Emergency Response Plan

Use the table of contents below to navigate to the desired section.

Table of Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Coordination with Other Emergency Plans
    1. Institute's Environmental Health and Safety Management Program
    2. Office of Public Safety Manual
  4. Coordination with Departmental Health and Safety Plans
  5. Institute Emergency Resources and Contacts
    1. Office of Public Safety
    2. Office of Environmental Health and Safety
    3. Facility Operations
    4. Student Affairs
    5. Emergency Operation Center
    6. WMDH 90.7 FM - Broadcast Station
    7. Office of Public Relations
  6. Emergency Communications
    1. Telephone
  7. Expectations for Departments and Staff
    1. Faculty & Staff are Responsible for:
    2. Classroom Instructor's Responsibility
    3. Student Residential Units Responsibilities
  8. Emergency Procedures
    1. Fire - Procedures for Occupants
    2. Bomb Threats
    3. Chemical Spills or Release (Indoor)
    4. Hazardous Materials Incident (Outdoor)
    5. Earthquakes
    6. Workplace Violence/Terrorism
    7. Severe Weather
    8. Utilitiy Outages
    9. Medical Emergencies
    10. Pandemic Influenza
  9. Employee Orientation
  10. Review and Exercise of ERP


  1. Department Responsible Individuals
  2. Unusually Hazardous Locations and Key Laboratory Personnel
  3. Building Evacuation Plans
  4. Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities
  5. Classrooms and Teaching Laboratories Emergency Procedures for Faculty, Lecturers, and Teaching Assistants
  6. Bomb Threat (Explosive Device) Information Card
  7. Hazardous Chemical Spill Cleanup Guidelines
  8. Biological or Chemical threats(suspicious packages, letters or substances)
  9. Bomb Threat Assessment (Evacuation) Procedure
  10. Emergency Management Team

Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

A. Purpose

The purpose of this plan is to establish procedures and duties, to promote planning and to establish training for the employees of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for fire and other emergency evacuations as required by Institute Policy, the Indiana Fire Code and OSHA standards.

B. Scope

This plan applies to all occupants in all facilities owned, leased, or rented by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

C. Coordination with Other Emergency Plans

As part of the Institute's emergency management plan, this emergency operation and evacuation plan is a key component in incident planning and must be coordinated with the following emergency/safety documents:

1. Institute's Environmental Health and Safety Management Program

These programs outline procedures and duties for campus personnel in regards to regulated environmental health and safety programs and requirements. View the EHS Programs.

2. Office of Public Safety Manual

This manual prescribes public safety and security procedures for campus personnel and facilities.

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D. Coordination with Departmental Health and Safety Plans

This plan reflects the Institute's emergency response procedures and programs and satisfies an element of the Institute's Environmental Health and Safety Management Program required by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38.

E. Institute Emergency Resources and Contacts

1. Office of Public Safety

The Institute's Office of Public Safety, located at 6300 Wabash Avenue, maintains an Emergency Communications Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To report an emergency of any kind, including but not limited to fire, medical emergency, or hazardous material spills or release, dial x8590 from any campus telephone.

Public Safety operates a 24-hour, 7-day a week alarm monitoring center. Issues involving alarm systems should be brought to the attention of Public Safety.

Facilities Operations is responsible for the maintenance of the Institute's overall emergency response and disaster planning efforts and protocols.

2. Office of Environmental Health and Safety

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) provides consultation and support for hazardous material spills and releases, temporary controls and other general information to the Terre Haute Fire Department, RHIT Public Safety and other RHIT departments during normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday at (812) 877-8124. After normal business hours, the OEHS may be contacted through the Office of Public Safety at (812)877-8590.

3. Facility Operations

Facility Operations maintains a 24 hour, 7 days a week Customer Service Center. This support includes, but is not limited to building maintenance, utilities and janitorial emergencies. During normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, call (812) 877-8425. After normal business hours contact the Office of Public Safety at 877-8590.

4. Student Affairs

The Student Affairs Office, (812) 877-8257, will assist in all emergency situations responding to issues and coordinate activities during emergency situations on campus involving students and residence halls. A telephone number and website information will be maintained to provide timely and accurate information during campus emergencies.

5. Emergency Operation Center

For a major regional/local or on-campus emergency, the Institute's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) may be activated by the President or his designee or by the Emergency Coordinator. The primary Emergency Operations Center will be located in the Business Office Conference Room (Moench Hall, Room B109) and the GM Conference Room (Moench Hall, Room B111). If for some reason Moench Hall is not available due to a direct result of the emergency, then the Hulman Memorial Union will be utilized as the EOC. The Kahn Room (HMU 233) will be divided and the required personnel assigned to the appropriate areas. As a tertiary measure, Hatfield Hall will be designated the EOC, if deemed necessary. EOC staff (Appendix J) will decide on the use of available resources and communicate with outside agencies and authorities. Information on missing persons, building emergencies, first aid and other needs must be provided to the EOC through the Office of Public Safety. The EOC may be reached by calling the Institute's Office of Public Safety at (812) 877-8590.

6. WMHD 90.7 FM - Broadcast Station

WMHD 90.7 FM is the official area broadcast station in case of major disaster or Institute closing. Tune in to this station for information. Other local media will also be utilized during campus emergency situations.

7. Office of Communications & Marketing

All communications to the media or any outside party must be approved and conducted by the Office of Communications & Marketing at (812) 877-8258. No Rose-Hulman employee is to communicate with the media or any outside party unless instructed to do so by the Office of Communications & Marketing or the Emergency Coordinator.

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F. Emergency Communications

1. Telephone

During an emergency, the campus telephone system will be used to the extent possible. In case of system failure or a power failure, campus phones may not function. An alternative in most departments is the use of cellular phones. The Office of Public Safety personnel will serve as messengers if phone communication is not an option. The Office of Public Safety cellular number is (812) 208-3217.

Most buildings are equipped with fire alarm systems that continuously monitor for alarms and trouble situations. When a fire alarm has been activated an automated call will be placed to the Office of Public Safety. Those buildings not monitored by notification systems are equipped with a locally activated fire alarm system and would require building occupants to notify the Office Public Safety by dialing x8590.

In addition, the Campus Emergency Notification System will be utilized and activated following the procedures and protocols in Appendix L.

G. Expectations for Departments and Staff Personnel

1. Faculty & Staff are Responsible for:

  1. Being familiar with and following ERP procedures when required.
  2. Participating in training as required.

Orienting and informing students and visitors of procedures to be followed in case of a building alarm or emergency. Students will have an orientation on the first day of class to ensure they are aware that evacuation is required when the alarm system is activated and where the nearest exits are located. Visitors unfamiliar with building procedures should be informed and assisted as appropriate.

When the fire alarm sounds, begin immediate evacuation according to the plan. Continue evacuation of the building until outdoors and away from the building. Do not hesitate or stop to make phone calls, retrieve personal items, etc.

Emergency Response Team (ERT) personnel will verbally notify occupants when the building is safe to re-enter. No person(s) shall enter the building until they are instructed to do so by the ERT.

