Campus Emergency and Safety Procedures

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South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is committed to the safety of our campus community. In times of emergency, the university will provide appropriate campus-wide response to assure safety and minimize losses. Keep this guide on hand so that you know what to do in these various emergency situations.

Safety Escort Service:

Campus Safety (605) 394-6100 offers escorts to anyone in need, day or night.



Emergencies can occur at any time, often without warning. This information can help you deal with many emergency situations appropriately. Your judgment often determines whether an incident is an emergency. If in doubt, err on the side of safety and treat the situation as an emergency. 

Be informed and prepared in advance. Be familiar with important features of the buildings that you frequently occupy, such as:

  • Evacuation routes
  • Exit locations
  • Areas of refuge
  • Severe weather shelter areas
  • Locations of safety equipment
  • How you will be notified of emergencies



For police, fire, or ambulance always DIAL 911 first!

1. Get out of immediate danger

2. Report situation

  • DIAL 911 (or 9-911 on campus phone)
  • Explain the nature of the emergency
  • Your name
  • Phone number from which you are calling
  • Your location
  • Answer all questions and do not hang up the phone until the operator is finished 

After notifying emergency personnel, notify Campus Safety  (605) 394-6100.  Watch for arrival of emergency personnel and assist in directing them to the appropriate location.  STAY OUT OF THE WAY. 

To report an off-campus emergency, DIAL 911. 

If an off-campus incident  involves South Dakota School of Mines and Technology personnel, students or property, also call Campus Safety at (605) 394-6100.



The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has implemented a Campus Alert system for all students, faculty and staff.

Through this service, you will receive critical emergency alerts to your cell phone or computer.

E-mail or call (605) 394-6729 for more information.

Campus Alert login website:

Along with the Campus Alert system, the university will provide information through the website, social media, and local media, as appropriate.



1.  When ordered to evacuate or when alarms are activated, always leave immediately.

2.  Exit quickly and calmly  using the nearest emergency escape routes and marked exits.

3.  Proceed to emergency assembly points (EAP).  Do not use elevators.  

4.  Assist persons requiring evacuation assistance  to get to designated areas.  Be alert for trapped, injured, or other persons needing assistance.



  • DIAL 911
  • DO NOT move the person unless there is a threat to life by leaving them.
  • If trained to administer first aid, such as bleeding control and CPR, do so.
  • If possible, avoid contact with bodily fluids.
  • If exposed to suspected infectious materials, notify an emergency responder upon arrival.
  • Remain with the person until help arrives.
  • If possible, send someone else to meet emergency responders.
  • Notify Campus Safety (605) 394-6100 at the earliest convenience.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

  • Located in multiple buildings on campus
  • If someone is unresponsive:
  •  Start CPR if trained to do so.
  • Have someone DIAL 911 immediately.  If no one is available, DIAL 911 and then resume CPR immediately.
  • Send someone to retrieve the nearest AED.  Continue CPR until AED arrives.
  • Open the AED cover and follow directions.  The AED will walk you through either continuing CPR or delivering a shock, if needed.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives



Someone exhibiting a mental health crisis might show: attempted suicide, disorientation, confusion, panic.

  • DIAL 911.  Give your name, telephone number, location and the location of the victim. Inform the officer whether any drugs, medications or weapons are involved.
  • Call residence hall director  if the emergency involves a student resident.
  • Call Campus Safety  (605) 394-6100.  Campus Safety will notify Dean of Student's office.
  • Stay with the victim,  unless your safety is threatened. Wait for emergency response personnel to arrive.
  • Stay calm  and do not provoke panic in others.
  • Be sensitive  to the family and friends during the crisis.



If you have a disability that may impact your response to an emergency:

  • Consider registering with the Counseling and Student ADA Services.
  • Consider identifying someone in each class as a buddy to assist with your specific evacuation or sheltering needs during an emergency.
  • Talk with your professors. Let them know what special needs you have during an emergency.

