In An Emergency
Residential & Dining Enterprises is committed to providing a safe living environment for all residents. Please review the Safety, Security, and Fire Report to learn emergency procedures that help ensure your safety during your time at the University. Also, take time to review the Emergency Evacuation Plan posted in your room or apartment, locate the nearest exits and fire extinguishers, find the location of the Emergency Assembly Point for your building, and know the routes to get there.
How to Report an Emergency
Anytime you need immediate police, fire, or medical response:
- Call 9-911 from University phones;
- Call 911 from most cell phones; or
- Press the red button on a blue emergency phone tower.
Any of these methods will reach the local 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Pushing the red button on the blue tower phones also will activate a blue strobe light on top that alerts others, including responding deputies, to your location.
Please remember that the Emergency Phones are in place for reporting emergencies. Intentional misuse, prank calls, or tampering with these phones is a criminal offense.
The Stanford University Emergency Alert System, AlertSU, will be used to notify you of critical life safety issues on campus. Go to https://axess.stanford.edu and make sure your personal contact information is registered with AlertSU.
Meeting at Your Emergency Assembly Point
Know the location of the Emergency Assembly Point (EAP) for your building. EAPs are open areas away from buildings where residents can gather out of harm’s way in the event of a fire, earthquake, or other emergency.
Find the Emergency Assembly Point
For on-campus buildings, a post marked with a blue triangle in a white circle—for your building. Emergency Assembly Points.
For off-campus housing, please refer to your complex's evacuation plan.
Power outages are usually brief and affect small areas of the campus. However, to prepare for the possibility of an outage:
- Keep flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.
- Do not overload power strips.
- Use surge protectors to protect sensitive electronic equipment.
If a Power Outage Occurs in Your Building
- Call 725-1602 (emergency maintenance).
- Do not light candles if the power goes out; they are not permitted in residences.
- Unplug personal computers.
- Unplug non-essential appliances and equipment.
- Open windows for additional light and ventilation.
- Go to a building that hasn’t been affected by the outage.
- Information regarding the outage may be provided at the Housing Service Center or by AlertSU message or R&DE email. Follow all instructions provided.
- Evacuate your residence when you hear the sound of an alarm. Drills are no exception. Exit the building quickly and safely, closing the door behind you.
- Walk, do not run.
- Wear shoes to avoid injuries from broken glass and debris.
- Help others to evacuate—knock on doors and check bathrooms as you leave the building. Assist those with a physical disability in evacuating the building.
- Go to the Emergency Assembly Point for your building.
- Check in with your RA,CA or other residence staff member responsible for the whereabouts of residents.
- Be alert for suspicious persons or activity. An alarm may be part of a crime in progress.
- If the alarm in the building has been set off by accident, call 9-911 from a campus phone or 911 from most cell phones immediately and explain the situation.
- Do not reoccupy the building until emergency response personnel indicate that it is safe to do so.
- Report any vandalism or tampering with the alarm.
- For off-campus housing, follow the housing complex's fire escape plan.
- Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your residence.
- Report all building evacuations to 650 725-1602 (R&DE emergency maintenance)
Fire safety devices are installed in all residence buildings.
All housing facilities are equipped with monitored fire alarm systems, most housing facilities have automatic, monitored fire sprinklers, and all residence hall rooms and apartments have smoke detectors.
Sprinkler heads are activated individually by heat when the ceiling temperature reaches 155° F. Do not throw Frisbees or balls inside your residence or hang objects from sprinkler heads. Once activated, a single sprinkler will spray 20 gallons of water per minute until it is shut off.
- Know the location of fire extinguishers and alarms, and know how to use them.
- Know the nearest exit and the location of your Emergency Assembly Point. You can find this information on the Emergency Evacuation Plan posted inside every building and inside your room or apartment (except low-rise apartments).
- Never tamper with fire alarms or equipment. Note: It is against the law and university policy to tamper with fire equipment or to set off a false fire alarm. Violators are subject to a minimum $500 fine, university disciplinary action, and criminal penalties.
- Leave fire and stairwell doors closed at all times.
- Keep corridors and room exits free of obstructions.
- Do not use items prohibited in residences including candles, torches, hookahs, incense or any other open flame device; hot plates, toasters, electric heaters, and halogen lamps.
- When cooking on a stovetop, never leave the stove unattended.
- Use only plug strips and extension cords that bear the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal of approval.
- Do not use extension cords with multiple sockets at one end.
If you smell smoke or detect a fire
- Activate the nearest alarm and, from a safe location, immediately call 9-911 from a campus phone or 911 from most cell phones.
- Before opening any door, use the back of your hand to see if the door is hot—if it is hot, leave it closed and stuff towels or clothes in the cracks and open a window.
