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Emergency Guide

Emergency Guide

The Emergency Guide contains essential phone numbers and "what to do in case of..." information for UCSD employees, students and visitors.

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Emergency phone numbers

Call 9-1-1 from campus phones

From other phones:

  • UCSD Police (858) 534-HELP (4357)
  • Medical Center Security (619) 543-6111

Emergency status

In the event of a major emergency affecting the campus, check UCSD status using one of the methods below:

Emergency status phone numbers

  • UCSD Campus: (888) 308-UCSD (8273)
  • Medical Center: (619) 543-6555

Emergency status web page

Department emergency action plans

Every UCSD department must have an Emergency Action Plan. They are an integral part of the campuswide Emergency Operations Plan and preparedness effort.

Many procedures in this Guide depend on departments following their Emergency Action Plan.

Department Emergency Action Plans address the needs of faculty, staff, and students at specific locations during emergency situations. Large departments occupying different locations may need individual plans for each facility they occupy. Each plan should include emergency contact information appropriate for its location.

Your department plan should identify hazards unique to your workplace, along with corresponding response strategies that minimize exposure to hazardous conditions during an emergency. Examples of what to consider include:

Fire

Small Fire (waste basket size, needs only 1 fire extinguisher)

  • Pull the fire alarm to notify building occupants and fire department.
  • If you have been trained to use a fire extinguisher, and it's safe to do so, attempt to extinguish a small fire using the P-A-S-S procedure:
    • P - Pull the pin located in the extinguisher handle.
    • A - Aim the nozzle, horn, or hose at the base of the fire.
    • S - Squeeze or press the handles together.
    • S - Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it is out.
  • Evacuate the building and assemble at your designated area.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe area.
  • Provide incident-specific information to arriving emergency responders.

Large Fire (larger than a waste basket, needs more than 1 fire extinguisher)

  • Pull the fire alarm to notify building occupants and fire department.
  • Evacuate the building and assemble at the designated area.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe area.
  • Provide incident-specific information to arriving emergency responders.

Utility failure

Notify Facilities Management or Facilities Engineering immediately:

  • Campus Facilities Management: (858) 534-2930
  • Hillcrest Medical Center Facilities Engineering: (619) 543-6454
  • La Jolla Medical Center Facilities Engineering: (858) 657-6400

General precautions

  • Ventilation: If smoke or burning odor is present, evacuate the area.
  • Elevator: Push button or use telephone in elevator to contact emergency help.
  • Plumbing/Flooding: Disconnect electrical devices if safe to do so and evacuate the area.
  • Electrical: Call Facilities Management or Facilities Engineering.

Major utility failure

  • If you are responsible for a backup generator and it doesn't begin to operate, contact Facilities Management or Facilities Engineering.
  • Department Safety Coordinator and/or department head may contact Facilities Management or Facilities Engineering for information regarding scope and duration of expected outage.

Emergency utility failure

  • Gas leaks: Evacuate the area immediately. Call 9-1-1 from a safe area. Do not use spark producing devices.

Earthquake

When shaking is felt

  • Get under a desk, table, or stairwell or move against an interior wall.
  • Cover your head with your arms.
  • Stay away from big windows, shelves, or tall room partitions.
  • Remain under cover until the movement subsides.
  • When shaking stops, look for trapped or injured people and ruptured utilities.

Minor earthquake

  • If minor damage occurs in your area, inform your Department Safety Coordinator.
  • Remain at your station and await further instructions from key personnel.

Major earthquake

  • If severe building damage occurs, evacuate the building.
  • Assemble at your designated area; wait for instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Report missing persons and ruptured utilities to emergency personnel immediately.
  • Provide CPR and first aid to seriously injured people, if you have been trained.
  • Take injured people to a triage area: Student Health Service or an area hospital.
  • Food, water, first aid supplies, etc., will be distributed by emergency personnel as part of the campuswide emergency response program.
  • Campus emergency personnel will report to prearranged areas and receive instructions from the main Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Tsunami

A tsunami is a series of large waves of extremely long wavelength and period caused by a sudden underwater disturbance that displaces a large volume of water. Very large earthquakes with upward or downward movement, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and even meteorites can cause a  tsunami.

