On the heels of Thursday’s tragic shooting on the Virginia Tech campus – the second such tragedy on that campus in recent years – West Virginia University Police are encouraging building supervisors, faculty, staff and students to review emergency procedures in event of a tragedy.
“As we do so, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the Virginia Tech police officer, who was one of the victims, and the Virginia Tech community,” University Police Chief Bob Roberts said.
- Familiarize yourself with the building(s) you regularly use: floor layouts, exits and areas that provide securable shelter. Each building on campus has an individual emergency plan, which has been developed by the specific building supervisor and key employees within the building. The building emergency plan, although individual, serve sto guide staff through emergency evacuations (fire, bomb threat, utility emergencies, etc). If you aren’t aware of it, ask your building supervisor about it.
- If you hear what you think might be gunshots, move away from the sounds of the shots and try to find a secure location as well as an exit strategy. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you can safely do so.
- Observe those around you and alert them to exits or the avoidance of certain areas. If you cannot exit safely, find the closest area/room and hide, locking or barricading the door/area, if possible. If others are in the room with you, spread out, turn the lights off, remain quiet, and formulate a plan of distraction/attack should the threat force its way into the room. Wait for the police or emergency responders to announce/enter, as they will be clearing the building by small teams as quickly as possible.
- If you are approached by police during a crisis like this, do not yell to them and try to point out a threat; wait until they ask you. Stay, or go to your knees, with your hands at shoulder height and fingers spread/palms toward them (showing your compliance and non-threat). Expect that they may be quickly passing you by, assessing you as they go, while moving toward the threat. Officers are trained to move quickly to eliminate a threat, before stopping to treat the injured or to investigate.
- If you receive a WVU Emergency Text Alert advising that a threat is in a particular area/building on campus, avoid that area and remain in a safe place. If you are not signed up for these alerts, do so at: http://emergency.wvu.edu/alert/ . WVU will also provide updates to InfoStations, WVUToday and other websites and through text alerts, which you should monitor if and as safe to do so.
- University Police provide specific training for students and employees in preparing to react to these type of situations (Shots Fired on Campus) as well as training to help you in observing/reacting to those who you interact with that may need help before a problem erupts (Flashpoint on Campus). For campus training, please contact 304-293-3136.
CONTACT: University Relations/News
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