Frequently Asked Questions

   

Emergency Management FAQs

  • Keep your contact information updated in the Emergency Alert System (EAS).  If you need to add, verify, or update your emergency contact number in the Emergency Alert System (EAS), visit https://webadvisor.sacredheart.edu
  • Review the Emergency Management information provided in the SHU Department of Public Safety website:
    • Emergency Notification Student Video
    • Emergency Plan
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Evacuation Coordinators Procedures
    • Emergency Management & Department of Public Safety Posters
    • Know What to Do in an Emergency
    • Student Emergency Guide
    • Incident-Specific Guides
    • Training Materials
  • Watch for text and email updates from SHU Department of Public Safety
  • Follow social media – Twitter/Facebook
  • Follow instructions from University personnel
  • Participate in drills and practices
  • SHU’s website www.sacredheart.edu
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a basic disaster preparedness supply list at http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit
  • SHU’s information line 203-365-7669 provides information updates for unplanned closures, delayed openings, early closures due to weather, or other unforeseen circumstances.

SHU’s Emergency Notification System consists of many different modes of communication, because no single method can reach every person, every time.  Once the potential threat is identified and until it is resolved, SHU will communicate with you using one or more of these methods: 

  • SHU’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) will officially notify you of an emergency on campus, plus provide direction and updates.  SHU EAS messages will be text, voice, email.
  • Classroom wall-mounted phones will also be utilized to send messages to faculty and students in classrooms 
  • Cell calls, text messages, emails
  • Social media – Twitter/Facebook
  • SHU Classroom Podium Computers – Emergency Management icon with Access to Procedures – icon links to the Department of Public Safety site screen “Know What to Do in an Emergency”
  • Messages on public address speakers from emergency service vehicles (SHU Department of Public Safety, police, fire, EMS, etc.)
  • University personnel
  • SHU website www.sacredheart.edu
  • SHU information line 203-365-7669
  • Word of mouth – learn from others; tell others
  • Interdepartmental phone tree procedure
  • What action to take
  • The type of emergency
  • Which SHU area is affected (i.e., Main Campus, Park Ridge, Oakview, etc.)
  • When the emergency began
  • When the emergency has ended – an “all clear” announcement
  • Updates will be posted on the SHU website www.sacredheart.edu and sent through the SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS)
  • Follow-up messages will be sent as Tweets by SHU official site (via SHU Marketing and Communications Department)
  • Emergencies are changing situations; while every effort will be made to post timely updates, there will be times when you may be expecting more information than emergency officials have been able to secure.  When in doubt, remain sheltered, evacuated, or locked down until instructed otherwise.
  • SHU will act out of an abundance of caution, and it’s critical to heed instructions or warnings given until instructed otherwise
  • In the case of major emergencies, text messages, email, University personnel, Twitter, Facebook, SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS), and the SHU website will be used
  • In the case of smaller, localized emergencies, the affected segmented groups will be notified directly by the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders.  Again, circumstances will determine the types of communication used.
  • There are a number of reasons you may experience this:
    • Areas in buildings with weaker cell reception or an especially high volume of cell phone traffic can affect how long it takes for your phone to receive a call or text.
    • SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages are sent to cell phone carriers in less than one minute, cell phone towers and carriers often experience network congestion causing delays.  For this reason we do not rely solely on cell and text messages.
    • A dramatic increase in cell phone use during an emergency also can cause delays in message/call delivery.  (Please only use cell for emergency assistance.)
  • These are handled on a case-by-case basis, but a campus-wide SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS) message may not be distributed if an emergency situation is confined to a particular area of campus and the threat is contained.  In these instances, SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders may be the primary communications sources or email distribution to specific segmented groups.  Again, circumstances will determine the types of communications used.
  • Seek Shelter - Weather threats including tornados and heavy storms or a nearby chemical leak or some other hazard.
    • Seek shelter inside the lowest level of a building and stay away from glass windows and doors.  If there is no basement level, seek shelter in an interior restroom, closet, or hallway.  Do not leave the building until the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders instruct otherwise. 
  • Evacuate– There is a danger inside or near the building such as a fire, gas leak, or chemical spill.
    • Exit the building – do not use elevators – and go to a location assigned by the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders.  Take your cell phone with you.  Do not return to the building until the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders instruct otherwise. 
  • Lockdown– There is a potential assailant, active shooter, or other violence on or near the campus.
    • Depending on the situation:  hide where you are, under furniture; close shades or blinds and stay away from windows; lock and/or barricade doors; turn out lights; remain quiet
    • As a last resort and if confronted, run or fight to defend yourself
    • Call 911 if you can safely provide information to the police, but mute the phone to avoid drawing attention to yourself
    • Remain silent until the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, or first responders instruct otherwise
  • Run, hide, and remain quiet.  As a last resort and if confronted, fight to defend yourself.
  • If the campus is evacuated due to a bomb threat, emergency instructions will be posted on the SHU website www.sacredheart.edu directing you to an assembly area within the community
  • Evacuation directions will be sent over the SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS) and through text messages, email, and cell phones
  • If a SHU Emergency alert is issued and you are off campus, check the SHU website www.sacredheart.edu and stay alert for text and email messages and updates.  Monitor social media and local media outlets.  You should stay away from the campus until an “all clear” or similarly worded announcement is sent.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the alert.  Shelter until you receive an “all clear” or similarly worded announcement from the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, first responders, or the SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS).
  • Remain indoors and follow instructions provided in the alert.  Shelter until you receive an “all clear” or similarly worded announcement from the SHU Department of Public Safety, police, first responders, or the SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS). 
  • SHU has many ways to issue alerts, including the classroom wall-mounted phones utilized to send messages to faculty and students in classrooms.  Faculty members who may have cell phones with them in class also are an important resource in an emergency.
  • Use the Emergency Management icon on the classroom computer to review emergency procedures.

