Emergency Preparedness

The Department of Public Safety coordinates all preparedness activities for Saint Louis University. It also maintains the overarching St. Louis Campus Emergency Operations Plan and oversees the Campus Emergency Response Team.

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Saint Louis University’s Emergency Notification System is tested semi-­annually and is used to deliver messages and instructions by home and cell phone, email, text messaging, digital signage and social media. Keeping your emergency alert notification contact information current allows SLU to ensure the timely delivery of emergency information.

Evacuation Plan for University Buildings, Residence Halls and Offices

When disaster threatens, listen to local media reports. SLU will use the Emergency Notification System when evacuations are required.

If an evacuation is underway, you should leave as quickly as possible by way of the closest and safest route.

  • Evacuate in a safe, orderly manner.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Evacuate in groups to ensure everyone is able to get out.
  • Provide assistance for those with physical disabilities.
  • Close, but do not lock, doors.
  • If the building you are in, your work or study area, or housing unit is being evacuated, reassemble at a predetermined area as quickly as possible so that you may be accounted for and receive further instructions.


Shelter-­in-­place means taking refuge in an interior room within your building, or one with no or few windows.

  • Do not walk outdoors or try to drive away.
  • Quickly lock exterior doors and close windows.
  • Close air vents.
  • Have employees familiar with your building's mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems, and clothes dryers.
  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds or curtains.
  • Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-­powered radios, first­-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting and plastic garbage bags.
  • Unless there is an imminent threat, remain in place until instructed by a professional to do otherwise.

Elevator Failure

If you become trapped in an elevator on campus:

  • Remain calm.
  • Use the emergency elevator phone or alarm button to call for help.
  • Do not attempt to pry open doors.
  • Do not attempt to use the overhead hatch.
  • Emergency assistance will be directed to your location.

If you believe someone is trapped in an elevator:

  • Contact the Department of Public Safety at 314­-977-­3000.
  • Be prepared to tell the dispatcher on what floor you believe the elevator has stopped.
  • Talk to those inside of the elevator by yelling through the door.
  • Remind those who are trapped to remain calm and assure them assistance is on the way.

Fire Safety

Once you have evacuated to a safe location, contact the Department of Public Safety at 314-­977-­3000.

If the fire is small and you have the training, use a proper fire extinguisher to contain the fire. Do not endanger yourself or others by trying to extinguish a fire that is large or beyond your capabilities to contain.

If your clothes catch fire, stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over or back and forth to put out the fire. Immediately cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes and seek emergency medical care.


If you hear anything that sounds like a gunshot:

  • If you can exit the building safely and quickly, do so.
  • Turn off the lights and close the blinds.
  • Lock or barricade the door.
  • Hide where you cannot be seen.
  • Do not huddle in groups.
  • Call 911 or the Department of Public Safety at 314­-977-­3000.
  • Prepare to fight the intruder.
  • Wait for help to arrive.

If you are on the ground floor and can exit the building safely and quickly, do so.

Medical Emergencies

In a medical emergency call 314­-977-­3000 or 911. For all emergencies on campus requiring Emergency Medical Services response, have someone meet responders at the door and direct them to the patient's location.

Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) are located in the following campus locations:

  • Allied Health Building
  • Anheuser­Busch Institute
  • Athletic Training: Sports Complex
  • Busch Student Center
  • Dreiling Marshall Hall
  • Edward A. Doisy Research Center
  • Margaret McCormick Doisy Learning Resources Center
  • Drummond Hall
  • Doctors Office Building
  • DuBourg Hall
  • Wool Center
  • Monteleone Hall
  • Salus Center
  • School of Nursing
  • Simon Recreation Center
  • Student Health and Counseling, Ground Floor of Marchetti Towers East

Power Outage

Contact the Department of Public Safety at 314-­977-­3000 to report a power outage.

Use only a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles.

Turn off electrical equipment, computers and appliances, and anything you were using when the power went out. Avoid opening refrigerators and freezers.

Severe Weather

Be alert to changing weather conditions. Listen to NOAA All Hazard Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.

A watch means severe weather is possible. A warning means a damaging storm or tornado has been confirmed. When a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service for an area including the St. Louis campus, SLU will send out an alert via the emergency notification system.

During any thunderstorm, seek shelter inside of a building away from glass windows and doors, and metal objects.

If a tornado warning siren is activated or you receive an alert of a tornado warning on your phone, do not wait. Take shelter immediately in a safe room, basement or on the lowest level of the building.

If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hallway, away from windows, doors and outside walls. Get under a sturdy table or piece of furniture, and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Winter Storms

For information about school closings or late starts due to snow or ice, call the Saint Louis University Snow Line at 314­-977-­SNOW or 314-­977-­7669. Information will also be shared with local news stations.

Closings also will be announced through SLU’s emergency notification system.