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Emergency Guides

Are You Monarch Ready?

Do you know how to respond to threats and hazards: before, during, and after the event?


Run, Hide, Fight

An active threat is considered to be a suspect or assailant whose activity is immediately causing serious injury or death. The incident can involve one or more shooters. It can be a close encounter or from a distance. It can be targeted at a student, faculty/staff, or a random victim. It might involve just one room or multiple locations. No two situations are alike. A shooting can occur anytime, anyplace, and involve anyone.

What To Do If There Is An Active Threat

Try to remain calm as your actions will influence others. Have a survival mindset because the consequences are potentially catastrophic. You need to take immediate responsibility for your personal safety and security.

Immediate Actions

  • If possible, move away from the threat as fast as you can.
  • If you cannot flee, lock and barricade doors.
  • If there are no locks, barricade the door with furniture.
  • Take cover behind solid objects that are as far away from the door as possible, such as concrete walls, thick desks, or filing cabinets.
  • If the assailant enters your room and leaves, lock or barricade the door after he or she has left.
  • If it is safe to do so, allow others to seek refuge with you.

Protective Actions

  • Close blinds and cover windows, and turn off lights.
  • Turn off all computer monitors, radios, and other electronic equipment.
  • Silence cell phones, before calling ODUPD 757-683-4000 or 9-1-1.
  • If it is safe to do so, place signs in exterior windows to identify your location and the location of those that are injured.

OEM Active Threats Guide
Active Shooter Preparedness


Bomb threats are assumed to be real and considered a threat to the university and its operations. If an explosion occurs at any time, immediately report the explosion by calling ODUPD at 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus).

What to Do If You Receive A Bomb Threat

Incident bomb threats are usually received by telephone, sometimes by note or letter. Most bomb threats are made by callers who want simply to create an atmosphere of anxiety and panic - but all calls must be taken seriously. If you receive a threat of any kind, immediately CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus). If possible, get a coworker to do this while you continue talking with the caller. Permit the caller to say as much as possible without interruption. THEN ask a lot of questions:

  • Where is the bomb?
  • When is the bomb going to go off?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does the bomb look like?
  • What will cause the bomb to go off?

Record What You Hear

Take notes on everything said and on your observations about background noise, voice characteristics, caller's emotional state, etc. Use the Bomb Threat Checklist. Write down the caller's exact words. Also record the exact time that the call was received as well as the following information about the caller:

  • The perceived sex, age, accent, and education of the caller.
  • The location of the caller and any background noises that you hear.
  • A description of the caller's attitude.
  • A description of the caller's style of speech, speech impediments, or speech traits.

Trained emergency personnel will advise you if evacuation is necessary. Follow instructions given by emergency personnel.

Bomb Threat Checklist


Follow these recommendations if you experience an earthquake in your area:

  • If indoors, drop to the ground and take cover by getting under a sturdy table or a piece of furniture. Hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If there is not a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or heavy bookcases.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is nearby and if you know it is a strongly supported.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to move about. Injuries most often occur when people inside buildings attempt to move during the earthquake. Beware of aftershocks.
  • If you are outdoors, stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, street lights, and utility wires.
Weather Emergencies Guide


Before an Emergency Requiring Evacuation

In advance, locate the nearest exit from your work location and determine the route you will follow to reach that exit in an emergency. Establish an alternate route to be used in the event your route is blocked or unsafe. During an Evacuation If time and conditions permit, secure your workplace and take with you important personal items that are easily accessible, such as car keys, purse, medication, and glasses.

Read and understand the following steps:

  • Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Check doors for heat before opening and if the door is hot, DO NOT open it.
  • Walk, DO NOT run, push, or crowd. Use handrails in stairwells and stay to the right.
  • Keep noise to a minimum so you can hear emergency instructions. Assist persons with disabilities.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, move quickly away from the building towards the designated emergency assembly area (EAA).
  • Watch for falling glass and other debris.
  • Keep roadways and walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • If you have relocated away from the building, DO NOT return until notified that it is safe.

Evacuation of Individuals with Disabilities

For more information on this topic, students should contact Educational Accessibility and employees/faculty should contact Human Resources. You should take into consideration that there might be someone near you who could need help during an evacuation. REMEMBER, the best way to help someone during an evacuation is to first consult with that person regarding how to best assist.