2. Classroom Instructor's Responsibility

  1. Provide his or her class or audience with general information relating to emergency procedures. This information should be shared during the first week of class or at the start of a seminar. (Appendix E).
  2. Know how to report an emergency from or near the classroom being used.
  3. Ensure persons with disabilities have the information they need. The instructor should be familiar with the individual student's needs and be able to direct visitors with disabilities.
  4. Take responsibility for the classroom occupants and follow emergency procedures for all building alarms and emergencies.

3. Student Residential Unit Responsibilities

  1. Resident Assistants will have primary responsibility for the evacuation of students living in residential units consistent with the Student Affairs directives.
  2. Use of building public announcement systems (if available) may be used, consistent with prepared announcements by Student Affairs.
  3. Persons with disabilities are to be identified in advance of any emergency and plans made to provide for their safe removal in the event of an evacuation.

H. Emergency Procedures

1. Fire - Procedures for Occupants

  1. When an alarm sounds on your floor or area, begin immediate evacuation following your plan (Appendix C, Building Evacuation Plan). Close doors behind you.
  2. If you discover a fire, activate the nearest pull station and call 911 and Public Safety at x8590. Then you may attempt to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher (use the acronym PASS - Pull the Pin - Aim the Nozzle - Squeeze the trigger - and Sweep the flames). If the fire is too large or you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the proper use of a fire extinguisher, after sounding the alarm simply close the door and evacuate. Remember: Hazardous equipment and processes should be shut down unless doing so presents a greater hazard. Close doors before leaving.
  3. Evacuate via the nearest stairwell or grade level exit. Do not block/wedge exit doors in an open position. The stairwell doors must remain closed to keep smoke out and keep them safe for evacuation and fire personnel. Leaving doors open makes the stairwells dangerous and unusable. Persons with physical disabilities have several options (Appendix D). Do Not Use Elevators.
  4. Go to your pre-determined Evacuation Assembly Point (EAP) as outlined in Appendix C. You may have two or more EAP's depending on the size of the building.
  5. At the EAP, account for personnel and report to the Emergency Operations Center if any occupants are unaccounted.
  6. If an individual is trapped by smoke, stay low, cover your mouth with a wet cloth, stay near a window, open it but do not break it, hang something out the window to let fire personnel know you are there and put something in cracks around the door, phone Public Safety at x8590 if possible.
  7. Special Instructions for Emergency Response Team Members
    1. Be familiar with evacuation routes from the assigned floor and plan for alternatives.
    2. Make a quick sweep of all areas within the area to ensure complete evacuation. Check stairwells and designated evacuation points for handicapped individuals requiring evacuation assistance. Report those findings to the Emergency Command Center or appropriate Fire/Police Officers. Check the usability of the normal evacuation routes, and if necessary, advise of alternate routes to ensure complete evacuation of all personnel from the assigned floor. If there is smoke in the hallway, stay low, cover your mouth with a damp cloth or handkerchief, visualize where the exits are and stay close to and use the wall to guide you so you do not become confused. If there is no smoke, you may have trouble getting people to evacuate, be strong, positive and insist. Students and visitors who may not be familiar with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate.
    3. Report the completed evacuation of the assigned area to the Emergency Operations Center by calling Public Safety at x8590.
    4. Instruct all personnel to move away from and remain well clear of the building. Congregating in the vicinity of a building entrance may result in injuries from the movement of firefighters and firefighting equipment.
    5. Special attention needs to be given to any person's with disabilities, in particular those who are visitors and unfamiliar with the building. A process is necessary to insure they are notified and accounted for. (Appendix D).

2. Bomb Threats

Handling Suspected or Actual Bomb Incidents

  1. Upon receiving a bomb threat (phone, verbal, letter, etc.), the recipient shall notify the Office of Public Safety who will then notify the Emergency Coordinator immediately. The Office of Public Safety will contact local law enforcement of the situation and coordinate their response to the situation.

Evacuation, Search, and Re-entry Authority

  1. It will be the recommendation of the Office of Public Safety, law enforcement, fire department, and/or Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology administration, in concert or independently of each other that will influence final decisions which pertain to building search, evacuations, and or re-entry into Institute buildings. Therefore, they will be responsible for evaluation of the threat and recommendation of one of the following:
    1. take no action
    2. search without evacuation
    3. evacuate (and search)
  2. The nature and extent of a search and evacuation operation will depend on the evaluation of the threat and time and resources available.
  3. Should a decision be made to search and/or evacuate a threatened area, consideration based on the following conditions should be applied.
    1. All community members within the threatened area must evacuate during "Mandatory Evacuation".
    2. During "Voluntary Evacuation" community members may make the decision to evacuate or not on their own.
    3. The safe location and/or potential re-location of community members in relation to the threatened area must be considered.

During Search and Evacuation

  1. During "Mandatory Evacuation" the Office of Public Safety will initiate an immediate lock down of the threatened area to prevent individuals from entering or re-entering the building during this critical time.
  2. "Safe Distance for Evacuation" and relocation of affected community members is 1000' feet in any direction from the threatened area.
  3. Search responsibility will rest with Rose-Hulman Public Safety and Facilities Operations personnel in conjunction with Local Law Enforcement and the Fire Department. Governmental agencies recommend that individuals familiar with daily activity within the threatened area be used to conduct a building search. These individuals are familiar with the buildings presence, as well as, habits of the occupants on a daily basis which expedites search capabilities.
  4. Public Areas - Experience has shown that bombs are often placed near exits, entrances, closets, or near public areas, rest rooms, building exteriors, foyers, landscapes, and in trash cans. Inspect public areas first. Identify alternate evacuation routes.
  5. Faculty should make visual inspections of their classrooms and report anything suspicious or unusual.
  6. Do not touch anything suspicious.
  7. Faculty will be responsible for students within their areas at the time of evacuation.
  8. Faculty will take roll call at the designated evacuation holding area.
  9. Do Not Evacuate to Parking Lots. Vehicular bombs are very common.

Improvised Explosive Devices, Pipe Bombs and Package Devices

  1. Upon locating one of the above:
    1. Do not touch or attempt to remove it.
    2. Keep everyone away from its location.
    3. Immediately contact Public Safety at (812) 877-8590
    4. Approach the device very carefully.
    5. Immediately evacuate the area.
    6. Never try to de-activate a device.
  2. Refer to Appendix F and Appendix I

3. Chemical Spills or Release (Indoors)

  1. Small spills that are identified and do not endanger workers in the immediate area may be cleaned up by qualified laboratory personnel who have been trained and are properly equipped to handle the situation. Chemical spill guidelines (Appendix G) have been established and are available in the Institute's Laboratory Safety Program. Lab supervisors should take into consideration the following:
    1. The hazards of the chemical(s) involved.
    2. The amount of the chemical(s) involved.
    3. Spill locations.
    4. Availability of spill clean up materials or kits.
  2. If the spill is large, if the chemical is not easily identified, if the chemical is extremely hazardous or if there has been a fire, explosion or personal injury involved, then:
    1. Evacuate all personnel from the area.
    2. If the entire building requires evacuation, activate the building fire alarm system and evacuate utilizing the fire evacuation procedure.
    3. Report to:
      1. Public Safety - Dial x8590
      2. OEHS - Dial x8124
    4. When placing an emergency call:
      1. Give your name.
      2. Give your location (room and building).
      3. Give the phone number you are using.
      4. Describe the emergency/injuries.
      5. If possible, remain in vicinity, away from danger, to assist emergency responders.
  3. Measures should be taken to prevent people from entering the contaminated area.
  4. Meet the emergency responders and provide information and assistance as needed.

