Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

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Guideline 400 – Library Emergency Response Plan

Purpose of the Plan

  • A Building Emergency Response Plan is a strategic plan to provide the procedures necessary to cope with most types of emergencies with respect to a specific building.
  • The purpose of this plan is to enable staff to perform essential emergency planning and basic functions that can help save lives by outlining simple steps to be taken in the event of an emergency.
  • This plan may assign roles and responsibilities to areas and individuals that are directly responsible for emergency response efforts, critical support services, and provides a management structure for coordinating and deploying essential resources.

Scope of the Plan
Any emergency that potentially affects our students, faculty, staff, and visitors within our facility will activate this plan.
An Emergency Response Plan guides preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation actions and may be activated during any of the following incidents, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Active Shooters
  • Bombs
  • Chemical, biological, radiation, explosive incidents
  • Fires (see Guideline 401 – "Emergency Procedures (Fire)")
  • Floods
  • Inclement Weather
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Utility Emergencies (see Guideline 402 – "Emergency Procedures (Power Blackout)"
  • Disasters to Collections - See Guideline 440 "Disaster Action Team" and its "Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Plan."
  • And any other emergency in the building.

Objectives of the Emergency Response Plan
Managing any crisis requires coordinating resources within the Library Building to meet the following objectives:

  • Provide safety and security for our staff and patrons
  • Tend to victims of both direct and indirect consequences of critical incidents
  • Reduce the potential for injury or damage
  • Provide factual and timely information to building occupants

Building Contacts
Building Manager Melissa Buttonx5-2356
Other key players within building here:
Director Larry Wilt x5-2356
Associate Director Joyce Tenney x5-3594
Associate Director Robin Moskal x5-3812
Chief Curator Tom Beck x5-3827
Head of Technical Services Lynda Aldana x5-3468

Emergency Phone Numbers:

Campus Police* x5-5555
Facilities Management x5-2550
Inclement Weather Hotlinex5-6789
University Health Services x5-2542
Office of Environmental Safety & Health x5-2718
University Counseling Center x5-2473
Poison Control Center (800)-222-1222
*Contact Campus Police to reach ambulance, fire, and/or emergency responders.

Communication Chain (phone trees) for Emergencies

To be established within units as needed.
Note provisions in Guideline 672 – "Performance Standards for Working Off Site" for communication within units.

Emergency Notification System:

UMBC has partnered with e2campus to create an emergency notification system using your cell phone's text messaging capabilities and/or your private email account. This notification system will alert subscribers to any campus-related emergency (such as a potential campus safety hazard or campus closure due to weather). Normal text messaging rates apply. There are no additional charges. To sign up go to (\\\Dept\UC\POLICIES AND PROCEDURES\\notifications). In addition you may elect to be part of a sub-group for messages specifically related to the facility.
A phone "tree" has also been established for the sharing and dissemination of additional information.

Fire or Smoke

For fire that has not activated the alarm system, pull a fire alarm. For smoke that has not activated the alarm system, contact campus police for guidance.

  • The fire alarm panels are small red boxes located on the inside wall of every entrance or emergency exit of the building.
  • Once pulled, the alarms will sound and evacuation procedures will go into effect

Evacuation Procedures:

When evacuating follow these steps:

  1. Quickly secure workstations and head to the nearest exit or exit stairwell; inform the general public of the need to evacuate along the way. Elevators may not be used.


    1. As an emergency precaution, the fire doors, located on all levels of the building, automatically close upon activation of the alarms. Do not prop open these doors.
    2. The front plaza is the primary designated relocation space and foot of Walker Avenue is the secondary relocation space.


  1. If someone needs assistance going down the stairs, help them to the staircase and assist as best you can. If you are physically unable to assist call the campus police at 410-455-5555 and notify them of the situation.


  1. Once you have exited the building proceed to the designated relocation space as quickly as possible and wait for instructions.


  1. Once the situation is neutralized; Campus Police, in consultation with Facilities Management, and the Emergency Responders will give the "all clear."

Treat all alarms as real unless otherwise notified.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

  • If the emergency requires sheltering in place, seek information from supervisors as to gathering locations and other precautions.


There are preemptive steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects of an earthquake.

