Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Procedures

Chico State remains steadfast in its commitment to provide a safe and secure living, learning, and working environment for its community. The University has developed and continually refines the guidelines below to be prepared before, during, and following a major emergency or disaster that could impact the core operations of the University.

During an active emergency that affects the campus community, timely information will be sent out through the Chico State Alerts emergency notification system in the form of text messages, phone calls, and emails. Additional information may be released on social media. All students and employees are strongly encouraged to opt into Chico State Alerts with their full contact information.

  • Active Shooter

    The Chico State active shooter training, Run. Hide. Fight., is an online presentation that includes resources from the Department of Homeland Security. Chico State encourages all students, faculty, and staff to complete the 10-minute training. If an active shooter is in your vicinity, use the following steps to protect yourself:

    • Run: Evacuate IF this is a safe option. Leave your belongings behind, have an escape route and plan in mind, and keep your hands visible to law enforcement as you walk or run to get away from the danger.
    • Hide: If it is not safe to evacuate, hide out of sight from the assailant and block entry and sight into your hiding place. Be very quiet, and turn off cell phones. Remain in place until the danger has passed or instructed to do so by police.
    • Fight: In a last resort case, use physical force to incapacitate the assailant. Throw items, use fire extinguishers, or use other office supplies.
    • Call 911 to report the incident only when it is safe for you to do so. Calling 911 on any campus phone will put you in contact with UPD. Provide as much detail as possible, including location, condition and number of victims, description of suspect(s), weapon used, location or direction of travel of suspects.
    • Monitor official University emergency notification systems (Chico State Alerts and campus email) for further instructions, or an "all clear" signal to resume normal activities.
  • Bomb Threats

    If you see a suspicious object or potential bomb on the campus, DO NOT HANDLE THE OBJECT. Clear the area immediately and call 911 or (530) 898-5555 (UPD). If you receive a bomb threat by telephone:

    • Remain calm, listen carefully to the caller, and attempt to keep them on the line as long as possible while having someone call 911
    • Do not hang up the phone. Try and keep the conversation going by asking questions such as: When will the bomb go off? What will cause the bomb to explode? Where is the bomb? Which building? What kind of bomb is it? Describe it. Describe materials used. Why did you place the bomb? What is your name?
    • Try to observe details about the caller, including phone number, time of call, gender/accent/jargon, etc.
    • No matter how realistic the threat seems, alert others nearby and call 911 from a safe location to report it.
  • Campus or Building Lockdown Order

    Individual room/building or full campus lockdown procedures are used when a threat is significant enough that the University needs to lock building exteriors to prevent unauthorized person(s) from entering. All electronic doors will be locked instantly and will remain so until the appropriate authorities have determined the threat is no longer present.

    • If indoors, seek shelter in an office or classroom. If safe to do so, quickly check hallway and bring others inside the room, etc. Shut, lock and/or barricade doors.
    • Use your best judgment to determine if it’s safe to allow others into a secured room or building.
    • Turn off lights and computers, close curtains or blinds, and cover door windows if possible.
    • Crouch out of sight of doors and windows and conceal yourself as much as possible.
    • Silence cell phones and be very quiet.
    • If outdoors, assess your immediate surroundings and if safe to do so: RUN – leave the area, moving away from the direction of the threat toward a more secure location, HIDE – find a good hiding space that provides concealment, or preferably, cover, FIGHT – as a last resort, engage the threat.
    • If you have just arrived at campus, stay in your vehicle and consider leaving campus or driving to a safer location.
    • Monitor official University emergency notification systems (Chico State Alerts and campus email) for further instructions and wait for "all clear" signal to resume normal activities.
  • Campus or Building Shelter-in-Place Order

    Shelter-in-place procedures are used when it may be more dangerous to evacuate a location than to stay in the assigned area, such as severe weather, police pursuit, etc.

    • If outside, go into the nearest building or take cover outdoors if necessary.
    • If indoors, seek shelter in an office or classroom.
    • Continue to work and proceed with classroom activities if it feels appropriate to do so.
    • If you have just arrived at campus, stay in your vehicle and consider leaving campus or driving to a safer location.
    • Monitor official University emergency notification systems (Chico State Alerts and campus email) for further instructions, or an "all clear" signal to resume normal activities.
  • Earthquakes

    During the shaking:

    • Remain calm, drop, cover, and hold on. If indoors, seek refuge under a stable item and cover the back of your neck and head.
    • Stay away from glass, windows, and overhead lights
    • If outside, move to an open area and stay until the shaking stops
    • Afterward, prepare for aftershocks to occur. Evaluate the situation. Check for personal injuries. Notify UPD of any injuries or immediate health hazards – move away from hazardous situations.
    • Evacuate the building if necessary (using the safest exit routes). Move slowly and carefully. Be aware of broken glass and other items on the floor that can cause you to trip or fall.
  • Evacuation

    If a fire alarm is activated or you are otherwise ordered to evacuate a building:

    • Obey evacuation orders and grab essential items only
    • Use the stairs instead of the elevators
    • If able, help those who may need special assistance
    • Move away from building and proceed to a designated evacuation site. Stay there until you can be accounted for.
    • Do not re-enter the building until you receive the "all clear" from emergency personnel or other official designee.
  • Extreme Heat

    If an extreme heat alert is issued, take the following steps to protect yourself:

