Department of Public Safety

Emergency Preparedness

Thomas Jefferson University has taken steps to support you and our campus community during these times of heightened concern. When government officials raise the national alert status, they are telling us to be more aware and more vigilant. Information is key to awareness, and increased information enhances our vigilance. Therefore we encourage you to visit the Emergency Preparedness site and the sites provided on this page. Each site is designed to help us cope with our current situation and to support us, should out campus experience a hostile act. Bookmark this page now, and refer to it often as you prepare to protect yourself and those around you.

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life given the circumstances:


  • Have an escape route.
  • Evacuate even if others don’t agree to follow.
  • Leave belongings behind.
  • Help others escape if possible.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Follow the instructions of any police.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people.
  • Once safe, notify Public Safety of the shooters location, Center City, 215-955-8888  and East Falls, 215-951-2999 or 911 (off campus or in areas not covered by Public Safety).


  • Hide out of view.
  • Lock or barricade the door.
  • Close windows and curtains.
  • Silence your cell phone and other devices.
  • Turn off any source of noise.
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks).
  • Remain quiet and calm.
  • Once safe, notify Public Safety of the shooters location, Center City, 215-955-8888  and East Falls, 215-951-2999 or 911 (off campus or in areas not covered by Public Safety).


  • Attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the shooter by:
  • Acting as aggressively
  • Throwing items
  • Using improvised weapons
  • Yelling
  • Play dead by lying motionless on the ground
  • Commit to whatever actions are necessary for you to survive

Once Safe or Secure:

  • Notify Public Safety, Center City, 215-955-8888  and East Falls, 215-951-2999
  • Call 911 for areas not covered by Public Safety.
  • Alert the Dispatcher of the shooters location, description, weapons being used, and any other information.
  • If unable to speak, leave the phone line open so the Dispatcher can listen.

When Law Enforcement Arrives:

  • Law Enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible:
  • Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.
  • Officers usually arrive in teams of four (4).
  • Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment.
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns.
  • Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
  • Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.
  • What you should do when Law Enforcement arrives:
  • Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets).
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers. Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.
  • Proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.

Receipt of a Phone Bomb Threat

Notify the Department of Public Safety or 911.

  1. Do not hang up.
  2. Remain calm.
  3. Try to prolong the conversation and get as much information as possible.
  4. Note what you hear. Are there background noises, such as music, voices, or cars?
  5. How does the caller's voice sound? Any accent? What sex? What age? Any unusual words or phrases?
  6. Is the caller familiar with the University and where they say the bomb is located? How is the bomb location described? Does the caller use a person's name? Does the caller give his/her name?
  7. Go to the Bomb Checklist to fill out more details:
  8. Notify Public Safety at 215-951-2999 immediately. If off campus, dial 911.
    * Give the operator all the information you collected.
    * Identify yourself - give your name, address and phone number.
  9. After this is done, notify your supervisor immediately. Then stand by for further instructions.
  10. Evacuate if necessary.

Discovering a Suspected Bomb Device

  1. Do not touch the object or try to move it.
  2. Keep calm. Do not panic.
  3. Do not use any transmitters (portable radio), computers, phones, or other electronic devices that may trigger the bomb device to explode.
  4. Quietly and quickly alert all persons within the immediate 300 foot radius and leave area.
  5. Once at a safe distance notify law enforcement immediately with any information you have of the suspected bomb device.
  6. Law enforcement officers will respond.

Shelter-In-Place – A procedure whereby the entire building population is moved to a single or multiple locations in a building. Most commonly used during weather emergencies or when an extremely hazardous substance is released into the outside atmosphere. 

Shelter-In-Place PDFs:

Lockout – Allows no unauthorized personnel into a building. All exterior doors are locked and the main entrance is monitored by Jefferson Security or Administrators. This procedure allows the occupants of a building to continue as normal, but curtails outside activity. Most commonly used when an incident is occurring outside a building.

Lockdown – A procedure used when there is an immediate threat to building occupants. Students, faculty and staff would be instructed to secure themselves in the rooms they are in and no one should leave until the situation has been curtailed. This allows emergency responders to secure the students and staff in place, address the immediate threat and remove or evacuate any innocent bystanders from immediate danger to an area of safe refuge. Most commonly used to secure areas not directly impacted by an incident occurring inside a building.

Evacuation – Implemented under conditions when it is no longer safe for students, faculty and staff to remain in a building or a specific area in a building. This requires occupants to move out and away from a building to a designated area of refuge or out and away from a specific area within a building. Most commonly used when there is a suspected fire or hazardous material spill in a building.

  • JeffALERT is Jefferson’s Emergency Notification System that provides fast and efficient distribution of critical information during a major emergency—sending simultaneous alerts in minutes through text messaging, email, and phone calls to cell and landline phones. Learn more about JeffAlert.

  • MyEOP is Jefferson's Emergency Management app. To learn more about MyEOP, including instructions on where to find the app, download the MyEOP Flyer (PDF).