4. Hazardous Materials Incident (Outdoors)

  1. This section should be implemented in the event of a major hazardous material incident that occurs outside the building, but the chemical could impact the building occupants (i.e., train derailment, tractor trailer accident, etc).
  2. Hazardous material accidents can occur on campus or in the adjacent areas and could impact occupants inside buildings.  Local media will broadcast warnings over radio and television to communicate that a hazardous materials incident has occurred.  The National Weather Service will broadcast similar warnings over NOAA Weather Radios.  Campus sirens might sound, notifying people within hearing range of the incident and to listen to local media.  Once building occupants become aware of a hazardous material incident that may impact the building, they should notify Public Safety.  Public Safety will immediately notify employees by word of mouth, telephone or email/text message notification.  This notification will advise building occupants to implement emergency actions.
  3. Campus and local government uses two strategies (Shelter in Place and Evacuation) for protecting citizens during hazardous material emergencies; Public Safety will notify the building occupants which strategy has been implemented.

Shelter in Place

  1. The first strategy local government may use is "Shelter-in-Place."  Everyone in the building would be required to stay in the building until the all clear is given.  Employees shall take the following actions:
    1. Close all windows and doors.
    2. Turn individual heating/cooling systems (HVAC) off if possible.
      1. Any occupant who comes into contact with a student or visitor should direct them to take appropriate actions.
      2. Any occupant that comes into contact with a visitor or student that is physically disabled should assist those individuals.
  2. The Office of Public Safety will ensure that these actions are completed.  The Office of Public Safety will also conduct a roll call to ensure that all personnel are protected.
  3. The Office of Public Safety will monitor the news media or the NOAA Weather Radio for further updates and will advise personnel on any changes in the situation.  The Office of Public Safety will announce the all clear when declared by community officials.
  4. If personnel become ill from the chemical release, contact Public Safety at x8590.
  5. The Office of Public Safety will direct personnel to open doors and windows and allow the building to air out after the all clear is given.  The Office of Public Safety will also direct personnel to reactivate the heating/cooling system (HVAC).
  6. Special attention should be given and procedures developed if disabled personnel occupy the building (Appendix D).


  1. The second strategy that local government could use is "Evacuation."  The Office of Public Safety will direct personnel to take appropriate action.  This action shall include:
    1. Walking to an assembly area to be accounted for and await further instructions.
    2. Walk or drive away from the area using travel direction determined by community officials.
    3. Any occupant who comes into contact with a student or visitor should direct them to take appropriate actions.
    4. Any occupant who comes into contact with a visitor or student who is physically disabled should assist those individuals.
  2. Office of Public Safety will ensure these actions are completed as directed by community officials.  The Office of Public Safety will also conduct a roll call to ensure all personnel have evacuated the building.
  3. If personnel become ill from the chemical release, contact Public Safety at x8590.
  4. Special attention should be given and procedures developed if disabled personnel occupy the building (Appendix D).

5. Earthquakes

  1. Although earthquakes are rare in Central Indiana, they can occur without warning.  Some earthquakes are instantaneous tremors and others are significant sustained events followed by aftershocks.  Once a significant earthquake begins, building occupants must take immediate action.  Individuals should take emergency action on their own and additional actions will be implemented after the quake stops.
  2. If indoors, watch for falling objects such as light fixtures, bookcases, cabinets, shelves and other furniture that might slide or topple.  Stay away from windows.  If in danger, get under a table or desk, into a corner away from windows or into a structurally strong location such as a hallway by a pillar.  Do not run outside.

Drop, Cover, and Hold

  1. Do not dash for exits since they may be damaged and the building's exterior brick, tile and decorations may be falling off.
  2. Do not use the elevators.
  3. Do not seek cover under laboratory tables or benches, as chemicals could spill and harm personnel.
  4. When the shaking stops, check for injuries to personnel in your area.  Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.  Render first aid assistance if required.
  5. Check for fires or fire hazards - spills of flammable or combustible liquids or leaks of flammable gases.
  6. Turn off ignition and heat sources if it is safe to do so.
  7. Shut off all gas sources.
  8. Exit the building, if possible, and go to the assembly point to report injuries, damages and potentially hazardous conditions.  Contact the Emergency Operations Center, by calling Public Safety at x8590, to notify them of any needed assistance and emergencies that may exist.  Once you have exited the building, do not reenter until the building has been declared safe by trained emergency personnel.
  9. Use the telephone system only for urgent matters.

6. Violence / Terrorism

  1. Building occupants will become aware of a violent act by the sounds of an explosion, gunfire, scuffling or by observation of events that could only be intentional acts of violence.  The person(s) who observes these life-threatening acts should immediately call Public Safety at x8590.  Public Safety will contact local law enforcement, if required.
  2. The Office of Public Safety will implement the approval process for Appendix L in order to activate the emergency notification systems that will communicate to the campus community that an act of violence has occurred on campus.  In all situations you must contact Public Safety immediately at x8590, if at all possible.
  3. Different types of workplace violence / terrorism require different actions:
    1. Explosion - If an explosion occurs, building occupants should leave the building using the same evacuation plan and procedures as they would for a fire.
    2. Gunfire - If you become aware of gunfire occurring in the building, attempt to evacuate immediately.  If evacuation might place you and/or fellow building occupants at risk, take refuge in a room that can be locked.  The room should also provide limited visibility to anyone that is outside of it.  Secure the door and hide under a desk, in a closet or in the corner.
    3. Physical Threat - If someone's actions pose a physical threat to you, get away from the perpetrator, evacuate the area and call Public Safety at x8590 from a safe location.
    4. Toxic or Irritant Gas - Immediately evacuate the building using the same evacuation plan and procedures for fire.
    5. Hostage Situation - Immediately vacate the area, take no chances to endanger the life of the hostage.  Contact Public Safety at x8590 immediately.
    6. Biological / Chemical Threats (Suspicious packages, letters or substances) - Biological or chemical threats targeting individuals or departments can be controlled by screening incoming materials and by following the procedures listed  in Appendix H.
  4. In the event someone is hurt and/or a fire is caused by these events, contact Public Safety at x8590.
  5. The Office of Public Safety will coordinate the building's security during an incident and will inform the occupants once the building has been cleared for occupancy.  An "all-clear" will be communicated via the emergency notification systems once the incident has ended.

