Emergency Guide

In the event of a campus emergency, it is vital that SMU students, faculty and staff know what to do. Common sense, opportunity, and personal experience all play a part in responding to emergencies. But whether the threat is fire, a weather emergency or an active shooter, preparation for an evacuation, shelter, or lockdown will be applicable in most emergency situations.

SMU Alert

Active Threat

Run|Hide|Fight or Avoid|Deny|Defend
During an act of violence (e.g. robbery, hostage situation, workplace violence, active shooter): RUN|AVOID starts with your state of mind.

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Have an exit plan.
  • Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible.
  • The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.

HIDE|DENY when getting away is difficult or maybe even impossible.

  • Keep distance between you and the source.
  • Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.
  • Turn the lights off.
  • Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silence your phone.

FIGHT|DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself.

  • If you cannot Avoid or Deny be prepared to defend yourself.
  • Be aggressive and committed to your actions.
  • Do not fight fairly. THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL

When Law Enforcement Arrive, their priority is to stop the shooter/threat.
• Remain calm and follow police instructions
• Show your hands and follow commands
• When asked, provide any facts that will help police


Disruptive Individuals

If you are a victim, or a witness of a disruptive event:
• Call SMU PD 214-768-3333.
• Identify your name, location and need for assistance. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher and follow all instruction.
• Stay calm.
• If you can, remove yourself or the targeted person to his/her office/room and lock the door.
• Attempt to diffuse the situation. Acknowledge anger, but calmly ask the abusive person to leave.
• If the person still will not leave, advise them that the police have been called.
• Never endanger yourself needlessly or continue to argue with an abusive person.
In The Event of an Explosion:
1. Take cover under sturdy furniture,
2. Evacuate, if safe, and pull the nearest fire alarm station to evacuate the building,
3. Dial 214-768-3333 and advise SMU Police of the location of the explosion and, if known, its seriousness and any possible injuries to persons in the area. Be sure to give your name, location, and telephone number. Do not hang up until released by them.
4. Assemble at Evacuation Assembly Point(s) outside the building until help arrives.
5. Advise emergency personnel about the explosion area and any persons who may have been injured.
Although people typically think of evacuating a building because of a fire, there are other reasons why you may need to evacuate a building:
• A hazardous chemical spill within a building
• A volatile gas release within a building
• The potential for violence due to an intruder or shooter