UH Hilo

Emergency Response Guide

The safety and security of the students, faculty, staff and visitors at UH Hilo is always a priority, and we should all be prepared to keep our campus safe.
This information is disseminated to assist you in your ability to respond to several types of emergencies. Please familiarize yourself with the procedures in this app. In the event you are faced with an emergency, it will serve as a quick reference for effective action. If there are any questions or comments regarding this app, please contact:

Campus Security Office

at 808-974-7911 or 7911.

For emergencies or if you need immediate assistance call:

  • Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911.
  • There are several Emergency Phones located throughout the UH Hilo campus. These phones connect directly to Campus Security.
  • Campus Security is available 24 hours.

Safety is a responsibility that we all share. Please review this app periodically, so you will be prepared to rapidly and effectively manage any emergencies.

Every emergency poses a unique and ever-changing combination of factors and challenges, so no guide can ever be complete. Be sure to have a plan.

This emergency app was created by the UH Hilo Campus Security Department. For more information, please visit https://hilo.hawaii.edu/emergency


Campus Safety and Security begins with YOU; “If You See Something, Say Something.”

  • If someone is injured or ill.
  • If you see or smell smoke or fire.
  • If see you see any type of sexual assault taking place.
  • If you see someone being hurt, harassed or bullied.
  • If you see a crime in progress, such as someone stealing, causing damage, driving while under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle, or any activity that is against the law.
  • If you see something or someone suspicious.
  • DO NOT assume someone else has made or will make the call.
  • Provide the HPD dispatcher or campus security with accurate, detailed information about the situation so the information can be relayed to the first responders.
  • If you are reporting a medical problem, ask someone to monitor the affected person’s condition so you can relay the information to the Officer(s).

Remember to always be prepared: In greater emergencies that may impact the entire campus and/or community, first responders may not be able to reach you immediately. As a result, there are several simple steps that you can take to be prepared to handle emergencies on your own. In order to be prepared, you should:

  • Know what emergencies can impact you and have a plan for each.
  • Always locate two exits in any building that you frequent.
  • At a minimum, have an emergency kit in your car and/or residence with a flashlight, whistle, small first aid kit and other items to sustain you for three days.
  • Think about how you will communicate with family and friends during an emergency when cell phone systems may be overwhelmed – try texting and/or establishing an out of town emergency phone contact person who family and friends can call to check in with and relay messages.

Campus Security Authority:
According to federal law, specifically The Jeanne Clery Act in 1998, the UH Hilo Campus Security Department is required to report “statistics concerning the occurrence of certain criminal offenses reported to the local police agency or any official of the institution who has “significant responsibility for student and campus activities”. The definition of “Campus Security Authority”, according the federal law, is as follows: “A Campus Security Authority is an official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings.” For example, an employee who oversees students, a student center, or student extra-curricular activities, has significant responsibility for student and campus activities. Similarly, directors of programs and faculty advisors to student groups also have significant responsibility for student and campus activities. A single teaching faculty member is unlikely to have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, except when serving as an advisor to a student group. Does your position at UH Hilo qualify you as a Campus Security Authority? If you are not sure, please inquire at the Campus Security Office in UCB 151.

If you are witnessing a crime in progress:

  • DO NOT try to apprehend or interfere with the criminal except in case of self-protection.
  • Call Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911.
  • If safe, get a good description of the criminal. Note height, weight, sex, color, age, clothing, method, and direction of travel.
  • If there is a vehicle involved, note the license plate number, make and model, color, and outstanding characteristics.
  • Provide your name, location, situation, and follow the instructions given to you.
  • If you are involved in a hold-up, you should:
    • Not resist – do as the person says.
    • Surrender the money immediately.
    • Attempt to get a good description of the person and direction of flight.
  • Shut down your operation and secure the crime scene.
  • Ask any witnesses to remain until the arrival of Campus Security and/or HPD.
  • In the event of civil disturbance, continue as much as possible with your normal routine. If the disturbance is outside, stay away from doors and windows.
  • DO NOT interfere with those persons creating the disturbance, or with law enforcement authorities on the scene.

