University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Emergency Plan for Nelson Poynter Memorial Library

Armed Intruder

Armed Intruder

An armed intruder on campus may be announced on MoBull, via telephone or the Alertus desktop app, or via some other method. You may also actually hear gunshots or other indications.


If there is an armed intruder somewhere on campus follow instructions given during the alert.

If there is an armed intruder in the library your actions will depend on the location of the intruder. Follow the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT protocol.

  1. RUN!
    1. If you can safely evacuate, do so. Using the fire doors will automatically set off the alarms, providing a warning to others.
    2. Encourage others to evacuate, but don’t wait.
    3. Once outside, call 911 to report the intruder.
    4. If the intruder is in the library – GET AWAY FROM THE BUILDING! Milling around the front doors is not a safe location. Take cover in or behind another building.
  2. HIDE! If you can’t evacuate safely.
    1. Turn off room lights and lock your door. Lower window shades if available.
    2. Silence your ringer on your cell phone. Remain quiet.
    3. Take shelter under a desk or table if available.
  3. FIGHT! As a last resort.
    1. Alone or as a group.
    2. Use improvised weapons to try to disarm the intruder.
    3. Throw books books, chairs, etc.

Always follow the instructions of the police officers responding to the incident. Approach the officers with your hands visible. Tell the officers the location of the intruder if you know it.

Once you are in a safe location, remain there until you are released by law enforcement personnel.

Follow any emergencies messages on MoBULL. Do not call University Police unless you need emergency information or have valuable information to share.

For more information, see the armed intruder instructions at the University Police Web Site. at

Bomb Threats

Bomb Threats.

All employees should have a copy of the Bomb Threat Procedures card prepared by University Police. This card contains instructions on one side and a checklist on the other to help you deal with a bomb threat. Keep this card near your phone. If you don’t have a copy, let you supervisor know.


If you receive a bomb threat there are things you should NOT do…

DO NOT use two-way radios or cellular phones. The signals could set off the bomb.

DO NOT evacuate the building unless told to do so by University Police.

DO NOT touch or move suspicious packages.

  1. Phone threats:
    1. KEEP CALM. Try to keep the caller on the line for as long as possible.
    2. Do not hang up your phone even if the caller hangs up.
    3. Listen Carefully. Be Polite and show interest in what the caller is saying.
    4. If possible, get a colleague or other person to call University Police (873-4140 or 3-4444) on another phone while you continue to talk to the caller.
    5. Try to complete the bomb threat checklist. Be as detailed as possible, including remembering the exact words the caller used.
  2. Email Threats:
    1. Call the University Police (873-4140 or 3-4444).
    2. Do not delete the message.
  3. Handwritten Threats
    1. Handle the message as little as possible.
    2. Call University Police (873-4140 or 3-4444).
  4. Suspicious Packages
    1. Do not touch or move suspicious packages or any items you are not sure about.
    2. Call University Police to report suspicious activity.

Try to keep other people away from the item.

Chemical/Other Smells

Chemical or Other Odors

Building maintenance activities or local construction projects may lead to chemical or other odors infilitrating the building. These odors will frequently dissipate quickly, but if the continue to strengthen so they start to create physical stress (such as watering eyes) or are a nuisance that interferes with operations they should be reported as follows:


Call the University Safety and Compliance Officer (873-4820) and Facilities Services (873-4135). Describe the odor and the effects on building occupants.


Call the University Police Department (873-4140 or 3-4444). They can contact appropriate authorities, help evaluate the situation, and help decide if the building should be evacuated and or closed.

Explosions/Gas Leaks

Explosions or Gas Leak

Explosions could be caused by a bomb, by an accident, or by mechanical malfunction. During an explosion you need to expect falling debris, smoke, fire, noxious fumes and more. You need to protect yourself against all of these occurrences.


  1. Take cover behind or under sturdy furniture. Close your eyes, and shield your face, neck and head to protect yourself from falling debris.
  2. When you feel it is safe, evacuate the building using the fire doors and stairs. Do not use the elevators. Keep low if there is smoke.
  3. When approaching a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the lower, middle and upper parts of the door. Never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat: burning those areas could impair your ability to escape a fire (i.e., ladders and crawling).
  4. If the door is NOT hot, open slowly and ensure fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape route. If clear, leave immediately through the door. Be prepared to crawl.
  5. Move away from the building. Keep sidewalks and/or streets clear for use by emergency officials or others still exiting the building.
  6. Move to Poynter Park or another area designated by emergency personnel and wait for further instructions. Do not reenter any the building until it has been declared safe by emergency officials.
  7. Supervisors should make sure all of their staff are accounted for. Report any missing persons to emergency personnel.
  8. If you feel it is not safe to evacuate, shelter in place until emergency crews can reach you. Call the University Police (873­4140) or 911 and give them your location.

If you are trapped in debris:

  1. Use a flashlight, if possible, to signal your location to rescuers. Never strike a match.
  2. Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can hear where you are.
  3. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust. If possible, use a whistle to signal rescuers.

Avoid unnecessary movement so you don't kick up dust. Cover your nose and mouth with anything you have on hand. (Dense­weave cotton material can act as a good filter. Try to breathe through the material.)



  1. If you hear the fire alarm you must evacuate the building immediately using the closest exit. Use the stairways -- the elevators will not function during an alarm.
  2. Alert people in the immediate area that there is a fire, and instruct them to evacuate the building.
  3. If caught in smoke drop to hands and knees and crawl towards the nearest exit. Stay low, smoke will rise to ceiling level first.
  4. If you smell or see fire or smoke, but hear no alarm, activate the nearest fire alarm as you evacuate the building. Fire alarms are located near each fire exit on every floor.
  5. Instruct handicapped/special needs persons to wait at the stairwell for rescue. Help them reach the safe area. Do not stay with them, but inform emergency personnel of their location when you get outside.
  6. Move to Poynter Park or other area designated by emergency personnel to await instructions. If the weather is too dangerous to gather outside in Poynter Park, you should evacuate to Bayboro Hall.
  7. Call 911 to report the fire once you have reached safety.
  8. Notify emergency personnel if you know or suspect someone is trapped or still inside the building or if someone refused to evacuate.
  9. Never attempt to re­enter the building until cleared to do so by the Fire Department.
  10. Never attempt to put out a fire on your own.

If Trapped in a Room

  1. Hold your breath as much as possible. Breathe through your nose and use a filter such as a shirt, towel or handkerchief.
  2. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  3. If possible, wet and place cloth material around or under the door to help prevent smoke from entering the room.
  4. If the room has an outside window, be prepared to signal to someone outside.



Clothing on Fire (Stop, Drop and Roll)

  1. Direct or assist a person to roll around on the floor to smother the flames.

Obtain medical attention. Call 911.



Flooding and/or leaks could be caused by a weather event - such as a thunderstorm - or it could be caused by mechanical failure in the plumbing or HVAC system. Regardless of the cause, care should be taken to protect people and library resources.


  1. During regular business hours call Facilities at 873-­4135 to report the emergency. After hours report the emergency to 727-510-6890..
  2. Ask patrons to move away from the site of the leak. If possible, block off the site.
  3. If you feel the situation is serious enough to warrant evacuation, inform University Police.
  4. Be careful of standing water that may prove to be an electrocution risk.
  5. When deemed safe by Facilities or the police, cover any materials/equipment that could be damaged by water.