  • Before an earthquake
    • Fasten shelves securely to walls
    • Place large, heavy, and breakable objects on lower shelves
    • Keep walkways clear
    • Locate safe-spots in your office/office suit that are under sturdy tables, away from windows, and away from windows
  • During an earthquake
    • Drop, cover, and hold on
      • Drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or piece of furniture, hold on until the shaking stops
    • Stay away from glass, windows, doors, walls, and furniture that could fall over
    • Once the shaking stops leave the building through the emergency exit stairwells
    • Be aware that the earthquake could trigger the sprinkler and/or fire alarm system
    • Once outside stay clear from buildings and follow the instructions of Campus Police (you may be relocated to a public shelter)
  • After an earthquake
    • Expect aftershocks, normally less violent but could cause additional damage
    • Help injured or trapped persons to the best of your ability; seek assistance if possible
    • Stay away from damaged areas
    • If/when you are able to return to your office space be cautious of opening cabinets/closets as items may have shifted
    • Assess the area for utility damage (water, electricity, gas leaks, etc)


  1. Evacuation Procedures
  • See procedures in Guidelines 401 and 402, and especially Guideline 431 – "Library Exit Security Guidelines & Procedures."
  • Staff are not responsible for evacuating others.

Inclement Weather Procedures:

For the most reliable information pertaining to campus closing, reopening, or late opening; rely on only 4 official sources:

  1. UMBC's homepage
  2. myUMBC
  3. Inclement Weather Hotline x5-6789
  4. E2campus Text Message/Email Notifications


  • Supervisors will coordinate a building-wide effort to get people into safe locations and away from windows and open areas.
  • Announcement over the PA system, text alert, and email – when possible – will alert people of the situation and direct everyone towards the designated areas of refuge.


Prolonged Power Outages

A prolonged power outage could severely debilitate operations campus-wide. The University Emergency Council will determine whether or not campus will remain open.

  • See Guideline 402


  1. Disorderly Individual in an Office Area

An irate individual in a closed office space could present a unique risk as space, exits, and people are limited. If you find yourself in this type of situation, use the following guidelines:

  • Remain calm
  • Assist the person as best you can and attempt to calm them down
  • Depending on the situation, suggest that they speak with your supervisor or one of the Associate Directors
  • If you begin to feel that your safety is in jeopardy and are being threatened, inform the person that you are uncomfortable with the situation and if they do not leave you will have to call Campus Police (x5-5555).
  • See also Guideline 451 – "Staff-Only Areas."


Suspicious Letters and Packages

Characteristics of a suspicious letter or package include:

  • No return address
  • Lopsided, heavy, visible leaks or spills
  • Improper spelling
  • Excessive use of posting and tape or securing material

If you feel you have received a suspicious letter or package:

  • Handle with care – do not shake or open any further
  • Isolate the package
  • DO NOT smell or taste any substance that comes out of the package
  • Call Campus Police (x5-5555)
  • Evacuate the area immediately
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water

Hazardous Spills

A hazardous spill situation (including bodily fluids) could occur at anytime in any location of the building.

  • Secure the area as best possible without putting yourself in harm's way or getting the material on yourself
  • Contact Operations (x5-3456) as soon as possible
  • Contact Campus Police (x5-5555)
    • Indicate whether or not emergency medical services are needed
  • You may be asked to provide further information concerning the events leading up to the spill/accident

Active Shooter

If there is an active shooter on campus:

  • Call Campus Police immediately (x5-5555)
  • DO NOT approach the individual
  • Notify others of the danger
  • Move to a safe location (area of refuge) as soon as possible
    • Preferably a room away from windows, with a lockable door from the inside

If the shooter is in your office or area:

  • Call Campus Police immediately (x5-5555)
    • If you cannot speak, leave the line open so police can hear what is going on
  • Use common sense
    • If flight is impossible, follow the instructions of the individual
  • Do not count on walls or doors to be sufficient protection for bullets
  • Attempting to overcome the individual should be a last resort


Bomb Threats

If someone calls you with a bomb threat:

  • Remain calm and attempt to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible

Get as much information from the caller as possible:

  • Who the caller is
  • Where they are calling from
  • Where the bomb is located
  • What time the bomb is set to detonate
  • What are their motives
  • Any identifying characteristics of the caller:
    • Do they have an accent?
    • Gender
    • Age range
    • Do they sound like they could be a student, faculty, or staff member?

Box:Basic Building Emergency Response Plan
Draft from UMBC Police model 5/13/13 lw

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1 Comment

  1. The building contacts need to be updated (director, business manager). The Communication Chain (phone tree) needs to be updated (acting director, etc.), as well.