Police, Fire, Ambulance:

Campus Security:
(on-campus): ext. 7911
(off-campus): 808-974-7911

Director of Campus Security:
808-932-7644 or 808-561-3809


Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs:

Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs:

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs:

Title IX Coordinator:

Environmental Health and Safety:

Auxiliary Services:

UH Hilo Student Medical Services:

UH Hilo Counseling Services:

UH Hilo Disability Services:

Suicide & Crisis Line:

Help Line (for referrals):
211 or 808-275-2000 (Ask-2000)

YWCA Sexual Assault 24-hour Crisis Line:

Sex Abuse Treatment Center (hotline):

Child Protective Services:

Civil Defense Agency:

In the event of a medical emergency:

  • Remain calm.
  • Contact Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911 from a campus phone.
  • Dial 911.
  • Do not move the injured person unless there is an immediate threat to them. If it is safe to do so, comfort them and reassure them that help is on the way.
  • Provide the emergency dispatcher with your name, location, number of injured people, and a description of the medical emergency.
  • Stay on the phone for instructions on how you can assist.
  • Send a responsible person to meet first responders outside of the building on the street to lead the emergency responders back to the injured individual(s).
  • If there is danger of coming in contact with bodily fluids and you do not have personal protection gear, do not touch the person.
  • If you are certified in first aid and it is safe to do so, provide care to the person to the extent you are capable.
  • Follow all directions given to you by Campus Security, EMS, law enforcement, or authorized personnel.
  • Report the medical emergency to your supervisor and/or Campus Security once the victim receives professional attention.

If there is fire or smoke in your area, follow these guidelines:

  • Leave the area and pull the fire alarm.
  • Call 911 for Fire Department.
  • Call Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911 from a campus phone.
  • Move away from the fire and smoke. Close doors and windows if time permits.
  • Do not attempt to put out the fire unless properly trained.
  • Evacuate the building as soon as the alarm sounds.
  • On the way out, warn others and ask if anyone needs assistance evacuating.
  • Touch closed doors. Do not open them if they’re hot.
  • Do not use elevators. Use stairs.
  • Once outside, do not re-enter the building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by Campus Security or Emergency Response Personnel.

If you’re trapped in a room:

  • Place wet cloth material around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room.
  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Be prepared to signal someone outside but DO NOT BREAK GLASS unless absolutely necessary as outside smoke may be drawn into the room.

If you’re caught in smoke:

  • Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit.
  • Stay low to the floor, as smoke rises to the ceiling level.
  • Hold your breath as much as possible.
  • Breathe shallow through your nose and use a filter such as your shirt or towel.

If you catch on fire:

  • Do Not Run.
  • Stop.
  • Drop and Cover your face.
  • Roll to put out the fire.

Earthquakes occur without warning. They may occur once or have several aftershocks. They may cause buildings, soil, or other structures to be unstable. They may also cause tsunamis. In the event of an earthquake, follow these procedures.

If you are INDOORS:

  • DO NOT run blindly outside.
  • Get under a desk, table, or supported doorway.
  • Stay away from glass windows, shelves, & heavy equipment.
  • Avoid electrical cords as they may be live.

If you are OUTDOORS:

  • DO NOT run blindly inside.
  • Stay in the open.
  • Beware of fires, downed utility lines, and aftershocks.
  • Assist with evacuation of the buildings.

If you are DRIVING:

  • Pull to the side of the road and stop.
  • Avoid utility lines or other objects that may fall.
  • Set brakes and turn-off the ignition.
  • Stay in the vehicle until the earthquake is over.

Immediate Actions

Drop/Cover/Hold (see below).

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter.
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.

HOLD ON until shaking stops.

