Emergency Guide for Academic Buildings

This Campus Building Emergency Guide is designed to give faculty, staff, and students guidance on how to handle various emergency situations on the Truman State University campus. Please keep it available for reference at all times; we recommend you keep it by your phone. In many cases you will be instructed to call the Truman State University Police Department at 660-665-5621. Please note that if you are summoning emergency help by dialing 911, you will reach the Adair County 911 Communications Center.

Always call 911 in an emergency.

Each specific emergency situation is unique; for that reason, no emergency guide can ever be comprehensive. However, in any emergency, it is always recommended that you remain calm; always be aware of the situation around you; and always report emergencies to University Police as soon as reasonably possible.



During an emergency you may have little or no time to plan what to do next. It is necessary for you to learn about the things you can do to be prepared—before an emergency occurs. Don’t wait. Become familiar with this Guide and the University Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Take time to develop a personal assessment of what you would need when an emergency occurs and prepare now.

Truman is committed to maintaining a high state of emergency preparedness by educating community members to their roles and responsibilities; regularly reviewing and revising policies and procedures; and routinely testing and evaluating emergency response plans.


Emergencies, disasters, accidents, injuries and crimes often occur without warning. Being prepared to handle unexpected emergencies is an individual as well as an organizational responsibility. These emergency procedures have been developed to minimize the negative effects from such events. Please read these guides thoroughly before an emergency occurs and keep copies available for immediate reference. We suggest you keep a copy near your phone for easy access. Once you are familiar with the procedures, you will be better prepared to protect yourself and your co-workers. If you have questions concerning a situation not covered or need additional emergency preparedness information, contact the Truman State University Department of Public Safety at 660-785-4176 or the Adair County 911 Communications Center at 660-665-5621. Please visit police.truman.edu find out more information on what to do in an emergency. This site will also have any information regarding ongoing emergencies.


For campus emergency calls (police, fire, medical, or hazardous materials), dial 911. These emergency lines reach the Adair County 911Communications center. Emergencies can also be reported to the Truman State University Police Department at 660-665-5621.

Special emergency telephones that ring directly into the Adair County 911 Communication Center are located in the elevators of all residence halls and strategically throughout the campus. Outdoor emergency phones are marked with a blue light.


All members of the Truman community play a critical role during emergency response procedures. Our students and visitors may not be familiar with the building they are in, the hazards presented in the building, or the procedures that should be followed to ensure their health and safety in the event of an emergency. They will depend on faculty and staff for immediate direction and assistance. Please review and become familiar with this guide.

Nothing in this Guide shall be construed in a manner that limits the use of good judgment and common sense in matters not foreseen or covered by these enclosed procedures.

If you have questions regarding the Emergency Response Procedures or would like additional information or assistance with emergency preparedness efforts, contact the Department of Public Safety at 660-785-4176.


Types of Emergencies

Truman State University is at risk from various emergencies that include, but are not limited to:

• Active shooter
• Suspicious/criminal behavior
• Bomb Threat
• Elevator Failure
• Fire
• Hazardous material release
• Health/medical emergency
• Severe weather
• Shelter in place

Emergency Notifications and Communications

Truman State University utilizes a multiple-layer approach to communications in the event of an emergency. The university’s emergency notification and communication system includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Outdoor Public Address System/Sirens
This speaker is located outside of the McKinney Center and Stokes Stadium on campus. It operates as part of an emergency alert system, transmitting voice intelligible emergency messages and alert tones to the outdoor campus. This system is not designed to be heard by occupants within buildings. In the event of a weather emergency the City of Kirksville can activate the weather sirens.
• TruAlert Emergency Alert System
The TruAlert Emergency Alert System is a hosted broadcast alerting interface system that allows the university to quickly send emergency notifications and important announcements via text messages, email, computer, chumby, and digital signage on campus.


A serious act of violence may be defined as an incidence of violence or potential violence which poses an imminent threat to members of the university community or a threat to the university’s reputation for safety.