    • Limit exposure to outdoor activities and events.
    • Ensure you are properly hydrating and taking time to recover and cool down if outdoor activity is unavoidable.
    • Avoid drinking caffeine and other dehydrating beverages.
    • Keep track of outdoor temperatures and personal comfort levels to know what temperatures feel too hot.
    • If outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible.
    • Relocate to buildings with working air conditioning if necessary.
    • Call 911 if you begin to develop symptoms of significant dehydration or heat stroke (throbbing headache, lightheadedness, nausea/vomiting, severe muscle cramps, seizure, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, lack of sweating).
  • Fire and Fire Evacuation

    If you witness smoke, fire, or an explosion in a building:

    • Pull the nearest fire alarm station and/or call 911.
    • If possible, assist others and remove anyone from immediate danger.
    • Close all doors including interior offices (do not lock the doors.)
    • If you have received "hands-on" fire extinguisher training and are comfortable extinguishing a fire in its early stage, you may attempt to extinguish the fire.
    • Proceed to the nearest safe exit in an orderly fashion.
    • If smoke is present, stay below the smoke. If smoke is heavy, crouch down or crawl if needed until in an area clear of smoke.

    If you hear a fire alarm:

    • Leave the building immediately, avoiding elevators
    • Use the stairs instead of the elevators
    • Walk, do not run to the exit while closing but not locking doors
    • If in heavy smoke, crawl and use clothing as a filter
    • If on fire STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Do not run
    • Alert authorities of anyone who might still be in the building

    If you are trapped in a building or room:

    • Call 911 and provide your location.
    • Move towards the window. If smoke is present, stay as close to the floor as possible.
    • If possible, hang or wave clothing, papers, or other items at the window to get attention.
    • Do not break windows unless instructed to do so, or if your life is in immediate danger.
  • Gas Leaks

    If you smell natural gas odors:

    • Turn off all stoves, open flames, and other potential ignition sources.
    • Call 911.
    • Move people out of the areas in which a gas odor can be detected and open doors and windows on your way out.

    If you have been told to evacuate an area due to a natural gas odor:

    • Turn off all ovens, open flames, and other potential ignition sources.
    • Open windows and doors as you evacuate the area.
    • Convene at the designated Emergency Assembly Points. If you can still smell a gas odor, continue moving farther.
  • Hazardous Materials Release

    The University's Science Building and Holt Hall, as well as various other small laboratories, contain varying amounts of chemicals with hazards from minor to extremely toxic. In the case of shelter-in-place orders, Chico State Alerts will be utilized, as warranted, to warn and protect the campus community and the surrounding areas.

    • For small/low hazard spills, only attempt to clean up spills for which you have the appropriate equipment, training, and level of comfort. Call EHS for advice and notification at 530-898-5126.
    • For large spills or spills of highly hazardous materials, leave the area immediately and call 911. Pull a fire alarm on your way out if evacuation of the building is necessary to prevent injury to others.
    • Do not attempt to clean up the spill on your own and avoid contact with the spill
    • If substance is flammable, turn-off ignition and heat sources
    • Remove any contaminated clothing and wash skin for biological exposure
    • If indoors, close the door to the spill area as you leave to reduce exposure or spread.
    • Even if only suspected, all hazardous materials, leaks, or suspicious odors should be reported to EHS so appropriate action can be taken.
  • Medical Emergencies

    In a medical emergency:

    • Assess if the situation is an urgent medical emergency
    • Yell for help and call or have someone call 911
    • If you are trained and permission is granted, administer first aid
    • Direct emergency personnel to the scene
    • Stay with the victim until emergency personnel arrive
  • Power Failure

    In the event of a power failure, determine if the issue is local (a single building or less) or more widespread.

    • Remain calm and evacuate the building if necessary
    • Use flashlights or your phone's flashlight feature
    • Use caution and limit movement between floors unless required
    • Do not use elevators
    • If trapped in an elevator and the intercom doesn't work call for help
    • Don't attempt to leave the elevator without emergency responders present
  • Railway Incident

    Because of the University's close proximity to rail lines, a railway incident resulting in the release of a hazardous material into the environment could cause a multitude of problems and may trigger shelter-in-place orders. Chico State Alerts will be utilized, as warranted, to warn and protect the campus community and the surrounding areas.

    • Avoid the area identified to be impacted by the release of hazardous materials. Be prepared to evacuate beyond the immediate vicinity, if needed.
    • Follow instructions in Chico State Alerts or by law enforcement officials.
  • Wildfire Smoke/Poor AQI

    During wildfires or other events that impact air quality, EHS will closely monitor the Air Quality Index (AQI) and alert campus when regulations apply or precautions are necessary.

    • Depending on the severity of the AQI, all individuals or sensitive populations including people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
    • Campus events and activities scheduled outdoors that involve prolonged or heavy exertion will be rescheduled to a time when the air quality is better.
    • Outdoor work and prolonged or heavy exertion should be limited where practicable.
    • Employees who work outdoors for more than one hour should be reassigned or provided N95 respirators for voluntary use. Indoor work and/or activities will continue as scheduled.
    • While on campus, the best air quality is inside buildings due to air filtration. Use main building entrances and exits and ensure that windows and doors are kept closed as much as possible to minimize contamination by unfiltered air.
    • You can also monitor current quality conditions at AirNow.