7. Severe Weather

  1. The Office of Public Safety has a NOAA Weather radio in its main office.  This radio is dual powered working on both batteries and/or the buildings electrical service.  This radio will be activated by the National Weather Service to announce any watches or warnings.  The Office of Public Safety will monitor this radio for any emergency announcements and notify the campus community of any warnings.  Additionally, any campus personnel who becomes aware of a severe weather warning will immediately notify the Office of Public Safety.  The Office of Public Safety will immediately notify campus personnel by activating the campus emergency sirens.  This procedure is addressed in Attachment L of this document.  This may be followed up with additional communication by word of mouth, telephone, email/text message, or public address announcement.  This notification will advise building occupants of the type of warning (thunderstorm, tornado or flood) and to implement the emergency action plan for severe weather.
  2. Once occupants have become aware of a severe thunderstorm warning, they should take no steps other than to ensure they are prepared if conditions deteriorate.
  3. Tornado Warning is identified by the sounding of the emergency sirens for one minute followed by fifteen (15) minutes of silence for the campus community, a weather radio alert tone broadcast by the National Weather Service, or notification by a local media outlet.  Although the sirens may not be heard throughout all of campus, communication methods listed will be utilized.  A Tornado Warning indicates that a tornado has been confirmed by Doppler radar within Vigo County by the National Weather Service and all campus personnel must take immediate action.
  4. Once occupants have been notified of a tornado warning, they should take cover to the lowest level of the building.  In most buildings the safest area is the basement.  If a basement is not available, occupants should move to the central portion of the building on the lowest floor possible away from outside walls and glass.  Large unsupported roof structures, as typically found in auditoriums and gymnasiums, should be avoided.  Personnel should anticipate the tornado warning will extend for a significant period of time, perhaps thirty (30) minutes or longer.  A battery operated radio tuned to any local AM or FM radio station will provide current weather information.  Personnel should not leave shelter until a period of at least ten (10) minutes has elapsed without any further alerts, or the emergency notification system announces an "all clear."
  5. Classroom instructors are expected to interrupt class activity and advise the students   to move to the safest area available.  Should the allotted class time expire during the   warning, the instructor should encourage the students to remain in the safe area until   the all clear is given.
  6. Persons with disabilities should be provided assistance, if requested, on the same       basis as described in the fire evacuation procedure.

The advisability of moving a disabled person from one floor to another as previously discussed applies equally to a tornado warning.  It is recommended that persons in wheelchairs be assisted to the safest area on the same floor.  The decision to remain with a disabled person would be the option for any individual providing assistance.

Elevators should not be used to move disabled persons during a tornado warning as the potential for electrical malfunction is considered to be too high to warrant the risk.

8. Utility Outages

Employees will become aware of utility interruptions by the obvious absence of that particular utility.

  • No Lights, Computers not working - Electric
  • Toilets won't flush, drinking fountains not working - Water
  • Inability to place outgoing telephone calls - Telephone
  • No Heat - Steam or Gas
  • No Air Conditioning - Electric or Chilled Water
  1. The Office of Public Safety should be notified. They will contact Facilities at (812)877-8425 or the On-Call Supervisor to report the problem and obtain any additional information.
  2. While a power interruption does not usually cause emergencies within a facility or injuries to its employees, hazards may be created by outages.  The Office of Public Safety in conjunction with President and Chief Administrative Officer will determine the appropriate course of action.  The Office of Public Safety and Institute's Cabinet should consider the following issues:
    1. Dangers from tripping and injuries due to lights being out.
    2. Person(s) trapped on elevators.
    3. Dangers from extreme heat or cold on employees.
    4. Inability to contact responders if an emergency occurs while telephones are out.
    5. Sanitation problems due to no water, etc.
  3. The President and Chief Administrative Officer will make a decision regarding the continuance of work in the buildings affected by the utility interruption.  Any occupant who comes into contact with a student or visitor should direct them to take appropriate actions.  Any occupant who comes into contact with a visitor or student who is physically disabled should assist those individuals.
  4. If laboratory research is underway during a utility interruption, the research should cease until the utility has been restored.  Experiments, chemical processes and operating electric equipment should be stopped in a manner that would not cause additional problems.
  5. If anyone is trapped on an elevator, immediately call Facilities at (812) 877-8425, (after normal business hours call Public Safety at x8590) or if there is a medical emergency or danger to the health of those who are trapped, call Public Safety at x8590 immediately.

9. Medical Emergencies

  1. In case of medical emergencies, immediately call Office of Public Safety at x8590 and report the emergency.
  2. When reporting the emergency, provide the following information:
    1. Your name.
    2. Type of emergency.
    3. Location of the victim.
    4. Condition of the victim.
    5. Any dangerous conditions.
    6. Comfort the victim and try not to move him or her until emergency medical personnel arrive.  Practice universal precautions - protect yourself from blood or body fluid exposures, as described in the Exposure Control Program.
  3. Have someone standby outside the building to "flag down" EMS when they reach the vicinity of the building.
  4. If applicable, an employee accident report should be completed.
  5. For any special circumstances of possible epidemics or pandemics on the Rose-Hulman campus, the Emergency Management Team will convene and determine the appropriate response to each situation on a case by case basis.

10. Pandemic Influenza

When a pandemic influenza (PI) is identified within the United States the Emergency Management Team will convene in order to prepare for the implementation of the RHIT Pandemic Influenza Response Plan.  Refer to Appendix K.

  1. Key functional departments have established plans that will be vital for the continuity of business for our Institute.  These key functions include: Business and Finance, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Administrative Services, and Facilities Operations.
  2. Essential personnel who have been identified by name, title or position, will be required to report to work at RHIT in order to maintain support services.
  3. RHIT will receive its directions from local, state and/or federal government agencies as to the severity and precise locations of the outbreak of the PI.  It is anticipated the decision to cease operations at the Institute will come directly from the Vigo County Health Department, at which time RHIT may have to suspend classes and work activity.
  4. Many decisions on how the campus will continue to operate once the Institute has suspended classes and work activity will be determined by the President and the Chief Administrative Officer.   Some of the items that will need to be considered are: payroll continuance, grading distribution, research activities, vivarium activities, tuition refunds, campus residency, sick pay, vacation, and many others.

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I. Employee Orientation

New employees will be informed of the ERP as part of their orientation. This initial plan and all significant revisions to the plan will be routed to all personnel.  The faculty and staff shall be periodically reminded of the plan as necessary and encouraged to discuss with their research groups, students and visitors.

J. Review and Exercise of ERP

On an annual basis, the entire Institute shall exercise the ERP.  These activities may include a fire drill, chemical spill drill, bomb threat drill, etc.  Additionally, the ERP should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure employee listings, emergency phone numbers, and other relevant information is current.

Appendix A

Insert Department Name Here

Responsible Individuals

Emergency Contact

Alternate Emergency Contact





Physical location (room number)

Physical location (room number)

Phone number

Phone number

E-mail address

E-mail address

Equipment Available for Emergency Use

Current Physical Location - Building and Room #


A copy of this sheet should be sent to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at CM-29 - Facilities Operations, Room FAC-101 when completed and anytime changes are made.

Appendix B

Unusually Hazardous Locations and Key Laboratory Personnel

Appendix Unusually Hazardous Locations and Key Laboratory Personnel

The following areas have been identified as unusually hazardous locations. The first responsibility in case of an emergency is getting you to safety. If time permits, it is recommended that all hazardous processes, gas and power in these areas be shut down by the operator before evacuating the building.

List unusually hazardous locations; the Principal Investigator and/or lab contacts are for each location and how to contact them.

Effective Date: January 1, 2008



Lab Contact:



Dr. Jameel Ahmed

Shannon Tieken



Dr. Michael Mueller

Cyndi Erwin

Ether, acids, alcohols, etc.


