Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide

Public Safety Operational Hours Update

We are currently open for in-person assistance Monday - Friday, 10 AM to 3 PM. If you have any questions please email us at parking@usfca.edu.

If you require immediate assistance, please contact Public Safety Dispatch at 415-422-4201 or dispatcher@usfca.edu.

Emergency blue light phones are located throughout the campus and connect to Public Safety.

In any emergency, call USF Public Safety Dispatch: x2911 or 415.422.2911. For non-emergencies, call 415.422.4201.

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Utility Failure

Power Outage

  • Report the power outage immediately to Public Safety.
  • Turn off all electrical equipment and appliances (leave lights on).
  • Turn off or secure all experiments in labs.
  • Do not try to correct the power outage or turn any equipment back on until authorized.
  • Check elevators, washrooms, stairways, or dark rooms for stranded individuals.

Gas Leak

  • Stay out of the area and evacuate if necessary. Use verbal communication to notify others of a leak.
  • Report any suspected leaks to Public Safety.
  • Leave electrical devices alone. Do not switch on or off lights.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Never light a match or a lighter.

Indoor Flooding

  • If time permits, move essential items and belongings.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment.
  • Notify Public Safety of the exact location of the flood/leak.
  • Alert occupants on floors below about the potential flooding of their area.
  • If necessary, evacuate the building.

Active Threat/Campus Violence

If an active threat is outside your building

  • Move to an inner area of the building if safe to do so.
  • Turn off all the lights, close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Place a makeshift jam under the door; barricade the door with desks and chairs.
  • Close all windows and curtains.
  • If in an office, hide under a desk.
  • Contact Public Safety at 415.422.2911 or call 911.
  • Get down on the floor or under a desk and remain silent.
  • Wait for the “all clear” instruction to be issued by USF Public Safety.

If an active threat is inside your building

  • if it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.
  • Turn off all the lights, lock all doors, and place a makeshift jam under the door
  • Secure yourself in your space and barricade the door with desks and chairs.
  • Silence cell phones and other audio devices.
  • Contact Public Safety at 415.422.2911 or call 911.
  • Get down on the floor and remain silent.
  • Wait for the “all clear” instruction to be issued by USF Public Safety.

If an active threat enters your office or classroom

  • Remain calm.
  • Put distance between yourself and the offender. Make use of shielding (ex: chairs, tables, equipment).
  • If possible, keep an escape route behind you.
  • Make a personal choice to negotiate with or overpower the subject.

In Case of Sexual Assault

Emergency Sexual Assault Contact Information for USF Students

  • On-campus: 415.422.2911 (USF Public Safety) or contact your RA.
  • Off-campus: 911 (Police).
  • San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) Hotline: 415.647.RAPE (7273).
  • Zuckerberg SF General Hospital 24-Hour Rape Treatment Center* 
    • 415.437.3000,
    • 2727 Mariposa Street Suite 100, San Francisco, CA 94110.
    • *Only medical facility in San Francisco that provides rape kits.

What You Can Do

  • Find a safe environment and ask a trusted individual to stay with you for support. Know that the incident was not your fault.
  • Seek medical attention to take care of any injuries.
  • Preserve evidence: don’t shower or brush your teeth, keep clothes in a paper bag and go to SF General Hospital.
  • File a report with SFPD by calling 911. If the alleged perpetrator is a student at USF, the survivor is encouraged to file a complaint through the Student Conduct system. Survivors may file a report to the Title IX Office (UC 5th Floor, 415.422.5330)
  • Sexual assault is a crime as well as a violation of USF policy.

How to Support a Friend

  • Be a good listener and validate the survivor’s feelings, support the survivor’s decisions, and respect the survivor’s privacy.
  • Take care of yourself; the process may be an emotional experience for you as well.
  • For more information visit the Title IX page.


