Emergency Management

How to Prepare for an Emergency

At Cleveland State University, the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is our number one priority. The CSU Police Department works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep our urban campus one of the safest in Ohio.

But that’s only half the story. Someone else is responsible for your safety, as well – and that’s you! Do you know how to respond during an emergency on campus? Please familiarize yourself with these emergency preparedness guidelines.

When & How to Evacuate

Any time a fire alarm sounds within a building on campus, everyone inside must evacuate immediately. No exceptions. 

  • Walk calmly, but quickly, to the nearest emergency exit and head to your building’s Designated Meeting Area.
  • Only take critical personal items that are easily accessible. 
  • If you are involved with hazardous research or a dangerous procedure, immediately shut down operations. Once evacuated, inform the building administrator of any potential hazards. 
  • Close doors as you vacate rooms.
  • Keep to the right side of corridors and stairwells. Do not use elevators.
  • If you are unable to use the stairs for evacuation, do not attempt to use the elevators.

    o Instead, proceed to the nearest area of rescue assistance or the closest stairwell for evacuation.

    o Once you arrive at the stairwell, please wait on the landing and either press the emergency call button (when available), or call 216-687-2020, or use the Rave Guardian app to make Campus Safety and/or Emergency Responders aware of your location.

    o In the event you are unable to open the door to enter the stair well, you should wait next to the door out of the path of proceeding traffic and contact Campus Safety.

    o Once you arrive at the waiting area for evacuation assistance, you should remain in place until emergency responders arrive.

    Please be aware that for drills, individuals that have sheltered in the area of rescue assistance will not be physically evacuated from the building. Instead, the Emergency Responder conducting the sweep will confirm that you are in the correct/designated rescue location for that building. In the event you have concerns about the evacuation plan or rescue location following a drill, please contact the Office of Disability Services by phone, 216.687.2015, or email ods@csuohio.edu as soon as possible.

    For more information on making a plan for assisting disabled persons in an emergency, please visit the FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination website.
  • Remain in the Designated Meeting Area until instructions are given.
  • Do not re-enter the building until emergency personnel give the “All Clear” instruction.

When & How to Shelter in Place

You may be required to shelter in place during:

  • Tornadoes or other severe weather,
  • A hazardous materials release,
  • An active shooter, building intruder or civil disturbance scenario.

Seek immediate shelter when you hear outdoor warning sirens, receive a shelter-in-place notification via CSU’s Emergency Alert System, or are directed to do so by emergency personnel. 

During a tornado warning:

  • Proceed to the lowest level of the building, preferably a basement or tunnel. 
  • Position yourself away from glass, kneel facing a wall, and cover your head.

During a hazardous materials release: 

  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Do not leave until instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

During an active shooter, building intruder or civil disturbance scenario:

  • If you cannot exit safely, shelter in a room that can be locked. If you can’t lock the door secure it by any means possible.
  • The room should provide limited visibility to anyone outside.
  • Hide under a desk, in a closet, or in the corner, and create a barricade.
  • If there are no other options to safely escape, and you are confronted by the assailant, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the assailant using all available resources (acting aggressively, yelling, throwing items, improvising weapons).
  • Report any suspicious activity if you can do so without jeopardizing your safety. Call 9-1-1 or 216-687-2020.
  • If you are directed to shelter in place, but are unaware of the reason, proceed to the lowest level of the building. 

Be Prepared

Finally, here are a few things you should do to prepare for an emergency:

  • Sign up for CSU Safety Alerts or confirm your contact information via CampusNet.
  • Download CSU’s campus safety app, RAVE Guardian.
  • Save CSUPD’s phone number, 216-687-2020, on your cell phone.
  • Become familiar with your buildings emergency telephones and fire pull alarms.
  • Become familiar with evacuation routes, exit points and Designated Meeting Areas.
  • Know where to shelter in place when necessary.

You play an important role in keeping our campus safe.

Remember: When you see something suspicious, say something specific!