An active shooter is an armed individual who has used deadly force and continues to do so with unrestricted access. The incident may be over quickly and can occur at any time and any location. It can involve a single shooter, multiple shooters, close encounters, distant encounters, random victims and mobile confrontations.

The personal safety and security of our campus community is of the greatest importance and the university strives to ensure the safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. The following response protocols are designed as guidelines to help you respond appropriately in situations that compromise your personal safety.

Armed Suspect/Active Shooter

1. If you witness an armed individual on campus at any time:

a. Do not approach the person. Try to remain calm.
b. ALERT Law Enforcement to the problem. Contact the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or call 911 immediately. Give your location, name and reason for calling.
c. Be ready to provide a physical description of the individual:
i. Age
ii. Weight
iii. Hair color and length
iv. Clothing
v. Facial hair
vi. Other distinguishing features (tattoos, scars, etc.)
d. If the individual is in a vehicle, attempt to get the vehicle make, model, color and license plate number; if possible.
e. Maintain your own safety. Follow the instructions provided to you by the Dispatcher.

2. If an armed suspect/active shooter is outside your building:

a. Move to an inner area of the building if safe to do so and remain there until an “All Clear” is issued by the Department of Public Safety.
b. Turn off all the lights and close and lock all windows and doors. If the door does not lock try to block the door to make it difficult to open. If the door swings out and does not lock; fasten a belt or a computer cord around the handle and have an individual pull it tight and stand to the side of the door. The key is to create a delay so the person moves on.
c. Close all window blinds and curtains.
d. Contact the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911 with your location.

3. If an armed suspect/active shooter is inside the building:

a. If possible, GET OUT the area.
b. If it is not possible to GET OUT; LOCK OUT, lock all doors and secure yourself in your space.
c. Close all window blinds and curtains.
d. Silence mobile phones, pagers, and other audio devices.
e. Contact the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911 with your location.
f. Barricade the door with items from the area and remain silent.
g. Wait for the “All Clear” to be issued by the Department of Public Safety or through the TruAlert System.

4. If an armed suspect/active shooter comes into your class or office:

a. There is no specific procedure recommended to ensure your safety.
b. Remain calm.
c. Attempt to call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911.
d. Put distance between yourself and the suspect. If you can safely GET OUT, do so.
e. Make use of shielding/barricades if possible i.e., desk, filing cabinet, etc. between you and the suspect.
f. If the suspect leaves your area, lock your door; if possible. Remain in the area (unless your safety is in jeopardy), and await further instructions from authorities.
g. If there are no other options, make a personal choice to fight.
h. Wait for the “All Clear” instruction to be issued by the Department of Public Safety or through the TruAlert System.

5. If you encounter an armed suspect/active shooter outdoors:

a. Remain calm.
b. Move away from the suspect or the sounds of gunfire.
c. Move to locations that provide cover from the line of fire, i.e., walls, vehicles, other large objects.

Suspicious Individual

1. Report any suspicious individual or activity to the Department of Public Safety at 660- 665-5621 or 911.
2. Give your location, name and reason for calling.
3. Be ready to provide physical description of the individual
a. Age
b. Weight
c. Hair color and length
d. Clothing
e. Facial hair or other distinguishing features (tattoos, scars, etc.)
4. If the individual is in a vehicle, attempt to get the vehicle make, model, color and license plate number.
5. Follow the instructions provided by the Dispatchers and the Department of Public Safety.

In-Progress Incidents

DO NOT attempt to apprehend or interfere with the crime except in case of self-protection. When calling the Department of Public Safety, give your name, location, phone number and make sure the dispatcher understands that the incident is in progress.

Potential Acts of Violence

If you are concerned that a violent incident may occur, but immediate action is not required, contact the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621. All reported incidents or threats of violence will be taken seriously. Reports will be investigated promptly and appropriate action taken.

