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Emergency Preparedness Quick-Reference Guide

This guide is intended for employees and students who occupy University of Northern Colorado facilities. In an emergency, satellite offices and UNC departments not located on the Greeley campus must access municipal emergency services usually through the 911 system.

Safety Begins With You

The primary purpose of this guide is to provide you with information that may be critical in the event of an emergency. Accidents and emergency situations can happen to anyone, at any moment so please take the time to learn the emergency procedures and contacts listed in this document.

  • Take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others by reporting potentially dangerous conditions or concerns to the appropriate departments.
  • You should consider making preparations for emergency events.
  • Learn both main and alternate paths of egress from your area.
  • Sign up for fire safety courses, have a first aid kit available in your department, and consider putting together a basic disaster supply kit.
  • Most importantly, discuss this document with the staff members and students within your department.
  • Pre-plan your group's actions and meeting places.
  • Make sure that everyone knows the basic procedures to follow in emergency situations.
  • Know the building emergency response plan.

Each department is responsible for pre-planning the actions that will be taken by their staff in the event of an emergency.

Contact the UNC Police Department at 970-351-2245 for guidance.

Departments with disabled persons should have a plan to assist those individuals in the event of emergency. For guidance contact the Disability Resource Center at 970-351-2289.

The Environmental Health and Safety Department is available at 970-351-1149 for fire prevention guidance related to safe areas of refuge, evacuation concerns, tornado staging areas, and fire safety matters.

Printable Version of the Quick Reference Guide

  • General Information

    The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) has Police dispatchers available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For campus Emergencies dial 911 from a campus phone or from any other phone call (970) 351-2245. The Environmental Health & Safety Department (EHS) also maintains an on-call person for hazardous materials incidents at all times.

    Non-Emergency Contact Phone Numbers

    UNC Counseling Center: (970) 351-249

    UNC EHS Department: (970) 351-1149

    UNC Facilities Management: (970) 351-2446

    UNC Information Management and Technology Services/Telecomm: (970) 351-HELP (4357)

    UNC Police: (970) 351-2245

    UNC Risk Management: (970) 351-3388

    UNC Student Health Center: (970) 351-2412

    Emergency call boxes are located strategically around campus. Call boxes are identified with blue lights. In case of an emergency, push the button on the call box and you will be automatically connected to the UNC Police dispatch center.

  • Abduction

    If a University of Northern Colorado (UNC) employee or student witnesses or otherwise becomes aware that a person has been abducted from UNC campus:

    1. Contact UNC Police at 970-351-2245 or contact the Greeley Police Department at 911.
    2. If known, provide descriptions of the abductor and missing person(s), the direction of travel, and type of vehicle involved.
    3. Protect the area where the abduction occurred so that law enforcement personnel can process it for evidence. Do not discuss details of the abduction with any other person unless requested by the UNC Police.

  • Active Shooter

    An active shooter is an armed person who is actively causing deadly harm or imminent threat of deadly harm and physical force on other persons and continues to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims. In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter. Be aware that there could be more than one shooter involved in the situation. If an active shooter is occurring, the following are recommended:


    When an active shooter is in your vicinity:

    • Evacuate if a safe route is available
    • Call 911 when safe to do so


    If it is unsafe to escape, hide in an area out of view and:

    • Lock door and block entry
    • Stay behind solid objects away from door
    • Turn off lights and computers
    • Silence phones


    As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger:

    • Be prepared to defend yourself
    • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
    • Act with physical aggression
    • Improvise weapons

    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.

    For more information, visit the Active Shooter Preparednes Site.

  • Bomb Threat/Suspicious Package

    Bomb Threat

    All bomb threats should be considered real until proven otherwise.

    1. Remain calm and courteous.
    2. Listen to what is said and do not interrupt the caller.
    3. Try to record as much information as possible about the suspect and incident.
    4. Evacuate the building if safe.
    5. Call the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Police from a campus phone at 911 or any other phone at (970) 351-2245 and provide the dispatcher with information including:
      • What the bomb suspect said and a description of the suspect including their voice (male/female, excited, angry, etc.).
      • Exact time the bomb threat was made or when the suspicious package/object was found.
      • The location and description of the bomb, package, or object.

    Suspicious Package

    If you discover a suspicious package or object, DO NOT touch or move the package.

    • Immediately call UNC Police.
    • AVOID using a cell phone!
    • Call from a campus phone at 911, Emergency Call Box, or any other landline phone at (970) 351-2245 and report the incident.
  • Evacuation


    In the event that a campus or building evacuation is required, move quickly, but in an orderly fashion to the nearest exit. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.