Dr. Maarij Syed

Albert McGarvey

Radioactive sources

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Appendix C

Building Evacuation Plans

Appendix on Plans

The evacuation plans should be used as a guide in developing evacuation procedures for all building occupants. Evacuation routes should be available for review by employees and posted at various locations. Contact OEHS, at (812)877-8124, for building floor plans or assistance in identifying assembly points.

A. Evacuation Plans

These evacuation floor plans identify exits and exit routes for the building. Occupants should go to the nearest exit when the alarm system is activated. If access to the nearest exit is obstructed, the alternate exit should be taken. Evacuation Plans are posted throughout the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology campus and are available upon request from Facilities Operations.

B. Assembly Points

Each department shall establish outside assembly points. Indicate each floor's designated assembly point(s) on or below a floor plan or map.

C. Outside Assembly Point

The assembly point(s) should be an open area away from the building and out of the way of responding emergency personnel. Occupants should meet after evacuation so they may be accounted for or lend assistance as needed. There may be more than one assembly point depending on the size of the building, department and the location of the exits.

Appendix D

Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities


This appendix provides a general guideline of evacuation procedures for persons with disabilities, which would make exiting difficult during fire and other building emergencies. Faculty, staff, students and visitors with disabilities must develop their own facilities' evacuation plans and identify their primary and secondary evacuation routes from each building they use.

  • Be familiar with evacuation options.
  • Seek evacuation assistants who are willing to assist in case of an emergency.
  • Ask supervisors, instructors, or Environmental Health &Safety about evacuation plans for buildings.

Most RHIT buildings have accessible exits at the ground level floor that can be used during an emergency. However, in most RHIT buildings, people located on floors above ground level will need to use stairways to reach building exits. Elevators cannot be used because they have been shown to be unsafe to use in an emergency.

Evacuation Options

Persons without disabilities must evacuate to the nearest exit. Persons with disabilities have four basic evacuation options.

  • Horizontal Evacuation: using building exits to the outside ground level or, on upper floors, going into unaffected wings or smoke divisions of multi-building complexes.
  • Stairway Evacuation: using steps to reach ground level exits from the building.
  • Stay in Place: unless danger is imminent, remaining in a room with an exterior window, a telephone and a solid or fire-resistant door. With this approach, the person may keep in contact with Public Safety by dialing x8590 and reporting his or her location directly. Emergency services will immediately relay this location to on-site emergency personnel, who will determine the necessity for evacuation. Phone lines are expected to remain in service during most building emergencies. If the phone lines fail, the individual can signal from the window by waving a cloth or other visible object.
    • The Stay in Place approach may be more appropriate for sprinkler protected buildings or buildings where an "area of rescue assistance" is not nearby or available. It may also be more appropriate for an occupant who is alone when the alarm sounds. A "solid" or fire-resistant door can be identified by a fire label on the jam and frame. Non-labeled 1 3/4 inch thick solid core wood doors hung on a metal frame also offer good fire resistance.
  • Area of rescue assistance: with an evacuation assistant, go to an area of rescue assistance away from obvious danger. The evacuation assistant will then go to the building evacuation assembly point and notify the on-site emergency personnel of the location of the person with a disability. Emergency personnel will determine if further evacuation is necessary.

Possible areas of refuge include: fire rated corridors or vestibules adjacent to exit stairs, and pressurized elevator lobbies. Many campus buildings feature fire rated corridor construction that may offer safe refuge. Taking a position in a rated corridor next to the stair is a good alternative to a small stair landing crowded with the other building occupants using the stairway. For assistance in identifying areas of refuge, call OEHS at (812) 877-8124.

For false or needless alarms or an isolated and contained fire, a person with a disability may not have to evacuate. The decision to evacuate will be made by the Terre Haute Fire Department (THFD). The THFD will tell the individual their decision or relay the information via Public Safety.

Disability Guidelines

Prior planning and practicing of emergency evacuation routes are important in assuring a safe evacuation.

Mobility Impaired - Wheelchair

Persons using wheelchairs should stay in place, or move to an area of rescue assistance with their assistant when the alarm sounds. The evacuation assistant should then proceed to the evacuation assembly point outside the building and tell THFD or Public Safety the location of the person with a disability. If the person with a disability is alone, he/she should call Public Safety at x8590 with their location and the area of rescue assistance they are headed to.

If the stair landing is chosen as the area of rescue assistance, please note that many campus buildings have relatively small stair landings and wheelchair users are advised to wait until the heavy traffic has passed before entering the stairway.

Stairway evacuation of wheelchair users should be conducted by trained professionals (THFD). Only in situations of extreme danger should untrained people attempt to evacuate wheelchair users. Moving a wheelchair down stairs is never safe.

Mobility Impaired - Non-Wheelchair

Persons with mobility impairments, who are able to walk independently, may be able to negotiate stairs in an emergency with minor assistance. If danger is imminent, the individual should wait until the heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. If there is no immediate danger (detectable smoke, fire, or unusual odor), the person with a disability may choose to stay in the building, using the other options, until the emergency personnel arrive and determine if evacuation is necessary.

Hearing Impaired

Most buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm strobe lights. Persons with hearing impairments may not hear audio emergency alarms and will need to be alerted of emergency situations. Emergency instructions can be given by writing a short explicit note to evacuate.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with hearing impairments may be met by modifying the building fire alarm system, particularly for occupants who spend most of their day in one location. Persons needing such accommodation should contact the Office of Public Safety.

Visually Impaired

Most people with a visual impairment will be familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes. Since the emergency evacuation route is likely different from the commonly traveled route, persons who are visually impaired may need assistance in evacuating. The assistant should offer their elbow to the individual with a visual impairment and guide him or her through the evacuation route. During the evacuation the assistant should communicate as necessary to assure safe evacuation.

Appendix E

Classrooms and Teaching Laboratories

Emergency Procedures for Faculty, Lecturers, and Teaching Assistants

Instructor's Responsibility

"Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology holds in the highest regard the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors. It is the policy of the Institute to provide a loss-control program that protects employees from occupational injuries and illnesses, protects Institute property from loss and damage, and protects the environment. Operational procedures as developed by Institute safety organizations will be implemented and enforced by all Institute department/administrative units consistent with the federal, state, and local regulations."

Consistent with this policy, instructors must:

  • Provide his or her class or audience with general information relating to emergency procedures. This information should be shared during the first week of class or at the start of a seminar. Please note the posted information for "Classroom Emergency Procedures".
  • Know how to report an emergency from the classroom being used.
  • Assure that persons with disabilities have the information they need. The instructor should be familiar with the individual student's needs and be able to direct visitors with disabilities.
  • Take responsibility for the classroom occupants and follow emergency procedures for all building alarms and emergencies.

Supplemental Information

As an instructor, what do I need to know about Emergency Preparedness?

Every Institute department should review the written Emergency Response Plan covering specific procedures for their facility and employees. These plans will cover events such as: fire, earthquake, power outage, bomb threat, hazardous material spills, severe weather, etc. Instructors will find it helpful to review the plans for the buildings in which they teach to see if the plans differ from the general information provided here.

