Campus Security and Emergency Response Guide

If you are in an emergency situation and need immediate help, call 9-1-1 or Simmons Police (617-521-1111).

Reporting Emergencies

If you discover an emergency on the Simmons University campus:

  • Call 9-1-1 or Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111
  • Stay calm
  • Give your name and location, and follow emergency-specific instructions (located in this Emergency Response Guide)


  • Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111
  • Buildings and Grounds: (617) 521-1000
  • Health Center: (617) 521-1020
  • Counseling Center: (617) 521-2455

Utility Failure

When any type of utility and/or facility-related system is interrupted or fails, such as electricity, heat, or ventilation.


  • For non-emergency utility issues, please contact Buildings and Grounds: (617) 521-1000.
  • For all utility emergencies, contact Simmons Police: (617) 521-1112.
  • If evacuating the building is required, use stairwells. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • IF IN A LAB OR STUDIO SETTING - End activities that require ventilation, power, or hazardous materials. Secure your environment and clean up or put away equipment and hazardous materials. Follow your laboratory/studio emergency shutdown procedure if you are able to do so safely.

Medical Emergency

An injury or illness that poses a risk to a person's life or health.


  • Call 9-1-1 or Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111 immediately.
  • Follow all instructions given by Simmons Police.
  • Protect yourself and others; be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try to avoid contact with blood or bodily fluids.
  • Do not move an injured person unless you are able to do so safely without incurring further injury.
  • When possible, remain with the injured person until Simmons Police and/or medical personnel arrive.
  • Administer first aid only if you are trained/certified and feel comfortable doing so.

Mental Heath Emergencies/Suicide Threats

Mental Heath Crisis Numbers

  • Simmons Police
    (617) 521-1111
  • Counseling Center
    (617) 521-2455
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    1+ (800) 273-8255
    Text "Start" to 741-741
    24/7 Free and Confidential
  • Samaritans - Available 24/7
    1+ (877) 870-4673 - call or text

Helping Someone with a Mental Health Crisis / Suicide Threat:

  • Listen to the person.
  • Recognize warning signs.
  • Stay with the person.

Immediate Mental Health Crisis/Suicide Threat:

  • ON-CAMPUS: Call Simmons Police at x 1111
  • OFF-CAMPUS: Call 9-1-1 for local police response

Potential Mental Health Crisis/Suicide Threat

  • Presented by a Student: Call Student Affairs at (617) 521-2124 during business hours; Call Simmons Police at (617) 521-1111 after hours.
  • Presented by a Staff or Faculty: Call Simmons Police at (617) 521-1111.
  • Presented by Affiliate Member of the Community: Call Simmons Police at (617) 521-1111.

Suspicious Person

A person or multiple people demonstrating unusual/threatening behavior. That includes:

  • Individuals acting furtively and suspiciously.
  • Individuals departing quickly when seen or approached.
  • Individuals in places they don't belong.
  • Individuals forcing their way into a locked area or vehicle.
  • Individuals showing unusual mental or physical symptoms.


  • Notify Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111.
  • Be prepared to tell Campus Safety personnel:
    • Who or what you saw;
    • When you saw it;
    • Where it occurred; and
    • Why it's suspicious.

Severe Weather/Natural Disaster

A significant weather emergency that may impact Simmons University such as a snow storm, hurricane, severe thunderstorm, or tornado. These events may cause strong winds, rain, hail, ice, or snow.


Inclement Winter Weather (Snow/Ice/Wind)

  • Monitor Emergency Alert Systems (email/text alerts, TV, radio, and the university website).
  • Closings or other restrictions of travel can be monitored through email/text alerts, TV, radio, and the university website.

Hurricane/Severe Storm/Flooding

  • Monitor Emergency Alert Systems (email/text alerts, TV, radio, and the university website).
  • When advised, evacuate to designated safe areas.
  • If able, remove items from near windows and secure loose objects.
  • Stay indoors during high winds and keep away from exterior walls and doors.
  • Remain in safe area until warning expires or until an "All Clear" announcement is made via Emergency Alert Systems or by emergency personnel.
  • IF IN LAB OR STUDIO SETTING - End activities that require ventilation, power, or hazardous materials. Secure your environment and clean up or put away equipment and hazardous materials. Follow your laboratory/studio emergency shutdown procedure if you are able to do so safely.

Fire or Fire Alarms and Hazardous Materials

Fire or Fire Alarms: When Fire or Smoke is Detected

Implement RACE

  • R RESCUE people in immediate danger if you can do so without endangering yourself.
  • A ALARM – Pull fire alarm and call 9-1-1.
  • C CONTAIN – If able, contain the fire by closing all doors, windows and other openings.
  • E EVACUATE the area. Do not use elevator unless authorized by emergency personnel.
    EXTINGUISH – Extinguish only a small fire AND ONLY if you have been trained.
    Remember PASS P (PULL) – A (AIM) – S (SQUEEZE) – S (SWEEP)

Hazardous Materials: On Campus

  • Isolate area of spill/leak. Do not attempt to clean.
  • Call Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111.
  • Follow instructions given by emergency personnel for shelter-in-place or evacuation.
  • If possible, note any characteristics about the material: name, odor, color, physical description.
  • Report any injuries or exposure to Simmons Police (617) 521-1111 immediately.

Hazardous Materials: Near Campus

  • Simmons Police and the Simmons University Incident Management Team will be notified.
  • Follow Emergency Alert messaging for shelter-in-place or evacuation instructions.

