Know What to Do in an Emergency

thanks to student intern Mattie Robinson for authoring this month’s post.

Spring 2019

Now that school is back in session, be sure to review our emergency procedures to ensure your safety on campus. Be prepared for any emergencies, by keeping yourself up to date with what’s going on. During an emergency, look for information updates through texts,, Twitter (@SMU), and Facebook for notifications regarding emergency updates.

Ensure you will receive SMU emergency notifications: Update your cell phone # in My.SMU and be sure to select mobile as your preferred number.

Before an emergency occurs make sure you:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and notice signs of danger in your area; you may have more time to react if you notice danger early.
  • Know when there is a threat for sever weather; find a trusted source for your weather information, whether a smartphone app, social media, a website, television or radio.
  • If you are in a building, always notice the nearest stairways and exits.
  • If you are outside, always notice where you may conceal yourself or cover yourself from the danger of a shooter.


In the event of a campus emergency, it is vital that SMU students, faculty and staff know what to do. Common sense, opportunity, and personal experience all play a part in responding to emergencies. But whether the threat is fire, a weather emergency or an active shooter, preparation for the following three critical responses will be applicable in most emergency situations.


Run, Hide, or Fight


You will receive this notice if there is an intruder with a weapon or the threat of another type of violence on campus.

ACTIONS (Depending on your personal situation and location)

  • RUN – go to a safer location, if that is an option
  • HIDE– get out of sight, remain quiet; lock doors when possible
  • FIGHT – confronted with the violence, collaborate with others to distract the intruder and get away or defend yourselves
  • Warn others and call 214-768-3333 if you have information for Police
  • Wait for campus officials to notify you when to return to normal activities


Find a safe place in the building


Outdoor warning sirens sound to signal there is a severe weather or environmental danger outside


  • Go Inside a building, to bathrooms or interior halls, away from glass doors or windows
  • Monitor one or more media sources
  • Wait for campus officials to notify you when to return to normal activities


Leave your building immediately


Indoor alarms sound or strobe lights flash to signal there is a danger inside or near the building, such as fire


  • Go Outside the building; assist those who are disabled
  • Take valuables and cell phone with you
  • Proceed to the assembly area outside
  • Wait for campus officials to notify you when to return to normal activities.



You see someone or something that looks suspicious or out of place, call SMU Police at 214-768-3333 or dial 911.

Suspicious activities include:

  • A person 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 or sketching structures
  • Unattended, abandoned or unusual-looking vehicles parked for prolong periods of time in the same location
  • Someone asking questions about security procedures


Suspicious packages include:

  • An unattended backpack, briefcase or luggage left in public or high-traffic areas
  • A package, envelope or device that looks suspicious, seems out of place or cannot be readily identified

For more information, call the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3388.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact the Director of Emergency Management, Leigh Ann Moffett at (214-768-4090) or the Safety and Risk Specialist, Max Richardson at (214-768-1550).

 Did you know?

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

Every year, at least 430 people die in the United States from accidental CO poisoning. CO poisoning can occur by being exposed to heaters, furnaces, vehicles, stoves, lanterns, portable generators, and burning wood.  If you or anyone else is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning (dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion) please call 911 immediately. For more information regarding CO poisoning refer to the link below:

Slips, Trips, and Falls:

Slips Trips and Falls made up 60% of work-related injuries on SMU campus. 15% of all accidental deaths are caused by slips/trips/falls according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  While on SMU property ensure your safety by always watching where you are going.  In the event of bad weather, avoid areas that appear to have ice.  If you notice any slick or icy spots on campus, contact SMU Facilities at 214-768-7000.


About Brandon Chance

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