Emergency Operations Plan

Emergency Operations Plan: Appendix A. Action to be Taken During Specific Emergencies


Fire Within a Building

If a fire is detected within a building, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Alert others in the building. Activate the building fire alarm. All building occupants shall immediately evacuate the building.
  2. Call the Fire Department and report the fire. Inform Campus Security of the situation and actions taken.
  3. Fire extinguishers are provided for emergency responders. Do not attempt to use fire extinguishers unless properly trained.
  4. Do not re-enter the building.
  5. Stay upwind of the fire/smoke and remain at a safe distance from the fire and firefighting equipment. Render first aid as may be required.
  6. Security personnel will keep access roads open for emergency vehicles and direct fire fighters to location of fire.
  7. The Chancellor or designee will direct further action as required.

Fire Near a Building

If a fire is detected near a building, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Inform Campus Security of the fire. If the nearby fire poses an immediate threat to students, faculty, and staff or the building, Activate the building fire alarm to evacuate the building.
  2. The Chancellor or designee will evaluate the situation and determine the need to evacuate the building or area. The Fire Department may be called depending on the nature of the fire.
  3. Fire extinguishers are provided for emergency responders. Do not attempt to use fire extinguishers unless properly trained
  4. The Chancellor or designee will direct further action as required.


Earthquakes usually strike without warning. The following actions, as time permits, should be accomplished:

Inside of Buildings

  1. Drop to the ground; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, seek cover against an interior wall or inside corner, protecting your head and neck with your arms. Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you.
  2. Avoid areas near large windows, tall furniture and heavy hanging objects.
  3. After the earthquake, remain calm. Do not leave the building until the shaking is over. Then exit in a calm and orderly manner. Do not use the elevators. Do not blindly run outside, parts of buildings may still be falling.
  4. Do not return to buildings for any reason until they have been declared safe.
  5. The Building Administrator and Assistant Building Administrator should observe from a safe distance from all building entrances to see that no one re-enters the buildings.
  6. Do not light any fires after the earthquake. If your area has gas utilities, do not flip switches, including light switches, which may spark and ignite the gas.
  7. Avoid touching electrical wires which may have fallen.
  8. Check for injured persons. Render first aid if trained. Do not move the victim unless he or she is in immediate danger. Seek emergency help as soon as possible.
  9. The Chancellor or designee will determine the advisability of closing the campus. If necessary he/she will try to procure the advice of competent authorities about the safety of the building.
    1. Turn on the radio for latest bulletins.
    2. Subsequent shocks may follow the initial tremor. Do not return to buildings until officials declare them safe.

Outside of Buildings

  1. The safest place is in the open. Stay there until the earthquake is over.
  2. Move away from buildings, trees, and exposed wires.
  3. Do not run.
  4. Follow the procedures under “Inside Building” in previous section (B) #4 through #7.
  5. In Car or Bus: On a mountain road, the side of the road may not be the safest place; hence the driver should quickly consider the terrain before deciding where to stop.
  6. If possible, pull to side of road away from any buildings, and crouch or lie down in car.
  7. Set brakes.
  8. Turn off ignition.
  9. Wait until earthquake is over.
    1. Follow procedures iv through vii under “Inside Building” in previous section (A).

Severe Windstorm

Severe windstorms usually strike without warning. The following actions if time permits, should be accomplished. Classes may be suspended to allow students, faculty and staff to return home. Dormitory students shall be guided by instructions from the Housing staff.

Operations Section (#severe-windstorm-operations-section}

  1. Assist with taping of glass panes on windows and doors.
  2. Secure any outside staging, scaffolding, planking, loose iron roofing, and anything that can blow away.
  3. Shut off gas to buildings when campus operations cease.

Occupants of Buildings

  1. Tape up glass panes on windows and doors.
  2. Close windows and blinds (draw all drapery in a closed position). Stay away from glass windows.
  3. Secure loose materials (i.e. store inside of file cabinets, desk drawers, etc.).

If high winds develop during instructional hours with little or no warning, the following emergency action steps should be followed:

  1. Everyone should seek shelter immediately.
  2. Employees and Students should be assembled inside shelters or best available buildings. (Refer to Appendix B. Hurricane Rating of University Space). Each person responsible for a building, classroom or laboratory shall ensure that all disabled/handicapped persons have been assisted to reach cover.
  3. Close windows and blinds (draw all drapery in a closed position). Stay away from glass windows.
  4. During the windstorm, remain near an inside wall, on the lower level if possible.
  5. Stay inside the building as loose flying objects, downed wires, falling branches/trees, etc. may pose life-threatening situations.
  6. Avoid structures with large roof spans.
  7. Evacuate rooms subject to full force winds.
  8. Keep tuned to the Emergency Broadcast System radio station for latest advisory information.