The "Instructor" is an authoritative figure for the student, either consciously or subconsciously, and can influence how the student responds in an emergency. Calm, collected and clear directions by the instructor will have a calming effect on the students. In order for the instructor to exhibit this control he or she must be prepared for emergencies.

  1. Evacuation Routes - Unless unusual conditions dictate otherwise, the best evacuation route is the nearest stairway and out the nearest exit.
  2. Emergency Assembly Points - After the class leaves the alarmed building or area, it is important for them to go to a pre-determined area where the presence of persons can be documented. This "safe area" will be a designated Emergency Assembly Point where the class will not interfere with responding emergency services nor place themselves at risk of injury from the emergency. Evacuation routes in most Institute buildings lead the occupants out the building. However, in some buildings the evacuation routes may lead occupants horizontally into another wing or down a couple of floors below the source of the alarm. These buildings may have Emergency Assembly Points for both inside and outside the building.
    • Accounting for all students can be very difficult, particularly with a large class. However, an attempt must be made. For example, it might be possible for the instructor to: wait until all the students have left the room/lab, use the class roster, use a head count or have students see if the students seated next to them are at the assembly point. You must also account for persons with disabilities (See below).
  3. Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities - If there is a person with a disability in the class, the instructor must be knowledgeable of their response and who may be assisting them. Four options are available to persons with disabilities:
    • Horizontal Evacuation to outside or another building, if available.
    • Stairway Evacuation.
    • Stay in Place, unless danger is imminent.
    • Area of rescue assistance if available.

Elevators cannot be used during an emergency evacuation!

See Appendix D for additional information.

  1. Reporting to Office of Public Safety - After exiting and accounting for students, the Instructor shall notify the Office of Public Safety of persons missing or trapped or persons with disabilities that are waiting assistance in areas of refuge.
  2. Fire Alarms - Fire alarms will sound and may include strobe lights for people with hearing disabilities. When the alarm sounds, everyone must exit the alarmed area according to the evacuation plan.
  3. Everyone Must Evacuate Immediately!
    • Procedures that may be hazardous if left unattended should beshut down.
    • Verify that everyone leaves and that all the doors are closed. Closed doors significantly reduce fire and smoke damage.
  4. Earthquakes - Most injuries that occur during earthquakes are caused by interior items falling on the building occupants, such as books, shelves, light fixtures, ceiling tiles and office equipment. Consequently, the first thing to do during an earthquake is to have everyone drop to the floor, cover their head, and hold that position. After the shaking stops, and if there is building damage, tell the class to collect their possessions calmly and evacuate the building to the Emergency Assembly Point. Caution them to watch for brick and other exterior building materials that may have been knocked loose by the earthquake.

Procedures that may be hazardous if left unattended should be shut down.

  1. What to Expect in a Power Outage - The Institute campus power system served by Duke Energy has proven to be reliable, even during major windstorms. Many campus buildings are provided with emergency lighting or standby power from emergency generators. This system is automatic and should be operational within 60 seconds. Consequently, if the power does go out during class, have the people stay in their seats for a little while and wait for the power to return. If the power does not return in a reasonable length of time (~ 5 minutes) then evacuate the classroom or laboratory. Evacuation should take advantage of available lighting unless the building is in alarm, and then use the same evacuation procedures as during a fire. Caution students that there is no rush and they should take their time exiting the building. Emergency lighting may or may not be functioning in the room, hallway or stairways.
  2. How to Report an Emergency - Check each classroom, lecture hall or laboratory for the nearest working telephone, the nearest life safety (fire) alarm pull station and the nearest fire extinguisher.
    1. Fire - Activate Fire Alarm Pull Station and if possible, call x8590
    2. Health/Police, call x8590
    3. Hazardous Material Spill, call x8590
    4. Facility or Utility Failure, call x8425
    5. After Normal Business Hours, call x8590
  3. What Emergency Preparedness materials should I have with me at class?
    • Roster
    • Important telephone numbers (in addition to Emergency numbers)
      • Department Administrator/Manager
      • Classroom Services
      • Student Services
      • Other - as appropriate

Classroom Emergency Procedures

  1. When you hear the fire alarm
    • Everyone should calmly collect his or her coats and books and exit the classroom, lecture hall or laboratory. Please turn off the gas supplies in laboratories.
    • Leave the room / lab and go the nearest building exit. Know the location of alternate exits.
    • The elevators cannot be used during a fire alarm!
    • Go to the Emergency Assembly Point. Exception: Persons with disabilities may choose to remain in place or report to an area of rescue assistance. See Appendix D of the ERP for additional information.
  2. When there is a power outage
    • Everyone should stay in his or her seat to see if the outage is temporary and to let his or her eyes adjust to the lower light level.
    • If the outage appears to be long term, everyone should calmly collect their materials and carefully exit the building.
  3. If there is an earthquake
    • Drop and Cover your head for protection from material that might fall from the ceiling or walls.
    • After the shaking stops, calmly evacuate the building.
  4. 4. If there is an Active Shooter on Campus…
    • If the presence of an "active shooter" takes place on campus, all faculty, staff and students should barricade themselves in whatever room they are located in by locking the door, placing furniture in front of the door, turning off all lights, and remaining quiet.
    • The Office of Public Safety will implement the approval process for Appendix L in order to activate the emergency notification systems that will communicate to the campus community that an act of violence has occurred on campus.
    • Remain in this status until local emergency personnel or law enforcement conduct their investigation of the building and determine it is safe to exit the building. Only with their notification will campus emergency response personnel then conduct room-to-room searches notifying faculty, staff and students

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Appendix F

Bomb Threat (Explosive Device) Information Data Card

This sheet (or a similar one) should be used when a bomb threat is received via the telephone.

The Office of Public Safety will provide copies of a bomb threat data card upon request.

RHIT Office of Public Safety


Caller's Voice:





Explosive Device





Data Card








Place this Card Under your Telephone








Questions to Ask



Clearing throat



Deep breathing


1. When is the explosive devise set to explode?



Cracking voice





2. Where is it right now?








3. What does it look like?


If voice is familiar, whom did it sound like?


4. What kind of explosive device is it?


5. What will cause it to explode?


Background Sounds:


6. Did you place the explosive device?


Street Noises

Animal Sounds


7. Why?





PA system



8. What is your address?





House Sounds

Long Distance


9. What is your name?


Office Sounds

Phone Booth


Factory Sounds



Exact Wording of the Threat:


Threat Language:


Well spoken











Sex of Caller: Race/Nationality:


Age: Length of Call:


Immediately call the Office of Public Safety


Number at which call was received:


at (812) 877-8590


Give responding officers this completed card.


Time: Date:


Date: Name:


Position: Phone #:


Appendix G

Hazardous Chemical Spill Cleanup Guidelines

The following guidelines are offered to help you decide if you should clean up a chemical spill.

Who Cleans Up the Spill?

You Clean Up the Spill

For chemical spills which do not involve injury, do not represent a fire or life hazard, are less than one gallon and for which you have the proper training and proper personal protective equipment to do the clean up, you clean up the spill. If there are any questions concerning a particular spill situation, contact OEHS.

