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Emergency Guide

Emergency and Crisis situations are not predictable, and therefore the information contained in this guide, is to be used as a reference for your safety if an emergency event were to occur while you are on campus.

All Faculty, Staff and Students must take personal responsibility for their individual safety in any emergency situation.  Use this guide to help you prepare for such events by thinking about how you would react to the various emergencies listed in this booklet.  If an emergency were to occur, your own planning will prove invaluable by preparing you to react to the event in a calm and safe manner.  Become familiar with your surroundings, know the location of the emergency exits and emergency telephone number.  Think about your location and the primary and secondary exits available for your use in case you need to evacuate a building.


If you have any questions or comments concerning this document, please contact the Director of Safety and Risk Management:

University Police is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you discover an emergency situation on campus, immediately follow all the following steps, if appropriate:

  • Call University Police at 1-508–793–7575 or use the emergency call box spread throughout campus.
  • We recommend you program University Police Number into your cell phone.
  • If campus phone lines are down or University Police Dispatch is down, call 911.
  • If you call 911 first, call University Police immediately afterwards to they can assist 911 responders on where to go.
  • Remain calm when speaking to the Dispatcher.
  • Give your name, location and the nature of the emergency
  • Tell the dispatcher if an ambulance or medical assistance is needed.
  • When the building fire alarm is sounded, always assume an emergency exists, EXIT the building immediately, UNLESS prior to the alarm gunshots have been heard or a Clark Alert has been received advising you to stay in place. Use common sense.
  • If you see something, say something.

Emergency Phone Numbers

University Police: 1-508–793–7575Facilities: 1-508–793–7566, after hours call University Police

Health Services: 1-508–793–7467, after hours call University Police

University Counseling Center: 1-508–793–7678

Title IX Office:  1-508–793-7194

University Police is equipped with AED’s (Automatic External Defibrillators) and Police Officers are certified as First Responders. Call University Police at 1-508–793–7575. We recommend you enter the University Police Number as a contact in your cell phone to allow for faster dialing.

  • When assisting, make sure there are no safety concerns for you. Use protective gloves and barrier devices to protect yourself from bodily fluids when available.
  • If person is vomiting with no trauma and is unable to move, roll the person on side, and lay head on arm. Tilt head up to open airway.
  • If injured, keep person on back. If no neck/spiral injury is suspected, elevate legs 6 to 12 inches.
  • Cover with blanket/coat to keep body warm.
  • Don’t move person with neck/spinal injury unless factors will cause more harm (i.e. fire).
  • Elevate bleeding extremities: maintain direct pressure; control bleeding with a thick cloth.
  • If the person is not breathing, has no pulse and you are trained in CPR begin immediately. Ask a bystander to call University Police at 1-508–793–7575.
  • Seizures: clear area around the person; don’t restrain or place anything in person’s mouth.
  • University Health Services can handle Urgent Care concerns, however for emergencies please call University Police at 1-508–793–7575.

It is impossible to predict the actions and specific circumstances of every crime or violent act.  The following procedures may help lessen the potential for injury. Never put yourself or others in danger.  Your first reaction should always be to avoid or get away from the threat immediately.  When necessary, follow the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT process provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • If you observe a criminal act or suspicious person, immediately call University Police at 1-508–793–7575.
  • Remember details of the incident: description of clothing, physical characteristics, accent, tattoos, more than one suspect, etc.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm.
  • Follow all law enforcement commands.
  • Wait for police to clear the area.

RUN (always evacuate the area as your first choice):

  • Identify an escape route and plan
  • Leave belongings behind
  • Run in zig-zag pattern
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Keep hands visible

HIDE (if you cannot evacuate the area, then hide):

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Find a place to hide, lock the door and blockade the door with heavy items.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Silence your cell phone or any source of noise, radio, tv, etc.
  • Hide behind large items, such as cabinets and desks
  • Stay low/play dead

FIGHT (if, and only if, you are presented with danger, take action):

  • As a last resort and ONLY when your life is in imminent danger
  • Disrupt and/or incapacitate the shooter
  • Act aggressively and throw items at the shooter
  • Use improvised weapons, such as weights, chairs, electronics, etc.
  • Yell, scream, poke, scratch, bite, etc.
  • Commit to your actions – it’s your life, or theirs
  • Spread out and attack from different angles

Shelter in place is primarily used when severe weather systems occur, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, severe winds, earthquakes, severe thunder and lighting.  Weather emergencies are typically reported by emergency weather reports and Clark will utilize the Clark Alerts system:

  • Monitor Emergency Notification System (Clark Alerts, email, Clark University Social Media).
  • Stay indoors, close windows, if able, remove items near windows and secure loose object.
  • Move away from windows and glass doors.
  • Lock your doors
  • Don’t use the elevator
  • If outdoors, move inside.
  • Shut down and unplug computers and sensitive equipment.
  • Avoid being underneath heavy objects such as lights, wall hangings and other items that may fall.
  • Help direct people with disabilities to a safe place, if necessary.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so.
  • Stay in your secured area until an “All Clear” announcement is made via Clark Alerts or Emergency Personnel.