ODU has two offices in place that assist those with disabilities on campus. Educational Accessibility (for students) and Institutional Equity and Diversity (for faculty and staff) both offer:

  • Individualized accommodation for those with a documented disability.
  • Consultations with supervisors and professors to assist in the accommodation process.
  • Physical and programmatic access.
  • Education and training for all departments and employees on ADA disability issues.
  • Review of policies and procedures to ensure non-discrimination practices.
  • Outreach programs.
Individuals with Mobility Limitations

If immediate evacuation is necessary, be aware of the following considerations:

  • Wheelchairs have movable parts; some are not designed to withstand stress or lifting.
  • Lifting a person with minimal ability to move may be dangerous to you or them.
  • Wheelchairs should not be used to descend stairwells, if at all possible.
  • Non-ambulatory persons may have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke or fumes immediately and determine their needs and preferences. Those with electrical respirators should get priority assistance.
Visually Impaired Individuals
  • Most visually impaired individuals will be familiar with their immediate work areas.
  • In an emergency, describe the nature of the situation and offer to act as a "sighted guide" by offering your elbow and escorting him or her to a safe place.
  • As you walk, describe where you are and advise the individual of any obstacles.
  • When you have reached safety, orient the person as to where you are and ask if any further assistance is needed.
Hearing Impaired Individuals

Because persons with impaired hearing may not perceive emergency alarms, an alternative warning technique is required. Two possible methods of warning to consider are:

  • Write a note describing the emergency and nearest evacuation route.
  • Turn the light switch off and on to gain attention, and then indicate through gestures what is happening and what to do.

Emergency Building Evacuation Guide


Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

  • Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

  • Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.


  • Find air conditioning.

  • Avoid strenuous activities.

  • Watch for heat illness.

  • Wear light clothing.

  • Check on family members and neighbors.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.


Prepare NOW

  • Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.
  • Keep your home cool by doing the following:
    • Cover windows with drapes or shades.
    • Weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
    • Add insulation to keep the heat out.
    • Use attic fans to clear hot air.
    • Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.


  • Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
  • If you're outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.


Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:

    • Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
    • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
    • Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
    • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
    • Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
    • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

Weather Emergency Guide


Explosive devices can be highly portable, using vehicles and humans as a means of transport. They are easily detonated from remote locations or by suicide bombers. There are steps you can take to prepare for the unexpected.

Before an Explosion

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an explosion.

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit
  • Make a Family Emergency Plan
  • Learn what to do in case of bomb threats or receiving suspicious packages and letters
  • Ensure your employers have up-to-date information about any medical needs you may have and how to contact designated beneficiaries or emergency contacts.

During an Explosion

  • Get under a sturdy table or desk if things are falling around you. When they stop falling, leave quickly, watching for obviously weakened floors and stairways.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Stay low if there is smoke. Do not stop to retrieve personal possessions or make phone calls.
  • Check for fire and other hazards.
  • Once you are out, do not stand in front of windows, glass doors or other potentially hazardous areas.
  • If you are trapped in debris, use a flashlight, whistle or tap on pipes to signal your location to rescuers.
  • Shout only as a last resort to avoid inhaling dangerous dust.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand.

After an Explosion

  • There may be significant numbers of casualties or damage to buildings and infrastructure.
  • Heavy law enforcement involvement at local, state and federal levels.
  • Health and mental health resources in the affected communities can be strained to their limits, maybe even overwhelmed.
  • Extensive media coverage, strong public fear and international implications and consequences.
  • Workplaces and schools may be closed, and there may be restrictions on domestic and international travel.
  • You and your family or household may have to evacuate an area, avoiding roads blocked for your safety.
  • Clean-up may take many months.
More Information


When a Fire Alarm is Activated

If a fire alarm is activated in your building, you should evacuate immediately.

