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Evacuating Campus Facilities, Policy and Procedures for


To describe circumstances that would require evacuation of campus facilities, the appropriate procedures for doing so, and the Human Resources hours reporting procedures for affected employees.

Applies to: 

Lawrence campus

Policy Statement: 

The University does not normally close facilities because of brief interruptions in normal services (e.g., short-term water outages or heating/cooling). Occasionally, however, an unplanned incident may render one or more facilities unsuited for normal habitation or use. In such a case, it may be necessary to evacuate the facility.

An evacuation may be necessary if there is a power failure, lack of water, hazardous material release, structural damage, bomb threat or other terrorist act, flood, or any other situation that makes the facility unsafe or uninhabitable. An evacuation may be initiated by the building fire alarm, by notice from a police or fire official, or by administrative decision. If a fire alarm sounds, or if a Public Safety Officer or fire official gives an evacuation notice, everyone must leave the building. Departments are required to have evacuation plans in place covering these types of emergencies. Evacuation of university buildings will be handled in accordance with supplemental document AA of section 4 of the University’s Emergency Management Plan. Department and project administrators are responsible for notifying occupants of exit routes and the location of the building emergency assembly areas.

If evacuation is necessary, the University will operate under the Emergency Management Plan. If an emergency occurs, occupants of the affected facility will be notified in accordance with the “Crisis Communication Plan” within the Emergency Management Plan. Deans, directors and chairpersons affected by the incident must determine their staffing requirements to ensure the maintenance of essential programs and activities, and, if necessary, to aid in the recovery/restoration process. Deans, directors and chairpersons will ensure that their employees are notified of changes in work schedule, relocation of specific operations, and/or curtailment of specific operations.

Under the University’s Emergency Management Plan some facility administrators may be required in the emergency command post to assist emergency service personnel in developing a response to the situation.

Decisions to cancel classes or curtail other operations in the affected facility will be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Emergency Management Plan.

The University will make every attempt to notify one administrator in each of the major units affected by the situation to inform them of any operational decisions that have been made. Those administrators in turn will provide that information to relevant personnel in their units. Should a decision be made to dismiss employees or to cancel classes in the affected facility, each affected department will be responsible for notifying its staff. Each department should have plans for maintaining critical operations so that the effect of a situation can be minimized.

If Student Housing facilities are affected, residents will be advised as soon as possible of provisions made for food service and relocation.

Repopulation of an Evacuated Area

Repopulation of the evacuated area will be made as soon as feasible. Public Safety and/or Facilities Planning and Development personnel will meet with all relevant agencies and departments to determine if the area is safe to repopulate. When the evacuated area is deemed safe, Public Safety personnel will make contact with evacuees and advise them that it is safe to re-enter.

If the Emergency Management Plan is activated, repopulation may be addressed through the Emergency Operation Center Manager.

The University’s emergency response and evacuation procedures will be tested at least annually as outlined in the University’s Emergency Management Plan, and the procedures will be publicized in conjunction with at least one test per calendar year. Annual testing may be either announced or unannounced and will be publicized on the Office of Public Safety website. Documentation of the testing will be maintained in accordance with the Emergency Management Plan.

Hours Reporting

Please feel free to contact the Department of Human Resources (4-4946) with any questions regarding the following information on dealing with lost time as the result of a facility incident.

Employees affected by the incident who are told that they cannot return to the work site will have their work time handled in accordance with one of the following options during the period when the facility is closed:

  1. If possible, staff will be reassigned to an alternate work site. If appropriate based on job duties, exempt staff may be asked to perform some work at home.
  2. If reassignment is not possible, non-exempt staff will be granted paid administrative leave for the period when the facility is uninhabitable. Exempt staff will receive their regular pay.

If an employee does not report to work when the facility is deemed habitable, or if an employee elects to remain at home after the affected facility is deemed habitable, the employee may ask the supervisor to use one of the following options for handling the lost time. Disciplinary action may be taken if an employee is required to return to work and does not do so.

  1. Charge their employee’s discretionary day. (Note: the discretionary day may not be utilized for absences of fewer than eight hours),
  2. Charge accrued compensatory time (non-exempt employees only),
  3. Charge accrued holiday compensatory time (classified and non-exempt unclassified staff only),
  4. Charge accrued vacation leave,
  5. Charge leave without pay (exempt employees can utilize leave without pay only in half- or full-day increments), or
  6. Make up the absent-from-duty hours within the same workweek on an hour-for-hour basis (non-exempt employees only). Plans for make-up time must be worked out with an approval by the supervisor in advance. Time not made up within the specified period will be charged to accrued vacation leave or to leave without pay.

Employees who are unable to report for work are expected to so notify their departments in a timely fashion. Employees on authorized leave, holidays, or sick days will not be affected by these emergency procedures.


Emergency Management Coordinator

Approved by: 
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Monday, February 3, 2003
Effective on: 
Monday, February 3, 2003
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Change History: 

02/18/2022: Updated contact information and replace references to Design and Construction Management with Facilities Planning and Development.

07/06/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.

12/09/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

08/02/2013: Updated contact information.

12/2012: Updated.

10/04/2010: Revised in collaboration with the Public Safety Office, Human Resources, and the Office of the General Counsel and approved by the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor.

09/2009: Updated.

12/2007: Updated December.

02/04/2003: Approved by the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor.

Operational Categories: 

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