    It is campus procedure to evacuate whenever a fire alarm sounds or when directed by emergency personnel. Once outside of the building:

    1. Continue to a safe distance (a minimum of 100 feet or more when directed by emergency personnel).
    2. Keep clear of emergency vehicles.
    3. Gather at your pre-determined safe location and try to account for all persons who were in your area. If you know of persons who are injured, trapped, or unaccounted for, report that information to emergency responders immediately.
    4. Do not leave the campus without notifying your supervisor or person of authority.

    Emergency Evacuation for Individuals with Disabilities

    Individuals with disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) must be prepared in the event of an emergency. Prior planning of emergency evacuation procedures and practicing evacuation routes are important to assuring a safe evacuation during an emergency.

    Areas of Refuge are located in some buildings. An area of refuge is a location designed to serve as a temporary designated safe area from the effects of a fire or other emergencies when evacuation may not be safe or possible. Occupants can wait there until rescued by emergency personnel. When using an Area of Refuge, an individual should contact UNC Police from a campus phone at 911 or from any other phone at (970) 351-2245.

    Area of Refuge locations can be viewed on the UNC Emergency Management website.

  • Fire

    Fire Safety

    Upon discovery of a fire on campus:

    1. Pull the nearest fire alarm pull-box (usually at or near an exit door).
    2. If safe, assist any injured or disabled persons out of the area. Do not put yourself in danger.
    3. Extinguish the fire, if safe. Otherwise, evacuate the building by following the exit signs to the shortest or safest route, but DO NOT USE ELEVATORS. Assemble at your assigned designated meeting location. Supervisors should try to account for all personnel known to be working in the area of the fire. Report injured, trapped, or unaccounted persons to UNC Police or fire personnel. Follow these steps during a fire:
      1. Stay low.
      2. Check the door for heat with the back of your hand before opening.
        • If a door is cool when touched, open it only a crack so it can be shut quickly if there are flames or smoke on the other side.
        • If the door is hot or smoke is seeping underneath, Do Not Open the Door.  Push a blanket, towel, or heavy clothing into the door crack.
      3. Close doors as you exit the fire area.
      4. When you escape, never return for something you forgot or to look for other people.  Go to the meeting place and stay there.  Let a UNC Police Officer or firefighter know immediately if anyone is missing.
    4. If UNC Police or firefighters are not at the scene, call UNC Police from a campus phone at 911 or from any other phone at (970) 351-2245.
    5. DO NOT re-enter the building until emergency personnel advise you that it is safe to re-enter.
  • Hazardous Material Release

    Incidental Release

    • Easily controlled
    • Known material
    • Material that has low toxicity
    • Proper protection and cleanup equipment is available
    • Personnel causing the spill will initiate cleanup immediately

    If an incidental release occurs:

    • Call the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department at (970) 351-2446 for advice and follow-up.

    Emergency Release

    • Uncontrollable
    • High toxicity or flammable hazard
    • Potential fire/explosion hazard
    • Unknown substance

    If an emergency release occurs:

    1. Evacuate the immediate area of all personnel.
    2. If possible, close the doors to contain the material and protect the drains.
    3. Call UNC Police from a safe area campus phone at 911 or from any other phone at (970) 351-2245 and provide the dispatcher with any of the following known information:
      • The exact location of release and the area(s) affected.
      • Injuries due to exposure, number (and names) of person(s) affected, and conditions/symptoms.
      • Hazardous product(s) released and amount released.
      • Where the caller will meet emergency responders and a contact number to reach the caller.
  • Hostage Situation

    If you become aware of a hostage situation on campus, immediately notify University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Police from a campus phone at 911 or from any other phone at (970) 351-2245. If known, provide the following information:

    1. Location of the incident, suspect(s), and hostage(s).
    2. Number, conditions, and descriptions of suspect(s) and hostage(s).
    3. The demands of the suspect(s) involved and any weapon(s) seen or believed to be present.

    The exact wording used by the suspect can provide critical information needed by the police. Be as thorough and specific as possible. The person reporting a hostage barricade incident should remain on the line with police dispatchers as long as safely possible.

  • Medical Emergency

    In the event of a medical emergency on campus:

    1. Dial University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Police at (970) 351-2245, or Greeley Police Department at 911.
    2. Report location (i.e. Building, Room Number, etc.) of person needing assistance.
    3. State that you have a medical emergency and whether or not an ambulance is needed. The call will be transferred to the responding agency. Be prepared to give a basic description of the nature of the injury or illness.
    4. If trained, begin first aid. Do not move the ill/injured person unless failure to do so would cause further injury and it is safe to do so.
    5. If available, send someone to direct the emergency responders to the location of the      medical emergency.