SHU Department of Public Safety will communicate with you using one or more of these methods: 

  • SHU Emergency Alert System (EAS)
  • Classroom wall-mounted phones
  • Cell calls, text messages, emails
  • Social media – Twitter/Facebook
  • SHU website www.sacredheart.edu

 

  • Following every emergency incident at SHU, there is an extensive debriefing process that includes detailed reports and feedback.  The SHU Department of Public Safety prepares “After Action Reports” for lessons learned.
  • Feedback from many sources, including students, faculty, staff, parents, University personnel, and administrators, is taken into consideration.
  • All emergency steps, including response time, warnings and other communications and actions, are closely reviewed and needed improvements are outlined.
  • SHU endorses the national awareness program If You See Something, Say Something™.  Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. 
  • Suspicious activities include:
    • Someone loitering in parking lots, garages, or building hallways
    • Someone you don’t recognize attempting to enter restricted areas of a building
    • Someone you don’t recognize following you or others into a residence hall
    • Someone you don’t recognize taking pictures of doors, transformers, air vents or areas of non-scenic value, or sketching structures
    • Unattended, abandoned, or unusual-looking vehicles parked for prolonged periods of time in the same location
    • Someone asking questions about security procedures
    • Someone wearing unseasonably heavy clothing in weather conditions not related
    • Someone posing as a groundskeeper, campus worker, or other employee without an official ID badge or uniform 
  • Suspicious packages include:
    • Unattended backpack, briefcase, or luggage left in public or high-traffic areas
    • A package, envelope, or device that has an unusual appearance, seems out of place, or cannot be readily identified 
  • SHU Silent Witness Program -What I See and What I Say . . . Could Save Someone! 
    The SHU Silent Witness Program encourages community members, who wish to remain anonymous for any number of reasons, to report any behavioral-related issues or concerns they may have about anyone in the community using an on-line form on the SHU Department of Public Safety website. 
  • To whom should I report something suspicious? 
    • SHU Public Safety Emergency Phone Number 203-371-7911
    • Police/Emergency:  Dial 911
    • SHU Silent Witness Program
  • Public Safety; Emergency Management & Risk Management Contacts: