Emergency Management - Classroom Resources

If You Need Immediate Assistance: Dial 911 or contact University Police at 518-442-3131


Emergency Information for Faculty and Instructors in the Classroom

The importance of emergency preparedness extends into the classroom. Students, even in higher education settings, look to the instructor for guidance and definitive action during an emergency.

Faculty and instructors who take a few minutes at the start of each semester to familiarize their students with basic evacuation and emergency procedures will find a peace of mind that they and their students are better prepared for an emergency.

Faculty and instructors are presented with a unique challenge in emergency planning as they travel between buildings and classrooms delivering lectures and guiding lab activities. The following information is intended to serve as a quick reference during emergencies.

Students, even in the university environment, look to the person at the front of the class as the leader of the group. Even in classes as small as 5 individuals, students expect the instructor to have answers and a clear plan when an emergency occurs.

What should I do as the instructor?
  • Clearly cover the basic emergency procedures for the class during the first week of class (10 minutes of pre-planning can save lives).
  • Know how to report an emergency from the classroom.
  • Communicate the evacuation route and assembly area outside the building in case of an emergency.
  • Ask students if they have emergency training such as CPR or first aid and be prepared to call on them in an emergency.
  • Evacuate the classroom if a medical emergency occurs to allow emergency responders to access the victim.
  • Persons with access and functional needs, who self-identify, should be able to provide information on special assistance needs if an emergency occurs. Persons with access and functional needs may need assistance leaving the building during an evacuation.
  • Most importantly: Provide leadership if an emergency arises and follow emergency procedures for all building alarms and emergencies.
How do I report an Emergency?
  • Dial x23131 (518-442-3131) or 911. (Program University Police’s number into your cell phone)
  • State the nature of the emergency.
  • Remain on the line until the operator hangs up.
What should I carry with me to class?
  • Class roster
  • Cell phone
  • List of important telephone numbers (i.e. department leadership, supervisors, or lab managers, if applicable)
How do I evacuate the classroom?

Use the nearest available exit. Evacuation routes are posted on building walls throughout the hallways. Know the evacuation routes for your classroom. Look for illuminated EXIT signs in larger classrooms to determine primary and secondary Exits. All fire alarms require mandatory evacuation.

UAlbany Evacuation Plans

Where do I go after evacuating?

As your class is evacuating the classroom, ensure that everyone is leaving the building. Evacuate to at least 50’ from the building. Familiarize yourself with this process and ensure that your class knows the locations and then account for students during an evacuation.

What about a person with access or functional needs?

If you or a student has access or functional needs that prevents exiting:

  • Move to a safe location near a stairwell to be rescued by a member of the fire department.
  • Once at your safe location, call University Police 518-442-3131 or emergency responders at 911 and provide the following information:​
    • Exact location (floor, stairwell number, etc.)
    • Name
    • Cell phone number
  • If possible, ask another person to accompany you to the safe location and to immediately notify emergency responders of your exact location once they have evacuated.
What if there is violence or an active shooter?

An "active shooter" is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. Although the likelihood of an active-shooter incident in our organization is small, recent events remind us that we are not immune from these types of tragedies. In most cases, there is no particular pattern to the active shooter's selection of victims. Some common motives for the violence are anger, revenge, and ideology.

If you encounter an active-shooter situation, you must quickly determine the most practical way to protect your own life. You will need to decide whether to — RUN, HIDE or FIGHT!

Run - if there is an accessible escape path

  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move the wounded
  • Prevent others from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Call 911 or University Police (518-442-3131) when you are safe

Hide - if evacuation is not possible

  • Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view
  • Lock door or block entry to your hiding place
  • Silence your cell phone (including vibrate mode) and remain quiet

Fight - Take action by disrupting the shooter — but only as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.

  • Fight as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with as much physical aggression as possible
  • Improvise weapons or throw items at the active shooter
  • Commit to your actions . . . your life depends on it     


When Law Enforcement Arrives

The first officers to arrive on scene will not stop to help the injured. Expect rescue teams to follow initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove injured.

What to Do

  • Remain calm and follow instructions
  • Drop items in your hands (e.g., bags, jackets)
  • Raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming or yelling
  • Do not ask questions when evacuating

Information to Provide to 911 Operations

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters
  • Physical description of shooters
  • Number and type of weapons shooter has
  • Number of potential victims at the location

Once you have reached a safe location, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave the area until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.