  • Should an earthquake strike while you are at an indoor location, do the following:
  • DUCK - Duck or drop down on the floor.
  • COVER - Take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or other furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors, or tail furniture.
  • HOLD - If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.
  • If you are in a hallway, drop to the floor against an interior wall-protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Do not enter or exit the building during the shaking---there is danger from falling debris.
  • BE PREPARED to shelter-in-place; evacuate if instructed to do so. The decision to evacuate from campus buildings will be based upon the severity of the earthquake and damage to buildings.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • If you are outdoors, find a spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Do not return to your building until authorized.
  • If you are in a car, stop in the safest place away from underpasses/overpasses, bridges, etc. Stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops.

Fire Emergencies

If you discover a fire or see smoke

  • If the building fire alarm is not sounding, manually activate the alarm by pulling a fire alarm pull station located near an exit.
  • Immediately exit the building.
  • Call Public Safety.

If a fire alarm sounds

  • Check the surface of the door for heat. Check for signs of smoke.
  • If no smoke or fire is observed, proceed to the nearest stairway and evacuate. Do not use elevators!
  • Close all doors behind you.
  • Follow the instructions of the building marshals, residence hall staff, or first responders.
  • Assist people with special needs in evacuation.
  • After evacuating, go to the designated meeting area of your building.
  • Notify fire personnel if you suspect someone is trapped inside.

If you are trapped in a room/building

  • Place wet objects into openings to prevent smoke from entering.
  • Hang an object out of the window to signal that the room is occupied.
  • If smoke enters, keep your head at least 8-12 inches off the floor.
  • Call Public Safety and advise them of your location and room number.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment

Hazardous Material Release Response

  • Call Public Safety to report any hazardous material spills or releases.
  • If hazardous material comes in contact with your skin, immediately flush the affected area with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, then seek medical attention.

Suspicious Letter, Package, or Object

  • If a suspicious letter or package is received or object is located, DO NOT TOUCH. Leave the area, close doors, and alert others. Immediately notify Public Safety. Do not use portable radio equipment or cell phones within 100 feet of the suspicious object.

Suspicious Activity

  • Report any person acting suspiciously. Contact Public Safety at 415.422.2911.

Non-Emergency Crisis

  • For any emergency situations, contact Public Safety at 415.422.2911 (or 2911 from an on-campus phone).
  • For any crisis situation that does not require emergency care, but is still concerning, contact the Crisis management and Behavioral Intervention Team (CMBIT).
    • This team handles non-life threatening issues that may interfere with a student’s academic or developmental success. Some examples are: eating disorders, substance abuse issues, death of a family member/friend, traumatic experiences, housing/roommate concerns, or medical conditions.
    • During business hours: 415.422.5330.
    • After hours, contact Public Safety’s non-emergency number: 415.422.4201.

Emergency Notifications

  • The University of San Francisco utilizes a variety of resources to help disseminate valuable information quickly. You will be notified of developing emergency situations via:
  • USF Alert (text, telephone, and email).
  • Outdoor Warning Sirens.
  • Outdoor Speaking System.
  • Fire Alarms.
  • Public Safety’s Emergency Information Webpage.

Citywide Radio Emergency Alert System (EAS): Tune to AM radio stations KGO 810, KCBS 740, OR KNBR 680 for emergency information broadcasts. Remember, when you hear:

  • OUTDOOR WARNING SIRENS: Immediately seek shelter (shelter-in-place) in a safe location within the building.
  • FIRE ALARMS: Immediately evacuate the building and move to the designated meeting area. Follow the building marshals’ directions.
  • ALL OTHER ALERTS: Follow the directions given. In all cases, you should get additional clarifying information by all possible means---myUSF, text, email, radio, etc.

If you are indoors

  • Stop what you are doing.
  • Shelter-in-place and lockdown.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Stay low in the room.
  • Remain in your location until advised otherwise.