EHS Cleans Up the Spill

For all other chemical spill situations, including those for which you have any questions or doubts about your ability to cleanup the spill, call Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at (812) 877-8124. The situation will be evaluated and a proper response will follow. After hours, call x8590. Report all injuries, fires, explosions, and potential life-threatening situations first to 9-1-1, then to OEHS. If the chemical spill is too large for the Institute to clean up, the Terre Haute Fire Department HazMat Team and/or private contractors will be called in to handle the clean up procedures.

Planning For Chemical Spill Emergencies

  1. Prepare an Emergency Telephone Sheet.
  2. The sheet should contain the following information and should be posted by each telephone.
    • Name and phone number of any on-site emergency personnel.
    • Emergency telephone number: x8590
    • Environmental Health and Safety telephone number: 877-8124
    • Location of the fire extinguishers.
    • Location of the spill control equipment.
    • Location of the fire alarm.
  3. Train all employees in chemical spill procedures when they are first hired and periodically thereafter. Document training and have the employee and supervisor sign the documentation form to certify that the training was given. Keep the certification forms on file.
  4. You can assist OEHS by drawing a map of your lab or service area and clearly labeling where chemicals and waste chemicals are stored. Fire extinguishers, eyewashes, spill kits, exit routes and any additional hazards should be clearly marked. Keep a copy of the map in the main office of your department and send a copy to OEHS. If an emergency does occur, your main office or OEHS could provide advance warning to emergency response personnel of hazards in the room. Update these maps whenever chemical management practices change in the room.

Hazardous Chemical Spill Cleanup Guidelines

Chemical spill or hazardous materials emergency situations should be handled as a fire emergency. Initial response in afire situation can be summarized as RESCUE, CONFINE, REPORT, SECURE, and CLEANUP (FIGHT FIRE). These principles can also be applied to a hazardous materials spill situation.


Just as you are not to reenter a burning building, do not go back in to an area where a chemical spill has occurred. In many documented cases, rescuers not wearing proper protective equipment have been overcome by toxic or asphyxiating fumes trying to rescue other victims and died as a result. Do not make this mistake.

As you leave an area involved in a chemical spill, assist people exiting the area by doing the following:

  • Evacuate personnel from the spill area.
  • Direct personnel to the nearest fire exit. Do not use the elevators.
  • Attend to victims.

First Aid

  • Remove victim from spill area to fresh air (but do not endanger your own life by entering areas with toxic gases).
  • Immediately remove contaminated clothing.
  • Wash skin with water.
  • Flush skin and/or eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. (You may not feel any immediate effect from a chemical spill, but it is important to wash quickly and thoroughly because many chemicals can cause severe tissue damage which is not apparent until hours later.)
  • Get medical attention for victims.

Chemical spills over large body areas

  • Remove contaminated clothing while under a shower.
  • Flood affected body area with water for 15 minutes.
  • Resume water wash if pain returns.
  • Wash off chemicals with water; do not use neutralizing chemicals, creams, lotions or salves.
  • Make sure medical personnel understand exactly what chemical is involved.


  • Close all doors.
  • Isolate area.
  • Establish exhaust ventilation if possible.
  • Open windows if possible without exposing yourself to the fumes.


Call 911 and Public Safety (x8590):

  • For spills that involve injury requiring medical treatment.
  • For spills that involve fire or explosion hazards.
  • For spills which are potentially life threatening.
  • For all chemical spills after work hours (4:30 PM -7:30 AM).

Call OEHS at 877-8124:

  • For chemical spill situations that do not require 9-1-1 assistance.
  • For spills of one gallon or more of any chemical, or any quantity of a highly reactive or toxic material.
  • For spills of an unknown chemical.
  • For spills that you do not have proper training or proper personal protective equipment to do the cleanup.
  • For spills for which you have any questions or doubts about your ability to clean up the spill.

When calling 911 and Public Safety the following information will be requested:

  • Your name, telephone number, and location.
  • Location of the incident.
  • Time and type of incident.
  • Name and quantity of the material involved.
  • The extent of injuries, if any.
  • The possible hazards to human health or the environment outside the facility.
  • Other hazards that may be encountered in the area, such as large quantities of stored chemicals (particularly oxidizers, flammables, and air-born toxic or irritant materials), radioactive materials, biohazards, etc.


Until emergency responders arrive on the scene, you, your staff and the Office of Public Safety will block off entrances to the spill site and prevent people from entering the contaminated area.

  • Lock doors leading to the chemical spill and post signs on the doors warning of the spill (if necessary).
  • Post staff at commonly used entrances to the spill site, so they can warn people to use other routes.
  • For any large outdoor chemical spill, keep people upwind and uphill from the site.


Based on the chemical spill situations described in "Who Cleans up the Spill" section, decide who will do the cleanup. If you are going to do the cleanup, follow the procedures listed in the "What to do When You Clean Up a Spill" section.

What To Do When You Clean Up A Spill

If you have proper training, proper personal protective equipment and the proper materials to absorb and clean up your chemical spill, and no one has been injured, the spill is contained and the spill is not life threatening or a fire or explosion hazard, and then follow the following procedures:

  1. With the exception that you do not need to report the incident to 911, Public Safety or OEHS, perform all the procedures in the RESCUE, CONFINE, REPORT, and SECURE sections above.
  2. When cleaning up the spill yourself, locate the spill kit.
  3. Choose appropriate personal protective equipment.
  4. Always wear protective gloves and goggles.
    • If there is a chance of body contact, wear an apron or coveralls.
    • If the spill is on the floor, wear protective boots or shoe covers.
    • If there are inhalation hazards, wear a respirator. If a respirator is used, the person wearing the respirator must meet all of the requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1910.134. (These include but are not limited to fit testing and medical exams).
  5. Remove ignition sources.
    • Turn off hot plates, stirring motors and flame sources.
    • Shut down all other equipment.
    • If unable to shut off sources of ignition, notify the emergency responders.
  6. Confine or contain the spill.
    • Cover with an absorbent mixture.
    • Clean up minor spill with paper towels or a sponge if they will not react.
    • Sweep solid materials into a dustpan, and place in a sealed container.
    • If it is an acid/base spill, first add a neutralizing agent.

Small amounts of inorganic acid/base:

  • Use a neutralizing agent and then absorbent material.

Small amounts of other materials:

  • Absorb with non-reactive material (e.g. vermiculite, sand, towels, Floor-Dri).

Large amounts of inorganic acid/base:

  • Neutralize and call for help.

Large amounts of other materials:

  • Make a judgment call, dependent upon the amount, toxicity and reactivity; you may handle it yourself or call for help.

Spills that require special handling:

Acid chlorides:

  • Use Oil-Dri, Zorb-all, dry sand, etc.
  • Avoid water and sodium bicarbonate.


  • Small spills (broken thermometer and smaller quantities of mercury), use an aspirator bulb or suction device. Then mop with mercury decontaminating powder solution (saturated HgX in water or other commercially available products).
  • For (1) larger spills than a broken thermometer, (2) any spill in an oven or heated area and (3) spills in small-unventilated rooms call EHS and ask for mercury vapor monitoring.

Alkali metals:

  • Smother in dry sand.
  • Put in a hood.
  • If possible, dispose of by slow addition of isopropanol.