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

After the Initial Shock

  • Remain calm and be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
  • Check area for obvious hazards and damage.
  • Use phones only in case of immediate life threatening emergency.
  • Do not light matches, cigarettes, or candles.
  • Do not turn on or off any electrical equipment or lighting.
  • Do not use elevators. Exit using the stairs.
  • Follow directions given to you by Emergency Response Personnel.
  • Immediately proceed to evacuation location once earthquake is over.
  • Write down the names of everyone in the room and call the emergency number.
  • Listen for emergency announcements.

A HURRICANE is high winds, heavy rain, flooding, and high surf. The Hawai‘i State Civil Defense provides an early warning system using “Watches and Warnings” with statewide notification by sirens.

WATCH ISSUED: Storm expected within 48 hours. Get ready and follow the procedures listed below.

  • Check all drainage structures to be sure that they are clear.
  • Secure all exterior equipment and materials against high winds.
  • Protect valuable equipment from water or errant electrical damage.
  • Protect any windows facing the direction from which the hurricane is coming.
  • Check if Chancellor has cancelled classes or has further instructions.

WARNING ISSUED: Storm expected within 24 hours. At this point, the sirens will sound. The following procedures should be followed:

  • Check for further instructions from the Chancellor.
  • Listen to your radio for emergency information.
  • Be sure that you have prepared your personal hurricane kit.

A hurricane kit should allow you to survive on your own for 72 hours. Below are the recommended supplies every household should have to be prepared for a hurricane:

  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day.
  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio.
  • Flashlight, with extra batteries.
  • Matches/Lighter.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Can opener.
  • Cash.
  • Local maps.
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger.
  • Identification cards.
  • Any prescription medications you may need.
  • Visit www.Ready.gov/kit for more information.

For students
Follow instructions from Campus Security and local law enforcement.
Below is a reference list of items that should be done prior to leaving for a shelter or evacuating:

  • If sheltering on campus, be sure to notify your family that you are safe.
  • Move personal items away from windows and off the floor.
  • Cover electronic equipment, books, and important papers with plastic to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off all computers and save any important items. You are responsible for any lost or damaged possessions.
  • Lock all doors when occupants are not in the room or apartment. Also, windows must be closed tightly, and any window blinds should be closed.
  • Any resident who owns a car should take measures to protect it. Fill up your gas tank prior to the storm, as gas supplies post-storm may become scarce. You should be prepared to shelter inside for several days while you ride out the storm.
  • Pets should not be left behind!

For staff
This checklist is designed to identify suggested tasks and assignment of responsibilities for preparing work areas:

  • Cover and secure vulnerable equipment with plastic.
  • Move valuable equipment into interior areas of the building away from windows. Tag moved equipment with department contact information.
  • Remove and secure equipment from outdoor locations.
  • Clear refrigerators and freezers of items that could spoil if power is lost, but leave appliances plugged in.
  • Place important files in cabinets and cover with plastic.
  • Close and latch (or secure with tape if needed) filing cabinets and cupboards.
  • Back-up electronic data and store in multiple locations.
  • Follow IT provider instructions for computer preparation.
  • Clear desktops, tables, and exposed horizontal surfaces of materials subject to damage.
  • Place telephones in desk drawers if cords are long enough. Do not unplug telephones.
  • Secure windows and close blinds.
  • Take personal possessions home.
  • Close and lock all doors, including office doors, before leaving.

Tsunamis are large ocean waves generated by major earthquakes beneath the ocean floor or major landslides into the ocean. Rising to several feet or higher, they can strike the coast with devastating force. Tsunamis can occur any time of year, day or night. The local telephone book has outlined all coastal areas that are subject to flooding in the event of a tsunami or tidal flood. UH Hilo’s Main Campus on Kawili Street is not in a flood zone.