- If the door is not hot, open it slowly (CAUTION: the doorknob may be hot) and be prepared to close it quickly if necessary.
- Cautiously exit the building—carry a towel or blanket to protect yourself from flames and smoke—and take your key with you in case you can’t exit the building and must return to your room.
- If you see or smell smoke in a hall or stairway, use another exit.
- Go directly to your building’s Emergency Assembly Point to check in. Remain there to receive information.
- Do not return to the building until you are notified by emergency personnel that it is safe to do so.
If you cannot evacuate your room
- Close the door to the corridor and seal cracks with wet towels.
- Open the window at top and bottom a few inches.
- Hang out a white sheet to signal for help.
- Soak a large sheet, blanket, or rug and get under it near the window.
Learn more about fire safety.
Sheltering/Securing in Place
- Gather essential personal belongings including cell phone and disaster supplies, if possible.
- Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents.
- If you are told there is a danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
- Close doors leading into the suite/floor. This will help prevent someone from leaving the suite/floor, if necessary; closing doors also helps to provide additional safety in Shelter in Place situations.
- Understand that it may become necessary for university personnel to shut down the air-handling system to prevent fumes or smoke from entering the building.
- Remain indoors for your safety and the safety of others.
- Turn on registered cell phones to receive AlertSU messages (in silent mode, if related to an active threat).
- Keep listening to the radio or the television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. University officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk.
Before an earthquake, be prepared
- Contact your Housing Service Center to anchor heavy furniture, equipment, and furniture over 42″ in your room or apartment.
- Do not place glass, picture frames, or heavy objects over your desk or bed.
- Don’t use makeshift shelving such as bricks and boards.
- Rearrange furniture that could fall on you or block your exit.
- Keep cabinet doors latched.
- Position the head of your bed away from windows.
- Plan where you can take cover in your room or apartment during an earthquake.
- Know the location of at least two exits.
- Keep an emergency kit under the bed with these and other emergency supplies:
- 72-hour supply of water and non-perishable food
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Radio with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Hygiene items/medications
- Sturdy closed shoes and jacket or sweater
- Formulate a plan now with your family and/or roommates on how you will communicate and reunite after an earthquake.
- Carry a Stanford emergency wallet card with you. It has critical before-during-after emergency instructions. For additional copies, visit EH&S or call 723-0448.
- Learn first aid and CPR; contact the Health Improvement Program at 723-9649. Refer to the first few pages of your telephone book for other first aid information.
- Identify an out-of-state phone contact you can use as an information center for you and your relatives.
Ask parents, relatives, and friends to call 1-844-ALERTSU (1-844-253-7878)—01-602-241-6769 if outside the U.S.—for information about Stanford in the event of a major emergency.
During an earthquake, stay calm
- REMEMBER to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
- If you are indoors, stay there. Do not run outside. Take cover under a heavy desk or table or in a doorway and protect your neck and head. If you take cover in a doorway, be careful of the door swinging shut and smashing your fingers or bruising your body.
- Stay away from windows and objects that could fall.
- If you are in a hallway, sit against the wall with your back to it.
- If you are outdoors, move to an open area and stay clear of buildings and electrical/telephone poles—beware of flying glass.
- If you are in a car, stop carefully away from structures or bridges, and stay in the car.
- Do not be alarmed if the electricity goes out or if alarms and fire sprinklers are activated.
- Be aware of and take precaution against aftershocks.
After an earthquake, use caution
- Carefully evacuate your residence and go to the Emergency Assembly Point. Check in with your RA, CA, or other residence staff member responsible for the whereabouts of residents. Make sure you are accounted for before heading elsewhere.
- Use 9-911 from a campus phone or 911 from most cell phones to report life-threatening medical or fire emergencies.
- Immediately report any gas leaks or electrical hazards. Don’t use matches or electrical switches until you are sure there are no leaks.
- Check the outside of your room, house or office for structural damage—do not re-enter the building until it has been inspected by a university official.
- Help those who are injured and administer first aid if needed.
- Check for fire hazards.
- Be prepared for aftershocks, which may cause additional damage.
- Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles and avoid the temptation to sight-see.
- Open doors, drawers and cupboards carefully—items may fall on you.
- Tune to KZSU 90.1 FM for earthquake information and additional instructions.
Student Support after an Earthquake
Student care centers (rally points) may be activated to provide emergency food, water, and supplies in addition to coordinating emergency housing/shelter for residents. The rally points will act as a coordination hub for information and student aid after major earthquakes. Location and activation information regarding the rally points will be communicated to each Emergency Assembly Point, both on and off campus.