Actions after the winds subside

  1. After the winds subside, temporarily secure damaged buildings to prevent further weather damage.
  2. Notify the Operations Section Chief or Campus Security of any break, damage, or suspected break, in any utility system or building.
  3. Do not touch any downed wires due to electrical hazards. Notify Campus Security, the Operations Section Chief, and the Hawaiian Electric Light Company of the downed wires.
  4. Should anyone detect gas, notify Campus Security and the Operations Section Chief. Ventilate the building if able to do so safely. Do not light any matches, lighters, etc. or turn on any device that may cause ignition.
  5. Be careful of broken glass and other sharp objects (eg. protruding nails, jagged metal edges).
  6. If a building sustained considerable damage from the windstorm, do not enter the building until given permission by the Planning Section Chief.


The Central Pacific Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Although the greatest likelihood for hurricanes is during the hurricane season, Central Pacific Hurricane Center continually monitors for the threat of tropical systems throughout the year. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Honolulu activates the CPHC when: (1) a tropical cyclone moves into the Central Pacific from the Eastern Pacific, (2) a tropical cyclone forms in the Central Pacific, or (3) a tropical cyclone moves into the Central Pacific from the West.

Winds that exceed 74 miles per hour are a Hurricane. When a tropical depression forms, the National Weather Service begins to issue a series of advisories, which include watches and warnings, based on the strength and position of the approaching storm. See Attachment 2. Informational Brochure–Hurricanes .

A Hurricane Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when there is a threat of a Hurricane within 48 hours. Preliminary precautions should be taken.

A Hurricane Warning is issued by the National Weather Service when sustained winds of 74 MPH or more are expected in a specified area in 36 hours or less. Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued.

With the advance warning systems through our Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense Office, we should have sufficient time to prepare ourselves to minimize and/or eliminate injury or death and to protect our University through preventive maintenance and precautions before and when the Hurricane arrives.

Actions to be taken in preparation to a Hurricane Watch

The University will automatically proceed to Emergency Status.

  1. Emergency Operations Plan Officers shall immediately be contacted and made aware of the situation. If required, they shall report to the Emergency Operations Center. The Auxiliary Services personnel shall assist in securing the campus by following the instructions above in Severe Windstorm (Operations Section), if time and conditions permit (i.e. taping and boarding of glass windows & doors, etc.). The Emergency Operations Plan Officers shall assist Auxiliary Services personnel in any way, if needed.
  2. The Emergency Operations Center will assist in preparing the Evacuation Centers for those who may need to evacuate to these centers (see Appendix C. Civil Defense Designated Hurricane Evacuation Centers on Campus for buildings approved by the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense). The Emergency Operations Center will also serve as liaison with the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense to notify the public of these centers.
  3. The Chancellor or Designee will evaluate current information and make a determination whether to suspend and close campus upon notification of a Hurricane Watch. All University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo functions that are scheduled within this watch phase should be evaluated and postponed or cancelled as needed. Dormitory students shall be guided by instructions from the Housing Officer.
  4. The Logistics Section Chief shall insure that emergency equipment is readily available (i.e. electrical generators, emergency lighting, AM/FM radios, alternate communication systems).
  5. The Personnel Support Section Chief shall insure and coordinate with the contracted Service Provider that emergency provisions (food and water) for approximately two hundred fifty (250) people are available for a minimum of three (3) days.
  6. The Public Information Officer and the Webmaster shall provide notifications via email and website to faculty, staff, and students regarding the status of University operations. Updates shall be provided at 6 AM, 12 noon, and 6 PM (or more often as required).

Actions to be taken in preparation to a Hurricane Warning

  1. Everyone shall evacuate the campus unless seeking shelter in the designated Evacuation Centers. Dormitory students shall evacuate to locations designated by the Housing Officer (i.e. specified dorms that are Hurricane proof, Evacuation Centers).
  2. If for some reason certain individuals are unable to evacuate the campus and the Hurricane arrives, follow the instructions on “If high winds develop during instructional hours with little or no warning”.

