Emergency Procedures

Quickly determine the best way to protect yourself. Initial alerts will not indicate the location of the shooter and are general in nature.

Upon receiving the alert, look and listen to determine if the shooter is nearby and would pose a threat to you if you try to evacuate the building you are in. If you determine that the shooter is not nearby...

Run - Have an escape route and plan in mind. Quickly exit the building you are in and get to a safe location off campus.

  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible to responding police officers.

If you determine that the shooter is inside the building you are in or is just outside and you cannot safely evacuate...

Hide - Hide in an area out of the shooter's view. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors. Silence your cell phone.

  • If you are actually confronted by the shooter, don't be an easy victim...

Fight - As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter. Act with physical aggression and use improvised weapons such as a fire extinguisher or chair.

The armed intruder/lockdown alert will be implemented in a situation where there is an individual on the campus that is known or believed to be armed and who poses a danger to the campus community. In this case, a campus lockdown will be communicated through the Emergency Alert System.

The intent of the lockdown is to limit access and hazards by controlling and managing staff and students in order to increase safety and reduce possible victimization. In a lockdown, buildings will have restricted access until the 'All Clear' is given, or until individuals are directed to evacuate by law enforcement, The Department of Safety or other emergency personnel.

Lockdown Basics

  • Remain calm
  • If safe, check halls and clear them of students and staff
  • Lock all doors and/or barricade with furniture if necessary
  • Lock windows and close blinds
  • Turn the lights off and remain quiet
  • Turn off radios, computer monitors and silence cell phones is necessary. After securing the room, everyone should be positioned out of sight and behind items that might offer additional protection - walls, desks, file cabinets, etc. Do not unlock doors or allow anyone in or out until ordered to do so by proper authorities or until the 'All Clear' message is sent.
  • If you find yourself in an open area
  • Immediately seek protection
  • Put something between you and the shooter
  • Is escape your best option? Do you know where the shooter is? Is escape immediately available?
  • If in doubt find a safe area and secure it the best way you can

If you are not on campus when you receive the alert message, do not come to the University until the 'All Clear' message is sent.

No college or university can be completely locked down.

Should Messiah University be advised that a weather emergency such as a tornado, hurricane, severe thunderstorm, flood or other condition will pose an imminent threat to the campus community, the Emergency Alert System will be activated. In these circumstances, students and staff will be directed to shelter in place. It is safer to keep everyone inside a building rather than expose them to possible harm by allowing them to leave.

Shelter in Place

  • If you are inside, remain in the building, do not attempt to leave
  • If you are outside, seek shelter in the nearest building available
  • Discourage others from leaving the building while keeping it open for entry
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors
  • Seek refuge in interior hallways on the lower floors of the building
  • Remain in your sheltered location until the 'All Clear' message is sent

In the event of a campus or local emergency that requires the evacuation of the Messiah University campus, the Emergency Alert System will be activated. Resident students will be directed to return to their residence halls and will receive instructions to evacuate. Students with vehicles on campus are encouraged to car pool with those without transportation. Messiah acknowledges that some students will simply have no way to leave campus on their own. The Crisis Management Team can help make alternate arrangements. Commuter students and staff will be directed to secure their offices and work areas and evacuate the campus. If you are not on campus when you receive the alert message, do not report to the campus.

Of course, none of us can begin to predict all the details of a situation that would warrant a campus evacuation, so we recognize that even the best-laid plans could be challenged by road closures, mandates from authorities or the sheer magnitude of the emergency. We commit to working with you to alter your plans, if necessary. The safety of students is an utmost priority at all times.

If you discover fire or smoke, your first thought should be to get to a safe place and warn others.

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  • Call 9-1-1; state the nature of the emergency (fire or smoke), location, and your name. Although this is important, never call from a place where you are in danger.
  • Evacuate the building immediately by way of the nearest exit and proceed to the designated assembly area for your building (see below).
  • Building occupants should use the stairs to exit the building. Elevators will be recalled to the first floor in the event of an alarm and will be inoperable.
  • You can help to confine the fire if possible, by closing doors and windows while exiting.
  • Assist anyone who needs help evacuating.
  • Remain outside at your assigned assembly area until directed to re-enter by the fire department or Department of Safety personnel.

In the event a student, staff person, or faculty member becomes ill while on campus, or suffers an accident that warrants prompt medical attention, the following procedures should be followed:

For non-life threatening situations, contact the Messiah University Department of Safety at 717.691.6005 (ext. 6005 from an on-campus phone). The Department of Safety will determine if the situation necessitates calling 9.1.1 or if the subject can be treated on campus via first responder aid or at the Engle Health Center.

For life threatening emergencies or serious accidents, contact 9.1.1 first, and then contact The Department of Safety for assistance.

Should an employee receive a bomb threat or any other type of campus wide threat, it will be treated as a serious threat to human life.  The recipient shall attempt to learn as much information from the caller as possible.  Some strategies to use are:

  1. Keeping the caller on the telephone line as long as possible; asking the caller to repeat the message.
  2. Listening closely to voice quality, accents and speech impediments; listening for background noise such as music, traffic, running motors, etc.; associating these sounds with possible locations.
  3. Attempt to record/note every detail of the call.
  4. Do not hang up the phone from which the call was received.

Immediately after learning of the threat, the recipient will notify The Department ofSafety at 717.691.6005 (ext. 6005 from an on-campus phone).