Frequently Asked Questions
Is the University prepared to handle major emergencies on campus?
Yes. While no community can fully anticipate every possible emergency, planning helps ensure the University is ready to respond in the event of a crisis. This website serves as a resource for preparing the campus community to take appropriate actions during emergency situations.
What is the University doing to protect students, faculty and staff?
University officials have implemented a number of initiatives:
What is a major emergency or disaster?
A major emergency or disaster is any incident, potential or actual, which could disrupt University operations for a prolonged period of time. These incidents generally involve large numbers of people and significant property damage or personal injury. During a major emergency, policy decisions will usually be required from top University administrators.
How will I know if the University closes? Or the Hospital? Or if a major event is canceled?
The University very rarely closes; the Chandler Medical Center will remain open. However, if changes are necessary, we will provide specific instructions via UK Alert, email to the University community, local television, radio and print media. Additionally, we will post pertinent information on the UK homepage. If non-emergency medical appointments, special events, or other activities need to be delayed or canceled notification will occur via the local media, UK homepage, the specific event website, and/or phone calls to specific effected individuals.
Where should students, faculty and staff go in an emergency?
The answer will vary depending on the type or nature of the emergency. Depending on the emergency, it will be important to decide whether to stay in place or leave. Use available information to determine your actions. In most cases, direction will be provided through various means of communication. Follow instructions from emergency personnel and Building Emergency Coordinators.
- Emergency response protocols have been established.
- UK Alert, a free emergency notification service, is offered to all students, staff, faculty, parents and campus visitors.
- Building Emergency Action Plans have been developed for a number of buildings and will be completed for all buildings.
- Evacuation plans for University buildings, including residence halls, are in place and reviewed regularly.
- Lab security plans have been analyzed, assessed, and updated in collaboration with appropriate governmental agencies.
- Effective relationships are well established with many local, state and federal agencies to assist our administration in continuing to analyze any potential threats or actual emergencies.
- University Police and security patrols throughout buildings and campus property occur on a regular basis.
- The Chandler Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center, is fully prepared to care for injured persons in a mass casualty incident, including those involving biological, chemical or radiological materials.
- We are part of the Metropolitan Medical Response System and constantly work with other hospitals and health care providers in the state in preparation for a coordinated emergency medical response.
- We have finalized a Hazard Mitigation Plan which will help us assess the likelihood of and mitigate for a variety of natural disasters that might occur on campus or any other University owned property throughout the state.
If the emergency is more widespread, instructions for possible relocation or shelter may be distributed through UK Alert, UK's homepage, email to the University community, local media and/or special bulletins through University officials and emergency personnel.
How will I know what to do if we lose electricity and/or computers?
Communication strategies will depend on the nature and extent of the existing emergency and the communication tools that are available at the time. We may use a variety of actions, including:
What can I do to be prepared?
There are several things each of us can do:
- Press releases to local radio and television stations.
- Telephone call trees through multiple branches - i.e. Student Affairs, Housing, Provost's Office, Athletics etc.
- Communications to Physical Plant Staff through their radio networks.
- UK Alert
- Police announcements via loud speakers.
- Police and security personnel working with residence hall staff or other. Facility managers and Building Emergency Coordinators to go door-to-door, if necessary.
What else should I know?
- Remain calm -- Do not panic.
- Stay tuned to radio or television stations for updated information.
- Review emergency procedures provided on this site.
- Learn the evacuation routes for the buildings you frequent. Become familiar with all exits around you.
- Monitor sensitive areas.
- Report suspicious and/or unauthorized persons to UK Police (call 911 from a campus phone or #UKPD (#8573) from a cell phone.)
- Secure building maintenance areas and loading docks.
- Keep offices and residence hall rooms locked when unattended.
- Immediately report suspicious or unattended packages, containers or vehicles; signs of break-ins or attempted unauthorized entries; or unusual odors or substances to UK Police.
- Use the buddy system. Never go somewhere alone, especially at night.
- Know the location of fire extinguishers.
- Talk with your family about how you'll communicate with one another in an emergency.
- User care, caution, common sense and control.
What if I am an international student or staff? What do I need to know?
The University's Office of International Affairs is an excellent resource for all international students and staff. They also have additional information and resources for faculty, staff and students planning international travel.
Who can I talk to if I still feel anxious?
There are a number of services available to students, faculty and staff, as well as those who support others in need:
- If an emergency occurs, stay away from the area. By going to the scene you will only add to the problem and possibly become a victim yourself.
- Evacuate your building whenever an alarm is sounded. NEVER consider it a false alarm.
- Hazardous material hoaxes, harassing emails, graffiti and rumor spreading could be criminal actions. They are not helpful to our campus community and they distract our emergency responders from their work.
- Obey all instructions from emergency personnel.
How will I be notified of the need to evacuate?
You may learn of the need to evacuate in several ways. In most buildings, alarms will sound. Other methods of notification include UK Alert, radio alerts issued by the UK Police Department, email to the University community, phone trees, and even word of mouth.
What happens if I call 911 from campus?
From campus phones, 911 calls go directly to the UK Police Dispatch Center. A dispatcher will ask you a number of questions. Stay on the line and answer all questions to the best of your ability. This does not prevent them from dispatching responders.
- UK Counseling and Testing Services — 859-257-8701
- UK REFER Employee Assistance Program — 859-257-1467
- Work+Life Connections — 859-323-4600 or 859-257-9433
If you call 911 from a cell phone, the call will be directed to the Lexington Fayette Urban County 911 Call Center. Immediately tell the dispatcher that you are calling from the University of Kentucky and provide them with the street address or exact location from which you are calling.
For non-emergency calls, you can contact UK Police at 257-1616 or dial #UKPD (#8573) from a cell phone and be directly linked to the UK Police Dispatch Center.
Is the University open during emergencies?
The University's goal is to maintain essential business services and operations during emergencies and disasters while protecting life, health and safety. Decisions will be made accordingly depending on the incident.
What should I do if I see something suspicious or unusual on campus?
Immediately contact UK Police and report the situation.
Does the University close for snow or other inclement weather?
Please see the University's Inclement Weather Procedures for details, but in short the University's goal is to remain open whenever possible and maintain essential business services and operations during emergencies or disasters while protecting life, health and safety.
Does the University of Kentucky have a text messaging system or other service for use during emergencies?
We have an emergency notification system, UK Alert, to communicate official information during an emergency or crisis situation that disrupts normal operation of the campus or threatens the health and safety of members of the campus community.