Before faced with a fire, familiarize yourself with fire extinguisher locations, emergency exits, and building fire alarms/pull stations. Smoke is the greatest danger in a fire.  As you evacuate, or if you are trapped, always stay near the floor where the air is less toxic.

  • Do Not Panic
  • If you see fire or smoke, activate the closes building fire alarm for emergency response.
  • When the building fire alarm is sounded, always assume an emergency exists, EXIT the building immediately, UNLESS prior to the alarm gunshots have been heard or a Clark Alert has been received advising you to stay in place. Use common sense.
  • If a fire appears controllable, discharge a fire extinguisher toward the base of the flame.
  • When in doubt, call University Police at 1-508–793–7575.
  • As you exit the building, notice any individuals not responding to the emergency alarm and call out to them to leave the building.
  • Don not use the elevator during a fire.
  • Assist persons with disabilities to the exit, if unable to do so, let first responders know immediately.
  • Do not go back for your things.
  • Close but do not lock doors to confine fire
  • Feel closed doors from top to bottom, in the evacuation route, if Cold, open door. If Hot, Do Not Open the door and use an alternative evacuation route. (Hot Doors may be an indication of fire on the other side of the door.)
  • Help direct people with disabilities to a safe place, if necessary.
  • Avoid smoke filled areas. If the room or evacuation route is filling with smoke, crouch down as you exit. Smoke rises, pushing available air to the floor.
  • If trapped, shout at regular intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location and find a window and wave an article of clothing to get attention.
  • Wait for the ALL Clear announcement from emergency or university personnel before reentry of the building/area.

Damage to individuals and/or to the environment can be caused by any unplanned sudden or non-sudden release of hazardous materials.  Potentially hazardous materials can include a wide variety of chemicals as well as humane was and other contaminants.  Chemical exposure can be found not only in the physical science labs but also from neighboring companies and transporters around the city.

  • If spill adjacent to campus, please evacuate the area and follow emergency and university personnel instructions.
  • If you see or are exposed to chemical or spill, do not panic. Immediately call University Police at 1-508–793–7575.
  • Faculty or staff in control of the area/classroom/laboratory should evacuate the affected area immediately.
  • If you are contaminated, stay in vicinity for first-aid/decontamination by specialized authorities.
  • Learn where the emergency shower and eyewash stations are in the Physical Laboratories.
  • Seal the area off to prevent further students/employees from being contaminated.
  • Do not try to clean up hazardous chemicals without knowledge of how to clean up spill and what type of personal protective equipment you should be wearing. Call the Chemical Safety Officer at 1-508–793–7280 for additional information.
  • Never attempt to enter a location where potentially dangerous air contaminants might place you at risk. If someone is down, call University Police.
  • Report any large spillage from your personal car such as oil or antifreeze to University Police so that proper action can be taken.

If you observe a suspicious object or potential bomb on campus or receive a notice of a bomb threat via social media or phone, immediately call University Police:  1-508–793–7575.  Do not handle any suspicious packages or objects.

Bomb Threat:

If you receive a bomb threat…

  • Remain Calm.
  • Do not hang up.
  • Have someone nearby contact University Police at 1-508-793–7575.
  • Try to prolong the conversation and get as much information as possible
  • Note what you hear. Are there background noises, what does the caller’s voice sound like, any accent? Age? Any unusual words or phrases?
  • How is the bomb location described?
  • Does the caller use a person’s name?
  • Does caller give his/her name?
  • Call University Police and report the bomb threat. Give the operator all the information you collected.
  • Leave it untouched and do not allow others to approach object

Suspicious Object:

If you discover a suspicious object or package…

  • Call University Police at 1-508–793–7575 and describe suspicious package/object and where it is located.
  • Do not open or shake it.
  • If there is powdery substance, do not sniff, touch, or taste.
  • Do not bring it to the University Police Building or anywhere else.
  • Do not activate the building alarm.
  • Do not go searching for any additional suspicious devices.
  • Don’t turn on/off electrical devices or switches (light switches, cell phones, radios, or any other kind of electronic devices).
  • Leave the area and alert others not to enter the area

Clark University is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment where all members of our community are treated with dignity and respect.  If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating or domestic violence or stalking, please reach out to the Title IX office for guidance and support.

