Emergency Response Guide

Lockdown Procedure

The campus guidelines for responding to an Active Armed Assailant situation recommend implementing the Run!-Hide!-Fight! protocol.  Information on Run!-Hide!-Fight! is included at the end of this document. Training videos are available online and campus police are available to provide in person training to your unit or division. Familiarizing yourself with Run!-Hide!-Fight! is strongly encouraged.

In certain circumstances where there is an Active Armed Assailant, a lockdown may be implemented.

What is lockdown?

A lockdown is a procedure when people are confined to their rooms due to a perceived or real threat.  It is implemented when it may be more dangerous to evacuate a building than to remain inside.  A lockdown at UW-River Falls may be called for the entire campus, or on a building-by-building basis, in response to any dangerous, volatile situation that could jeopardize the physical safety of our students, faculty and staff. 

When lockdown occurs, go into hiding immediately.  The basic steps are:

  1. Close and lock the doors of the room that you are in.  Barricade the doors with furniture or equipment if possible.
    • If the room door opens out into the corridor, use whatever means possible to restrict entry, including barricades or tying the door handle to something stable with a belt or other item.
  2. Close the windows and cover them if possible (i.e., pull any blinds or curtains), then stay out of view from the windows. 
  3. Turn off the lights.
  4. Turn off any audio/visual equipment, or other noise producing equipment (TV, radio, etc.).
  5. Stay off your cellphone and silence all electronic devices.
  6. Remain quiet. Don't talk or make any movements. Try not to laugh, cough, or sneeze.
  7. Come out of hiding ONLY when an 'All Clear' notification is communicated or when law enforcement enters the room that you are in and tells you it is safe to leave.

Other important considerations include:

  • If you are in a hallway at the time a lockdown is initiated, immediately proceed to the nearest adequate place to shelter.
  • Do not leave the classroom/office during a lockdown unless a life threatening situation suddenly develops in the room, making it safer outside of the room than inside of the room.  
  • Even if lockdown is called, DO NOT lock an active assailant in a room with you. In that case, Run!-Hide!-Fight! would be an appropriate response.
  • If the fire bell rings, do not come out of hiding!  Ignore all bells and alarms, unless verbal instructions from local emergency responders are given, or if the conditions (i.e. fire, structural damage, etc.) warrant the evacuation of your area.
  • Classroom card access doors will be automatically locked during a lockdown but can be opened from the inside.
  • Access to campus by outside constituents may be denied during a lockdown

Why would a lockdown be called?

A lockdown would generally only be called in the case of an immediate threat involving an active armed assailant.  Such threats could include:

  • Gunshots on or near campus
  • Kidnapping or hostage situation

Other emergency situations may also warrant a lockdown response. These may be:

  • Riot/large uprising
  • Any situation where evacuation may pose greater risk than sheltering in place.

A number of other dangerous, threatening circumstances may necessitate the university recommending that students, faculty and staff shelter in place, meaning that you are asked to stay put, but does not require the locking, hiding, silence, etc. of a full lockdown.  These could include natural disasters or severe weather (tornado or blizzard), chemical spills, or gas leaks.

How am I informed there is a lockdown?

A lockdown will be communicated through UWRF's Emergency Notification Systems:

  • Public Address (PA) system.
  • Emergency cell phone text messaging service. UWRF uses a service called InformaCast that faculty, staff, and students are automatically signed up for.  You are responsible for checking that your current cell phone number is registered in the system.
  • Email alerts to all students, faculty, and staff via their university email accounts.
  • The University's web page.
  • If possible, on social media (i.e. Twitter).

What should I do when a lockdown is called?

  • Move any students or visitors in the hallway or restroom into the nearest classroom or office.
  • List any missing individuals as soon as possible and be prepared to report that information to the campus administrators or to local emergency responders when told to do so.
  • Remember that students and campus visitors are likely to follow the lead of faculty and staff during an active armed assailant situation. 
  • You may be the one to suggest implementation of a lockdown based on a situation involving a perceived or real threat.  If so, call 911. 

How does UWRF implement lockdown?

Once informed of a situation warranting lockdown, the Incident Commander will utilize UWRF's emergency notification systems to alert students, faculty and staff that a lockdown is in effect. 

How do I know the lockdown is over?

The Incident Commander will issue an "All-Clear" announcement when the emergency subsides, using UWRF's emergency notification systems. In some situations, however, each room will be visited via a face-to-face contact by the police.  The police will give instructions regarding what to do next.