Campus at a Glance

Main Campus spans approximately 366 acres on which resides: 26 Residential Facilities 63 Academic and Administration Buildings

Veterans Affairs (VA) Campus has 31 acres with 10 Academic and Administration Buildings.

Overview of Emergency Preparedness

Important information, including emergency preparedness procedures and general safety information, is available to the campus community on the following website:

Please visit this website to familiarize yourself with important preparedness and safety related information. The time to review this information is not during an emergency event. Emergency events can occur at anytime. How well ETSU responds is directly related to how well the university is prepared!

Emergency Notification System

Whenever an emergency poses a direct threat to the campus community, ETSU will activate emergency notification systems to communicate quickly with the entire campus. The system includes an outdoor warning siren system with four large speakers strategically placed on the main campus and on the Veterans Administration Campus; an emergency text messaging service called GoldAlert; an alert message on the ETSU homepage; and public address systems in select university buildings.

To sign up for ETSU's emergency text messaging service, please go to the following website GOLDALERT Emergency Text Messaging and click on the "Register Now" button. You will need to register using your ETSU username and password, and then complete the required information. Your information will never be used for anything other than emergency communication purposes. Family and friends' contact information can be added to your account as well. You will be able to add up to 3 e-mail addresses as well as 3 cell phone numbers.

The emergency notification systems will be used to identify emergencies and provide specific instructions regarding the safety of the campus community. For example, the outdoor siren system, GoldAlert emergency text messaging, email messaging and the homepage alert would be used in the event of a tornado threat to the campus. The sirens are equipped with both siren/tone and voice command capabilities. When the system is activated, a siren/tone will be transmitted, followed by voice instructions.

Please click to hear Siren Tone
Please click to hear Siren Test Message

Home Page Alert

General Guidance for Calling Emergencies

Remain Calm - Take time to assess the situation and hazards.
ETSU Campus
Dial 911 from campus phones
(423) 439-4480 from non-campus phones or cell phones to reach ETSU Public Safety Dispatch.
Dialing 911 from a cell phone will contact Washington County 911.

VA Campus
Dial 911 from campus phones to reach ETSU Public Safety
(423) 439-4480 from non-campus phones or cell phones to reach ETSU Public Safety Dispatch.
Dialing 911 from a cell phone will contact Washington County 911

Campus Emergency Phones

Emergency phones are located at various points across campus, including outlying parking lots and near academic buildings. These phones ring directly to the Public Safety Dispatcher.

ETSU Campus Emergency Phones Locations (.PDF)

VA Campus Emergency Phone Locations (.PDF)

Non Emergency Numbers

These phone numbers are available during regular office hours only:

Environmental Health & Safety: 439-6028
Public Safety: 439-6900
Facilities: 439-7900
Information: 439-1000

Automated External Defibrillators (AED's)

In March 2007, East Tennessee State University completed the initial phase of a multiple year program to purchase and place 34 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the main and outlying campuses to reduce the response time to cardiac arrest victims. Since the initial program, additional AED's have been purchased to continue to assist in response time. This initial phase of the AED program focused on the facilities with the highest occupancy rates. If there is an AED located in a building, there will be an identification sticker on the outside of doors coming into the building. The AED locations are shown on the following link .

An AED is a computerized medical device that can be used to treat a victim of cardiac arrest. The AED evaluates a cardiac arrest victim's heart rhythm, determines if shock is needed and delivers an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart. Audible and/or visual prompts guide the user through the process. If an AED is taking from the cabinet, an alarm is sounded and you must have someone call 911.

An AED operator must know how to recognize the signs of sudden cardiac arrest, when to activate the EMS system and how to perform CPR. ETSU have provided classes to over 200 employees. Classes are normally presented during each semester. If you are interested in attending a future AED class or have questions regarding our AED program, please contact Health and Safety @ 9-6028.

Fire Safety

Familiarize yourself with your building's fire and life safety equipment and participate in fire drills:

  • Know where the nearest fire alarm pull station is located.
  • Know where your nearest building exit is located.
  • Know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located.

In the event of a fire, pull the nearest pull station and call Public Safety:

  • Evacuate immediately.
  • Shutdown hazardous operations as quickly as possible.
  • Notify others on your way out.
  • Help those needing assistance.
  • Use stairways only - do not use elevators.
  • Report to the designated assembly area for your building. Please refer to your building's emergency procedures posted inside the main entrances to your building (Example of Posted Emergency Procedures) .
  • Do not re-enter the building unless directed by emergency response officials.

Fire Extinguisher Use

What is the first thing you should do if you discover a fire?
You should pull the nearest fire alarm pull station, alert people near you and call 911.
If you are comfortable with the idea of using a fire extinguisher, then you should attempt to put out the fire.
Make sure the fire is confined to a small area and is not spreading.
Be sure you have an unobstructed escape route to which the fire will not spread.