Bomb Threat/Suspicious Package

Bomb Threat

  1. If you receive a telephone bomb threat...
    • Do not hang up.
    • Remain calm.
    • Try to prolong the conversation and get as much information as possible.
    • Note what you hear. Are there background noises, such as music, voices, or cars?
    • How does the caller's voice sound? Any accent? What gender? What age? Any unusual words or phrases?
    • How is the bomb location described?
    • Does the caller use a person's name?
    • Does the caller give his/her name?
  2. Call Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111 and report a bomb threat. Give the operator all the information you collected on the checklist. Identify yourself — give your name, address and phone number.
  3. If it is deemed necessary to evacuate, you will be notified by Emergency Alert Systems or the overhead speaker system. Evacuate via the primary route for your area, or by the alternate route if so directed.

Suspicious Package

  1. If you discover a suspicious item or package...
    • Leave it untouched and secure area until Simmons Police or first responders arrive.
    • Stay away from the package and refrain from touching or moving it in any way.
    • Go to a telephone.
  2. Call Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111 and report a suspicious item. You may be asked to assist in a search because you are familiar with the area.
    • If so directed, evacuate your area.
  3. If you notice any of the following characteristics pertaining to suspicious packages, please take immediate precautions:
    • Protruding wires or aluminum foil;
    • Oily stains, discolorations or odor;
    • Ticking sound;
    • Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.

Shelter in Place/Evacuation

In the event of an internal or external disaster, if there is evidence of possible harm to students, visitors, staff, or faculty, an order for protecting yourself in your current location or evacuation of your area may be given.

Shelter in Place

Stay in your current location. If outside, move immediately to the nearest building and await further instruction.


  • Simmons Police and/or Administration will initiate and communicate a Shelter in Place order.
  • Ensure all personnel are inside of campus buildings, facilities, and rooms.
  • If possible, account for individuals that you are supervising in your area.
  • Secure points of entry, doors and windows.
  • Keep sheltering individuals away from points of entry.
  • All personnel should remain in the secured area until an "All Clear" announcement is made via the Emergency Alert System or by emergency personnel.


Leave your location at once. Evacuation requires everyone to exit a building, area, or campus.


  • An order to evacuate a building or area of campus may be given by Simmons Police, Administration, or emergency personnel.
  • Occupants should use the nearest and safest exit when an evacuation order is given.
  • Evacuate in a CALM MANNER and avoid blocking entrances.
  • Based upon the type of emergency, occupants may be asked to move farther away from impacted area(s).
  • Remain calm at all times and follow the instructions of your supervisor, professor, Simmons Police, and emergency personnel.
  • Notify first responders of any persons with disabilities who may still be in the affected area or building.

Active Threat/Shooter

A situation where a person displays a weapon (knife, gun, etc.), especially in a threatening manner or threatening violence.

If you are in immediate danger

  • RUN: Escape from the area if you are able.
  • HIDE: Find a safe and secure hiding area. Remain there quietly until Police arrive.
  • FIGHT: Use all available objects and weapons to attack the perpetrator(s).

Any person should immediately call Simmons Police: (617) 521-1111 or call 9-1-1 directly upon recognition of a person with a weapon. State your name, location and any other relevant information listed below:

When calling, clearly state if known:

  • Campus, building and floor- include address of campus
  • Location of perpetrator
  • Number of perpetrators
  • Direction of travel of perpetrator
  • Physical description
  • Number and type of weapons
  • Number of potential victims

If in IMMINENT danger:


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape, if possible.
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the perpetrator may be.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers.
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people.


If evacuation is not possible, bring all people in from public spaces, waiting rooms, lobbies or elevator areas. Find a place to hide where the perpetrator is less likely to find you. Lock or block doors with heavy furniture.

Once hidden — do not open door until you hear an "All Clear" overhead announcement or alert.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the perpetrator's view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed, locked door).
  • Not trap or restrict your options for movement.

To prevent the perpetrator from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door.
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.

If the perpetrator is nearby:

  • Lock the door.
  • Shut off lights.
  • Silence your cell phone/pager.
  • Turn off any source of noise.
  • Hide behind large items.
  • Remain quiet.


As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger and you can not evacuate, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the perpetrator by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
  • Yelling.
  • Committing to your actions.

How to act 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 attempting to hold onto them for safety.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction from which officers are entering the premises.

Download the full Simmons Emergency Response Guide (pdf).

Confidential Resources

There are places both at Simmons and in the greater community where individuals can receive completely confidential assistance from professionals who have a legal duty to maintain and protect information shared with them on a confidential basis. These professionals are mandated by law to keep individuals’ disclosures confidential so long as the discussion happens while the professional is acting in that confidential/protected role.

For students, these professionals include:

  • Director of Counseling Center and Counseling Center Staff, 617-521-2455
  • Director of Health Promotion and Wellness & Chief Wellness Officer and Health Center Staff, 617-521-1020

In addition, Simmons has designated Martina Gauderer, Violence Prevention, Education, and Outreach Coordinator, and Matoaka Kipp, Director of the REEF Support Center, as Simmons' Confidential Resource Persons. Martina and Matoaka serve as confidential resources for students who have experienced sexual harassment and need support and/or access to resources. Students can reach Martina at [email protected] and Matoaka at [email protected].

Faculty and staff may also access confidential assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a 24-hour a day service, offered 7 days a week, – AllOne Health (1-800-451-1834).

Note: There are a few limited circumstances where even confidential resources are legally-mandated to report information. These may include cases involving abuse of minors, persons with disabilities, or the elderly; when required to provide testimony in response to a subpoena or court order; or where an individual is at risk of imminent harm to self or others.