Southern California's low-lying coastline could experience tsunami waves, either from a distant event or locally generated by our own seismically active geology. Know the Tsunami Warning Center terms:

  • Advisory: An earthquake has occurred in the Pacific basin and might generate a tsunami. Tsunami Warning Centers will issue hourly bulletins about the situation.
  • Watch: A tsunami was or may have been generated, but is at least 2 hours travel time to the area in watch status.
  • Warning: A tsunami was or may have been generated and could cause damage. People in the warned area are strongly advised to evacuate.

Warnings are issued to coastal areas for coastal earthquakes of magnitude 7.1 or greater within 15 minutes after the quake occurs. The warning area surrounds the earthquake source. The Emergency Alert System (television and radio) and local law enforcement using bullhorns will order residents in warned areas to evacuate.

If a tsunami is likely in your area

  • Turn on your radio to learn if there is a tsunami warning when an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area.
  • Move inland to higher ground immediately and stay there.

After a tsunami

  • Stay away from flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to return.
  • Stay away from debris in the water – it may pose a safety hazard to boats and people.

Biological spill

UCSD EH&S Spill Response: (858) 534-3660

After business hours: Call 9-1-1

California Poison Control System: (800) 222-1222

Biohazardous materials include infectious organisms that can cause disease in healthy humans or significant environmental or agricultural impact. Human or primate tissues, fluids, cells or cell culture, recombinant DNA, and transgenic plants or animals may also be biohazardous because they may contain infectious organisms.

Spill response procedures

  • Clear area of all personnel. Attend to injured or contaminated personnel and remove them from further exposure if it can be done safely.
  • If someone is splashed with hazardous material, use an eye wash or emergency shower to immediately rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention as needed.
  • Remove and place contaminated clothing in a biohazard waste bag.
  • If the spill is too large or dangerous for laboratory staff to safely clean up, call UCSD EH&S Spill Response or 9-1-1.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes for aerosol to settle before entering the spill area.
  • Wear a laboratory coat, safety glasses, and gloves for spill cleanup.
  • Place dry paper towels on the spill to absorb liquids. Place a second layer of disinfectant-soaked paper towels over the spill.
  • Encircle the spill with additional disinfectants, being careful to minimize aerosolization while assuring adequate contact.
  • Decontaminate all items within the spill area. Allow 20 minutes contact time to ensure germicidal action of disinfectant. Wipe equipment with appropriate disinfectant.
  • Discard contaminated disposable materials using appropriate biohazardous waste disposal procedures. Check with your lab manager for disposal procedures.
  • Disinfect laboratory surfaces and all reusable items a second time.

Needlestick / Exposure to blood or body fluids

Protocol for needlestick or exposure to human or primate blood, body fluids, bloodborne pathogens, or recombinant DNA.

Immediately do the following

  • Wash wound thoroughly with soap and water. Use the eye wash to rinse out splashes to mucous membranes.
  • Seek medical advice and treatment as directed below.
  • Report the incident immediately to Environment, Health & Safety: (858) 534-3660.
  • Submit an Employee Incident Report online form to Workers' Compensation.

Seek medical advice and treatment:

During business hours, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Option 1: Call the Medical Center paging operator at (619) 543-6737 and ask them to page 1447
  • Option 2: Call a UCSD Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM) and ask for an emergency consultation with an Occupational Medicine Nurse:
    • COEM Hillcrest: (619) 471-9210   |   COEM La Jolla: (858) 657-1600

After business hours or if paging does not work

  • Proceed directly to the emergency room at Thornton Hospital or UCSD Medical Center.
NOTE: Post-exposure prophylaxis drugs are designed to stop HIV infection and replication. The sooner prophylaxis can be started, the better. Even if you have been delayed by several hours or days, seek medical advice. The interval after which post-exposure prophylaxis provides no benefit is not known.