Counseling and Student ADA Services can provide guidelines and identify resources to assist with emergency planning specific to your needs. Contact them at (605) 394-2416



  • Leave  the area of the fire.
  • Isolate the fire  as much as possible by closing doors and windows around it.
  • DO NOT attempt to retrieve valuables or use elevators.
  • Pull  the nearest fire alarm.
  • Find a safe location and DIAL 911. Then, call Campus Safety (394) 394-6100.
  • Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size; even a small fire can generate enough smoke to cause serious injury.
  • Never attempt to fight a fire by yourself.
  • Call for help.
  • Always stay between the fire and the exit.
  • Fire Extinguisher Instructions: P.A.S.S. 
    •  PULL safety pin from the handle
    • AIM at the base of the fire
    • SQUEEZE the trigger handle
    • SWEEP from side to side
  • The  universal sign for a person trapped in a burning building is to hang clothing or a sheet out the window  of the room where you are trapped. The firefighters will know where you are trapped.
  • If you are aware that someone is trapped, inform firefighters immediately.
  • Do not re-enter the building alone.
  • If you are trapped, stay low to the ground as you try to exit.
  • Do not open any doors that feel hot.
  • Use wet towels or clothes to protect you from flames and smoke.
  • If your clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP, AND ROLL!!!

All alarms should be taken seriously. If you hear an alarm, evacuate the building.



1. Shelter-in-Place will be announced via Campus Alert system.

2. Find nearest shelter area (room with a door-do not use elevators):

  • Lock/barricade  the door.
  • Shut windows  and window coverings.
  • If hazardous incident,  turn off all heating, air conditioning units and/or fans. Tape off or block all vents, cracks, or openings.
  • In a laboratory, reduce all operations to a safe condition as quickly as possible. Fume hood should have sash in closed position.
  • Sit/crouch out of sight  from doors and windows.
  • Take a roll call.
  • Turn off the lights  and remain quiet and calm.
  • Stay in contact  using the Internet, if available, for situation updates.
  • Do not evacuate for a fire alarm  unless instructed by university personnel.
  • Do not open the door for anyone.

3. Shelter-in-Place will remain in effect until it is lifted by authorized personnel. 

  • The campus will receive an all-clear from the Campus Alert system. Campus Safety or other university personnel will unlock the door to notify you when the emergency has passed.



If you are a victim of sexual assault, report the incident immediately to law enforcement by calling 911. Counseling and other crisis services are available. As soon as convenient, notify the Dean of Students (605) 394-2416, which offers counseling services.



You are responsible for monitoring weather conditions and taking appropriate action.  Thunderstorms can kill with lightning, flash floods, high winds, large hail, and tornadoes. The following tornado safety tips can help individuals protect themselves:

  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Protect your head.
  • Go to the basement or to an interior part of the lowest level - closets, bathrooms, or halls. Get under something solid.
  • Where applicable, go to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floor are usually best. (Note: Evacuation maps posted throughout buildings have safe areas designated on them.)
  • If there is no shelter nearby or you are in a vehicle, lie flat  in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert with your hands shielding your head.
  • A "Tornado Watch" means that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are possible. A "Tornado Warning" means that a tornado is detected. Take shelter immediately.
  • Severe thunderstorms, hail, a loud roaring noise, and funnel clouds are signs  that a tornado may be nearby. In the Rapid City area, Civil Defense sirens will sound whenever there is a "Tornado Warning."
  • During lightning events, stay indoors or in vehicles.
  • All South Dakota School of Mines and Technology students and employees should familiarize themselves with the safe areas  in the buildings they use.

NOAA weather alert radios are on campus at Surbeck Center and Facilities Services building.   



In addition to the guidelines below, Shelter-in-Place may be initiated.

1.  In a classroom, residence hall, or office

  • Stay put and secure the door  by lock, a wedge, or barricade.
  • If the door has a window, cover it.
  • Move away  from the incident and find safe cover positions.
  • If escape through a window is possible and safe, do so as calmly and as quietly as possible.
  • When law enforcement arrives, move toward any police unit when safe to do so while keeping your hands on your head  and following directions.
  • Do not leave the area entirely; you may have information law enforcement will need.

2.  In hallways or corridors

  • Quickly find a secure room.

3.  In large rooms or auditoriums

  • Move out through exits and move toward any police unit, when safe to do so, keeping your hands on your head. Follow law enforcement directions.

