Emergency Plan > Emergency Evacuation > Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place

Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place

The purpose of the Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place Annex is to manage, direct and control an orderly campus evacuation in the event of a campus emergency.  If an emergency situation arises and the University must evacuate any of its facilities, our goal will be to keep unaffected campuses open and operating on a normal class and business schedule.  The University is prepared to evacuate any campus, and will do so if it becomes aware of potential danger.  

The evacuation of any campus building requires the teamwork of many departments, professional and student staff and residents.  

The evacuation of any housing building will be conducted in coordination with the Department of Housing and Residence Life, Public Safety Office and Facility Operations.  All other evacuations shall be conducted in coordination with Public Safety and Facility Operations.

This procedure is coupled with the Long Term Emergency Evacuation procedure.  In addition to the procedures set forth below, Public Safety and Facility Operations staff will further respond as directed in the Department of Housing and Residence Life and Facility Operations procedure manuals.


In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be alerted via interior emergency speaker announcements.   Everyone will be instructed to leave personal belongings and evacuate the building quickly and will be allowed back in the building as soon as the appropriate authorities issue an “all-clear.”  In all evacuations, all are advised to refrain from using phones while evacuating to allow for a quick evacuation.

In the event of an emergency other than fire, for example criminal activity, the Facility Operation and Public Safety Offices shall determine whether evacuation is necessary, and communicate with appropriate staff to ensure swift and efficient evacuation of students, staff and guests. In the event of a building evacuation, one of the closest non-affected University buildings will serve as the reassembly area, unless outdoor assembly is deemed necessary.     

Unless otherwise communicated, the primary outdoor assembly areas are:

Loop Campus:  Grant Park (Southeast corner of Jackson and Michigan Ave.) and Pritzker Park (Northwest corner of State and Van Buren)

Lincoln Park Campus:  The Quad and Wish Field


If it appears dangerous for the community to remain outside, then all students, staff, faculty and guests may be directed to move into a building(s), for example, in the event of a tornado, armed aggressor, or any other major event near the campus. A complete lockdown of the building(s) may be required. The general purpose of a lockdown is to convert a building into a large “Safe Room” and will be made only if there is a serious risk of danger to staff, faculty and students. The decision to initiate building lockdown procedures may be at the discretion of University officials or in response to a request by local law enforcement officials.

In the event of a lockdown:

In a classroom: close doors, use door barricade device and lock doors if possible. Turn off lights, silence phones, and stay away from windows.

In office area: remain in office, or secure area, with the door locked. Turn off lights, silence phones, and stay away from windows.

In common area: move to a lockable room (nearby classroom, office, etc.) as soon as possible.

Remain in your secure area until further instructions are provided.


Upon hearing a building alarm, students must leave the residence halls immediately.  Exits are clearly marked in each housing facility.  Students should leave using the most direct and safe route. Evacuation procedures are posted near the entrances of University buildings and affixed to the back door of each residence hall or apartment unit.  

After a fire alarm, or other emergency necessitating the evacuation, if a housing building has been deemed uninhabitable, the Long Term Evacuation procedure will take effect. 


If a residence hall is deemed uninhabitable the information will be communicated to the Director of Housing and Residence Life, who will inform the following individuals: 

Vice President for Facility Operations

Office of the President

Public Safety

Vice President for Student Affairs, Chair of the Student Affairs Response Team

Once the building is evacuated and deemed uninhabitable the Department of Housing or Information Services will remove all student and student staff access to the building.  

Dependent upon the length of time, the following contingency plans will be enacted:

The Ray Meyer Recreation Center can be used for temporary housing as needed until permanent accommodations can be identified. Up to 380 students can be housed in the Rec Center on a temporary basis. The Department of Housing and Residence Life will manage access in cooperation with Rec Center staff.

Students will be placed in all vacant housing spaces across campus until filled, to include lounges that can be converted to living quarters.

University Center will be consulted and any available spaces in these locations will be reserved for Lincoln Park residents.

Other area universities may be contacted to ascertain potential vacant beds for use of DePaul students.

Area hotels will be contacted as a last resort to put students up as needed.


In the event of an emergency situation requiring evacuation of a non-housing University owned building, everyone will be instructed to leave personal belongings and evacuate the building quickly.  Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be allowed back in the building as soon as the appropriate authorities issue an “all-clear.”


Students, faculty and staff who have disabilities are encouraged to self-report their status to the Assistant Director of Emergency Management at 773-325-4414, so appropriate action can be planned for or taken on their behalf in the event of an emergency situation.

Upon contacting Public Safety the following information will be requested:


Office phone #

Cell phone #


Office room/classroom #

Class schedule information-if student

Hours in building

Days of the week

E-Mail address

Type of assistance needed

Note: At the beginning of each academic quarter students must update their information due to class and location changes. All others are encouraged to update their information as needed.

When alarms sound, all requiring assistance should proceed to a safe area away from the danger, see below evacuation options. Emergency personnel/first responders upon arrival will begin a search of all floors. If an individual finds themself in a serious situation, they should immediately call 9-1-1 then DePaul Public Safety, and report their location.

In the event of an emergency building or campus evacuation, City of Chicago emergency personnel are the only personnel formally trained and authorized to provide physical evacuation assistance.  In the event danger is imminent and there is no time to wait for City of Chicago personnel, the University suggests the following evacuation options for students, faculty, and staff with special needs:  

“Buddy System” Evacuation Option—Inform a student, staff and/or faculty acquaintance (a “Buddy”) of the need for special assistance in the event of a fire alarm. When the fire alarm sounds, the “Buddy” should make sure of the individual’s location, then go outside and inform emergency personnel of a person in a specific location who needs assistance in leaving the building. Emergency personnel will then enter the building and evacuate that person.  

Horizontal Relocation Option—Move a safe distance away from the area of imminent danger to another wing of the building or opposite end of the corridor.

Vertical (Stairway) Relocation Option—Those who are able to evacuate with or without minor assistance may evacuate via stairways.  

Shelter-in-Place Option—Unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior window, closing the door if possible. If possible, dial 9-1-1. The individual should be prepared to tell the 9-1-1 operator his or her name, location and the nature of the emergency.

Most buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm horns/strobes that sound an alarm and flash strobe lights.  However, persons with hearing and/or vision impairments may not immediately notice or hear emergency alarms and may need to be alerted of emergency situations.  Some persons may need to be alerted to the situation by gestures or by turning the light switch off and on.  Emergency instructions can be given by verbalizing, mouthing or by a short, explicit written note. University faculty and staff are encouraged to offer such assistance, as appropriate.

Emergency Numbers

Lincoln Park and Loop Campus

Chicago Police/Fire Emergency:

Lincoln Park Campus Public Safety:
(773) 325-7777

Loop Campus Public Safety:
(312) 362-8400

Rosalind Franklin Campus

North Chicago Police/Fire Emergency:

Rosalind Franklin Campus Security:
(847) 578-3288

North Chicago Police Non-Emergency:
(847) 596-8774

North Chicago Fire Non-Emergency:
(847) 596-8780