Chemical or Radiation spill

UCSD EH&S Spill Response: (858) 534-3660

After business hours: Call 9-1-1

California Poison Control System: (800) 222-1222

Minor spill (Lab staff can safely clean up without assistance from EH&S)

  • Alert people in the area. Notify the lab supervisor or principal investigator.
  • Avoid breathing chemical vapors and try to determine what spilled.
  • If someone is splashed with chemical, use an eye wash or emergency shower to immediately rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. Call California Poison Control System for advice. Seek medical attention as required.
  • Radiation spills: survey personnel for contamination as soon as possible and begin skin decontamination immediately. Record the initial “cpm” and time decontamination begins. Notify EH&S Spill Response of skin contamination immediately.
  • Confine the spill to a small area. Radiation spills: label radiation spill areas with radioactive label tape. Indicate the isotope spilled.
  • Clean up minor spills only. Wear safety goggles, disposable gloves, shoe covers, and long-sleeve lab coat during cleanup.
    • Chemical spills: Use spill kit absorbent material to absorb spilled chemicals.
    • Radiation spills: Place absorbent towels over liquid spills. Place towels dampened with water over spilled solid materials.
  • Clean from outermost areas toward the center. Place cleanup materials in double, clear plastic bags labeled with a UCSD waste tag.
  • Clean the spill area with water. Radiation spills: monitor radiation spill areas, hands, and shoes for contamination with an appropriate survey meter or wipe test. Repeat cleanup until contamination free. Provide a written record of radiation spills and cleanup to EH&S as soon as possible.

Major spill

  • Attend to injured or contaminated personnel and remove them from further exposure if it can be done safely. If someone is splashed with chemical, use an eye wash or emergency shower to immediately rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. Call California Poison Control System for advice. Seek medical attention as required.
  • Radiation spills: survey personnel for contamination as soon as possible and begin skin decontamination immediately. Record the initial “cpm” and time decontamination begins. Notify EH&S Spill Response of skin contamination immediately.
  • Avoid breathing chemical vapors. Quickly identify the spilled material if it can be done safely.
  • If the spill involves a flammable liquid, turn off ignition sources if it can be done safely.
  • Evacuate the area immediately. Close all doors and prevent entry to the area.
  • Call UCSD EH&S Spill Response immediately.

Bomb threat

ALL BOMB THREATS WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!

If you receive a bomb threat in writing

  • DO NOT SEARCH FOR AN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
  • DO NOT TOUCH ANY UNUSUAL OR SUSPICIOUS OBJECTS
  • REPORT THE THREAT IMMEDIATELY TO UCSD POLICE OR MEDICAL CENTER EMERGENCY OPERATOR:
    • 9-1-1  or  UCSD Police: (858) 534-HELP (4357)
    • Medical Center Emergency Operator: (619) 543-6111
  • If the bomb threat was hand delivered, try to recall a description of the messenger or other suspicious persons in the area.

If you receive a bomb threat over the phone

  • Stay calm. Do not hang up on the caller. Try to let someone know you are on the phone with the caller. Ask someone to call the UCSD Police or Medical Center Emergency Operator.
  • Try to get as much information from the caller as possible.
  • Write down the time of the call, take notes, and ask these questions:
    • When will the bomb go off?
    • Where is it?
    • What does it look like?
    • Why was it placed in the building?
    • Who is calling?

Try to notice any of the following information

  • Caller's gender and approximate age
  • Was the voice familiar?
  • Did the person have an accent or unique speech attribute?
  • Any unique background noises?

Once you have informed the UCSD Police, you will be advised as to the appropriate course of action, based on the nature and circumstances of the threat in question.

If the building is evacuated

  • Take keys, purses, and wallets with you.
  • Remain outside in your designated assembly area until the building has been searched and declared safe to enter.

Acts of violence

If you are confronted by a violent person

  • Try to maintain a calm demeanor. Survey your surroundings for escape routes.
  • If the violent person talks to you, speak as clearly and as confidently as you can.
  • Avoid challenging or debating with the person.
  • Avoid confrontation with the violent person unless you feel your life or the lives of others are in danger. If you feel there is immediate danger, you'll have to decide what is best to do. This may include fighting or fleeing.
  • Think about the violent incidents you've heard about in the media. Learn from the responses or lack of responses of the victims.
  • Think about what your options would be if you were placed in a situation of violence. Thinking about your options ahead of time and discussing them with others may help you make better decisions under terrifying circumstances.