Actions to be taken after the Hurricane subsides

  1. After the Hurricane subsides and the all clear signal is given either by notification of phone or radio from the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, all classes shall be suspended and the campus shall remain closed until further notice.
  2. When the all clear signal is given, the Emergency Operations Plan Officers shall automatically report to the Emergency Operations Center, assuming roads are clear, their families are safe and their property secured. The EOP Officers shall assist by following the instructions on “Actions after the winds subside”.
  3. The Planning Section Chief along with the Operations Section Chief shall inspect all buildings to insure that all buildings on campus are safe to enter. In addition, they shall identify buildings which are unsafe to enter and shall make the necessary repairs.
  4. The Planning Section Chief shall notify the Chancellor or Designee when the campus is safe to resume classes.
  5. The Chancellor or Designee has the authority to reopen the campus and to resume classes.
  6. Announcement of reopening of the campus and resumed operations shall be provided via local media, as well as email and website notifications.

Tsunami or Flood


A tsunami is a series of destructive ocean waves affecting all shorelines. Tsunamis may occur with advance warning or without advance warning (i.e. locally generated).

In case of a tsunami, Civil Defense will sound the Attention Alert Signal which is a steady blast for one minute on sirens, followed by one minute silence–repeated as necessary. Upon hearing the sirens, turn on the radio and listen for instructions.

In the event that a Tsunami Watch or Warning is issued by Civil Defense, Campus Security shall notify the Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, and those in charge of off-campus facilities/activities. These individuals shall immediately notify their respective units of the Civil Defense warning and to take proper action. Note: Personnel may not be able to hear the Civil Defense sirens from certain locations of the campuses. Therefore, it is essential for Auxiliary Services to notify these individuals without delay.

UH Hilo units currently located in Tsunami Evacuation Zone:

  • Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center
  • Hawaiʻi Innovation Center at Hilo (old Bank of Hawaiʻi Building)
  • Kīlauea Financial Plaza
  • Marine Science Research Vessel, Hilo Harbor

Upon hearing the Civil Defense sirens and/or obtaining information that a tsunami warning has been issued, all beach/ocean related activities will immediately cease and individuals will evacuate to higher grounds. No one shall return to lower grounds until after the “all clear” declaration is given by Civil Defense.

Potentially serious traffic problems can develop during a tsunami alert. In reducing traffic problems during this situation, all employees and students not in a tsunami inundation zone shall remain where they are. Only those employees and students working in an tsunami inundation zone (refer to the Civil Defense Evacuation Maps in the Hawaiian Telcom Phonebook), those having family members in a tsunami inundation zone, and those with unique and special reasons (i.e., having a boat which needs to be removed to the open ocean) may be released (Governor’s Administrative Directive No. 96–07, Policy Governing Tsunami Alert Procedures).

Flash Floods

Flash floods are the rapid flooding of streams, valleys, low lying and flood prone areas caused by heavy rains.

Flood Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service. Civil Defense may sound the Attention Alert Signal. Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

Keep away from flood prone areas, do not enter flooded roadways, paths, streams, flood control systems, etc.

Volcanic Eruption

Being of volcanic origin with ongoing activity, the Island of Hawaiʻi is vulnerable to volcanic eruptions and lava flows. The Hawaiʻi Volcano Observatory (HVO) usually provides information about impending activity. Civil Defense (CD) issues advance warning/evacuation notices to the public regarding volcanic activity but at times may not be able to do so due to the unpredictable nature of volcanoes.

Upon receiving a warning notice:

  1. Tune in to an Emergency Broadcast System radio station for latest advisory information.
  2. If advised to prepare for evacuation, personnel should secure equipment and buildings; they may also remove valuable items that are relatively easy to transport.
  3. If advised to evacuate, keep in mind that in the event of an eruption and lava flow, a long term or permanent evacuation may be possible. The lava flow may cut off roads, utilities and partially or completely destroy property. Alternative sites to conduct operations may become necessary.

Hazardous Material Incident

Hazardous material incidents of disaster magnitude would include run away experiments, major spills or release of radioactive material, or storage accidents involving large quantities of toxic substances. Should such an accident endanger the employees and students of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Immediately inform the Environmental Health and Safety Office and Campus Security of the incident. Where necessary for safety, employees and students will take immediate action without waiting for direction from University officials.
  2. The Chancellor or designee will evaluate the situation and determine the need to evacuate the building/campus. If a decision is made to evacuate the building/campus, the evacuation procedure will be followed.
  3. All employees and students should stay upwind of the incident and remain at a safe distance to avoid contact (i.e. fumes, gases, vapors, etc.) with the hazardous material.
  4. The Safety Officer or Campus Security shall notify the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and the Fire Department of the incident and seek medical assistance as required.