  • Pull the pin
  • Aim at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the trigger
  • Sweep back and forth

Fire Extinguisher Training

The Environmental Health & Safety Office provides hands on training utilizing an Intelligent Training System. Call EH&S (439-6028) for more information on how to participate.

Hazardous Material Release

  • Leave spill area immediately
  • Remove personnel from danger of spill
  • Alert other building occupants
  • Block area to unnecessary personnel
  • Use doors to contain vapors
  • Shutdown ventilation systems where possible
  • Use hood to exhaust vapors
  • Public Safety by dialing 911 or 9-4480
  • Facilities Management at 9-7900
  • Environmental Health and Safety at 9-6028

Bomb Threat

  • Ask caller the following questions:
    • When will it explode?
    • Where/what type of device?
    • What does it look like?
    • What is your name?
    • Note caller's voice/sounds.
    • Notify Public Safety at 911 or 9-4480.
  • Notify Public Safety of any unusual items in your area - do not touch them

Tornado Safety

During a Tornado Warning:
  • Move to a basement, or first floor interior hallway, or restroom or other enclosed small area
  • Get under sturdy furniture.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • If caught outside, crouch in a nearby ditch or close to the ground.

Workplace Violence

  • If a person's behavior becomes inappropriate or violent, leave the area if possible and notify Public Safety at 911.
  • If you feel you are in imminent danger, dial 911.
  • Trust your instincts. Try to create physical space between you and any threatening person and try to keep the situation from escalating.

Active Shooter

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.

Active Shooter-How to Respond - 3 Choices
  1. Evacuate
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind
    • Leave your belongings behind
    • Keep your hands visible
  2. Hide Out in a Secure Location
    • Hide in an area out of the shooter's view
    • Block entry to your hiding place and lock/barricade the door using whatever is available (desk, filing cabinet, etc.). DO NOT stand near the barricaded door
    • Keep still and silence your cell phone
  3. Take Action - Last Resort
      As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger Attempt to incapacitate the shooter

Active Shooter Notification

  1. Call 911 from a campus phone and report the incident. Provide as much detail as possible about the situation and the physical description of the assailant/shooter
  2. Provide location of incident:
    • building name
    • floor level
    • room number
  3. Provide your name and phone number
  4. Give a description of the weapon
  5. Report number of potential injuries


In the event of an emergency on or near our campuses, a mass notification may be sent out instructing the campus community to "Shelter In Place". For example, these instructions may be given if a train derailment (involving hazardous chemicals) occurs near our campuses. "Shelter In Place" means people need to take refuge IN the building they are in. If you are outside or in your vehicle on campus, during such an alert, please go into the nearest building. Close any open windows and turn off any nearby air conditioning units. Remain in place until officials or a mass notification is sent giving the "All Clear" message.

Campus Evacuation

Most emergencies do not require complete evacuation of the entire campus. However, when a campus evacuation is ordered by the ETSU mass notification system, all persons are to immediately evacuate the campus by foot in the direction opposite of the crisis area. Specific directions and routes will be communicated by the mass notification system. DO NOT get into vehicles, as vehicles in mass numbers have proven to be an ineffective means to evacuate campus in a timely manner. Vehicle transportation will need to be reserved for those with significant mobility impairments as well as keeping the roadways clear for emergency response vehicles.

Campus Emergency Procedures

All ETSU buildings have emergency procedures and evacuation information posted. Please familiarize yourself with your building's emergency procedures. The emergency procedures are posted in the hallways at main building entrances. The following is an example:

Building Emergency Procedures (.PDF)

Continuity of Operations Planning

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) is a systematic interdisciplinary approach to planning for how departments and the university as a whole will continue critical operations and business during and after a disaster. Such planning is a crucial part of the larger integrated ETSU Emergency Preparedness Plan, which focuses on response and recovery.

The "business" of the university is framed by its mission of teaching, research, and public service. The university's ability to accomplish its mission is vulnerable to a major emergency which results in a significant loss of vital resources such as power, buildings, equipment, infrastructure, technology, or personnel. Peer institutions nationally have indentified continuity planning as a major area of focus and development. Collaborative department-based continuity planning identifies needs that are either unique to individual departments or shared by multiple departments or the entire university. The process of identifying critical functions and taking steps to sustain those functions enhances the resilience of the university by enabling it to maintain or to quickly resume mission-critical activities when faced with a significant loss of essential resources and services.

In summary, continuity planning benefits the university establishing priorities and procedures to sustain and restore operations at both the departmental and university level in response to an emergency. As part of the university's Emergency Preparedness Plan, the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) office has developed a continuity of operations planning program for university departments and units.

ETSU Emergency Preparedness

Remember, emergency events can occur at anytime.
How well ETSU responds is directly related to how well the university is prepared!
Please do your part in making ETSU a safe campus. Please familiarize yourself with important preparedness and safety related information. This information is available to the campus community by going to the following website:

Staying Safe On Campus