Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety operates on the Point Loma campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For general questions about emergency preparedness or for 24-hour assistance from DPS, please call (619) 849-2525.

Additional information on campus safety can be found on the Department of Public Safety website.

Area Emergency Plans and Emergency Response Coordinators

If you have questions about the emergency plan for your area, contact your Emergency Response Coordinator. A list of campus ERCs can be found here.

To locate your designated evacaution area, refer to the appropriate campus map below:

Emergency Drills

PLNU holds two university-wide emergency drills each year: a campus lockdown drill during the fall semester and a building evacuation drill during the spring semester.

Information about both will be shared with the campus community by email prior to each drill.

What to Do In Event of a…

First Aid Emergency Preparedness

Medical Emergency

In the event of an on-campus medical emergency please phone Public Safety on the emergency line at 619-849-2525 or call 911.  If 911 has already been contacted, please contact Public Safety and alert them so they may coordinate and assist with the arrival of emergency vehicles to the scene.

When on the phone with a Public Safety or 911, please tell the dispatcher:

  • the nature of the emergency
  • the exact location of the victim(s)
  • if the victim is has lost consciousness, stopped breathing, suffered a significant loss of blood, or sustained a head injury
  • your name and call back number in case you get disconnected.
Close up Emergency Preparedness


If a fire alarm or smoke alarm is going off, please contact Public Safety with the location. The site will then be assessed and emergency services notified as needed.

  • If you discover fire or smoke:
  • Evacuate as quickly as possible.
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm to alert others.
  • Call Public Safety or 911.
  • Extinguish the fire if it is very small, there is an appropriate fire extinguisher available and you know how to use it.
 Emergency Preparedness


During an earthquake:

  • Stay calm and reassure others.
  • Duck, cover, and hold.
  • If indoors, get under a desk or table and hold on. Stay away from windows, tall objects and overhead lights. If no cover is available, duck and hold near an interior wall or interior doorway. Shield your head and face from falling debris. Do not go outside!
  • If outside, stay away from buildings, trees, power lines, poles and all other overhead obstructions. Do not attempt to go inside!
  • In a vehicle, pull over to the side of the road and stop in a safe place in an open area. Avoid overpasses and power lines and stay inside vehicle. If you continue driving, watch for hazards such as damaged roadways, fallen objects, and downed power lines.
  • If you are trapped in debris: Move as little as possible so that you don’t kick up dust. Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are. Shout only as a last resort.

After an earthquake:

  • Be prepared for after shocks.
  • Move cautiously, and wear enclosed, sturdy shoes to avoid injury from broken glass or other debris.
  • Check for injuries. Administer first aid if necessary. Do not move seriously injured individuals unless absolutely necessary.
  • Check for fires, and if safe to do so, extinguish small fires. Do not turn on light switches or appliances and do not light a match. If you smell gas, report it to your building coordinator.
  • Check for facility damage. Report all problems to your building coordinator or to university emergency response personnel.
  • Evacuate the building if it is badly damaged, if there are gas leaks or fires, or if directed to do so. During evacuation, close all doors, and turn off all electrical equipment. Bring your personal emergency kit with you and use the stairway. Do not use the elevator. Assist all individuals with disabilities.
  • Move away from the building to an open area free from overhead hazards. Do not return to the building until it has been determined to be safe by someone in authority.
  • Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency equipment and personnel. Use extreme caution in rescue attempts if others are trapped. If possible, wait for trained university personnel to guide rescue efforts.
  • Make note of any individuals who are missing. Provide all requested information to your building coordinator, Public Safety, and other emergency response personnel. Turn on radio for emergency information.

Prepare for an earthquake:

  • Familiarize yourself with emergency plans and procedures. Take time to identify evacuation routes, and potential hazards to avoid.
  • Become first aid and CPR certified.
  •  Put together a personal emergency kit with food and water to last three days, basic first aid supplies, flashlight, radio, spare batteries, a change of clothes, sturdy shoes, gloves, plastic garbage bags, a blanket, and essential personal items, such as spare eyeglasses, prescription medicine, etc.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car as well as in your room or workplace.
  • Make sure objects of any kind are not stored in aisles or buildings exit paths.
  • Do not store heavy objects on high shelves.

Active Shooter

An Active Shooter/Violent Intruder is a person actively engaged in violent behavior seeking to injure or kill as many victims as possible within a condensed period of time prior to the arrival of law enforcement. These situations leave little or no time for planning and normally require law enforcement to take immediate action to terminate the threat. In each situation it is critical to quickly evaluate your options and react. Although not all inclusive, the following are steps to consider. Thinking of your response now will greatly increase your likelihood of survival.

RUN. Put as much distance as possible between you and the shooter:

  • Have an escape route in mind.
  • Evacuate whether or not others agree to follow.
  • Leave personal belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible and empty.
  • Follow instructions of law enforcement.
  • Monitor your cell phone for emergency text messages.

HIDE. If you are in a classroom or office and you feel it is not safe to run, then stay there, lock the door. If the door does not lock, use heavy furniture to barricade the door. Then evaluate the following:

  • Silence any sources of noise (cell phones, radios, televisions).
  • Consider alternate exits such as windows.
  • Hide behind large solid objects.

FIGHT. As a last resort, and only if your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the intruder(s) by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons (textbooks, chairs, desks, laptops, lamps).
  • Yell, scream, make loud noises.
  • Do not give up and do not be a victim.