UH Hilo units currently located in Tsunami Evacuation Zone:

  • Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center
  • Hawai‘i Innovation Center at Hilo (old Bank of Hawai‘i Building)
  • Marine Science Research Vessel, Hilo Harbor

Upon hearing the Civil Defense sirens and/or obtaining information that a tsunami warning has been issued, all beach/ocean related activities will immediately cease, and individuals will evacuate to higher grounds. No one shall return to lower grounds until after the “all clear” declaration is given by Civil Defense.

Note: Personnel may not be able to hear the Civil Defense sirens from certain locations of the campuses. Therefore, once UH Hilo Administrators have verified that a tsunami warning has been issued, a UH/Alert will be sent out to the UH community; please remember to sign-up for UH/Alert messages as soon as possible.

Top Tsunami Tips

Locally Initiated Tsunami
If You Feel a Strong Coastal Earthquake:

  • Drop, cover, and hold on to protect yourself from the earthquake.
  • When the shaking stops, gather members of your household and review your evacuation plan. A tsunami may be coming within minutes.
  • Use a NOAA Weather Radio or stay tuned to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station, or a local radio or television station for updated emergency information.
  • Follow instructions issued by local authorities. Recommended evacuation routes may be different from the one you planned, or you may be advised to climb higher.
  • If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once. A tsunami warning is issued when authorities are certain that a tsunami threat exists, and there may be only a short window of time to get out.
  • Take your emergency preparedness kit. Having supplies will make you more comfortable during the evacuation.
  • If you evacuate, take your animals with you. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them.
  • Get to higher ground as far inland as possible. Watching a tsunami from the beach or cliffs could put you in grave danger. If you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it.
  • Avoid downed power lines and stay away from buildings and bridges from which heavy objects might fall during an aftershock.
  • Stay away until local officials tell you it is safe. A tsunami is a series of waves that may continue for hours. Do not assume that after one wave the danger is over. The next wave may be larger than the first one.

Staying Safe After a Tsunami

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe.
  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • If people around you are injured, practice CHECK, CALL, CARE. Check the scene to be sure it’s safe for you to approach, call for help, and if you are trained, provide first aid to those in need until emergency responders can arrive.

Volcanic Eruption
Being of volcanic origin with ongoing activity, the Island of Hawai‘i is vulnerable to volcanic eruptions and lava flows. The Hawai‘i Volcano Observatory (HVO) usually provides information about impending activity.
Civil Defense (CD) issues advance warning/evacuation notices to the public regarding volcanic activity but at times may not be able to do so due to the unpredictable nature of volcanoes.

Upon receiving a warning notice:

  1. Tune in to an Emergency Broadcast System radio station for latest advisory information.
  2. If advised to prepare for evacuation, personnel should secure equipment and buildings; they may also remove valuable items that are relatively easy to transport.
  3. If advised to evacuate, keep in mind that in the event of an eruption and lava flow, a long term or permanent evacuation may be possible. The lava flow may cut off roads, utilities and destroy property. Alternative sites to conduct operations may become necessary.

Hazardous material incidents of disaster magnitude would include run away experiments, major spills or release of radioactive material, or storage accidents involving massive quantities of toxic substances. Should such an accident endanger the employees and students of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. Immediately inform the Environmental Health and Safety Office and Campus Security of the incident. Where necessary for safety, employees and students will take immediate action without waiting for direction from University officials.
  2. The Chancellor or designee will evaluate the situation and determine the need to evacuate the building/campus. If a decision is made to evacuate the building/campus, the evacuation procedure will be followed.
  3. All employees and students should stay upwind of the incident and remain at a safe distance to avoid contact (i.e. fumes, gases, vapors, etc.) with the hazardous material.
  4. The Safety Officer or Campus Security shall notify the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Fire Department of the incident and seek medical assistance as required.

Security personnel shall prevent entry into incident areas.

The Chancellor or designee will direct further action as required.

