Fort Worth and the TCU community are susceptible to a number of man-made or natural hazards that you should be aware of in order to thoroughly prepare for an emergency. The information below will provide you with a description of these potential hazards, and what you can do to protect yourself from their impact.
HORNED FROG HAZARDS
Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority. Leave your things behind and run away. If safe to do so, warn others nearby. When it is safe enough to do so, call TCU Police by dialing 817-257-7777 (when on campus) or 911 for local police (when off campus). You may also use the Frog Shield app to call for assistance regardless of location. Describe each shooter, their locations, and weapons.
If you cannot get away safely, find a place to hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet. Silence your electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate. Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off the lights. Do not hide in groups, spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter. Try to communicate with police silently, such as through text messages or by putting a sign in an exterior window. Stay in place until law enforcement gives you notice that all immediate danger is clear.
Your last resort when you are in immediate danger is to defend yourself. Commit to your actions and act aggressively to stop the shooter. Ambushing the shooter together with makeshift weapons such as chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, and books can distract and disarm the shooter.
In general, please know devices with open flames (candles, etc.) are prohibited in most areas at TCU except when a permit has been obtained from the Fort Worth Fire Department. All faculty, staff and students should recognize emergency situations as quickly as possible so preventive measures can be taken. Be familiar with the locations and operation of fire extinguishers near your office and classrooms.
Should a fire occur that is too large to extinguish, evacuate the building and call TCU Police at 817-257-7777. Avoid using elevators during evaluation, as the power could become disconnected. As you evacuate the building help warn other of danger, and pull any fire alarms you see on the way. Gather at your designated rally point, and do not return to the building until it is released by public safety officials.
To use a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym P-A-S-S:
P – Pull the pin
A – Aim at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the trigger
S – Sweep across the floor
Although flooding is unlikely on the TCU campus, it is the most common disaster event in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. If you are under a flood warning, find safe shelter right away.
Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.
TCU’s Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences holds a flu immunization clinic each year in the fall semester for students, faculty and staff. Getting your flu shot is free, and all you need to do is show up with your TCU ID. TCU students may also schedule an appointment with the TCU Health Center for immunizations, or to seek professional medical assistance for other health concerns.
The TCU Alert Message will be contingent on circumstances and substance of chemical release. In some instances, an evacuation of either the entire campus or part of the TCU campus will be appropriate. In other circumstances it may be safer to remain sheltered indoors.
If you are asked to evacuate, do so immediately. When requested to stay indoors, keep exterior doors and windows closed to the outside. Facilities representatives may shut off the air conditioning to the building in order to prevent outside air form entering the building.
Early defibrillation is a critical component in treating sudden cardiac arrest. An Automatic External Defibrillator (also known as an Automated External Defibrillator or AED) is a type of computerized medical device. When properly placed on a person’s chest, it can analyze the heart’s rhythm and apply an electrical shock if needed. When using a defibrillator, you should always follow directions from the unit and call 911 immediately.
An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program has been established by TCU. For training in the use of these devices or information about a specific building AED, contact TCU Safety and Environmental Management at 817-257-7220.
For minor injuries, treat with first-aid or seek medical assistance. For life-threatening emergencies always call 911.
The National Weather Service issues two types of severe weather notices, watch and warning.
Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado WATCH indicates a tornado or severe thunderstorm is possible until a set time. During a watch, you should monitor the weather and be prepared to seek immediate shelter.
Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado WARNING indicates a tornado or severe thunderstorm has been detected by either sight or radar. Be aware that since tornadoes can form quickly, there may not be enough time to issue a warning for those in the immediate area. For this reason, during a warning you need to move quickly and act to seek shelter as a tornado or severe thunderstorm has been sighted in your immediate area.
In preparing for severe weather, keep the following top of mind.
- Know where the storm shelter is for the building you are in or proceed to the lowest floor of the building and avoid windows
- Try to place as many walls and doors between you and the outside wall of the building you are in (interior restrooms, interior closets, small interior conference rooms, etc.)
- Stay away from rooms with large roof spans (lecture halls, gyms, etc.), if possible
- Stay away from areas with glass windows or glass walls (lobbies, hallways, etc.).
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds. Keep the following in mind during winter weather.
- Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside
- Limit your time outside, if you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows, never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack, avoid overexertion when shoveling snow
- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away
- Check on neighbor, older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold
Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
- Signs include numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin
- If you suspect frostbite go to a warm room, soak in warm water and use body heat to warm skin
- Do not massage or use a heating pad, seek medical treatment
Hypothermia is unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
- Signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness
- If you suspect hypothermia go to a warm room
- Warm the center of the body first, the chest, neck, head and groin
- Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck
- Seek medical treatment
When inclement weather conditions, such as an ice or snow storm, are in the forecast TCU officials implement the Winter Weather Response Plan to monitor conditions and maintain continuity of operations. When TCU is officially closed, all students, faculty and staff members will be excused from reporting, except those considered essential to report. Contact your direct supervisor for further direction.
Although a closure decision can be made at any time, the Provost will generally decide to close the University early on the morning of closure. The decision to close is based on the latest information and physical conditions. On a morning closure, this information will be posted on the TCU website. No notice will be sent or posted if the University remains open. It is also possible that some areas of Tarrant County will be more severely affected than others, so even if TCU remains open, employees should keep their personal safety uppermost in their minds. If you know your route to campus will be treacherous, do not attempt to make a dangerous trip.
For more information on disaster preparedness and local hazard please visit the North Central Texas regional preparedness website: https://knowhat2do.com/