If you are involved in a violent incident

  • Report any violent incidents to the UCSD Police or Medical Center Emergency Operator.
  • Seek medical attention as required.

Once the UCSD Police are informed, they will determine a response that could include activation of the text and voice emergency notification system, as well as the campus public address system.

If you witness violent behavior

  • Move to a safe area. Report the threat to UCSD Police or Medical Center Emergency Operator:
    • 9-1-1  or  UCSD Police: (858) 534-HELP (4357)
    • Medical Center Emergency Operator: (619) 543-6111
  • Provide as much information as you can, including:
    • Location of incident and type of violence
    • Description of person(s) involved (gender, age, clothing, appearance, weapons)
    • Any information about victims (number of victims, appearance, condition)
    • Direction of travel (where were the suspects last seen, where were they going)

If you hear about a violent incident on campus

  • Stay away from the area and warn others to do the same.
  • Check for UCSD status updates using one of the methods below:
    • Consult the Emergency Status web page
    • Call the UCSD Emergency Status phone number:
      • Campus: (888) 308-UCSD (8273)
      • Medical Centers: (619) 543-6555 or (858) 657-6767

Response to an active shooter

  • Lock or barricade the door. Block the door using anything available.
  • Stay behind solid objects away from the door as much as possible.
  • Consider trying to escape.
  • If possible, call 9-1-1.

Personal injury

When a work-related injury or illness occurs:

  • Give first aid if you have been trained. Call 9-1-1 if emergency help is needed.
  • Get medical treatment, as necessary, during business hours at a UCSD Center  for Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM). Call the closest COEM location:
    • Campus COEM: 8899 University Center Lane, Suite 160, San Diego, CA 92122
      (858) 657-1600 (call for an appointment, if possible), Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Hillcrest COEM: 330 Lewis Street, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92103
      (619) 471-9210 (call for appointment, if possible), Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • After business hours or for emergency medical care, go directly to the Emergency Department at Thornton Hospital or UCSD Medical Center at Hillcrest.
  • Call California Poison Control System if hazardous material is involved: (800) 222-1222.
  • Report work-related injury or illness to Workers' Compensation: (858) 534-2454.
  • Submit an Employee Incident Report online form to Workers' Compensation.
    • Report serious incidents immediately: Call 9-1-1
    • Immediately secure any incident scene from all access and preserve all evidence for no less than 24 hours.
  • Special instructions for Department of Chemistry / Biochemistry personnel only:
    • Report serious incidents immediately: Call 9-1-1
    • Immediately secure any incident scene from all access and preserve all evidence for no less than 24 hours.

Clothing on fire

  • Drop and roll to smother flames, or drench with water if an emergency shower is available.
  • Obtain medical attention as required.
  • Report incident to supervisor.

Hazardous material splashed in eye or skin

  • Immediately rinse exposed areas with water for 15 minutes.
  • Forcibly hold affected eyes open to ensure effective rinsing behind eyelids and inner eyelid surface.
  • OBTAIN IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!
  • Report incident to supervisor.

Minor cuts and puncture wounds

  • Thoroughly wash injury with water for several minutes.
  • Obtain medical attention as required. A tetanus booster may be needed.
  • Report incident to supervisor.

Building evacuation

  • Gather your personal belongings such as glasses, medications, keys, and purse. Close, but do not lock, doors as you leave.
  • Quickly evacuate the building using the nearest door marked with an EXIT sign. Help those who need special assistance, such as disabled persons and small children.
  • Prearrange appropriate evacuation procedures for people with disabilities, particularly non-ambulatory individuals and the people assigned to assist them.
  • Report to your designated assembly area and stay there for a head count. Report any missing persons and last known locations to emergency responders.
  • Notify emergency responders about sensitive research, operating equipment, animals left in buildings, etc.
  • Wait for instructions from emergency responders. Remain outside at your designated assembly area. Do not reenter the building until authorized to do so.

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