If you are outdoors

  • Seek a safe location.
  • If an indoor shelter is not available and there is no time for escape, seek cover.
  • A steady tone is the signal for “all clear”. Listen to “all clear” signal on the public safety website.

Building Evacuation Guidelines

  • Immediately leave the building. tell others to evacuate.
  • Walk calmly, but quickly, to the nearest emergency exit.
  • Close the doors as rooms are vacated.
  • Keep to the right side of corridors and stairwells as you exit.
  • Use stairways only, Do not use elevators!
  • Assist those who need help, but do not put yourself at risk attempting to rescue trapped or injured victims. Note the location of trapped or injured victims and notify emergency personnel.
  • Proceed directly to the designated meeting area.
  • Do not re-enter the building until Public Safety or first responders give an “all clear” signal.

Evacuation Guidelines for Special Needs Populations and Those Assisting Them

  • If assisting, ask how you can help before attempting any emergency evacuation. Ask how the person can best be assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, shelter-in-place in a stairwell or other area of refuge in the building. be sure to let Public Safety know your location/condition and wait for help.
  • Note: EZ-Glide evacuation stair-carry chairs are located in each campus building.

Personal Safety

Once an emergency takes place, the time to prepare is gone, and it is time to respond and cope with the aftermath. Take time to examine what you can do to prepare by visiting ready.gov, 72hours.org, and redcross.org. Make sure that you have done the following:

  • Verified that your contact information is correct in the Personal Information section of the Student, Faculty, or Staff tab on myUSF.
  • Program the USF Public Safety phone numbers: and into your cell phone.
  • Know more than one way to get out of every building where you live, have classes, or work.
  • Know the location of fire alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers and know how to use an extinguisher.
  • Know the housing staff for your residence hall, including your residence adviser and other staff, in case there is an emergency or other problem.
  • Know your building marshals in office areas.
  • If you are a student, make sure that your close friends know how to contact your roommates and/or close friends in case of emergencies.
  • Have an Emergency Go Kit that includes a flashlight, a radio (and fresh batteries), water, food bars/non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and other items (see checklist below).

Medical Emergencies

Life Threatening Emergencies

  • Call Public safety and be prepared to give the following information:
  • Age and sex of the victim.
  • Location of the victim.
  • Nature of the emergency and whether the victim is conscious or breathing.
  • Any additional information as directed.
  • DO NOT hang up until instructed to do so by the dispatcher.
  • Do not move a seriously injured person unless he or she is in a life-threatening situation.
  • NOTE: Do not approach victims of electrocution or toxic exposure unless you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so.
  • Perform rescue breathing and/or CPR to your level of training.
  • Stop severe bleeding with direct pressure.
  • Keep the victim warm.

Minor Injuries/Non-Emergencies

  • In case of a minor injury or illness, contact Public Safety’s non-emergency line.
  • Employees should notify their supervisor of a work-related injury or illness and complete a Report of employee Occupational Injury form.


  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available to help students resolve personal difficulties and provide emergency services and crisis intervention. Clinical services are strictly confidential. Contact CAPS at x6352 or 415.422.6352.
  • For faculty and staff members, please contact CONCERN, the university’s employee assistance program, at 800.344.4222.

Emergency Supplies Checklist

  • Keys - extra set of car and house keys.
  • Water - Three days supply, one gallon per person per day.
  • Food - Three days supply of meal bars/non-perishable food, manual can opener, and utensils.
  • First aid kit with manual and medical supplies.
  • Radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries, matches, lighter.
  • Medications - over-the-counter and prescription medications and prescription lists.
  • Back-up pair of eyeglasses.
  • Cash and important documents: small bills, coins, deeds, insurance papers, family photos, medical cards, etc.
  • Clothing, sturdy shoes, and personal hygiene items.
  • Tools - Adjustable wrench, sturdy gloves, whistle, and small mirror, etc.
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies.
  • Special needs- supplies for kids, pets, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Out-of-state contact list.
  • Bars/non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and other items.