    Work related injuries or illness:

    1. Follow the above medical emergency guidelines in an emergency situation.
    2. In non-emergency situations, administer first aid as you are able.
    3. Report the incident to your supervisor.
    4. Report the incident to UNC Human Resource (HR) Department. HR will schedule an appointment with the University Designated Medical Provider (DMP). 
    5. If the incident occurs after normal business hours, the employee shall visit the local hospital emergency room.
  • Natural Disasters and Severe Weather Conditions

    Tornadoes and Severe Weather

    Do not assume it is safe if a weather alert (“watch” or “warning”) has not been issued as Tornadoes or other severe weather can occur at any time. You may be at risk and should prepare to take cover anytime severe weather threatens. Severe weather notification may be given over the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) emergency mass notification system.

    If severe weather occurs in the area:

    1. Do not use the general building alarm to signal a tornado alert
    2. If indoors, go to a Tornado Staging Area or take cover under a desk or table.
    3. Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums (large open spaces) and window areas.
    4. Do not leave campus in your vehicle or on foot during a warning. If you are in your car or outdoors, enter the nearest building. If you cannot make it to a building, find a ditch or depression in the ground to lie in. Cover your head with your arms. Do not remain in your car!


    Lightning strikes are very common in the Front Range. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Seek safe shelter when you hear thunder. Designate a responsible person to monitor lightning activity during any outdoor event. The safest locations to be during lightning activity are an enclosed building or an enclosed vehicle.

    During thunder storms avoid:

    • High places and open fields, isolated trees, unprotected gazebos, rain or picnic shelters, flagpoles, light poles, bleachers (metal or wood), metal fences, convertibles, golf carts, and water.
    • Using wired telephones, taking a shower, or any contact with conductive surfaces with exposure to the outside such as metal door or window frames, etc.

    An important thing to remember: Sometimes lightning storms can develop overhead. This means that the first lightning strike from the cloud might be in your immediate location.

    Blizzard/Heavy Snow

    The Sr. VP for Fin & Admin (or designee) is responsible for the decision to close any or all of campus or to issue campus advisories. Such decisions will be made for extreme weather conditions that pose an immediate health and/or safety hazard. Tune to local radio and television stations for information on campus delays and closures due to severe weather. You may also call the UNC Severe Weather phone line at (970) 351-4100.


    During periods of heavy rain and flooding:

    • Be cautious of low-lying areas that may have flash flood conditions.
    • Report flooding on or near campus to UNC Police at (970) 351-2245.
  • Police Assistance

    Escort to Parking Lot

    University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Police will provide an escort service to and from parking lots upon request. For assistance, call UNC Police Dispatch at (970) 351-2245.

    Workplace Violence

    ALL incidents or threats must be reported to UNC Human Resources (HR) and your supervisor. 

    • Emergency/life-threatening situations: Immediately call UNC Police from a campus phone at 911 or (970) 351-2245 from any other phone.
    • Non-Emergency Situations: Notify Human Resources at (970) 351-2718. Before or after normal business hours, or if Human Resources is otherwise unavailable, notify UNC Police at (970) 351-2245.

    Health and Safety Report

    If you are concerned about the health, well-being, and safety of a student or employee you may complete the Health & Safety report on-line from the UNC Emergency Management website. This on-line reporting method should not be used to report emergencies, immediately dial 911 from any campus phone or (970) 351-2245 from any other phone if this is an emergency situation.

  • Utility Outages

    Utility service interruptions, power outages, internal flooding, inoperable or disabled elevators, information services/telecommunications problems, and numerous other potential disruptions may occur on campus. In order to protect and maintain the physical facilities as well as to expedite repairs, please note the following:

    Normal Business Hours

    For building outages, or to report damage:

    1. Call the UNC Facilities Management Service Center at (970) 351-2446.  For Information Management and Technology (IMT) Services/Telecomm outages, call (970) 351-HELP (4357).
    2. If a power failure occurs in your area and there is no indication of other emergencies (such as fire, explosions, etc.), turn off all electrical equipment and remain in your office/area.
    3. Since power outages are usually short in duration, contact the Facilities Management Service Center for further advice or instruction if the outage last longer than 10 minutes.

    After Hours and Weekends

    For utility outages after hours and/or on weekends, call the UNC Police Department at (970) 351-2245.

    Elevator Outages or Persons Trapped

    All elevators have direct communication to the UNC Police by pushing the emergency button on the elevator panel. If individual(s) are trapped in an elevator, call UNC Police from a campus phone at 911 or from any other phone call (970) 351-2245.

    Do not attempt to open the elevator door yourself. Police and Facilities Management personnel will respond and evaluate the situation. If they cannot open the doors, the fire department will be called to assist.