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Main Library Emergency Procedures

This document was prepared by the Emergency Procedures Committee of The University of Georgia Libraries, Main Library. It is intended to serve as a guide for staff members in emergency situations. Staff should familiarize themselves with these procedures before an emergency situation occurs. New staff members must be instructed to read the procedures.

General Guidelines Fire
Floor Plans Tornado
Procedures for Notification Bomb Threat
Power Failure Handicapped Persons

GENERAL GUIDELINES

The Access Services Department is the central coordinating office during any type of emergency. When a staff member determines that a potential emergency exists, the Access Services Department should be notified immediately. (Telephone: 542-3256). Access Services will inform Security and the Administration as soon as possible. Security will either initiate the appropriate evacuation procedures or consult with the Head of Access Services, the University Librarian, or in their absence the Director of Administrative Services. If none of the above is available, the person in charge of the Access Services Department will be consulted. This is the proper chain of command to be followed in all emergency situations whenever the phrase University Librarian and/or Head of Access Services (followed by an asterisk) appears in this document.

During an emergency when people need to be directed to another area within the Library or evacuated from the building, certain duties need to be performed by each department:

  1. Departments will be responsible within office areas for notifying patrons to evacuate and for making sure staff are evacuated.

  2. Staff will not be responsible for removal of patrons, only for making sure staff are evacuated.

  3. Departments will issue their own procedures for securing valuables and for proper handling of electrical equipment.

  4. In all cases personal safety is the primary concern.

During an emergency, observe the following guidelines:

  1. Do not use elevators. If you are on an elevator, get off at the next floor immediately.

  2. Keep calm, do not show panic or agitation.

  3. Do not run.

  4. Issue directions calmly but firmly.

  5. Do not call the Security Office.

  6. Familiarize yourself with all emergency exits in all areas where you work. If you are away from your department, follow the appropriate emergency procedures for exiting the building. Do not return to your department.

Security is responsible for clearing office areas not occupied by Library staff, areas used as classrooms, the student lounge, the Computer Labs, and the staff lounge. Security is also responsible for clearing and locking staff and public elevators and for clearing all floors including stacks and individual study carrels.

Although there are many types of emergencies, the four major ones are fire, tornado, power failure, and bomb threat. The directions for evacuation during each emergency follow.


Fire

If a fire door equipped with a panic device sounds an audible alarm, Security will determine if a fire exists and if the central fire alarm needs to be activated. If a central fire alarm sounds, the building should be evacuated immediately. The minimum safe distance is 200 feet from the building, which is beyond Peabody Hall.

The following evacuation routes are available.

2nd , 3rd , 4th , 5th, 6th, 7th Floor Annex
  • Down central core stairway in Annex to 1st floor and out front entrance.

OR
  • Down the stairways (Firetowers) marked A or B in the North-East or North-West corner of the Annex and out at ground level.

1st Floor Annex
  • Out the front entrance

OR
  • Down the stairways (Firetowers) marked A or B in North-East or North-West corner of the Annex and out at ground level.

Basement Annex
  • Up the central core stairway to the 1st floor and out the front entrance

OR
  • Down the stairways (Firetowers) marked A or B in the North-East or North-West corner of the Annex and out at ground level.

Subbasement Annex
(outside Russell Library)
  • Up the central core stairway in the Annex to the 1st floor and out front entrance

OR
  • Through the Firetower door marked A in the North-West corner of the Annex and out at ground level.

Subbasement Annex
(inside Russell Library)
  • Out the main entrance of Russell Library

OR
  • Up the stairway (Firetower) marked B in the North-East corner of the Annex and out at ground level.

Old Building 4th floor
  • Down the stairway (marked C) in the Old Building to 1st floor and out the front entrance

OR
  • Through the corridor to the Annex, to central core stairway, then down to 1st floor and out front entrance

Old Building 2nd floor
  • Down the stairway (marked C) in the Old Building to the 1st floor and then out the front entrance

OR
  • Down the west stairway (marked D) to the Main Lobby and then out the front entrance

OR
  • Into the Annex, to central core stairway, then down to the 1st floor and out the front entrance

Old Building 1st floor
  • Out the front entrance

OR
  • Down the stairway (marked C) in the Old Building to the subbasement and then out at the exit (marked G) on west side near the Annex.

Old Building Basement
  • Out the fire exit on the north wall of basement (marked D or E)

OR
  • Down the stairway (marked C) in the Old Building, to the subbasement and then out at the exit (marked G) on the west side near Annex.

