Public Safety

Emergency Procedures

The emergency procedures listed below provide guidance for a multitude of emergency events. Please review the documents for information on bomb threats, suspicious activities and packages, active shooters, Prevention Through Intervention, hazmaterial situations, civil disturbance and pandemics.

Threats against the university are taken very seriously. UC Police's K-9 Unit has specialized expertise in responding to bomb threats, suspicious packages and other related hazards. They are used at many special events around campus and throughout the region as a preventative measure to ensure a safe environment for the students, staff and visitors at UC and other venues. City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) resources are also available for further assistance. The content below outlines how the university handles bomb threats, including communication and evacuation procedure.

Bomb Threat Procedure

A. Communications

When a telephoned bomb threat is received at the University of Cincinnati Communications Center, the dispatcher will attempt to elicit all available information from the caller. If the threat is received at another location, and relayed to the Communications Center, the dispatcher will attempt to gather as much information as possible from the secondary caller.

B. Evacuation

If the building is to be evacuated, the fire alarm system may be used to initiate evacuation. If the building is evacuated, the public will be moved a safe distance from the building perimeter. Consideration should be given to the fact that devices are commonly placed in trash cans, in shrubbery, and vehicles next to buildings. Building entrances will be secured against re-entry by posting officers, signage, or barricade tape as appropriate and dependent on availability.

C. Radio Communications

The building or area in question will be searched by officers, with the assistance of area staff and/or maintenance, if advisable and contingent on incident circumstances. The shift supervisor will maintain a fixed command post and remain in direct contact with the personnel responsible for the area under threat. On scene staff receiving such a call will be interviewed for all possible details of the call. Do not touch or handle a suspicious device or package once located.

D. Bomb Threat Call Procedures

Bomb threats are to be treated as real threats, until proven otherwise. Take note of exactly what is said, sound of voices, and any background noises.

  1. Remain calm. Keep caller on the line as long as possible. Keep the caller talking to learn information;
  2. Listen carefully. Be polite and show interest;
  3. If possible while speaking to the caller, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities;
  4. If your phone has a display, write down the number.

Do not use a two-way radio or cellular phone in the vicinity of a suspicious package; radio signals have the potential to detonate a bomb; leave the building if no landline is available and a cellular phone must be used to call 911; Do not touch or move a suspicious package.

E. Information to get from the caller:

  • Where is the bomb located?
  • When will it go off?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode? 

Any person receiving mail and/or packages at the University of Cincinnati should exercise a reasonable degree of caution and examine those materials before opening them. The pages linked below outline characteristics of suspicious packages and what to do in the event you receive one.

Suspicious Packages and Items

Anthrax Threats

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and develop quickly. An active shooter is an individual engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in confined or populated areas. In most cases an active shooter uses a firearm.

When responding to an active shooter you should "Run. Hide. Fight."€ Please see the links and the video below for more detailed information.

Sandy Hook PSA - Learn Subtle Signs of Potential Gun Violence

How to Respond to an Active Shooter (PDF)

Shelter In Place

Video link:
Run. Hide. Fight.

For active shooter situations, the response recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is Run. Hide. Fight. To learn more, please view the following video demonstration: Run. Hide. Fight.

The University of Cincinnati Environmental Health & Safety Department has plans in place for handling hazardous chemicals, radiation safety and chemical hygiene. Please click on each individual link below to learn more.

Lab Safety Information

Hazardous Materials Information

Handling Hazardous Chemicals - General Principles

Management of Chemical Wastes

Radiation Safety