4.  Trapped with the gunman

  • Do not provoke the gunman. If no shooting is occurring, do what the gunman says and do not move suddenly.
  • If the gunman shoots people, choose to: 
    • Stay still  if you feel it is your best defense
    • Run  for an exit while zigzagging
    • Attack  the shooter
  • It is only suggested to attack the shooter when there is no other option.

5.  Open Spaces

  • Stay alert and look for appropriate cover locations. Brick walls, large trees, retaining walls, and anything which may block or deflect bullets may be used as cover. 

These safety tips and guidelines are not all-inclusive, but if understood and followed up with periodic reminders and training when feasible, they may increase your chances of survival.



Bomb, biological, or chemical threat

1.  If by phone, keep the caller on the phone  and obtain as much information  as possible.

2.  If there is another person in the office, direct them to DIAL 911 and Campus Safety (605) 394-6100 while you keep the caller on the line.  

3.  After hanging up, DIAL *57  to mark the call.

4.  If the threat is imminent, evacuate the building immediately. If necessary, use the fire alarm.

5.  If the threat is not immediate, the emergency management team will make the decision whether to evacuate.

6.  Do not use radio transmitters  in or near the building for bomb threats. 

7.  Notify immediate supervisor, if available, of the situation.

8.  Give information about the bomb threat and the response to Campus Safety, Facilities Services or law enforcement. Do not speak to the media.


Unopened letter

  • Keep others away
  • Wash hands and exposed skin with soap and water

Envelope with powder spills onto surface

  • Do not clean up powder
  • Keep others away
  • Wash hands and exposed skin
  • Do not brush off clothes

Package marked with threatening message

  • Do not open
  • Leave it and evacuate room
  • Keep others from entering

Letter threatening a substance in heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems

  • Evacuate threatened area
  • Keep others from entering 

Bomb Threat Checklist

Be calm.  Be courteous.  Listen; do not interrupt the caller.  Notify someone else by pre-advanced signal while caller is on the line. 

Learn as much detail as possible about the bomb, the time it is to explode and the person making the threat. Listen for details.



1. Get out of immediate danger.

2. If necessary, evacuate the building  by pulling the nearest fire alarm. 

3.  Always stay upwind of the spill  (wind blowing from you towards spill).

4.  Contact Campus Safety  (605) 394-6100

  • Do not attempt to clean up a spill  if you have not received proper training It will be assessed by trained personnel who will ensure that proper clean-up techniques are employed.
  • Offensive odors  from ventilation systems should be reported.

All laboratory personnel should be prepared to assist in assessment of spills within their area. Campus Environmental Health and Safety provides training.

In the event of a chemical spill in the Rapid City area, evacuation of the campus may be necessary.  Be prepared to cooperate with traffic control officials.



  • No one should be present in a locked building or room, or a fenced area secured by locked gates, without keys issued by Facilities Services or key card access.
  • An individual so authorized may have others present provided:
    • They remain in the proximity of the authorized individual.
    • Their presence is incidental.
    • They make no use of university equipment.
  • Residents and their invited guests are permitted in the residence  halls only in accordance with Residence Life regulation.
  • Individuals or organizations wishing to conduct solicitation on campus must contact Surbeck Center staff at least three days in advance of reservation date.

If there is a question of whether an individual is authorized to be on campus, but there does not seem to be an immediate threat, contact Campus Safety (605) 394-6100.



  • If a utility problem is discovered, such as an electrical short or an elevator failure, call Campus Safety (605) 394-6100.
  • Stay clear of the problem. Go outside and wait for a Facilities Services or utility company employee and direct them to the problem location.
  • Windows should be open  to allow ventilation.
  • Only personnel specifically trained  in emergency shut-off procedures should attempt to shut off the building utilities.
  • Facilities Services personnel will recommend response procedures to the building managers once they have confirmed the problem.
  • Building occupants should evacuate immediately  if asked to do so by Facilities Services personnel, utility company employee or building manager.



  • If you are in an elevator that stops between floors or the doors will not open, use the elevator alarm button  or call for help. An authorized employee or elevator personnel will respond.
  • Call Campus Safety (605) 394-6100 on the emergency elevator phone.
  • Never attempt to pry open the doors or overhead hatch  of a stopped elevator.
  • Specially trained elevator mechanics  will take care of the problem.
  • Never attempt to jump out of the elevator  if it is above floor level. This could result in injury or falling down the elevator shaf