Old Building Subbasement
  • Up the stairway (marked F) on the east side of the Old Building, to the fire exit (marked B) in the north-east corner of the Annex (Firetower) and then down the stairs to exit at ground level

OR
  • Out at the fire exit (marked G) on the west side near the Annex.

If handicapped persons should require assistance in order to evacuate the building, the procedures are as follows:

When the fire alarm sounds, the fire doors leading into the stairwells will close automatically, creating a safe environment. Handicapped persons should go immediately into the stairwell landing and wait for fire safety personnel to arrive. Security and Public Safety will be responsible for informing the Fire Department that all landings must be checked for handicapped individuals.


TORNADO

Tornado Watch: No sightings, but weather conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop in the immediate vicinity (or in Clarke County). When a tornado watch is issued, Security or Access Services will send a Grapevine email out notifying staff of the situation. No action is necessary except to be prepared to act appropriately if the weather watch is upgraded to a warning. Security will post a sign at the entrance gates to notify patrons that a tornado watch is in effect. When the tornado watch has ended, Security or Access Services will notify departments in the Library via a Grapevine email.

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted in the immediate vicinity (Clarke County). Security will be notified by the emergency weather radio and will begin the tornado warning procedures via method 1 or method 2 as listed below. If time permits, a sign will be placed at the security gates notifying incoming patrons of the tornado warning. All staff and patrons should move to the core of the building away from windows, preferably the public stairwell or any bathroom. It is essential to avoid areas near windows. Security will direct this movement. An announcement concerning conditions and updates will be made over the Libraries' PA system. Public Safety and Security will be updated regularly on external conditions. It is strongly suggested that staff and patrons do not leave the building until the tornado warning is over.

  1. Security will use the PA system to inform everyone of the emergency situation. Security will also begin verbally informing staff and patrons that remain on the floors, beginning with the 7th floor and working down through the building, of where they should go for safety.
  2. Security/Administration/Access Services will also send out an email informing everyone of the emergency.

Because elevators are not generally affected during a tornado watch or a tornado warning, disabled individuals should follow emergency procedures as written. If a power outage has also occurred, disabled individuals should seek shelter in the public stairwells with the doors closed and away from all windows. Disabled individuals should wait until notified that the tornado warning has ended.

When the tornado warning has ended, Public Safety will notify Security. Security will then notify the University Librarian and/or Head of Access Services*, staff and patrons that the tornado warning has ended via the PA system.


Procedures for Notification - Main Library


Power Failure

Security will attempt to determine cause of failure, then consult with the University Librarian and/or the Head of Access Services* regarding evacuation. If the building is to be evacuated, the same evacuation routes established for Fire should be used. Security will prevent anyone from entering the building. Library staff should assist patrons by directing them with flashlights which are kept on hand in each office area. It is the responsibility of each department to check the flashlights periodically to be sure they are in working order.

Public Safety will be notified and will assist with the evacuation of any handicapped individuals who require assistance.


Bomb Threat

Notify Access Services immediately if a bomb threat is received. Please use the following bomb threat checklist to help you gather information about the caller. Access Services will notify Public Safety. Public Safety is responsible for determining if the building is to be evacuated. If evacuation is required, Access Services will notify departments, following established procedures. Public Safety will provide assistance with the evacuation of any handicapped individuals who require assistance.


Handicapped Persons

Handicapped persons present a special set of concerns during any type of emergency. After consultation with the Environmental Safety Services Department of the Public Safety Division, the following procedures have been developed.

Fire

If handicapped persons should require assistance in order to evacuate the building, the procedures are as follows.

When the fire alarm sounds, the fire doors leading into the stairwells will close automatically, creating a safe environment. Handicapped persons should go immediately into the stairwell landing and wait for fire safety personnel to arrive. Security and Public Safety will be responsible for informing the Fire Department that all landings must be checked for handicapped individuals.

Tornado Warning

Because elevators are not generally affected during a tornado watch or a tornado warning, handicapped individuals should follow emergency procedures as written. If a power outage has also occurred, handicapped individuals should place themselves as close to the core of the building as possible, away from all windows and wait until notified that the tornado warning has ended.

Power Outage

Public Safety will be notified and will assist with the evacuation of anyone who requires assistance.

Bomb Threat

If Public Safety determines that the building needs to be evacuated, they will provide assistance if required.