  • Proceed to the nearest exit.
  • Feel the top and bottom of the door with the back of your hand; if it's hot, DO NOT open it. Otherwise, open the door slowly, standing behind and to one side. Be prepared to close the door quickly if fire is present. If you feel heat, proceed to an alternate exit.
  • Exit the building calmly using the stairs - NEVER use elevators. Close the stairwell door behind you.
  • Stay low when moving through smoke and walk down to the ground floor to exit.
  • After you have left the building, report to your building's designated emergency assembly area (EAA). If no designated area exists, remain a safe distance (50+ feet) from the building to allow for emergency vehicle and responder access.
  • DO NOT return to the area until instructed to do so by emergency personnel. In Case of Fire, Be Prepared!
  • Know primary and secondary evacuation routes from your building.
  • Practice your escape plan: count the number of doors you need to pass through to reach the nearest exit. Heavy smoke may obscure exit signs and your vision in general; counting doors as you exit will help keep you oriented.

During a Fire

  • If your building has a fire alarm system, activate it as you exit.
  • Follow the procedures listed within your department's/building's Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
  • Report to your buildings designated emergency assembly area (EAA). If no designated area exists, move to an open area away from other buildings, trees, power lines, and other obstructions.
  • CALL 757-683-4000 or 9-1-1 and report the location of the fire. Follow emergency responder instructions.
  • For small fires (wastebasket-size), use a fire extinguisher ONLY if safe to do so.
  • For larger fires, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY and close doors behind you to help contain the fire.
  • If clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
Fire Emergency Guide


Follow these recommendations if there is news of a flood in your area:

  • Be prepared to shelter-in-place or to evacuate at a moment's notice.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without warning clouds or rain.
  • Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service.

You should also understand how Tidal Flooding affects the ODU campus, and the steps the University is taking to mitigate potential damage. Learn more HERE.

Weather Emergency Guide


Hazardous materials are substances with dangerous ingredients - particularly chemicals that can hurt the environment, cause injury, or even death. When used with caution, they can be safely used in laboratory instruction, industry, agriculture, medicine, research, and even our homes. But if misused and released, they can be very harmful.

During A Small or Minor Spill

Minor spills of hazardous chemicals that pose little or no threat to the safety and health of personnel can be cleaned by following the warning and cautions on the container's label or the material safety data sheet (MSDS). If you need assistance with the cleanup of a spill, contact Old Dominion University Environmental Health and Safety at 757-683-4495 or the Old Dominion University Police Department at 757-683-4000.

During A Hazardous Materials Emergency

Procedures for laboratory personnel to handle chemical, biological, or radiological spills are provided in laboratory safety plans. Trained laboratory personnel are authorized to determine appropriate emergency responses for their areas. A hazardous materials emergency exists when cleanup of a hazardous material spill is beyond the level of staff knowledge, training, or ability and/or the situation is immediately dangerous to the life and health of persons in the spill area or facility.

If a hazardous materials emergency exists, follow these recommendations:

  • Alert people in the immediate area of the spill and evacuate the room.
  • Confine the hazard by closing doors as you leave the room.
  • Use eyewash or safety showers as needed to rinse spilled chemicals off people.
  • Evacuate any nearby rooms that may be affected. If the hazard will affect the entire building, evacuate the building.
  • Notify the Old Dominion University Police Department at 757-683-4000, of the type of chemical, location, and size of the spill by calling 9-1-1. Always call from a safe location.

Reporting a Hazardous Materials Emergency

Emergency contact information may be posted on the entry door to the lab or room. If a hazardous materials emergency occurs, report the following information:

  • Location of the spill, name of the chemical, and quantity.
  • Name and telephone number of the caller.
  • Extent of injuries, if any.
  • Environmental concerns, such as the location of storm drains and streams.

Chemical, Commercial Cleaning Products, and Solvent Spills

Any spill that could POTENTIALLY cause injury to a person or property must be reported to Environmental Health and Safety. If an immediate hazard exists or medical assistance is required, CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus). For small spills or that pose no immediate danger to life or property:

  • Confine the spill.
  • Evacuate and secure the immediate area; only allow authorized personnel to access the contaminated area.
  • Notify area supervisor.

Toxic Fumes Release

Evacuate the area immediately if you smell gas or other toxic fumes, experience irritation, coughing, burning eyes, and/or difficulty breathing.

  • If you smell gas in a dark room, DO NOT turn on lights; this action could ignite gas fumes.
  • DO NOT touch, activate, or de-activate any power switches, fire alarms, lights, etc.
  • Evacuate immediately and CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus). DO NOT re-enter the area until advised to do so by emergency personnel.

