Detailed Procedures

APU remains steadfast in its commitment to provide a safe and secure living, learning, and working environment for its community. Because of its location in Southern California, APU is particularly susceptible to earthquakes and wildfires. Specific plans have been made for these types of emergencies in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Azusa Police Department. The university maintains an excellent working relationship with both of these agencies.

Active Shooter/Shooting on Campus

If you witness an armed individual or an individual who is acting in a hostile and belligerent manner on campus, immediately call 911 then the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898.

  • Try not to draw attention to yourself.
  • Remain calm and use a quiet voice. Try to provide information in a calm and clear manner so the 911 operator can quickly relay information to responding law enforcement and emergency personnel.
  • Provide the following information:
    • Your name
    • Describe the situation.
    • Location. Be as specific as possible.
    • Number of shooters witnessed.
    • Number of people at specific location.
    • Injuries, if any, including the number of injured and types of injuries.
    • Try to note as much information as possible about the shooter(s):
      • Direction of the shooter(s)
      • Gender, race, and age of shooter(s)
      • Language or commands used by the shooter(s)
      • Clothing color and style
      • Physical features (height, weight, facial hair, glasses, etc.)
      • Type of weapons (handgun, rifle, shotgun, explosives, etc.)
      • Description of a backpack or bag
      • Whether you recognize the assailant or know their name
      • Describe exactly what you heard (gunshots, explosions, etc.)
    • If you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen and try to pinpoint your location.

After calling 911 or Campus Safety:

  • If it is safe to do so, exit the building.
  • If you cannot exit the building, go to a room that can be locked. If you are in a classroom or office that cannot be locked from the inside, barricade the door using desks, tables, file cabinets, or other furniture.
  • Stay behind solid objects and away from the door as much as possible.
  • Turn off the lights and lock and cover any windows.
  • Get everyone in the room to lay on the floor, out of the line of fire.
  • If the shooter(s) leave the area, proceed immediately to a safer place, if possible. Do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter(s).
  • If you flee, make sure you have an escape route/plan in mind. Do not carry anything; move quickly and quietly, keep your hands open and visible, and follow any instructions given by law enforcement.
  • If approached by law enforcement officers, freeze and raise your arms with open palms facing the officer.
  • Once you are at a safe location, stay there until police or known university official gives the “all clear.”

WATCH: Learn tips for responding to an active shooter situation by watching this video.

Bomb Threats

If you spot a suspicious object, package, etc., report it to Campus Safety, but DO NOT touch, tamper with, or move a suspicious item.

If you are notified by telephone of a bomb within a building, keep the caller on the line. If they hang up, DO NOT hang up the line, but go to another phone to call 911, and then (626) 815-3898 to report the situation to Campus Safety. DO NOT use any electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, radios, tablets, etc.) in close proximity to the suspect package or device.

Building evacuation may take place, in which case, classes may remain in session and meet in an alternate location. If an evacuation occurs, follow standard evacuation procedures, and DO NOT attempt to re-enter a building until clearance authorization has been given by emergency personnel. Also, Immediately notify emergency personnel if you know of a disabled or injured person needing assistance.

Ask the caller questions: Where is the bomb? When is it set to explode? What does it look like? What kind of bomb is it? Did you place it? Why? What is your address? What is your name?

Also, pay careful attention to the caller’s exact wording, voice, and manner of speaking, and try to determine the caller’s gender, race/ethnicity, and age, as well as any background sounds and the length of the call.

Building, Campus, and Room Lockdown

The Building, Campus, and Room Lockdown procedures are used when it may be more dangerous to evacuate a location than to stay in the assigned area. Examples: violent or potentially violent incident by an angry or deranged person or persons threatening with a gun or other deadly weapon, robbery in progress, police pursuit, etc.

A building and campus lockdown consists of moving all students, faculty, staff, and visitors off the grounds and into the buildings, securing all entrances, and denying access to any unauthorized persons.

A room lockdown occurs when the danger may already be inside a building and requires that all students, faculty, staff, or visitors remain in rooms, offices, classrooms, etc. within the building; or requires people to move from hallways or general open areas into enclosed rooms for safety, securing entrances and denying access to unauthorized persons. This is also referred to as a “shelter-in-place” procedure where inhabitants of the room are advised to stay away from windows and doors, and “shelter” close to objects (tables, chairs, etc.) near the center of the room.

Remember to notify Campus Safety as soon as possible, without endangering yourself, in the case of a threatening person or persons on the APU campus.

Earthquakes

During the shaking:

REMEMBER: DUCK, COVER, and HOLD. Keep calm. Do not run or panic. If the earthquake strikes while you are indoors, take cover under a piece of furniture or stand in a doorway. Stay away from glass, windows, and overhead light fixtures. DO NOT use elevators. If the tremor occurs while you are outside, move away from buildings, trees, utility wires, and other structures. Move to an open area and stay there until the shaking stops. If the earthquake strikes while you are in a crowded public place, remain calm and seek shelter from falling debris. Do not rush for the exits—other people will have the same idea. If the tremor occurs while you are in a car, pull to the side of the road, away from overhead power lines. Remain in the vehicle, and turn on the radio. When leaving the automobile, move to an open area away from other cars.

After the shaking stops:

Prepare for possible aftershocks. Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move persons who may be seriously injured unless they are in danger of further injury. Notify a university authority immediately. Take an inventory of the area you are in and notify the authorities present of any dangers so an evacuation can be conducted if necessary. Evacuation of buildings is not automatic and depends on surrounding circumstances (e.g., gas leak, fire, or severe structural damage). If buildings are evacuated, stay out of them until directed to re-enter by a university official.