The Department of Public Safety will:

1. Investigate and assess the risk posed by the circumstance.
2. Ensure all appropriate parties are notified.
3. Determine the appropriate interventions.
4. Document, plan, and implement a risk abatement action plan as necessary.

How to Exit a Building Safely

1. Have a route planned before attempting to leave.
2. Do not attempt to carry anything with you while fleeing.
3. Move quickly and keep your hands visible and palms upraised, as you exit the building.
4. Do not attempt to treat or remove injured people, but note their locations so that you can provide the information to emergency responders.
5. Proceed to a safe location, but do not leave campus. Keep in mind that the entire area is still a crime scene, and officers will need to obtain information from you before you leave.
6. Always comply with commands from law enforcement officers.

What to Expect from Responding Officers

The primary objective is to immediately engage or contain an armed suspect/active shooter(s) in order to stop life-threatening behavior. Remember:

1. Officers may move past you, as their objective is to immediately engage attacker/s.
2. Officers will evacuate victims only after the threat is eliminated.
3. Do not make sudden movements or run toward officers.
4. Keep your hands visible to police at all times as they do not know if you pose a threat or not. Raise your arms and show your EMPTY hands.
5. Remain in a secure area until escorted out by law enforcement personnel.


A bomb threat could occur in many forms: written, communicated verbally, and received by phone or electronically (e-mail, text message). The majority of bomb threats are delivered by telephone. Generally, a bomb threat call is made for one of two reasons:

1. The caller has definite knowledge about the explosive device and wants to minimize personal injury.
2. The caller wants to disrupt normal activities by creating anxiety and panic.

• DO NOT use two-way radios or cellular phones; radio signals can cause a detonation.
• DO NOT evacuate the building until the Department of Public Safety arrives and evaluates the threat.
• DO NOT activate the fire alarm. DO NOT touch or move a suspicious package.

Threat by Telephone

1. Take the caller seriously. Assume the threat is real.
2. If you have a digital phone, look for and record the originating phone number.
3. While the caller is speaking to you on the phone, fill out the “Bomb Threat Checklist”.
4. If possible, do not hang up the phone. Have a co-worker call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911.
5. Make every attempt to:
a. Stay calm and indicate your desire to cooperate with the caller.
b. DO NOT antagonize or challenge the caller.
c. Obtain as much information as possible. Prolong the conversation as long as possible. Ask permission to repeat any instructions to make sure they are understood.
d. Attempt to determine the caller’s knowledge of the facility.
e. Contact the Department of Public Safety when/if the caller hangs up.
f. Ensure the “Bomb Threat Checklist” is completed.

Threat by E-mail/Text Message

1. DO NOT delete the e-mail/text message.
2. Call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911.
3. Forward the e-mail directly to the Department of Public Safety when directed.

Threat by Mail

1. Call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911.
2. Handle mail as minimally as possible.

Threat by Handwritten Note

1. Call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911.
2. Handle the note as minimally as possible.

Bomb Threat Record/Checklist

Print Checklist (PDF)

Time Caller Hung Up:
Phone Number Where Call/Threat Received:

Where is the bomb located? (Building, Floor, Room, etc.)
When will it go off?
What does it look like?
What kind of bomb is it?
What will make it explode?
Did you place the bomb?  Yes  No
Why was the bomb placed?
What is your name?


