Emergency Management

Thank you for your interest in environmental health and safety at HSC. Below you will find helpful campus information and links to websites that provide additional information about preparing for emergencies. This includes an FAQ about the Nov. 16, 2022, Red Alert incident on the HSC campus, where to go on campus in case of a building evacuation or severe weather, how to develop safety plans, information about the HSC weather station, and links to weather safety and awareness information.


Emergency Alert Incident

Below is an FAQ with questions HSC has received about the Red Alert incident on Nov. 16, 2022. Please email further questions and comments to president@unthsc.edu with the subject line “Emergency response feedback.”

Q: Why wasn’t the HSC Health Pavilion locked down? Patients were allowed to come and go during the incident. Why were we told by upper management that it was “business as usual” during the event?

A: HSC is working on taking extra precautions and coming up with a plan to get patients safely off campus if needed. During the Nov. 16 incident, the HSC Police Department, upon recommendation from the Fort Worth Police Department, determined that there was enough distance between the IREB and the Health Pavilion for patients to safely enter and exit. It will be preferable during future incidents to lock down the entire campus.


Q: Will future in-person training include department-specific procedures about where to go, what doors to lock, etc. during a lockdown?

A: Every campus building is different. HSC will be setting standards and modifying and adjusting those as needed. If there are specific areas people are concerned about, they should reach out, and the HSC Police Department will look at the space and discuss best practices.


Q: Is it Fort Worth Police Department policy to not announce officers’ presence upon clearing rooms?

A: Although the Fort Worth Police Department officers generally announce their presence upon clearing rooms, every incident is different. Depending on the situation, officers may or may not do this. Everyone is asked to follow all orders from police officers. Anyone with a handgun because they have a Texas license to carry one should let police officers know. The door to each room will be left open once the room is cleared.


Q: Can HSC provide clarity about what to expect when the police and SWAT teams show up during an incident?

A: Information will be provided during incidents by the police and SWAT teams, but securing the safety of the community at large must be their priority. The type, amount and frequency of information provided will be based on the situation.


Q: Is there a way to lock buildings or post a police officer outside during incidents such as the one Nov. 16 so it’s not as easy to come and go?

A: Unfortunately, posting officers outside buildings is not feasible because they are focused on the incident. All faculty, staff and students are asked to follow instructions provided through the emergency notification system, including waiting until an “all clear” is issued. We will ensure this is covered in future trainings.


Q: Some people did not receive the lockdown alert because they don’t have cellphone reception in their office and/or research laboratories. Will there be an effort to ensure all buildings on campus have adequate cellphone reception?

A: In most HSC buildings, there is a robust wireless system to allow people to receive text alerts. Faculty, staff and students should make sure to connect to Wi-Fi. HSC is aware that the Health Pavilion has areas where the Wi-Fi does not work, and that is being addressed. All faculty, staff and students are automatically enrolled in the emergency notification system each semester unless they opt out. A cellphone number must be provided in myHSC. Please read the Emergency Notifications webpage for further details.


Q: Is there a way to send emergency notifications by text only and not through Teams/phone call?

A: There is not a way for individuals to opt out of some notification tools but not others. HSC will examine the option to tailor the delivery method of emergency alerts depending on the circumstances.


Q: When incidents occur like the one Nov. 16, do faculty, staff and students still have badge access to buildings?

A: Access remains on and active during emergency events.  


Q: When we were evacuated from IREB, why were we not told where to go?

A: Future trainings will address this issue. In case of an incident such as the one Nov. 16, faculty, staff and students will have a designated location to gather.


Q: Can HSC inform faculty, staff and students to not spread misinformation on social media during incidents such as the one Nov. 16? I saw people posting things such as “shots were fired” in the IREB during the incident.

A: It is upsetting that when HSC was in an active emergency — when we should be protecting each other — some people got on social media and posted inaccurate information. Information about the risks involved when people do this will be included as part of HSC’s enhanced training. People also should not contact those managing an emergency event to try to get more information because they are hampering those people’s ability to do their jobs.


Q: The IREB fifth-floor lock system is broken, and anyone can get in. When will it be fixed?

A: The IREB fifth-floor lock system has been fixed. There are several locations on campus that are restricted. If they aren’t working, please email the HSC Police Department so that they may be fixed.


Q: What is the plan for locking classrooms? Study rooms don’t lock, and some students were worried that they were stuck in places that didn’t lock.

A: During an incident such as the one Nov. 16, it is best to find a place to hide that has a solid door without glass access. If possible, something heavy should be shoved against the door. Specific instructions will be added to HSC’s enhanced training about securing classrooms, offices, etc. HSC also will examine available options for securing spaces.


Q: A lot of students and patients froze and didn’t know what to do or how to act. What can be done?

A: HSC is planning in-person drills that will cover “what to do in case of…”.


Q: We have a safe room on the sixth floor of the EAD since so many of our offices have a lot of glass access. Are more safe rooms going to be included in current and future renovations?

A: This will be discussed further in after-action reviews. Safe rooms are very costly, and there are other ways to mitigate and secure space.


Q: Why were some people told to evacuate and some told to lock their doors?

A: HSC will build in instructions on evacuation as part of enhanced training so that everyone receives the same information. As part of this effort, HSC will examine building in a tactical chain of command rather than a professional/workplace chain of command.


Q: How is the Lena Pope Early Learning Center at HSC integrated into the campus’ emergency response procedures?

A: The daycare is one of the safest places on campus because it is locked at all times. The director receives HSC emergency alerts and is aware of all emergency protocols.


Q: HSC orientation doesn’t discuss anything like how to handle incidents such as the one that happened on Nov. 16. What can be done?

A: HSC leadership is speaking to Human Resources about orientation and the possibility of a staged approach to providing additional information.


Q: What will HSC’s enhanced training include?

A: HSC is working on enhanced training for various types of emergency situations, including active shooter training. The goal is to include specific information for students, faculty and staff about evacuation and shelter-in-place protocols based on the type of emergency, roles and responsibilities (HSC responders, supervisors, internal and external police, etc.), communication during emergencies, securing rooms and building exits, and more.


Building Evacuation and Severe Weather Refuge Areas

HSC provides building-specific floor plans with pre-identified Severe Weather Refuge Areas and emergency exits. HSC also provides an Emergency Assembly Area map that indicates on-campus designated areas to assemble outdoors during an evacuation. To access the floor plans or the Emergency Assembly Area map, click on the link provided, log in with your EUID and password, then click on the link(s) of interest for a copy of the plan.


Emergency Preparedness

Visit the KnoWhat2Do public education campaign website to learn more about how to develop safety plans, and how to prepare for and response to Severe Weather, Mass Violence, Local Hazards, Epidemics, and Pandemics.


HSC Weather Station

Did you know the HSC has a Weather Station on the HSC campus? Visit the HSC Weather Station to see on-campus, real-time weather conditions.


Weather Safety

Please visit the links below for information on Weather Safety, including those potentially impacting the HSC geographic area, as well as those potentially impacting the HSC students, faculty, and staff who are traveling, and studying elsewhere in the United State or internationally.




Environmental Health and Safety Office: 817-735-2245 (ext. 2245)