Evacuations

In case of an emergency on campus where evacuation is necessary, occupants will be notified by the following:

  • Audible alarms and flashing lights in buildings so equipped
  • Verbal notice from an instructor, building or floor coordinator, Campus Safety officer, Facilities Management staff, or other campus official
  • Public address system

Upon receiving orders to evacuate:

  • Walk, DO NOT RUN, to the nearest exit.
  • Proceed to a designated evacuation site.
  • Wait for attendance to be taken by the building coordinator or instructor.
  • Stay out of the way of emergency personnel.
  • Immediately notify the building coordinator or emergency personnel if you know of a disabled or injured person needing assistance.
  • Wait for instructions to:
    • Re-enter the building or
    • Report to a long-term evacuation site.

Evacuation of Disabled Persons:

In the event of an emergency, persons in wheelchairs and other disabled persons should observe the following evacuation procedures:

  • ALL persons shall move toward the nearest marked exit. Never use the elevator in the case of fire, earthquake, or power outage.
  • When a person in a wheelchair or other disabled person reaches an obstruction, such as a staircase, he/she should request assistance from others in the area.

NOTE: It is suggested that persons in wheelchairs or other disabled persons prepare for emergencies in advance by instructing a classmate, professor, or colleague on how to assist them during emergencies.

  • If assistance is not immediately available, the person in a wheelchair or other disabled person should stay in the exit corridor or on the landing. The disabled individual should continue to call for help until rescued.

Fires and Fire Evacuations

Upon discovering a fire, immediately dial 911, then call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898, or use one of the Code Blue boxes located throughout campus.

When a fire alarm sounds, ALL PERSONS must evacuate the building immediately, and DO NOT use elevators. Walk, DO NOT RUN, as quickly as possible to the nearest exit, notifying others of the fire and closing all doors (but do not lock them) as you exit so the spread of the fire is slowed down. On stairways, use handrails and keep to the right. Check all doors for heat (top and bottom) with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, do not open it. If you are caught in heavy smoke, drop to hands and knees and crawl; hold your breath as much as possible; breathe shallowly through your nose; and use a blouse, shirt, or jacket as a filter.

If your clothing catches on fire, DO NOT RUN. STOP, DROP, and ROLL.

RAs will go from room to room in residence facilities to ensure complete evacuation. When all people have been evacuated, go to the designated evacuation site for further instructions and wait for an “all clear” from the proper authorities before returning to the building. Immediately notify emergency personnel on the scene if you suspect that someone may be trapped inside the building.

Fire Drills

Unannounced fire drills will be held each year to test the system and familiarize occupants with the sounds of the alarms. Pulling a false alarm as a prank or joke is a serious offense that could lead to disciplinary proceedings through the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, including a $500 fine. California Penal Code section 148.4 provides a misdemeanor/felony charge (fine and/or imprisonment) for those who willfully tamper with fire protection equipment. Further, it is a violation of university regulations, and reason for prosecution.

Look around the room now to see where exits are located. You should also note the location of fire extinguishers in rooms and in hallways.

Hazardous Materials Leaks/Spills

Flammable • Toxic • Corrosive • Oxygen • Cryogenic

If there is a spill, leak, or fire involving hazardous material, the following steps should be taken immediately:

  • Confine the spill, leak, fumes, or fire by exiting the space and shutting the door. Avoid contact with the material. If time permits, locate the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any identifiable materials.
  • Sound the building fire alarm so evacuation can begin.
  • Dial 911, then call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898, or use one of the Code Blue call boxes located throughout the campus.
  • Give your name, department, location of the emergency, nature of the incident, and description of the material.
  • Evacuate to the designated evacuation area. DO NOT return to the building until instructed that it is safe to do so.
  • Even SUSPECTED hazardous materials, leaks, or suspicious odors should be reported to Campus Safety so appropriate action can be taken.

Medical Emergencies

In case of a medical emergency, dial 911, then call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898, or use one of the Code Blue call boxes located throughout campus.

Use the following guidelines and your own common sense to determine what is a true medical emergency (the following is not an exclusive list):

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing (choking, etc.)
  • Excessive or uncontrollable bleeding
  • Unconsciousness
  • Life-threatening injuries (e.g., falling, severe head injuries, severe burns, etc.)
  • If you are in doubt about the seriousness of the injury, call 911, then Campus Safety.

In medical emergency situations:

  • Assess the situation.
  • Call or send someone else to dial 911, then call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3898, or use one of the Code Blue call boxes located throughout campus.
  • Administer first aid (if you are trained in first aid AND permission is granted by the injured).
  • Have someone direct emergency and medical personnel to the scene.
  • Remain with the victim until emergency personnel arrive.

Power/Utility Outage

The possibility of a power failure is ever present and a situation that can be handled calmly. The most important thing to do is think safety!

Employees should consult with their supervisor before leaving their workstation, whenever possible., and comply with directions from building coordinators and emergency personnel.

DO NOT use candles for illumination; these are fire hazards. Use battery-operated lights instead. Also, turn off any electronic equipment that was still in use, in order to avoid power surges when service is restored, and leave a task light on so that you can determine when service is restored. And if possible, avoid using the university telephone system, to preserve battery power for official use.

Exercise caution with valuables, and limit movement between floors of a building; if such movement is necessary, use stairways—NOT ELEVATORS—until power is restored.

Obtaining Crisis Information

In the event of a crisis on campus, the primary conduit of information will be the toll-free emergency hotline and website. Please call (888) 451-5583 or refer to this website (www.apu.edu/response/).

Parents and friends should be informed about the emergency preparedness website and phone number for contact during an emergency. They will be able to find out what is occurring on the Azusa campus as well as regional sites.

Questions are encouraged and should be directed to Jeff Birch, chair of the Incident Command Team, at (626) 815-2008 or jbirch@apu.edu.