Where is caller located? (Background and level of noise)
Sex:  Male  Female
Is voice familiar? If so, who does it sound like?
Background Noise:  Street Noise  Airport Noises  Office Noises  PA System

 Clear  Static  Conversation  Music  Motor  Other

Caller’s Voice:  Angry  Calm  Coughing  Crying  Deep Breathing  Disguised

 Excited  Laughter  Lisp  Loud  Nasal  Normal  Rapid  Raspy  Slow

 Slurred  Soft  Stutter

Threat Language:  Incoherent  Message Read  Taped  Irrational  Profane

 Well-Spoken

Name of Person Taking Report:


If You Are Trapped in an Elevator

1. If you become trapped in an elevator, use the emergency phone to communicate to the Adair County 911 Dispatch Center. If you have a cell phone call the Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 and give the dispatcher the following information:

a. Name of the building
b. Location within the building
c. Where the car is stopped, if known
d. If medical assistance is needed

2. If the phone in the elevator does not work, push the “Alarm” button until you hear acknowledgment that help is on the way.
3. Remain calm and try to calm others.
4. Do not attempt to exit the car unless directed to and assisted by emergency personnel.
5. Do not try to force open the elevator door.
6. Do not try to exit the elevator through the service hatch.
7. Elevators have mechanical safety brakes that will operate in all situations, even during power failures.

If Someone is Trapped in an Elevator

1. If you hear an elevator alarm, please take the following actions: (all campus elevators are equipped with an emergency telephone.)

a. Immediately call 911 and provide them with the location of the elevator and the floor number if known. Provide the following information:

i. Name of the building
ii. Location within the building
iii. Where the car is stopped, if known
iv. If a medical emergency exists

2. Keep the occupants calm and wait for help to arrive.
3. Do not attempt to open the elevator door.



Familiarize yourself with the use and locations of fire extinguishers, pull stations, and exits!

If You Discover a Fire

1. Manually pull the nearest fire alarm.
2. Evacuate the building, closing doors and windows in your immediate area.
3. Assist those who need help but do not put yourself at risk.
5. After evacuating, call the Truman Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or call 911. Provide the following information:
o Location (building name) of the fire.
o Current status of the fire (size, type of materials burning) and the suspected cause (if known).
o Your name and phone number.
6. Do not re-enter the building until the “All Clear” is given by University Police or the TruAlert messaging system.

If the Fire Alarm Sounds and You are in a Room

1. Check the surface of door and/or door knob for heat before opening the door.
Check bottom of door for signs of smoke.
2. If there is no evidence of heat or smoke, slowly open door, keeping the door between you and the corridor. Make a visual observation of corridor for fire or smoke.
3. If no smoke or fire is observed, proceed to the nearest exit or stairway. If the nearest exit or stairway is blocked, proceed to the next nearest exit or stairway.
4. Take your keys if the door is subject to lock as you may have to return to the room/office.
5. Assist people with special needs in exiting the building. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.

6. People with mobility impairment who cannot evacuate the building should take refuge in a stairwell and call 911. Most stairwells are designated areas of refuge. Make sure that someone leaving the building is aware of your location.

If Trapped in a Room/Building

1. Stay calm. Do not panic.
2. If all exits or stairways are blocked, go to the nearest room and close the door. Keep all doors and windows closed.
3. Stuff objects, such as wet cloth towels, into opening to prevent smoke from entering the area.
4. IF the room has a window, hang a cloth or other object out of the window to signal that the room is occupied. DO NOT LEAVE WINDOWS OPEN.
5. Wet clothing if possible. Wrap wet clothing around face to minimize smoke inhalation.
6. Fill sinks and tubs with water if possible to maintain a supply of water.
7. If smoke enters the room prior to the arrival of assistance, keep your head no more than 8-12 inches off the floor where the air is less toxic.
8. Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location.
9. If there is a telephone, call the Truman Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911 and advise them of the room number and that all exits are blocked. Remain calm, stay on the line as long as possible and wait for the arrival of assistance.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

1. Evaluate whether the fire can be put out using a portable extinguisher.
2. Familiarize yourself with the location of fire extinguishers and pull stations.
3. Use proper techniques for extinguishing small fires, such as the PASS method.
4. To extinguish a small fire using the PASS method:

PULL the pin: This releases the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher.

AIM at the base of the fire: Point the extinguisher hose/nozzle at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE the lever above the handle: This discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge.