Security personnel shall prevent entry into incident areas.

The Chancellor or designee will direct further action as required.

Major Utility Outage

In the event of a major utility outage, the following steps are to be followed:

  • In all cases of electricity, water, gas or communications outages, notify the Operations Section Chief Officer (Auxiliary Services) at 974–7369. Auxiliary Services personnel will determine the extent of the outage and take corrective action.
  • Electricity Outage:
    1. Disconnect all equipment which could be damaged by power surge when electricity is restored.
    2. Turn off lights, appliances, window air conditioners and other energy users to reduce power requirements for restoration.
  • Water Outage:
    1. Conserve water resources until restored, keep taps closed.
    2. If localized to main campus, request Auxiliary Services to arrange with Board of Water Supply to provide water distribution point for essential use.
  • Gas Outage:
    1. Close all outlets.
    2. Contact Auxiliary Services if unable to access gas shut off valves.

Explosion or Threat of Explosion

In the event of an explosion at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo or Hawaiʻi Community College, or the threat of an explosion–such as those caused by leaking gas, a faulty boiler or both within a campus/site building–the following will be accomplished:


  1. If an explosion occurs without warning, take cover by lying on the floor1.
  2. If the explosion occurs within the building, or threatens the building, the instructor should immediately evacuate the building.
  3. Move to an area of safety, and maintain control.
  4. Check for injured persons. Render first aid if trained.
  5. Notify Campus Security. Campus Security will notify other agencies as needed.
  6. Fight fires only if trained and without endangering yourself or others.
  7. Students and staff should not return to the building until Fire Department officials declare the building to be safe for occupancy.
  8. The Chancellor will direct further action as required.

Threat of Explosion

  1. Sound the building fire alarm. This will automatically implement action to evacuate the building.
  2. Follow procedures 3 through 6 under Explosion above.
  3. The Campus Security will direct further action as required.

Bomb Threat

When a Bomb Threat Is Received

  1. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Utilize the Bomb Threat Checklist (PDF). Ask the caller to repeat the message. Record every word spoken by the person.
  2. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ask for this information.
  3. Inform the caller that the building is occupied and the detonation of the bomb could result in death or serious injury to many innocent people.
  4. Pay particular attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music, or any other sounds which may give a clue as to the location of the caller.
  5. Listen closely to the voice (male or female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments. Immediately after the caller hangs up, report the call to Campus Security and fill out the Bomb Threat Checklist (PDF) as completely as possible.

Evacuation of Building/Campus

Campus Security will report the information immediately to the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Hawaiʻi Police Department and Hawaiʻi Fire Department. Campus Security shall work with the Chancellor’s Office to evaluate the threat and decide whether to evacuate the building/campus, not to evacuate, and/or search on a limited basis. If a decision to evacuate the building/campus is made, the following actions will be taken:

  1. Call all security personnel on campus to report to immediate area of the building involved and to standby for further instructions. Campus Security will coordinate the evacuation.
  2. During normal working hours, verbal notification, will evacuate the building. Inform employees and students of the bomb threat and request an orderly evacuation from the building area to a designated area of the campus or complete evacuation of the campus.
  3. After normal working hours, Campus Security will inform the Chancellor of the threat. Campus Security will inform the Chancellor and work with the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Hawaiʻi Police Department, and Hawaiʻi Fire Department and evaluate the threat and take appropriate action.
  4. Two-way radios, cellular phones and fire alarms should not be used during the interim since the radio frequency transmission could activate the explosive device.

Location of Suspicious Object

  1. Personnel locating any suspicious object should report this to Campus Security. Do not move, jar, or touch the objects or anything attached thereto. The removal/disarming of an explosive device must be left to the professionals in explosive ordinance disposal.
  2. Evacuate the area of all other personnel involved in the search. Do not permit re-entry into the area until the device has been removed/disarmed.

Re-occupancy of Building

  1. After a search has been completed and all located explosive devices have been removed, or no explosive devices have been located, and the building is declared safe, re-entry will be permitted.
  2. The decision to permit re-entry must be made by the Chancellor or Plan Director.

