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"Take 3" Right Now to be Prepared for an Emergency

September 20, 2016
All University Students
Susan M. Davis, Acting Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Students:

Being prepared is one of the best ways to ensure safety during an emergency. Please "Take 3" minutes to review this important information from the Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness.


Susan M. Davis
Acting Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer


Emergencies can happen unexpectedly, and everyone needs to be prepared to act in an emergency. Please TAKE 3 minutes as you begin this semester to consider these three things:

  • How you will be notified in an emergency
  • Where you would evacuate from class or residence
  • Where you would shelter in place in class or residence


  • UVA Alerts: You will receive an SMS text message or email if you are signed up for UVA Alerts.
  • Alertus Desktop Notification: Alertus Desktop Notification software has been installed on all classroom computers and is available for you to install on your personal desktop/laptop computer. If your computer is on, the emergency message will display the alert. We encourage you to download Alertus to your personal computer/laptop.
  • If you have a University email, you will receive an email alert.
  • If you are outside, you may hear a siren followed by a public address message detailing the emergency event and giving brief instructions. This will be repeated three times. (You can preview the sounds of the siren and all-clear horn).
  • LED: If you are in a large classroom, you may hear a tone and see the alert message on an LED screen.
  • LCD: If you are in a common area, you may see the alert message on an LCD screen.
  • UVA Emergency page: The alert message and any updates will be posted on UVA's Emergency page at


  • Leave using the nearest exit or an alternate if the nearest exit is not accessible.
  • Never use an elevator.
  • Take personal belongings (keys, purse, wallet, phone, etc.), but do not delay your exit in doing so.
  • Once outside, go to the designated assembly area. Designated evacuation sites for general University buildings and classrooms are online. To view designated evacuation sites for residence halls, go here.
  • Follow the directions of the police and fire responders.
  • If you are unable to exit, move to an area of refuge and alert a contact of your location.

Shelter in Place

  • Evaluate the situation and choose the most appropriate shelter location. For example:
    • Severe weather/earthquake: lowest interior space away from windows.
    • Violence: secure, enclosed space, behind solid objects and away from doors.
  • Move to shelter and take personal items if space allows.
  • Remain sheltered until instructed that it is safe to leave.
  • If safe to do so, monitor news sites for the latest information.

Don't be a hero ‹ do not exceed your training.

If you would like more information or training, email with your questions or contact information.

See the Emergency Procedures Poster to ensure that you know what to do in the event of various types of emergencies.

Varying versions of this message have gone to students, faculty, and staff. If you serve in more than one role, then you will receive each version that applies to you.