SWEEP from side to side: Moving carefully toward the fire, keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. Watch the fire area. If the fire re-ignites, repeat the process.


The choice of protective actions for a given situation depends on a number of factors. For some cases, evacuation may be the best option; in others, sheltering-in-place may be the best course of action. Sometimes, these two actions may be used in combination. You will be provided continuing information and instructions while being evacuated or sheltered in place.

Only trained and authorized personnel should respond to hazardous materials “hazmat” incidents.

In Case of Hazardous Spills or Leaks

1. Notify others in the area and remove yourself from the area and keep others away.
2. Close and secure the room or area, if possible.
3. Do not walk into or touch any of the spilled substance.
4. Try not to inhale gases, fumes, and/or smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area.
5. Assists contaminated persons to a safety shower or eyewash station located out of hazardous area.
6. Contact Truman Department of Public Safety at 660-665-5621 or 911 to report the incident. Provide the following information:

• Building name, location, floor, and room number.
• Any injuries or medical emergencies.
• Details regarding type of spill.

7. Notify supervisor and building administrator
8. Assist with providing information about the materials such as the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), if known, to first responders.

Do not return to the area of the spill until told it is safe to do so by the Truman Department of Public Safety

Chemical Contamination

1. Remove any contaminated clothing immediately and flush all areas of bodily contact with large amounts of water. This should take place in a safe location while someone else makes the appropriate phone calls.
2. Ensure that assistance is obtained by directing the individual to a safety shower, eye wash station, medical attention, etc.
3. Continue to rinse body contact areas with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes unless directed otherwise by appropriate emergency medical personnel (physician, nurse, paramedic or emergency medical technician).
4. Call 911 for medical care and evaluation. If possible, take applicable Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with you.


Departments conducting field activities or having off-site locations must determine how medical emergencies will be handled. If fieldwork is being conducted, this planning must include arrangements for contacting emergency medical personnel.

Life Threatening Emergencies

1. Call the Truman Department of Public Safety immediately at 660-665-5621 or 911 for any serious injury or illness occurring on campus. Do not hang up until released by the emergency operator.
2. Have the person calling the Department of Public Safety physically with the victim at the time the call is made if at all possible. Be sure that the following information is provided to the dispatcher:

• The age and gender of the victim. If you are unsure of the victim’s age, estimate.
• The location of the victim.
• The nature of the medical emergency and whether or not the victim is conscious and breathing.
• Any other pertinent information, such as events leading up to the emergency or known past medical history of the victim.

3. Keep the victim still and comfortable until help arrives. Do not move the victim.
4. Only trained personnel should provide first aid or CPR. If you begin CPR, you must continue care up to your level of training and stay with the victim until medical assistance arrives.
5. The Department of Public Safety is equipped with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in patrol cars. AEDs are also located in various locations on campus (Check your building’s evacuation map to determine if there is one in your building and where it is located). AEDs are designed to be used by persons without previous training. Upon arrival of the emergency medical unit, remain and provide any specific information about the victim and the condition that you are aware of.


While all thunderstorms are dangerous, the National Weather Service (NWS) considers a thunderstorm severe if it:

• Produces hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter.
• Has winds of 58 miles per hour or stronger.
• Produces a tornado.

Thunderstorms generally occur during the warm months; however, they can occur at any time during the year. More people are seriously or fatally injured by lightning from thunderstorms than by any other weather condition.

During a storm, stay informed of weather conditions. If you have a portable radio available, listen to the location station for watches/warnings issued for the area. The following watches/warnings may be issued:

Thunderstorm Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in the area. Watches are intended to heighten public awareness and should not be confused with warnings.

Thunderstorm Warning: Severe thunderstorms are occurring. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

During a Thunderstorm Watch

1. Be alert to changing weather conditions.
2. Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., if a thunderstorm watch is in effect, the DPS Receptionist will activate the campus call-tree and alert all open buildings of the watch.
3. If a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) and severe weather is imminent, a TruAlert will be sent out by the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee. The Kirksville Chief of Police or his/her designee will make the decision to set off the tornado sirens.