All bomb threats must be treated as legitimate and must be immediately reported.

Exhibit A. Check List When You Receive a Bomb Threat

Bioterroristic Threat

When a Bioterroristic Threat of Anthrax or Threat to use any other Biological Agent is received

  1. Call 911, inform the Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Team of the Fire Department of the threat.
  2. Notify Campus Security of situation; however, Do not call Campus Security or any other staff member for emergency response.
  3. Evacuate in a professional manner and stay upwind of the building.
  4. Entry into the building should be restricted. Police Department will enforce a quarantine and No Entry Zone.
  5. Remain at the Evacuation Area, until an All Clear is announced by the Emergency Personnel.

Handling of Suspicious Unopened Letter or Package Marked with Threatening Message such as “Anthrax”

From State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health, Guidelines for Handling Anthrax Scares or Threats in Letters and Packages.

  1. Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  2. Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container or prevent leakage of contents.
  3. If you do not have any container, then cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  4. Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  6. What to do next … notify your supervisor, campus security, and call 911.
  7. List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the police and the Department of Health authorities for follow-up investigations and advice.

Envelope with Powder and Powder Spills Out Onto Surface

From State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health, Guidelines for Handling Anthrax Scares or Threats in Letters and Packages.

  1. Do not try to clean up the powder. Cover the spilled contents immediately with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover!
  2. Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  4. What to do next … notify your supervisor, campus security, and call 911.
  5. Remove heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or some other container that can be sealed. This clothing bag should be given to the emergency responders for proper handling.
  6. Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other disinfectant on your skin.
  7. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder. Give this list to both the police and Department of Health authorities so that proper instructions can be given for medical follow-up, and to law enforcement officials for further investigation.

All bioterroristic threats must be treated as legitimate and action must be taken immediately.

Workplace Violence

Try to remain calm. Your actions may help calm a potentially violent situation, or they may escalate the problem

  • Stay calm. Don’t be in a hurry.
  • Be empathetic. Show you are concerned.
  • Try to have the other person and yourself sit down. Sitting is a less aggressive position.
  • Give positive-outcome statements, such as “We can get this straightened out.”
  • Give positive feedback for continued talking, such as “I’m glad you’re telling me how you feel.”
  • Stay out of arms’ reach.
  • Have limited eye contact.
  • Take notes.
  • Avoid yelling or arguing.
  • Do not joke or be sarcastic.

If someone becomes agitated

  • Leave the scene immediately, if possible. Call Campus Security from a safe place.
  • Or try to alert a co-worker that there is a problem; e.g. by calling and using an agreed upon code word to indicate trouble.

Practice preventive measures

  • Discuss and agree on circumstances and situations in the workplace that everyone should watch out for. Have procedures, signals and code words in place to deal with threatening situations.
  • Avoid scheduling appointments for times when no one else is in the area. Alert your colleagues in advance about a difficult meeting, and keep the door to the room open, or meet in a public area.
  • Try to avoid working alone after hours. If you have to work late, advise a colleague, friend or family member.
  • When working after office hours, keep doors locked and do not open the door unless you are expecting someone.
  • Report any strange or unusual activities in and around your workplace immediately to your supervisor, Campus Security, and/or the police.
  • Do not leave money or valuable belongings out in the open. Purses should be locked in a desk or cabinet.
  • Lock your office and/or lab doors when these areas are not in use, even when you are leaving for “just a moment.”
  • Always walk in well-lit areas and know your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, do not go home; go where there are other people. Call Campus Security as soon as you are in a safe place.
  • Report to your building administrator any workplace locks, windows or lights that are in need of repair or attention.

Immediate or Imminent Danger

If a reported or on-going incident of possible workplace violence, in the judgment of the first line supervisor, presents an immediate or imminent danger they will immediately take the following action:

  • Notify the Hawaiʻi County Police Department – 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
  • Call Campus Security – (808) 974-7911 (7911 from a campus phone).
  • Call their immediate supervisor (Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor).
  • Decide whether to continue operations or evacuate the area.

Shooting Incidents

Whenever a shooting incident occurs on our campus, the following steps should be taken:

Responding To An Active Shooter


An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area; in most cases active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims. This document provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students who may be caught in an active shooter situation, and describes what to expect from responding police officers.