Radioactive Leak or Spill

In the event of a radioactive leak or spill:

  • Limit the spread of the spill.
  • Notify others in the area that a spill has occurred. Keep untrained people out of the area.
  • Call the Radiation Safety Officer in Environmental Health and Safety at 757-683-5834.

If skin contamination has occurred:

  • Go to the nearest sink and wash the affected area with tepid water.
  • Call the Radiation Safety Officer in Environmental Health and Safety.

Biological Release or Spill

In the event of a biological release or spill:

  • Use personal protection and decontaminate the spill with appropriate disinfectant.
  • For a large spill or release of highly infectious materials, notify everyone in the area, secure the area, then call Environmental Health and Safety immediately at 757-683-4495.

If a blood borne pathogen exposure or needle stick injury has occurred:

  • Go to the nearest sink and wash affected area with warm water and soap.
  • Call Environmental Health and Safety and seek medical attention immediately
Hazardous Materials Guide


Follow these recommendations if there is news of a hurricane in your area:

  • Follow the instructions of local emergency management personnel regarding evacuation.
  • If hurricane conditions already exist outside your location, stay put! Find shelter as best you can and wait it out. The most violent conditions are likely to pass in 24 hours or less.
  • Secure the space by shutting and locking all windows and doors.
  • Try to locate supplies you may need - such as food, water, a radio, etc.
Weather Emergency Guide


In the event of a serious illness or injury:

  • Immediately call the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000 or 911 and tell the dispatcher about the person who needs help:
    • Gender
    • Approximate age
    • Nature of injury or illness
    • Pertinent medical history (if known)
    • Precise location
  • Do not move an injured person - unless there is immediate danger of further harm - until emergency medical personnel arrive.
  • Keep the person warm.
  • If possible, designate someone to direct emergency responders from the approach to the victim.
  • Only if appropriately trained, provide first aid until emergency medical personnel arrive and take over care of the injured person.
    • Make sure the scene is safe for you to provide assistance
    • Introduce yourself and ask the person if they would like your help
    • Wear disposable gloves or use a plastic bag over your hands as a barrier
    • Check for and control any bleeding using direct pressure over the wound
    • If necessary, provide CPR if appropriately trained


Follow these recommendations if there is news of a severe thunderstorm in your area:

  • Follow the instructions of local emergency management personnel regarding evacuation.
  • If hurricane conditions already exist outside your location, stay put! Find shelter as best you can and wait it out. The most violent conditions are likely to pass in 24 hours or less.
  • Secure the space by shutting and locking all windows and doors.
  • Try to locate supplies you may need - such as food, water, a radio, etc.
Weather Emergency Guide


If there has been a threat, and you see a package or foreign object, DO NOT touch it. From a landline phone, immediately CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus) to report any unusual objects or items.

Suspicious Packages and Letters

Some typical characteristics postal inspectors have detected over the years, which should trigger suspicion, include parcels that:

  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Have no return address, one that doesn't match the postmark, or can't be verified as legitimate.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements such as "Personal," "Confidential," or "Do not X-ray."
  • Have inappropriate or unusual labeling such as threatening language
  • Have protruding wires or aluminum foil, strange odors or stains.
  • Have excessive postage or packaging material, such as masking tape and string.
  • Are of unusual weight given their size or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Are not addressed to a specific person.

Take these additional steps against possible biological and chemical agents:

  • Never sniff or smell suspicious mail.
  • Place suspicious envelopes or packages in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  • Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  • If you are at work, report the incident to your building security official or an available supervisor, who should notify police and other authorities without delay.
  • List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give a copy of this list to both the local public health authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up investigations and advice.
  • If you are at home, report the incident to local police.
Suspicious Mail/Package Guide


The University, like any other community in our nation, can be at risk of terrorism or other threats to life and property. Vigilance is a key protective measure that can help reduce risk. All members of the ODU community, when on and off campus, are urged to be attentive to their surroundings, notice suspicious behavior or circumstances, and to report their observations to authorities in a timely fashion.


If you are witness to violent acts or behavior, immediately move away from the incident and then dial 757-683-4000 to summon the Old Dominion University Police Department. If you hear about an incident on campus, please stay away from that area.

Suspicious Person or People

If you witness a person acting in an odd or unusual manner or if a person or situation makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and report it.

