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Safety

Personal safety

Police can be contacted from a landline phone or cellphone by dialing 911. For the safety of students on the Blacksburg main campus, blue-light safety phones that are directly connected to the campus 911 emergency operator are spread throughout the campus.

Students are encouraged to take measures to protect their personal safety. Virginia Tech publishes personal safety tips on the university website.

Following are some general recommendations:

  • Always use well-lit areas at night. Never take shortcuts through dark or isolated areas. If students think they are being followed, they should change direction and walk toward a populated area.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night. The Virginia Tech Police Department sponsors a nighttime safety escort service called “Safe Ride.” This service is available to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the university. Safe Ride operates from dusk until dawn and provides transportation or a walking escort, upon request, to people who must cross campus during the nighttime alone. Safe Ride may be contacted by using the TransLoc Rider app or by calling 540-231-SAFE (7233).
  • Students should be aware of their surroundings at all times. They should report any unusual behavior on the campus to the campus police.
  • Students should choose their companions well. Ensure that the companions are people they can trust. They should not go anywhere with a stranger, and they should not get into a stranger's car.
  • When using an ATM, students should be aware of anyone who does not appear to be there for banking purposes. When students enter their password, they should stand so that others may not see the keypad. If someone is nearby who makes them feel uncomfortable, they should go to a different ATM. They should use discretion when counting any money they withdraw.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol, fighting, or associating with people who do these things. Never drink so much alcohol that it can weaken judgment and the ability to make good decisions.
  • Women should use the same good judgment in the United States that they use at home. Always go with a friend wherever alcohol is served. Keep an eye on each other and leave with each other.

Fire procedures

If there is a fire:

  • Sound the alarm: The person who discovers or suspects a fire should activate the building fire alarm. If there is no alarm in the building, he or she should warn other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting "fire" as they leave the building.
  • Leave the building: People should try to rescue others only if they can do so safely. Everyone should move away from the building and stay out of the way of the fire department. Do not go back into the building until the fire department says it is safe to do so.
  • Call 911: Dial 911 or use an "emergency" phone. Give as much information as possible to the 911 operator.

Outside of the building, people should assist anyone who may be in danger, if they can do so without endangering themselves. Students with disabilities may need assistance. Exit the building in a calm manner using the stairs; never use elevators. Maintain a safe distance from the building, about 50 feet, to allow ample room for emergency personnel and equipment to access the building. Remain outside the building, even if the alarm stops, until the LCI staff says that it is safe to re-enter.

People may attempt to put out the fire if they have been trained and are comfortable with using a fire extinguisher. Otherwise, everyone should evacuate the building immediately.

Evacuation procedures

In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary to evacuate the building. Everyone should go out of the building via the nearest stairwell or street-level exit. After they have left the building, go to their predesignated assembly point and remain there. At the assembly point, supervisors account for personnel and report any that are unaccounted for to the emergency coordinator, Virginia Tech Police, and/or the fire department.

The assembly points for the LCI campus in Blacksburg are:

  • 840 University City Blvd. (main building): the Dollar General store parking lot.
  • The Annex: the parking lot of the Verizon/Firehouse Subs businesses.

Weather emergencies

Weather emergencies can pose serious threats. When severe weather occurs prior to the beginning of the normal workday, Virginia Tech may delay classes or close. Listen to local TV and radio news broadcasts for this information.

At the LCI main campus in Blacksburg, weather closures and delays will be posted on the university website.

Storms

During the fall and spring, severe weather emergencies, such as tornadoes, occur more frequently. Listening to a small, battery-operated radio is a good way to stay informed of such conditions.

Follow these recommendations if severe thunderstorms, threatening weather or tornadoes occur:

  • If weather conditions appear threatening, listen for an alert warning through commercial radio, weather radio, or local television.
  • If people are outside, they should move indoors as soon as possible.
  • People should move to an interior hallway or basement if time allows, or take shelter under a desk or heavy table and cover their head.
  • Avoid upper floors, large glass-walled areas, and windows.
  • Stay out of parking areas, gymnasiums, and auditoriums.
  • Stay away from electrical service panels and appliances, including computers.
  • Use telephones for emergency calls only.
  • Stay calm and alert.