Guidance to faculty, staff, and students

In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, bearing in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use these guidelines to help you plan a strategy for survival.

  • If an active shooter is outside your building, proceed to a room that can be locked, close and lock all the windows and doors, and turn off all the lights; if possible, get everyone down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room. One person in the room should call 911, advise the dispatcher of what is taking place, and inform him/her of your location; remain in place until the police give the “all clear.” Unfamiliar voices may be the shooter attempting to lure victims from their safe space; do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer.
  • If an active shooter is in the same building you are, determine if the room you are in can be locked and if so, follow the same procedure described in the previous paragraph. If your room can’t be locked, determine if there is a nearby location that can be reached safely and secured, or if you can safely exit the building. If you decide to move from your current location, be sure to follow the instructions outlined below.
  • If an active shooter enters your office or classroom, try to remain calm. Dial 911, if possible, and alert police to the shooter’s location; if you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what’s taking place. If there is no opportunity for escape or hiding, it might be possible to negotiate with the shooter; attempting to overpower the shooter with force should be considered a very last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. If the shooter leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter.

No matter what the circumstances, if you decide to flee during an active shooting situation, make sure you have an escape route and plan in mind. Do not attempt to carry anything while fleeing; move quickly, keep your hands visible, and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter. Do not attempt to remove injured people; instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible. Do not try to drive off campus until advised it is safe to do so by police.

What to expect from responding police officers

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers will normally be in teams; they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns, and might also be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. Regardless of how they appear, remain calm, do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if you know where the shooter is, tell the officers. The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons. Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.

General Quick Response Guide

  1. Secure immediate area:
    • Lock and barricade doors
    • Turn off lights
    • Close blinds
    • Silence cell phones
    • Block windows
    • Turn off radios and computer monitors
    • Keep occupants calm, quiet, and out of sight
    • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets (cover may protect you from bullets)
    • Place signs in exterior windows to identify the location of injured persons
  2. Contacting Authorities:
    • Use 7911 from a campus phone to contact UH Hilo Campus Security ((808) 974-7911 from a cell phone).
    • Use 911 (Dialing 9-911 from a campus phone will connect with Hawaiʻi County Police Department).
    • Dialing 911 from a cell phone will connect you with Hawaiʻi County Police Department. Be sure to give the call taker your exact location.
    • Be aware that the 911 system will likely be overwhelmed. Program the UH Hilo Campus Security phone number (974-7911) into your cell phone for emergency use.
  3. What to Report:
    • Your specific location- building name and office/room number
    • Number of people at your specific location
    • Injuries- number injured, types of injuries
    • Assailant(s) - location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, type of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooters identity if known, separate explosions from gunfire, etc.
  4. Un-securing an area:
    • Consider risks before un-securing rooms
    • Remember, the shooter will not stop until they are engaged by an outside force.
    • Attempts to rescue people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.
    • Consider the safety of masses vs. the safety of a few.
    • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured.

Civil Disturbances/Labor Strikes

The most important function in either of these types of emergency is that of security operations. All principal entrances to the campus must be manned to ensure free access for authorized personnel and to restrict access of unauthorized personnel.

Civil Disturbance

With a civil disturbance, such as a “sit-in”, a decision by the Chancellor must be reached within a reasonable time whether to take police action or not. Prior to taking such firm action, every possible attempt must be made to persuade the demonstrators to stop the disturbance voluntarily. Only as a last resort should arrests be contemplated since, once the municipal police are called on campus, the resulting actions are under their control and not under the control of University officials.

Labor Strike

During a labor strike, all non-essential maintenance must be stopped and only emergency maintenance service is to be provided. Possibly the most important maintenance item during a labor strike involving blue collar workers will be the cleaning of rest rooms and trash removal. As many volunteers as possible should be recruited to handle rest room cleaning and an attempt should be made to contract trash removal to a commercial company.


In the event that enemy-initiated action against the United States may be imminent, Civil Defense will sound the sirens at which time personnel shall turn on their radios for emergency information and instructions.

Auxiliary Services shall notify the Chancellors, Deans and Directors of any Civil Defense warnings or /alert notices. Note: Civil Defense sirens may not be heard from certain locations of the campuses. Therefore, it is essential for Auxiliary Services to notify these individuals without delay.

  1. Faculty should instruct students to react in the same manner on their own to this type of catastrophe in case it occurs when the faculty is temporarily not present.