White (Yellow) Phosphorus:

  • Blanket with wet sand or wet absorbent.
  • Remove absorbent material with a broom and dustpan.
  • Place in a plastic bag or other appropriate container.
  • If the spilled chemical is a volatile solvent, transfer the plastic bag to a fume hood for storage until the material can be picked up.
  • If a material is a non-volatile hazardous chemical, dispose of the material as a hazardous chemical waste.
  • If the spilled material is a non-volatile non-hazardous chemical, contact EHS to determine the appropriate disposal method.
  • Wet mop the spill area.


Questions may arise as to what constitutes a large spill requiring OEHS or other parties to cleanup or oversee the cleanup procedures and what are the limitations of commercially available spill cleanup kits.

A "large" chemical spill can be as small as a few milliliters if the material is a highly volatile, toxic or reactive compound spilled in a confined space. Many times you will have to make a professional judgment as to the severity of the spill. When in doubt, you can always call OEHS at 877-8124 for advice.

Chemical spill cleanup kits are a must in the laboratory and other service areas that use chemicals. The kits are very useful if you and your fellow workers know how to use them properly. Chemical absorbents or neutralizers can be used quickly and effectively to contain a spill. Use these items if your personal safety is not in jeopardy. If in your judgment a respirator is necessary to clean up the spill, secure the room and call OEHS to aid in the spill clean up.

Be aware of the fact that while you may be in a well ventilated room, the Lower Explosion Limit (LEL) of a chemical may be reached at the surface of the spill and you want to avoid any sparks or sources of ignition when doing the cleanup. The protective equipment in a spill kit will not protect you from a flash fire. Many times the best way to handle the spill of a highly volatile compound, such as diethyl ether or chloroform, is to open the windows and fume hoods, leave the room, close the doors and let the room air out. In these cases, call OEHS at 877-8124, so they can send someone to monitor the situation. If in your professional opinion, there is a strong risk of fire or explosion, call 911, Public Safety or OEHS for fire department backup, pull the building alarm and evacuate the building. In most cases of a chemical bottle breaking in a laboratory, you will not need to call the fire department.

Do not forget that any person who needs to wear a respirator must be fit tested, have a medical exam and meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134.

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Appendix H

Biological or Chemical Threats

(Suspicious Packages, Letters or Substances)

Screening Packages and Letters

Biological or chemical threats targeting individuals or departments can be controlled by screening incoming materials and by following the procedures listed below. Institute, City of Terre Haute and State of Indiana Public Safety agencies have plans in place to deal with these types of threats. Following the procedures below will activate those plans and promote the highest level of safety while minimizing the disruption associated with these incidents. Common features of suspect letters/packages are:

  • Liquid leaking from package
  • No return address
  • Hand written or poorly typed address
  • Misspelling of common words
  • Restrictive markings such as "Confidential", "Personal", etc.
  • Excessive weight and/or feel of a powdery or foreign substance
  • Foreign post marks and / or writing
  • Source of the letter / package is not recognized by recipient / addressee

If you receive a letter or note threatening biological contamination or other suspect substances:

  1. Relax and remain calm - Although any threatened use of a biological agent must be treated as though it is real, experience has demonstrated that these are likely to be a hoax. If the suspected biological agent is reported as anthrax, be assured that it is NOT generally contagious (i.e., spread from person to person) and that treatment is available and effective if administered before the onset of symptoms.
  2. Do not open the letter or package.
  3. Contact Public Safety at x8590.
    • Remain at the site until officers arrive with instructions. Public Safety / Healthcare responders can evaluate the risk to those in the room at the time of potential exposure, as well as any impact on the remainder of the building.
  4. If you inadvertently open a suspect package / letter or it is leaking (liquid or unknown substance):
    • Immediately set them down gently at the location where it was opened.
    • Contact Public Safety at x8590.
    • All potentially exposed persons should wash exposed skin surfaces with soap and water. Shut down any fans, air conditioners or heaters if possible.
    • Return to an area within the building adjacent to the initial exposure and wait for the police (for example hallway outside original room).
    • Do not allow others into the area. If anyone enters the area, they should stay in the area until instructed to leave by Public Safety.

Public Safety / Healthcare responders can evaluate the risk to those in the room at the time of potential exposure, as well as any impact on the remainder of the building. Based upon that risk assessment, further emergency measures may be implemented as necessary. If the risk is found to be minimal, other areas of the facility will not be disrupted and any necessary actions to return the affected area to normal activity will begin as soon as possible.

What you should not do

  1. Do not pass the letter or package to others to examine.
  2. Do not touch, smell, taste or try to analyze the substance.
  3. Do not disturb any contents in the letter or package. Handling the letter / package may only spread the substance inside and increase the chances of it getting into the air.
  4. Do not ignore the threat; it must be treated as real until properly evaluated.
    • Do not leave the building until instructed to do so.

If you have further questions contact Office of Environmental Health and Safety at x8124 or Public Safety at x8590.

Appendix I

Bomb Threat Assessment (Evacuation) Procedure

The general policy is to review each situation or circumstances as it presents itself.

A decision to evacuate or not to evacuate will be reached by consensus among the most senior or authorized building / facility official and the most senior Institute Public Safety official.

If these individuals are unable to reach consensus, the most senior Institute Public Safety official will decide (based on the information available at the time).

Insofar as is possible, the desires of the building / facility leadership will be honored and supported by Institute Public Safety and police personnel.

A key component of this policy is that the considerations of people will take precedence over that of property.

In all aspects of this policy, as the situation allows itself or as is appropriate, the most senior Institute Public Safety official will communicate the nature of the situation and consult with the President and Chief Administrative Officer, the Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, and the Office of the President.

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Appendix J

Emergency Management Team

Roles and Responsibility

Policy Group - (President's Cabinet)

Function: The Policy Group develops clear directions in critical areas to be incorporated into the comprehensive emergency management plan.

Technique: When operating in a planned pre-crisis situation, the Policy Group has the responsibility to confront the entire spectrum of responses and resources necessary to make decisions in critical areas. With input from the coordination and command levels, this group should be aware of what can and cannot be planned for before a real emergency.

Control Group - (Emergency Operations Center)

Function: The Control Group develops the basic plan that deal with authority, organizational staffing, essential facilities, and general operations common to all emergencies.

Technique: Control - This group has a pre-crisis function to plan for and get agreements about making all of the elements work. With the support of the Policy Group, the Control Group, must determine and put in place those elements that can be pre-planned. This group is responsible for dealing with such variables as multi-jurisdictional emergencies and specific types of disasters. It should take responsibility for testing and evaluating the different components of the comprehensive emergency management plan.

Operational Group - (Emergency Operations Center)

Function: The Operational Response Group develops, practices, and enforces a clear series of specific action steps to accomplish the elements of the basic plan; e.g., establishing standard operating procedures as designated in the plan for emergency medical services, fire, police, public works, and the private sector.

Technique: Command - This group carries out with clear Chain of Command authority the operating procedures as described in the comprehensive emergency management plan.

Field Response Group- (Public Safety - Integrated Emergency Services)

Function: The Field Response Group consists of on-line personnel and equipment designated to execute the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Technique: Command - This group operates under chain of command.

Role of the Emergency Coordinator:

The emergency manager has the overall responsibility for knowing what exists, where it is, and how to obtain it.

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