Carnegie Mellon University

Active Shooter (GET OUT-HIDE-FIGHT)

If you see a gunman or hear gunfire:

active shooter

Get Out:

  • GET OUT Immediately run away from the gunman or from sounds of gunfire.
  • Get to a safe place and call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.

Hide: If you can’t run …

  • HIDE in an area out of the shooter’s view - Close, lock and block entry to your hiding place – Turn off lights - Silence your cell phone or any other devices.

Fight: If you can’t run or hide …

  • FIGHT as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger - Attempt to incapacitate the shooter - Act with physical aggression

CMU University Police PatchThe Carnegie Mellon University Police Department has published a training video on its website that explains what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus. A pocket guide, poster and pamphlet with instructions on how to respond also are available on the site.

If your workgroup, class or organization is interested in an active shooter presentation, contact Chief Tom Ogden at
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Alcohol and Drug Overdose

  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.

If you suspect someone needs help:
The students who request assistance and the victim will be granted amnesty from university disciplinary action provided the students do not leave the victim alone.

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Building Evacuations

(Bomb Threat, Fire, Natural Gas Leak, Chemical Spill)

  • Exit quickly and move away from the building to a designated meeting area.
  • Stay with your group from the building. If someone was left behind, notify any emergency responder immediately.
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized personnel indicate it is safe to do so.

*All bomb threats will be investigated, but only credible threats will require a building evacuation.

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Cardiac Arrest 

If you see someone experiencing a cardiac arrest:

  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
  • If you know CPR, start chest compressions. If you do not know CPR, retrieve an AED, if possible. Open the AED case and follow the step-by-step audio instructions. (AEDs have been installed at numerous locations on campus.)
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
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Criminal Activity

If you see criminal activity:

  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
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If you see a disturbance or protest:

  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
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  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
  • Crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.
  • When the shaking stops, look around. If the building is damaged and there is a clear path to safety, leave the building and go to an open space away from damaged areas.
  • If you are trapped, call CMU Police at 412-268-2323, text a friend or yell for help.
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Fire or Explosion

  • Activate the fire alarm and evacuate the building.
  • If you encounter smoke while evacuating, get close to the floor where the air is coolest and smoke free.
  • Feel the door with the back of your hand before you open it. If the door is cool, open it slowly. If the door is hot, or if you detect smoke on the other side, do not open it. Seek another way out. 
  • If you cannot get out shelter in a safe place, call CMU Police 412-268-2323, text a friend or yell for help. Attempt to make yourself visible to responding authorities.
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  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
  • Do not walk through floodwater because it may be contaminated or it may contain a live electrical current.
  • If you are driving, do not drive through floodwater.
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Hazardous Materials Incident

(Chemical, Infectious or Radiological hazards)

  • Evacuate the area and activate the building fire alarm.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
  • If the material spilled on you, remove your clothing and use a safety shower or drench hose.
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Natural Gas Leak

  • Move to a safe location.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
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Sexual Assault

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.

More resources, support, and information are available on the Office of Title IX Initiatives website.

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If instructed to shelter-in-place:

  • Take shelter in a windowless interior room or hallway.
  • Lock doors and windows.
  • If outside, get inside the closest building.
  • Stay indoors until instructed otherwise.
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Suicide Prevention

If you are concerned someone may be suicidal:

  • Encourage them to contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) at 412-268-2922.
  • If you believe someone is imminently at risk of harming themselves,call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.

CaPS provides a safe, confidential environment for students to talk about personal and academic concerns. Visit the CaPS website for more information on psychological services.

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Suspicious Packages

  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323.
  • Do not touch the package.
  • Evacuate the area and warn others to stay away.
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Weather Emergencies

(Tornado, lightning, high wind, or hail)

  • If outside, move indoors and stay there.
  • During a tornado warning, move to the lowest floor of the building and stay away from windows and doors.
  • Call CMU Police at 412-268-2323 to report injuries and damage.