Emergency Procedures

Emergency Contacts
Universal Emergency
Student Health Center
Weather and Emergency Information
Arlington Alert

You may wish to consider registering for Arlington Alert, Arlington County’s emergency notification system that sends important alerts and updates via cell phones, pagers, and e-mail. To sign up, visit Arlington Alert.

Active Shooter

What to do When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity:


  • If you can get out of the building safely, do so quickly and quietly.
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible as you exit.


  • If you cannot get out of the building, hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Stay quiet.
  • Silence your electronic devices.
  • Turn off all lights, close all window coverings.


  • Only as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
Please take a few moments to view this important video on what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus.
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If Fire or Smoke Is Detected:

  • Activate the building alarm system.
  • Evacuate the building, moving a distance of at least 100 feet from it. Follow posted building evacuation routes if possible.
  • Notify others as you leave the building by shouting “fire” and knocking on doors.
  • If possible, close doors and windows as you leave to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • If there is smoke in the area, get down on the floor and crawl out of the building.
  • Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is not hot, open it slowly. If a door is hot, DO NOT open it. Move to a second exit, or if one is not available, stay in place and try to open a window for fresh air.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, call 911 and give your location. Try to do something to help identify your location from the outside of the building (e.g. hang a sheet, blanket, or colorful piece of clothing out the window).
  • Once you are outdoors, if you know the specific location or cause of the fire, or are aware of someone still inside the building, provide that information to Campus Safety at (703) 284-1600 (ext. 1600 on campus) or emergency-response personnel.
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Medical Emergencies

Dial (703) 284-1600 (ext. 1600 on campus) to report a serious illness or injury. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, dial 911.

  • Provide the level of first aid for which you are trained and equipped. Generally, do not try to move an injured person; this should be done ONLY when the person’s position puts him or her in additional danger.
  • When possible, have someone meet the ambulance or Campus Safety officer at a clearly visible location to quickly direct them to the injured or ill individual.
  • If sudden cardiac arrest is suspected, use one of the automated external defibrillators (AED) located around campus and identified by AED signs. Dial 911 immediately and bring an AED to the incident site. No previous experience is necessary to operate the device; it will talk the user through its safe application and will not shock someone with a normal heart beat. When a wall-mounted AED case is opened, an alarm will sound to alert others that help is needed.
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Power Outage

  • In the event of a power outage, limited emergency power is supplied to campus buildings to provide for safe evacuation (but not for continued occupancy).
  • Power outages should be reported to the Physical Plant by calling (703) 284-1529 (ext. 1529 on campus) or Campus Safety at (703) 284-1600 (ext. 1600 on campus).
  • Use a flashlight, NOT candles.
  • Evacuate laboratories immediately, since most fume hoods will not operate when building power is cut off.
  • If Campus Safety personnel determine that relocation to a safer area is necessary, they will go from floor to floor to notify students, faculty, and staff in academic buildings. Campus & Residential Services staff will notify students in the residence halls.

NOTE: Campus Safety and several other offices have battery-powered radios and will keep the campus community informed during situations that result in power outage.

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Severe Weather
If a Tornado/Hurricane Warning Is Issued:

  • Immediately move to the lowest interior floors of your building, and into a windowless area (hallway, bathroom). As you leave your room/office, close windows and lock the door behind you.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
  • Do not evacuate the building unless a fire begins or the building structure is unsafe.
  • If you are outside in your vehicle and see a tornado approaching, do not remain in your car. If there is a sturdy building nearby, go to the lowest level of that structure for protection. If you are out in the open, lay in as low an area as possible, away from cars.
  • Please take a moment to view this video on what to do in the event of a tornado warning.

In the event of severe weather or other unusual conditions, Marymount University may delay or cancel classes, or close altogether. Information about delays, cancellations, and closings will be made available through MU Alerts and other media as soon as possible once a decision is made. Consult Marymount’s Weather and Emergency Information Line, (703) 526-6888 (ext. 6888 on campus), the University’s website and local radio and television stations for information.

Power outages may occur during severe weather. To reduce the potential for injury and/or damage, please refer to the instructions under “Power Outage.”

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Bomb Threat

  • Take all calls seriously and report them to Campus Safety at (703) 284-1600 (ext. 1600 on campus) immediately.
  • Try to obtain as much information from the caller as possible: location of the bomb; detonation time; reason for the threat; information about the caller (age, affiliation with any organization, etc.).
  • Notify your supervisor or the person responsible for the building.
  • Do not try to locate the bomb and never touch suspicious objects or packages.
  • Do not use portable radios or pull the fire alarm in a facility where a bomb may be located.
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Toxic Odors and Spills

  • In the event of a biological, chemical, or radioactive spill, or if an odor of gas or a noxious substance is detected in your area, leave the area immediately and call Campus Safety at (703) 284-1600 (ext. 1600 on campus).
  • If possible, secure the area to prevent others from entering.
  • If the hazard is thought to place all building occupants at risk (e.g. the odor of natural gas), pull the fire alarm to evacuate the building.
  • In campus science laboratories, follow the posted instructions.
  • Do not re-enter the building/area until it is determined safe by emergency responders.
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Situations Requiring Shelter in Place

In the event of an emergency that makes it unsafe to be outdoors or breathe outdoor air (e.g. tornado/hurricane or a chemical/biological attack), the instruction may be given to "Shelter in Place."

