height, hair color, clothing description, weapons seen or indicated, what they said, did they indicate a specific target, direction of travel if they have left, and other information the operator requests of facility (i.e. science labs, research labs, fine arts, registrar's office, etc.)
- Any hazardous materials that may be present in the building, if known.
- Request an ambulance for anyone who is injured.
- Call UTPD at 471-4441 or 911 first or as soon as possible and provide as much information as possible to the police including:
- Do not lock exterior doors.
- Close interior doors. Lock doors if possible.
- Barricade the doors.
- Seek shelter in the nearest secured place (i.e. meeting room or office).
- If the lights in the room can be turned off — turn them off.
- Turn off computers, silence mobile phones, radios, or any device that may indicate the room is occupied.
- If you are on the first floor, close any blinds or curtains on windows.
- Stay away from doors and try to keep out of the line of sight of windows.
- Sit or lie on the floor or crouch behind or under desks. Be as invisible as possible.
- BE QUIET.
- DO NOT respond to anyone at the door while you are in "lockdown" mode. Law enforcement will announce themselves. Verify if possible. They will release anyone in that room when it is safe.
- Updated information may be delivered over the Public Address (PA) System, when appropriate, if available in the building.
- If you are directed to leave your secured area by police, do so as quickly and quietly as possible and follow their specific directions. Assist those who may require help moving.
- Should the fire alarm be activated during a lockdown, wait for direction on the PA System or from the police before evacuating the building if there is no immediate danger. If there is smoke or fire present, you may need to evacuate. Ensure it is as safe as possible before attempting to evacuate.
- USE MOBILE PHONES ONLY TO NOTIFY LAW ENFORCEMENT OF EMERGENCY INFORMATION. Mobile phones may interfere with emergency communications. Police, fire and ambulance radio systems can be negatively impacted by high mobile phone volume. The only exception to the above is in the event of a medical emergency in your immediate area, or if you have information specific to the current threat.
- Take OUT: Last resort. Use anything to distract or disable the suspect.
- Notify your co-workers and others in the area of the situation using any means possible (i.e. tell them directly, PA System if available, telephone, runners, department e-mails, Text, IM, etc.)
- Lock exterior doors when the alert is given, if possible. Operation of the doors has no clear-cut answer. In other words, judgment by building occupants and leadership is needed to admit or deny entrance to the building.
If the threat is outside your building
- If the doors are not electronic and it is safe to move to the exterior doors, lock them.
- If safe, leave a person at the door to let others (non-threatening) coming from outside into the building.
- Close interior doors. Lock doors if possible. Barricade the doors.
- If the lights in the room can be turned off - turn them off; turn off computers, silence mobile phones, radios, or any device that may indicate the room is occupied.
- If on the first floor, close any blinds or curtains on windows.
- Stay away from doors and try to keep out of the line of sight of windows.
- Sit or lie on the floor or crouch behind or under desks. Be as invisible as possible.
- BE QUIET.
- DO NOT respond to anyone at the door while you are in lockdown mode.
- Law enforcement will announce themselves prior to unlocking any door.
- Confirm if possible. They will release anyone in that room when it is safe.
- Updated information may be delivered over the PA System, when appropriate, if available in the building.
If you are outside the building when lockdown is initiated
- DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING.
- Move as far away as possible from the building under lockdown.
- Await further direction from law enforcement personnel.
- Otherwise, go to a safe area of campus away from the scene.
- Check the university's website and university social media sites for updates and further information as it becomes available.
- DO NOT CALL THE LOCATION THAT IS IN LOCKDOWN.
- Do not call anyone inside the building that is in lockdown as it may endanger them.
- Information updates will be provided by police and university officials as soon as possible and safe to do so.
- If you are advised by another person in your area, or by law enforcement, that there is a violent or a potentially violent person in your area, follow the above steps.
- DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SAFE AREA until the police have opened the door with a master key to release you from your safe area.
Building manager responsibilities
- Maintain logs of actions taken during emergencies and associated timelines during the event.
- Monitor their pager or mobile device for additional information.
- Notify occupants of the building that the building is now in a "lockdown" status per the Building Emergency Plan.
- Secure all exterior doors, if safe (no harmful activity in your building). Note: building managers and their designees will work together on this.
- Position one building representative at each exterior door (again, if safe). This representative will use their judgment to grant access to the building to persons they deem are non-threatening. Note: If a threatening person moves toward the door, all will seek immediate shelter.
- Notify the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at (512) 232-7986 that their facility has been manually locked down.
- Building managers with the Building Access Control System (BACS) will contact ITS Security Operations to have their building locked down.
Note: University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) or a designated Campus Security representative can also contact Information Technology Services (ITS) Security Operations to initiate building(s) lockdown.
University Vehicle Relocation to Parking Garage
During threat of tornado or severe inclement weather, Parking and Transportation Services will open all garages so that university vehicles can be relocated to a garage.
Each unit within the SSB that owns a university vehicle should establish internal protocol to move university vehicles inside a parking garage during inclement weather.
Posters for your work area bulletin boards
- Campus Watch
- Safety Videos
- Flash Point (awareness of work and school place violence)
- When Lightening Strikes (responding to an active shooter)
- Behavior Concerns Advice Line - Report concerning behavior
- University Emergency Website
- Sign up for emergency campus text alerts
- UTPD Bomb Checklist (docx)