The Emergency Resources Guide (PDF) provides recommended procedures for responding to emergencies including fires, damaging storms, civil disturbances, infrastructure failures and medical emergencies. Excerpted below are guidelines for situations that may apply to significant segments of the Towson University community.
University buildings will be immediately and totally evacuated whenever building fire alarms are sounding. If you see or suspect a fire, remain calm and activate fire alarms.
Report fires by phone from safe places outside the building.
Call 911 from any on-campus, off-campus or cell phone. At the emergency blue-light and yellow phone located around campus, press the emergency button to be connected to the university police who can contract 911 for you, or dial 011 on the keypad to be connected directly to the 911 Center
Call the University Police at 410-704-4444, or ext. x4-4444
Give as much specific information as possible when the emergency operator answers. Operators need to be told the calls are for Towson University and what is burning. If known, provide the proper name, floor and room number or other specific information.
Report all fires, even if extinguished or found subsequent to being extinguished.
Report all fire alarms, even if they appear to be false or accidental.
If it is safe to do so, shut off all machinery and equipment in work areas.
Evacuate. Do not attempt to fight fires. Close doors and windows if time permits. Leave buildings at once using nearest exits or stairways. Do not use elevators. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
Feel doors before opening them, checking for heat. Do not open doors before feeling the doors and doorknobs. Use the backs of your hands to feel the doors and doorknobs.
If there is smoke: crawl.
Use secondary exits if primary exits are blocked.
If you are trapped:
Stuff the cracks around doors and windows with towels, lab coats, throw rugs, etc. to keep out as much heat as possible.
Go to window; if there is no smoke or flame outside, open the window from the top. Signal for help by hanging a “flag” -- sheet, jacket, shirt, e.g.—out the window.
Use available telephone to call University Police at x4-4444 and let them know your exact location.
Do not attempt to jump from multi-story buildings.
Do not re-enter buildings for any reason until fire or police officials say it is safe to do so.
Take roll and report missing or unaccounted-for individuals to emergency responders.
Evacuation Procedures – General Procedures
When evacuating your building or work area:
Stay calm. Do not panic.
Safely stop your work.
Gather your belongings if it is safe to do so. Reminder: Take prescription medications out with you if at all possible; it may be hours before you may re-enter the building.
If safe, close your office doors and windows, but do not lock them.
Use the nearest safe stairs and proceed to the nearest exit. Do not use the elevator.
Proceed to your building’s designated assemble area unless the evacuation is for a bomb threat. In that case, assemble as directed by emergency responders.
Wait for instructions from emergency responders.
Do not re-enter building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by emergency responders.
Evacuation Procedures – Disabled Individuals
Persons who are either temporarily or permanently disabled to the extent their mobility is impaired are individually responsible for informing their supervisors and Environmental Health and Safety (ext. x4-2949) of their names, building names and room numbers, and the nature of their disabilities. This information will be compiled and given to Baltimore County Fire Department during emergencies. The rescue of disabled persons who are not able to evacuate themselves will be a priority for responding fire units.
Co-workers may assist evacuating disabled persons only if this places them in no personal danger.
Never use elevators.
Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any rescue technique or giving assistance. Ask the individual how best to assist and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to accompany the person.
Mobility impaired persons in wheel chairs on non-ground level floors should proceed to the nearest enclosed stairwells and wait for the Baltimore County Fire Department to arrive. Someone should stay with the disabled person if it does not place them in additional danger, and someone should meet responding fire fighters to report the location of disabled persons. Follow the instructions for being trapped if you cannot get to an enclosed stairwell.
Visually impaired persons should have a sighted assistant to guide them to safety. Individually inform hearing-impaired persons of the emergency. Do not assume they know what is happening by watching others.
Everyone should pay attention to weather conditions, listen to the radio and television for weather alert information, and seek shelter before severe weather arrives.
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that warning is not possible.
If warnings are issued, or if threatening weather approaches, seek shelter immediately.
If you are outdoors:
Seek inside shelter immediately.
Do not attempt to outrun tornadoes in vehicles, but leave the vehicle and seek indoor shelter or low spots off the side of the road.
Once you reach, or are already inside, buildings:
Move to safer areas, e.g., basements.
If underground shelters are not available, move to interior rooms or hallways on the lowest floor and get under sturdy pieces of furniture.
Stay away from windows.
A winter storm warning means severe winter weather is imminent or very likely within 12 hours.
A winter storm watch means at least four incles of snow in 12 hours, or six inches in 24 hours, or significant ice accumulations are possible within 24-48 hours.
A winter weather advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected to xcause significant inconvenience and may be hazardous, but probably not life threatening.
A hurricane forecast means a hurricane (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) exists and may strike the area within 72 hours.
A hurricane watch means a hurricane may strike the area within 24-36 hours.
A hurricane warning means that a hurricane is expected within 24 hours or less.
A tropical storm watch means that a tropical storm (sustained winds 34-73 mph) exists and may strike the area in 36 hours or less.
A tropical storm warning means a tropical storm may strike the area within 24 hours or less.
Tornados and Thunderstorms
A tornado watch means that tornados could develop in the designated area.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted in the area or is indicated by radar.
A severe thunderstorm watch indicates the possibility of thunderstorms, frequent lightning and/or damaging winds, hail and heavy rain.
A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm has actually been sighted in the area or is indicated by radar.
Closings and Schedule Modifications
University decisions to cancel or otherwise modify class and work schedules because of emergency weather conditions will be announced through outlets that include, but are not limited to:
In the Baltimore area: WBAL Radio 11 (1090 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM), WWMX (106.5 FM), WYPR (88.1 FM), WBAL-TV (11), WJZ-TV (13), and WMAR-TV (2)
In the Washington, D.C. area: WTOP (820 AM / 103.5 FM), WMZQ (98.7 FM), WJLA-TV (7), Newschannel 8, and WRC-TV (4)
In addition, the Associated Press (AP) wire service disseminates the information to other stations.