When alerted to "Shelter in Place":

  • Move to an interior room or hallway with no windows.
  • On your way to the sheltered space, close windows and doors to the best of your ability.
  • Designated personnel will be responsible for turning off air-handling systems to reduce the flow of air into the buildings from outside.
  • Specific instructions will be provided by Campus Safety officers and, in the residence halls, by Campus & Residential Services staff. Remain indoors until you are advised that it is safe to leave. Shelter in place would likely be needed for no more than a few hours.

Campus Safety personnel, Campus and Residential Services staff, and other University officials will provide instructions and assistance. No one should exit the "Shelter in Place" area until the "All Clear" has been sounded.

If a shelter in place order is given, University officials will provide as much information as is known about the best type of area for sheltering. It is always true that an interior, windowless space should be chosen for sheltering in place.

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Building Evacuation

In the event of an emergency that makes one or more campus buildings unsafe for occupancy (e.g. a fire, chemical spill), the instruction will be given to “Evacuate” the building(s).

When a fire alarm is sounded or the order to evacuate is given, occupants of the specified building(s) must immediately proceed to the nearest exit, walking quickly and remaining calm; once outdoors, move to a distance of at least 100 feet away from the building. Police or fire officials, Campus Safety officers, and other University officials will be on hand to provide instructions and assistance. Please note that a sounding fire alarm should never be assumed to signify a “drill”; all building occupants are required to evacuate every time a fire alarm is sounded.

If you are unable to evacuate, call 911 and give your location, then do something to help identify your location from outside the building (e.g. hang a sheet, blanket, or colorful piece of clothing out the window).

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Campus Evacuation

In the event of an emergency that makes it necessary to evacuate the entire campus, directions will be given by local police or other public-safety authorities, assisted by Campus Safety personnel and University officials. Marymount students and employees should remain calm and listen for and follow instructions. The call to evacuate will be made by Marymount’s President, his/her designee, and/or local public safety authorities.

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In the event of an emergency involving an imminent threat of harm (e.g. an individual with a gun on campus), it may become necessary to "Lockdown" one or more buildings to protect occupants and minimize the overall exposure to danger.

A "Lockdown" is a temporary sheltering technique, which may last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. When alerted that the campus or specific buildings are in “Lockdown,” occupants of any building within the subject area are to remain inside a lockable room, away from windows, and lock all room doors and windows. Do not shelter in a hallway; go to an office, classroom, or residence hall room that can be locked. Turn off room lights, stay away from windows and doors, and remain quiet. No one should enter or exit the “Lockdown” area until the “All Clear” has been sounded.

If you are outdoors when a “Lockdown” is announced, take shelter in the nearest campus building. If specific buildings or areas of the campus are known to be unsafe at a given time, instructions to Evacuate/Avoid those buildings or areas will be provided.

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Supervisor Responsibilities

In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation, lockdown, or shelter in place, faculty members teaching in classrooms, laboratories, studios, etc., are responsible for helping to ensure the safety of their students. Similarly, department supervisors are responsible for helping to ensure the safety of the employees in their immediate areas.

Evacuation routes are posted in all campus classrooms, offices, residence hall rooms, etc. Faculty members and department supervisors are responsible for familiarizing themselves with evacuation routes from the areas in which they work. They are also responsible for understanding the emergency procedures outlined in this plan.

The following specific procedures must be followed: 

  • When notified of an emergency, faculty/department supervisors will immediately inform their students/employees of the situation and take the leadership in implementing appropriate emergency procedures as outlined in this plan.
  • In an evacuation scenario, faculty/instructors and department supervisors will direct their students/employees toward designated evacuation routes and ask them to meet in a specified area outside the building. If there is any concern that someone may still be in the building, the faculty member/department supervisor should inform Campus Safety or local public-safety officers on site.
  • Faculty and staff supervisors are asked to survey their work areas periodically, evaluating them to determine the impact an emergency could have on persons working or studying in those areas. Any threats to safety (e.g. broken window or door lock, blocked exit, etc.) should be immediately reported to the employee’s supervisor or to Campus Safety.
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Information for Persons with Disabilities

Members of the Marymount community who have disabilities that could affect their safety in an emergency requiring evacuation, lockdown, or shelter in place must notify the appropriate campus office upon arrival at Marymount: students should contact Student Access Services at (703) 284-1538; employees should contact Human Resource Services at (703) 284-1680. Those who have a temporary disability (e.g. a broken leg) should also provide these offices with information about when the disability begins and ends.

Student Access Services and Human Resource Services will work with individuals to determine the most effective and efficient emergency plan for them. Each semester, these offices will provide a log of individuals who might need assistance in an emergency (along with their regular schedules) to the Office of Campus Safety & Emergency Management.

When visitors to campus have disabilities that could affect their safety in an emergency, Campus Safety officers will ask about their needs and note where they will be on campus during their visit, as well as their anticipated time of departure.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to arrange a buddy system with friends or colleagues, who could serve as evacuation assistants. Without putting themselves at risk in an emergency, such assistants could help their friend out of a building, or provide rescue personnel with information about the person’s location and needs.

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Office of Campus Safety & Emergency Management


Main Guardhouse
24 hours/day, 7 days/week
(703) 284-1600

Ballston Center
1000 N. Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 284-5900

Main Office
Berg Hall 1008
2807 North Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 284-1601


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