  • Your safety is the highest priority, get away from the assailant quickly. Go to a safe place and tell someone what happened. If you are in fear for your physical safety, contact University Police or dial 911. If you need assistance in creating a safety plan, please contact University Police, or University Title IX Coordinator.
  • You have the right to report the incident to University or local police. Report the incident to University Police at 1-508–793–7575 or University Title IX Office 1-508–793–7194.
  • Write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident, including a physical description of the assailant. You should attempt to do this even if you are unsure about reporting the incident in the future.
  • Physical and electronic evidence should be preserved.
  • Evidence of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking should be preserved as soon as possible, even if you are unsure about reporting to the University or filing criminal charges. Preservation of evidence is essential for both law enforcement and campus disciplinary investigations.
  • You have the right, and are encouraged, to seek medical care and assistance. After a physical or sexual assault, you may
  • not know whether or not you have sustained any injuries. A trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) are specially trained, certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams that can provide overall care; treat any injuries that may have occurred during the assault; provide emergency contraception; and/or offer preventive treatment for sexual transmitted infections (STIs).
  • If you suspect that you are the victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample.
  • You may choose to report the incident to the University Police, Worcester Police and/or to University Title IX Office at 1-508–793–7194.
  • You may also choose to seek a confidential resource or advocate. Confidential resources and advocates can help with crisis intervention, review your reporting options and rights, provide crisis support and coping skills, assess and engage safety planning, encourage medical follow up, and assist with connection to additional on or off campus resources.

University Just like medical emergencies, mental health emergencies can be life-threatening.  A mental health emergency exists when people are at risk of imminent harm to themselves or others, or their judgment and ability to care for themselves is so compromised that they may not be able to function safely.

Helping a Person Experiencing Emotional Distress:                                                      

  • Listen to the person. Offer any help if you are able.
  • Recognize any warning signs, such suicide plans, intentions or behaviors, loss of contact with reality, including paranoid or grandiose thinking.
  • Ask directly if the person is thinking of harming themselves or others.
  • If situation is not an imminent threat, be ready to make a referral to campus resources.

Immediate Threat of Suicide or Harm to Others:   

  • Do not put yourself in a situation which threatens your own safety.
  • Call University Police at 1-508–793–7575
  • Attempt to calm the distressed person if you are able.
  • Do not leave the suicidal person alone if you are able.


University Police: 1-508–793–7575

Worcester Police Department: 911

University Counseling Center: 1-508–793–7678

Massachusetts Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1–800–273–8255

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

It is the personal responsibility of all occupants of University buildings to immediately exit the building when the fire alarm is activated. Remaining in the building is unacceptable, regardless of the reason. Occupants should exit from the closest stairway to their area. Elevators are not to be used.

  • Regardless of which emergency exit is used, building occupants should proceed to their designated assembly area.
  • Please use best judgment when moving to an area of safety. Your designated assembly area may not always be the most obvious, depending on the emergency.
  • Remember to keep streets and walkways clear for Emergency Personnel/Operations and maintain a minimum of 500-foot distance from any buildings on fire.
  • Persons shall not enter the building until advised that it is safe to do so by authorized personnel after the building has been declared safe by the fire department on location.

For those occurrences when Individual Building/Evacuation Assembly areas are unsafe or is impractical (i.e. severe weather), university Officials will direct you to an alternate Building Assembly area should the need arise.  Clark University has designated the following alternate Building/Evacuation Assembly Areas:

  • Kneller Athletic Center
  • Higgins University Center
  • Dolan Field House

Clark Alerts

Clark Alerts is an electronic message service that Clark will use as the primary notification system in emergency events.  Register for Clark Alerts and keep your information updated.

Learn more by viewing our FAQs


Clark uses the Clark SAFETY app (known as RAVE Guardian) to also provide an opportunity for two way communication during an emergency. The app also allows you to call University Police and other key Departments at a press of a button.  There are additional functions that will help you be safe and secure while you are in and around campus.

Download the RAVE Guardian app

Contact Information

Risk Management Office

Office Location
  • Edwin Madera
    Director of Safety and Risk Management
    Clark University
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • pwykes[at]clarku[dot]edu
Office Hours
  • Monday-Friday
    8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.