  • DO NOT physically confront the person.
  • DO NOT let anyone into a locked building or office.
  • DO NOT block the person's access to an exit.
  • CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus). Provide as much information as possible about the person and his or her direction of travel in your description of the person, include age, race, clothing, height, weight, sex, hair and eye color, weapons, and any other descriptors you noticed.
  • If a suspicious person is standing at your car, or near a parking spot, just keep walking. When it appears to be safe, return to your vehicle and look around and inside your vehicle before getting in.

Suspicious Vehicle

Signs of suspicious vehicles include:

  • Missing or forged license plates.
  • Covered or taped windows.
  • Any vehicle that appears overloaded or has any substance leaking from it.
  • Any vehicle containing drums, barrels, or other bulks containers.
  • Parked illegally, parked at an unusual location, or appears to be abandoned.

Reporting a Suspicious Vehicle On-Campus:

If you see a vehicle that appears to be suspicious, immediately call the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000.

  • Tell the dispatcher you are at ODU and give the exact location of the vehicle in question.
  • A description of the vehicle, including license plate, vehicle color, vehicle make, model, and any other distinguishing features.
  • Your full name and the telephone number from which you are calling, in case you are disconnected.
  • Do not hang up as additional information may be needed. Follow directions provided by emergency personnel.


  • When noticing other circumstances that you feel may be suspicious, place your observation into context. Is there a plausible explanation that would account for the activity you observe? Does this explanation convince you that there is no potential for a threat to public safety?
  • Do not attempt to rationalize your suspicions.
  • If it does not look right or if you have any feeling that the actions or circumstances you observe are suspicious, report your observations immediately. Suspicious activities on campus should be reported to the Old Dominion University Police Department.

Reporting Suspicious Activities Off-Campus:

Suspicious activities observed off campus should be reported to the Virginia State Fusion Center by using one of the following methods:

  • 24-hour, toll-free tip line: 877-4VA-TIPS (877-482-8477)
  • Online report: Report When reporting suspicious behavior or circumstances, be prepared to include as much of the following information as possible:
    • WHO? Describe who you feel is involved in the suspicious activity.
    • WHAT? Describe the suspicious activity. Indicate if there is an immediate threat to persons nearby or to responding officers (such as an unattended package, an individual acting strangely, the presence of weapons, hazardous materials, etc.).
    • WHEN? Indicate if the activity is in progress. Give the time(s) that the activities occurred.
    • WHERE? Give the location of the suspicious activity and the location of the suspect(s).
    • WHY? Indicate why the activity is suspicious. If known, tell what might be the target of the activity.

Please include any other information that would aid the responders. Remember, if you see suspicious activity or packages while visiting Old Dominion University, pick up the phone and report it. It's our job to check it out and to keep you safe! Stay alert. Be aware. Speak up.

Suspicious Person Guide


Follow these recommendations if there is news of a tornado in your area:

  • If you hear about a tornado in your area, DO NOT wait until you see it to take cover.
  • Seek indoor shelter in the lowest level possible, in an interior room or hallway away from windows and doors.
  • Crouch near the floor or under heavy, well supported objects. Cover your head.
  • Avoid windows, corridors with windows, or large free-standing expanses (such as auditoriums and cafeterias). DO NOT use elevators during a tornado warning!
  • If you are caught outside with no shelter, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
Weather Emergency Guide


In many instances, utility outages will be for a short duration of time. Emergency lighting and alarm systems will operate for a period of time to safely guide your way out of a building.

  • If it is an emergency, CALL 757-683-4000 (or 9-1-1 if off-campus).
  • During regular business hours (8:00AM-5:00PM): notify the ODU Facilities Management Maintenance Support Center at 757-683-4600.
  • After hours and on weekends: notify the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000.
  • In the event of a longer outage, additional information will be provided using established communication mechanisms, as the circumstances dictate.

If a Power Outage Occurs:

  • Wait a few minutes for emergency power to come on to activate emergency lighting.
  • If evacuation of the building is required, assist any persons with disabilities and use the stairway to exit. DO NOT use elevators.
  • Unplug all nonessential electrical equipment, televisions, and computers. Turn off light switches as a surge may blow out left-on lights and other equipment when power is restored.
  • Contact Facilities Management for information regarding scope and expected duration of the outage.

