Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures

Emergencies by nature are unpredictable so no document is completely comprehensive. Other variables outside your or the University's control may affect how a crisis unfolds. 

During an Emergency:

  • Try to stay calm. Take a deep breath. Take a few seconds to plan your course of action.
  • Contact Public Safety or 9-1-1 if necessary.  If possible, please contact your RA.
    • Explain the nature of the emergency.
    • Give the dispatcher your name and location.
    • Don't hang-up first. The dispatcher may have questions for you.
  • Follow specific procedures depending on the emergency (see below).

View Public Safety's emergency preparedness page to help ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others.

Specific residence hall procedures

Fire

The University, as mandated by the fire department, conducts two annual fire drills during the academic year. These drills are not announced in advance so you must treat every alarm as a real fire. By state law evacuation during a fire alarm is mandatory for everyone.

  • If you smell smoke, see smoke, or see flames immediately activate the fire alarm.  If you are near a pull station, please pull the alarm.  We encourage you to walk through your building to see where pull stations and extinguishers are located.
  • Attempt to put the fire out ONLY if you are trained and it is safe to do so.  Never attempt to put out a fire that is larger than a small trash bin.
  • Grab your emergency kit and leave the building immediately.  Meet in your designated assembly area - at least 50 feet from the building (your RA will talk about this at your community meeting).  Remember to take your shoes and jacket in cold weather.
  • Stay in the assembly area until Public Safety has officially called an all-clear for the building. The building RAs will help with evacuation and communication.

Review the community policies for fire prevention tips »

If you live in family housing, we encourage you to discuss fire prevention tips with your children. We also hope you will practice evacuation procedures with your family.

Roommates are encouraged to account for each other during a fire evacuation. If you suspect your roommate was in the building during an alarm, but you don't see her at the assembly area, please alert an RA. Exchanging cell phone numbers with your roommate will also help you communicate during an emergency.

Severe Weather

During severe weather like a tornado, you may need to move to the shelter area of a building. This is not an evacuation, which suggests leaving the building. At the sound of sirens or when media declares a tornado or severe storm warning or when directed by Public Safety/Residence Life Staff, you should move to the building's shelter area. Public Safety will attempt to contact Residence Life Staff to help coordinate communication, but residents should never rely solely on this communication. If you feel it is necessary to move to the safe area, please do so.

Grab your emergency kit and move to safe area designated for each building. Find more tips and a list of shelter areas on campus »

Medical Emergencies

Please call 9-1-1 during a medical emergency. Then call Public Safety at 651.690.8888. If you call 9-1-1 from a campus phone, Public Safety is alerted at the same time through a pager system. Find information about area healthcare clinics and hospitals »

Please complete (and keep updated) an online Emergency Form. If circumstances allow, Public Safety or a professional staff member from Residence Life will print and send a copy of your form with you to the hospital if emergency transportation is required.

Utility Outage

If you lose electricity in your living area or building, please contact Public Safety describing exactly where the power is out (i.e. just your room, building wide, etc.). Please also try to contact your Resident Advisor or the RA on-duty after hours.

  • Have your emergency kit nearby. Please use your flashlight to navigate through dark hallways and stairwells.
  • Avoid opening your refrigerator. Most food will stay good for hours in a closed refrigerator. Find more tips on keeping food safe during an emergency »
  • Do not use candles or other open flames as lighting.
  • As information becomes available, Residence Life will post signs to update residents on the situation.

In the event we need to shut off water the University will try to alert residents in advance. In some emergency situations, like a water main break, advance notification is not possible. Please speak to your RA or call Residence Life at 651.690.6617 if you have questions. Consult the Resident Resources page for information about other facility emergencies.

Alcohol Incapacitation

Being drunk can be a serious health risk. Incapacitation can lead to death. If you are on campus and worried about someone who has consumed alcohol or other substances, please contact an RA or Public Safety (651.690.8888) immediately. Signs of incapacitation include but are not limited to:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Inability to respond to questions
  • Violent or aggressive behavior

Do not make the decision alone to let a drunken individual "sleep it off".  Call for assistance.  Please consult the University's Good Samaritan and alcohol policy for more information about your responsibilities with alcohol use.

Mental Health Concerns

The University Counseling Centers offer confidential services staffed by professional psychologists for students free of charge. Services include short-term counseling and consultation as well as referral to community resources. Your Resident Advisor can answer questions about the Counseling Center and other resources.

In immediate mental health crisis situations (threatening or resulting in bodily harm), please call 9-1-1 or Public Safety at 651.690.8888.

The University and responding staff are held to high standards of confidentiality. Please speak to your Resident Advisor or Complex Coordinator if you have questions or concerns about helping a student in need.

Missing Student

You're an independent person. The University does not keep track of your comings and goings. However, no matter how old you get, if you're missing from classes, work and people haven't seen you around in a few days, the University will respond out of care and concern. In some situations it may be necessary to alert the police and/or family members. The University is obligated to follow regulations outlined in the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).

Notification and reporting for missing residents

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, St. Catherine University has developed the following disclosure notification and action plan in the event of a “Missing Student” in the residence halls.

Statement of compliance

Community members are urged to report missing students immediately. Resident students have the option to confidentially identify an individual to be contact by St. Catherine University in the event a student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours.  Students wishing to register a confidential contact may do so by contacting the Director of Residence Life at 651-690-6617. If a student has identified such an individual, St. Catherine University will notify that individual no later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing. Should a student under the age of 18 be reported as missing, the parent or guardian will be notified within 24 hours. In all cases where a student is reported as missing, the Residence Life staff will immediately contact St. Catherine Public Safety.

Notification and reporting procedures

Concerned individuals should report a missing student to the Director of Residence Life (or designee) at 651.690.6617 or by contacting the St. Catherine Department of Public Safety at 651.690.8888. The Residence Life office will forward any reports of a missing student immediately to the Department of Public Safety and both offices will work together until the matter is resolved. This action may include use of the emergency notification system if necessary. The Residence Life office will notify the listed emergency contact (or the custodial parent or guardian if a resident student is under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual) within 24 hours from when the student was reported as missing.

To avoid the embarrassment that may result in multiple people trying to track your down, we recommend letting your roommate(s) and/or a friend know if you'll be gone an extended number of nights. Please also check your cell phone voice mail and St. Kate's email. And please respond to our messages! We'll try to contact you before we alert anyone else.