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How to Respond in an Emergency

Members of the UIC Law community and visitors are encouraged to observe the following procedures during emergencies that may occur on campus. For a quick reference guide, please download the Emergency Safety Procedures or locate the flip chart (pictured at right) on the back of the door or near the closest phone in every classroom, office, conference room, and storage closet. The UIC Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is another available resource.

Evacuation Heading link

It is the policy of the Law School to take reasonable steps to protect the safety and health of every student, faculty, staff, contractor, guest, and visitor. Evacuation of the Law School may be required for a number of reasons including fire or smoke, utility failure, chemical spill, explosion, bomb threat or gas leak. This plan describes the evacuation procedures for the Law School buildings and the responsibilities of all personnel involved in the evacuation.

An evacuation is implemented under conditions when it is no longer safe to remain in a building or a specific area in a building. This requires occupants to move out and away from a building to an area of refuge or out and away from a specific area within a building.


In case of fire on campus, dial 911, then Security at ext. 511.

  • Learn the locations of fire extinguishers, fire exits, and alarm pull stations in your area and know how to use them. Fire extinguishers are usually near the elevators or stairwells.
  • If a minor fire appears controllable IMMEDIATELY contact the fire department (911) and security (511). Then pull the fire extinguisher from the wall and promptly direct its discharge at the base of the flame, sweeping back and forth. Begin at a safe distance (6-8 feet), and never let a fire get between you and your exit. Even if you are able to completely extinguish a fire, the fire department still needs to be notified for inspections.
  • If an emergency exists, activate the building alarm.
  • For large fires that do not appear controllable, IMMEDIATELY notify the fire department by calling 911. Give the address, floor, and nature of the emergency. Do not enter a room with fire; close all doors to confine the fire and reduce oxygen. DO NOT LOCK DOORS. Pull the fire alarm if the alarm is not already going off.
  • If you hear the building alarm, or are instructed to evacuate, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same.
    In-class Faculty members are responsible for directing students to the nearest exit and confirming that all students have exited. If you are not in a classroom when an alarm sounds, evacuate the building via the nearest interior staircase. An open staircase is a better choice than a closed staircase. Fire drills will be conducted semiannually; to help building occupants learn their escape routes. Evacuation maps are posted near the elevator lobbies on each floor.
  • DO NOT USE AN ELEVATOR IN CASE OF FIRE. STAY CALM. KEEP OTHERS CALM. Many building occupants do not recognize their own need for assistance. Encourage your friends and colleagues to identify themselves, if you think they may need specific assistance during an emergency. Let people know that while self-identification is voluntary, you can ask that the information be kept confidential and that it only be shared with those who have responsibilities for emergency response.
  • Once outside, move to the designated meeting area, which is in the park just south of the 300 S. State Street Building.
  • Follow the directions of faculty, maintenance staff, and Campus Safety & Security members until you are outside and at the meeting point.
  • DO NOT RETURN TO AN EVACUATED BUILDING unless told to do so by an authorized school official.
    Note: If you become trapped in a building during a fire and a window is available, place an article of clothing (shirt, coat, etc.) outside the window as a marker for rescue crews. If there is no window stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic. Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency crews of your location.

Shelter-in-Place: Environmental Heading link

An environmental shelter-in-place is a procedure where the entire building population is moved to a single or multiple location(s) in a building. This is most commonly used during weather emergencies or when an extremely hazardous substance is released into the outside atmosphere.


  • Stay inside your building, or immediately go into the nearest building
  • Close all windows
  • Immediately go to an area inside the building, away from exterior walls and windows
  • Await further instructions from emergency personnel
  • DO NOT evacuate the building until you receive an “all clear” from emergency personnel
  • Pay attention to announcements that are being made over the Public Address System
  • The Emergency Notification System (ENS) will be activated and real time text alerts and updates will be sent to your cellphone and or email address that was used during registration of the ENS system.

Shelter-in-Place: Active Shooter

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people. In most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.


  • If possible, exit the building immediately and call 911 and Campus Safety & Security (312.427.2737 ext. 511)
  • When calling 911 be prepared to give as much detailed information as possible such as:
    • Your name
    • Location of the incident (address, organization, floor, etc.)
    • Number of shooters
    • Identification of shooters (name, description, gender, weapon type)
    • Building population
    • Your present location
    • Number of victims
  • IF YOU CANNOT EXIT the following actions are recommended:
    • Go to the nearest room or office and lock the door from the inside
    • Close and lock the door
    • Turn off the lights
    • Cover the door windows
    • Keep quiet, remain out of sight, and act as if no one is in the room
    • DO NOT answer the door until you are sure the situation is safe
    • Notify Law School Security at 312.427.2737 ext. 511 or dial 511 from any house phone, or dial 911 if you’re able
  • DO NOT: Leave or unlock the door to see what is happening
  • DO NOT: Attempt to confront or apprehend the shooter, UNLESS THIS IS A LAST RESORT
  • DO NOT: Assume someone else has called Campus Security, YOU make the call
  • Evacuate the room ONLY when emergency personnel have arrived and given the all clear
  • Pay attention to announcements that are being made over the Public Address System
  • The Emergency Notification System (ENS) will be activated and real time text alerts and updates will be sent to your cellphone and or email address that was used during registration of the ENS system.
If an active shooter enters your office or classroom

Try to remain calm. Dial 911, if possible, and alert police to the shooter’s location. If you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what’s taking place. Normally the location of a 911 call can be determined without speaking. If there is absolutely no opportunity for escape or hiding, it might be possible to negotiate with the shooter. However, attempting to overpower the shooter with force should be considered a very last resort; after all other options have been exhausted. If the shooter leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter.

No matter what the circumstances, if you decide to flee during an active shooting situation, make sure you have an escape route and plan in mind. Do not attempt to carry anything while fleeing; move quickly, keep your hands visible, and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter. Do not attempt to remove injured people; instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible.

Police Response

Police are trained to respond to an active shooting incident by entering the building as soon as possible, and proceeding to the area of the shooter(s). They will move quickly and directly. Early on in an incident, they may not be able to rescue people, because their main goal is to get to the shooter(s) and disarm them. Try to remain calm and patient during this time, so as not to interfere with police operations. Normally, a rescue team is formed shortly after the first responding officers enter the building. They will be the officers who will search for injured parties and get everyone safely out of the building.

Elevator Emergencies Heading link

Elevators are one of the safest modes of transportation; however, on occasion they do malfunction. In case of an elevator emergency, please follow these procedures.


  • Press the “Push To Talk” emergency button (bottom of control panel) and the phone line will automatically connect you to a 24-hour emergency service representative. The representative will follow emergency procedures for your removal from the elevator.
  • Stay calm and wait for help to arrive.
  • If the elevator stops between floors and the door opens, stay in the car. Do not climb out or jump to the floor below. Do not try to pry open the doors. This may cause other damage to the equipment that could prolong the emergency.
  • If the emergency lasts an extended period of time, sit on the floor, and either look up or ahead to feel less confined.
  • After the incident, report details of the occurrence to Security at ext. 511.

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