Power Outages in Laboratories or Research Facilities:

  • Laboratory personnel should secure experiments or activities that may present a danger when electrical power is off. Also consider what could happen if power is unexpectedly restored.
  • Notify the lab supervisor and/or Principal Investigator immediately.
  • Take actions to preserve human and animal safety as well as research.
  • Keep essential research refrigerators and freezers closed throughout the outage to keep them cold.
  • If conditions are hazardous, notify Environmental Health and Safety during regular business hours at 757-683-4495. If after hours, notify the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000.
  • If a laboratory fume hood is non-operational, cap all open containers and close the sash.

If You Are Trapped In an Elevator

If you are trapped in an elevator, press the "Call for Help" button. Speak with the dispatcher and identify the building, elevator number, and floor.

If Others Are Trapped In an Elevator

If someone is trapped in an elevator because of a power outage, call the ODU Police Department at 757-683-4000. Give specific directions to the inoperative elevator and have someone meet emergency responders outside of the building. Tell passengers to remain calm and that help is en route. Talk to passengers until emergency responders arrive.

Water Outage Occurs

  • Notify your supervisor and call Facilities Maintenance.
  • Discontinue any work with hazardous materials in areas where the emergency shower and/or eyewash stations are disabled due to water failure.
  • Turn off all water-cooled operations.

Gas Leak

  • Evacuate the area immediately.
  • Contact Virginia Natural Gas at 1-877-572-3342.
  • DO NOT turn electrical devices on or off; and DO NOT plug or unplug any device, as this may create a spark. Notify your supervisor and call Facilities Maintenance.

Sewage/Drainage Failure

  • Notify your supervisor and call Facilities Maintenance.
  • If backup is large, evacuate the area.
Utility Outage Guide



  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Help your parents sprinkle sand on sidewalks and walkways. This helps to make them less slippery.
  • Make sure you dress warmly and have extra blankets!
  • Bring pets inside.


  • Stay inside! Sidewalks can be very slippery and you can hurt yourself if you fall.
  • If you are outside helping to shovel snow, make sure you wear a hat. It helps keep you from losing body heat.
  • Mittens are warmer than gloves.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
  • Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.
  • If you can't feel your fingers, toes, ears or nose, or they appear pale white, tell a grown-up.
  • Tell a grown-up immediately if you can't stop shivering, have trouble remembering things, feel tired or talk funny. You may have hypothermia which can be very dangerous.


  • Continue to wear layers, a hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves. These will help to keep you warm and protect you from frostbite.
Weather Emergency Guide


Policy 6501 prohibits workplace violence. Specifically, the university will respond promptly to violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, or disruptive behavior of a threatening nature towards people or property. Individuals who violate this policy may be removed from university property and are subject to disciplinary and/or personnel action up to, and including, termination and/or criminal prosecution.

Workplace violence is defined as any actual or threatening behavior of a violent nature, as understood by a reasonable person, exhibited by faculty, staff, student employees, or others.

Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Intentional physical contact for the purpose of causing harm (such as slapping, punching, striking, shoving, or otherwise physically attacking a person).
  • Menacing or threatening behavior (such as throwing objects, waving fists, damaging property, stalking, or otherwise acting in an aggressive manner; or, using oral or written statements specifically intended to frighten, coerce, or cause distress) where such behavior would be interpreted by a reasonable person as being evidence of intent to cause physical harm to individuals or property.

General Reporting Responsibilities

Any member of the university community who has been subject to workplace violence or who has witnessed workplace violence must promptly notify their supervisor, who must notify the Department of Human Resources Employee Relations Manager and/or the Director of Employee Relations and Strategic Initiatives. As appropriate, the ODU Police Department must also be notified.

Report Concerning Behavior:
Additionally, employees are encouraged to report any concerning behavior to the University's Threat Education Assessment & Management Team (T.E.A.M.). It is imperative that all university employees take this responsibility seriously.

Report Imminent or Actual Violence:
Any person experiencing or witnessing imminent or actual violence involving weapons or potential injuries should call ODUPD at 757-683-4000 or call 9-1-1.

Report Acts of Violence Not Involving Weapons or Injuries to Persons:
Any person who is the subject of, or witness to, a suspected violation of this policy should report the incident to his or her supervisor or, in lieu thereof, to the Old Dominion University Department of Human Resources.

Workplace Violence Guide

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