Emergency Plans

If an emergency situation or incident that impacts the campus or community arises, Dominican will initiate appropriate response protocols to address and manage the situation.

Emergency Preparation and Response 

The University’s Emergency Procedures Guide includes preparation and response plans specific to incidents that may impact the campus community. We update procedures and plans periodically in accordance with new guidance or emerging best practices. 

Emergency Supplies

We encourage all members of the campus community,  especially resident students, to keep an emergency supply kit/bag ready to go at all times. The American Red Cross created a recommended list of supplies for any emergency kit.

Dominican maintains emergency supplies to be used in the event of an incident impacting the campus community. However, the university does not make individual supplies or kits available to students or employees.

Emergency Assembly Areas

There are several designated areas on campus where students and employees should gather following an emergency event or incident:

  • Anne Hathaway Lawn (next to Guzman Hall)
  • Library Lawn
  • Meadowlands Lawn
  • Conlan Recreation Center
  • Caleruega Dining Hall

Depending on the nature of the incident and the present situation, University personnel will provide further guidance and information. It is important to follow the directions so that personnel can work quickly and efficiently to address the situation and provide support as needed.

Emergency Policies

Dominican will make every effort to continue normal operations and provide essential services — assuming there is no immediate danger to the campus or community. Unless the situation is extreme, the university will almost always remain open. 

Important: Only in extraordinary circumstances will university leadership make exceptions to allow select classes, meetings or events to occur.

Suspended Operations

Classes, meetings and events are cancelled and non-essential offices and departments are closed. Essential function areas such as residence halls, dining services and facilities may remain open, but may operate with limited capacity. 

Campus Shutdown

Classes, meetings and events are cancelled and all offices and departments are closed. All students and employees will be instructed to vacate campus and not return until notified to do so,  although select essential personnel may need to report to campus. Residence halls and dining services are closed during a shutdown.

Important: In some cases, an immediate and unforeseen suspension of operations or shutdown may be required during normal operating hours. Should this happen, Dominican will communicate information to the campus in a timely manner and designated personnel will assist with logistics. 

Dominican will make every effort to continue normal operations of the residence halls and dining services during incidents that may necessitate a campus closure. Where there is an actual or potential risk to safety or to the campus, or in cases where leadership initiates a university shutdown, all students residing on the main campus (Edgehill Village, Fanjeaux, Pennafort) will be asked to vacate campus.

Students living in the Dominican Townhomes may or may not be required to vacate their residences. It is important that students comply with this mandate as safety/security systems such as fire equipment, card swipes and lighting may be compromised and university personnel (including housing staff) will have other critical responsibilities on campus.  

If the residence halls are closed, students must make their own arrangements for transportation from campus and for temporary accommodations. We strongly encourage resident students to speak with their families about this policy and to make plans in preparation for a potential mandated shutdown. If at all possible, students should go to their permanent residences (home) until the shutdown is lifted. We also ask the student community to connect with their peers to see who may be in need of accommodations, and to speak with family about helping a student in need of housing.

In Case of an Emergency

  • Duck, cover and hold on—and be sure to protect your head.
  • If indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table away from glass and heavy objects.
  • If outdoors, move to an open area away from falling hazards.
  • When shaking stops, evacuate to assembly areas and check in with university personnel.
  • If you are injured, immediately notify emergency services or university personnel.
  • Do not enter buildings until instructed to do so by university personnel or emergency services personnel.
  • Evacuate the building if a fire alarm sounds, if you smell gas, or if you see fire or smoke.
  • Follow the instructions of university personnel and/or emergency services.
  • Leave the building using the nearest stairs/exit. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • If possible, assist others in exiting the building.
  • Once outside, gather at assembly areas and check in with university personnel. 
  • If you are injured, notify emergency services or university personnel immediately.
  • Do not enter buildings until instructed to do so by university personnel or emergency services personnel.
  • Be prepared to evacuate the campus. Follow the instructions of university personnel or emergency services.
  • All employees and students who live close enough to go home should go there if the area is safe. Those unable to go home should follow directions to the nearest emergency evacuation area. 
  • Resident students unable to go home should check in with university personnel and await further instructions.
  • In the event of a potential PSPS, university leadership will consult with local agencies to determine the impact for the campus. 
  • Depending on the situation and the duration of the PSPS, the university will determine whether to suspend operations or initiate a full campus shutdown.
  • Designated personnel will provide information and directions to the campus community through the emergency communications systems.

Run, Hide, Fight


  • Get away from the shooter as quickly as possible. Drop any belongings so that you can move quickly.
  • Help others if possible, but evacuate even if they do not follow.
  • Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Call 911 when you are safe, and describe the shooter, location and weapons.


  • Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet. Silence all electronic devices and make sure they do not vibrate.
  • Lock and block doors, close windows and blinds, and turn off lights.
  • Avoid grouping. Try to spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
  • Try to communicate with police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.
  • Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.


  • Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
  • Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
  • Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
  • Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.

Following the Incident:

  • Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.
  • When exiting, keep hands raised, visible and empty. Police may be armed with guns and may use restraints or various control devices to manage the situation. Officers will shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.
  • Take care of yourself first, then provide assistance as best you can to those in need while waiting for medical personnel to arrive.