During a Thunderstorm Warning

1. During a storm, remain inside and stay away from windows, water faucets, sinks and bathtubs.
2. Shelter-in-place locations are highlighted in blue on your building’s safety/ evacuation maps. These maps are located at the top of stairwells and near the entrances to all academic buildings.
3. Avoid the top floors of buildings and areas with windows or glass. Move into inner hallways, stairwells, restrooms, or other areas that are directly supported and relatively free of windows and glass.
4. Avoid areas which may be glass enclosed or have a large unsupported roof.
5. Remain indoors until the warning expires.


Shelter-in-Place means to seek immediate shelter and remain there during an emergency rather than evacuate the area. To shelter-in-place is a way to protect students, faculty, staff and visitors by having them remain in their classrooms, offices, residential rooms, or other designated locations.
Taking shelter inside may be in response to an external hazard such as a chemical release from an industrial or transportation accident, police, fire or public health emergencies, or acts of violence.
You must immediately seek shelter in the nearest facility or building when:
1. You hear the outdoor warning sirens.
2. You are directed to do so by emergency personnel.

Shelter-In-Place Guidelines

1. If you are “sheltering” due to a tornado warning, immediately go to a safe location in your building.

• Go to the lowest level of the building, preferably a basement or tunnel.
Position yourself in the safest portion of the area away from glass. Be prepared to kneel facing a wall and cover your head.
• If you encounter an individual with special needs, provide assistance if possible.
• Try to obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (TruAlert, radio, etc.)

2. If you are “sheltering” due to a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) situation, take the following actions:
• Close all windows and doors.
• Do not go outside or attempt to drive unless you are specifically instructed to evacuate.
• If you encounter an individual with special needs, provide assistance if possible.
• Try to obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (TruAlert; radio, etc.).
• Do not leave until instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

3. If you are “sheltering” due to an active shooter, building intruder or civil disturbance on campus, immediately go to a safe location in your building if you cannot exit.
• If possible, take refuge in a room that can be locked. If unable to lock the door, secure it by any means possible.
• The room should provide limited visibility to anyone that is outside of it.
• Create a barricade.
• After getting to a safe location and without jeopardizing your safety, try to obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (TruAlert)

Civil Demonstration / Protest

• Remember that most demonstrations are peaceful.
• If protestors begin to enter your building, let them in and call Police at 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
• Try to carry on business as usual.
• If the noise becomes too great, or the crowds become too large, feel free to close and lock office doors and windows – this is a departmental decision.
• If it becomes necessary to evacuate, follow directions from the Police.

Statement of ADA Accessibility during emergency evacuations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public establishments offer equal access and services to people who are physically and mentally disabled. Truman State University is responsible for ensuring that all buildings are in compliance with ADA standards. Accessibility is a primary concern during emergency situations. The fire alarm system includes an ADA compliant strobe light to alert hearing-impaired individuals. Although alarm systems are designed for hearing impaired individuals, building occupants should ensure that all persons understand evacuation orders and assist disabled individuals during an emergency situation when possible.

Areas of rescue assistance for each academic building is marked on the emergency mapping at the entrances and tops of stairwells in each building. I have also listed them below.

  • Baldwin Hall– 2nd and 3rd floors on the northwest stairwell landings.
  • Barnett — 2nd floor at the top of the southwest stairwell.
  • Magruder — 3rd floor top of southwest stairwell
  • McClain — 2nd and 3rd Floor at the top of the north stairwell.
  • Ophelia Parrish (OP) — 2nd and 3rd Floors at the top of the East stairwell
  • Pershing/HES — 2nd floor at the top of the east stairwell in the Health and Exercise Science building.
  • Violette Hall — 2nd floor top of north and south stairwells.
Emergency Guide For
Academic Buildings (PDF)