Periodically, there will be conditions or situations that may warrant the closure of Oakland University, cancellation of classes and/or early releases. Such conditions could also warrant the immediate evacuation of the entire campus (or specific portions). Generally, during the cancellation of classes or early releases, it is not mandatory that facilities be vacated. However, when there may be a potential imminent danger to occupants (such as fire alarm, gas leak, etc.) evacuation of the facilities affected is mandatory.
The procedures for early release of employees, cancellation of classes, and emergency closing of the university due to severe weather conditions, non-functioning of university building systems, or other unforeseen circumstances, are outlined in Administrative Policy #482 .
The notification to evacuate may come from a variety of sources, including one or more of the following:
- emergency text message
- campus-wide email broadcast
- campus-wide telephone voicemail
- OU home page
- local television/radio
- loudspeaker announcements from patrolling police vehicles
- word of mouth
University Housing has developed pre-planned evacuation procedures for all residential facilities. In addition, Academic Affairs has developed procedures to notify staff and/or students in their respective areas in the event of a closure/evacuation during normal business hours and while classes are in session. These procedures are reviewed and shared periodically.
Every individual should become familiar with their own area by locating exits, stairwells, elevators, fire fighting equipment, fire alarms and established areas of refuge. Places of refuge can be in a protected stairway or a room within the structure generally used in fire situations. Ideally, these areas are especially constructed to resist smoke and heat or equipped with a sprinkler system.
- During evacuations, doors to all areas evacuated (except laboratory facilities) should be left open upon exiting the area.
- Elevators are not to be used during evacuations.
- Once evacuated, members of the campus community should remain at least 500 feet away from the exterior of the building or location evacuated (or as otherwise directed by the OU Police).
- Occupants of evacuated buildings will not be allowed to return to the building prior to 30 minutes after the stated time of detonation (or as otherwise directed by the OU Police).
- As additional safety precautions, smoking and/or the use of handheld electronic devices, including two-way radios, cell phones, pagers, etc., are prohibited inside and within 500 feet outside of any building or location in which there is a potential bomb.
Individuals with physical limitations
Even though emergency personnel are usually available to assist with evacuation, this may not always be the case. Those with mobility concerns or other concerns that would make independent evacuation difficult are encouraged to make alternate plans and arrangements in advance which will increase the likelihood that those individuals will be able to exit a facility safely in the event of an emergency.
For those who have difficulty speaking or those with hearing impairments, it may be useful to carry a whistle or a similar device for the purpose of announcing their location to emergency personnel searching for those in need of assistance.
Individuals with physical limitations that may impact their evacuation speed should advise others (supervisors, administrators, instructors, colleagues, fellow students) about any concerns related to emergency exiting and how others could assist them in the event of an emergency. This can include assistance to exits, areas of refuge and alerting emergency personnel of the individual’s location.