In the event of a major utility outage, the following steps are to be followed:

Immediately report utility failures during regular work hours (Monday-Friday 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) to Auxiliary Services at 808-932-7009.

Immediately report utility failures after regular work hours, on weekends, and on holidays to Campus Security at 808-974-7911.

Electricity Outage

  1. Disconnect all equipment which could be damaged by power surge when electricity is restored.
  2. Turn off lights, appliances, window air conditioners and other energy users to reduce power requirements for restoration.

Water Outage

  1. Conserve water resources until restored, keep taps closed.
  2. If localized to main campus, request Auxiliary Services to arrange with Board of Water Supply to provide water distribution point for essential use.

Gas Outage

  1. Close all outlets.
  2. Contact Auxiliary Services if unable to access gas shut off valves.

In the event of an explosion or the threat of an explosion – such as those caused by leaking gas, a faulty boiler or both within a campus/site building – the following will be accomplished:


  1. If an explosion occurs without warning, take cover by lying on the floor*.
  2. If the explosion occurs within the building, or threatens the building, the instructor should immediately evacuate the building.
  3. Move to an area of safety and maintain control.
  4. Check for injured persons. Render first aid if trained.
  5. Notify Campus Security. Campus Security will notify other agencies as needed.
  6. Fight fires only if trained and without endangering yourself or others.
  7. Students and staff should not return to the building until Fire Department officials declare the building to be safe for occupancy.
  8. The Chancellor will direct further action as required.

Threat of Explosion

  1. Sound the building fire alarm. This will automatically implement action to evacuate the building.
  2. Follow procedures 3 through 6 under “Explosion” above.
  3. The Campus Security will direct further action as required.

* Faculty should instruct students to react in the same manner on their own to this type of catastrophe in case it occurs when the faculty is temporarily not present.

Suspicious Package
If you become aware of an unattended or suspicious item, please take the following actions:

  • DO NOT touch or move the package.
  • DO NOT use cellular phones, two-way radios, or other electronic devices.
  • If you have touched the package, DO NOT touch others before washing your hands thoroughly.
  • If you have already picked the package up, STOP! – Put the item down quickly and gently.
  • If you encounter a leaking a substance or powder, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth or face.
  • Locate the nearest land line and call Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911 from a campus phone.
  • Provide all the details concerning the package (location, size, color, shape, etc.).
  • Proceed as instructed by Campus Security personnel.

In the event you receive or overhear a bomb or other mass threat contact:

  • Dial 911 first and then call Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or 7911.
  • Avoid using a cell phone or two-way radio near a suspected bomb or suspicious package when reporting the threat. In the event the threat is received by an employee via telephone:
    • DO NOT activate any fire alarms.

When a Bomb Threat Is Received

  1. Keep the caller on the line if possible. Utilize the Bomb Threat Checklist. Ask the caller to repeat the message. Record every word spoken by the person.
  2. If the caller does not indicate the location of the bomb or the time of possible detonation, ask for this information.
  3. Inform the caller that the building is occupied, and the detonation of the bomb could result in death or severe injury to many innocent people.
  4. Pay attention to peculiar background noises such as motors running, background music, or any other sounds which may give a clue as to the location of the caller.
  5. Listen closely to the voice (male or female), voice quality (calm, excited), accents and speech impediments. Immediately after the caller hangs up, report the call to Campus Security and fill out the Bomb Threat Checklist as completely as possible.

For more info, go to:

Questions to ask:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your name?

Evacuation of Building/Campus
Campus Security will report the information immediately to the Hawai‘i Police Department and Hawai‘i Fire Department. Campus Security shall follow the direction of the First Responders, Campus Crisis Management Team (CCMT), and Chancellor’s Office regarding whether to evacuate the building/campus, not to evacuate, and/or search on a limited basis. If a decision to evacuate the building/campus is made, the following actions will be taken:

  1. Security personnel on campus will report to area of the building involved and stand by for further instructions. Campus Security will coordinate the evacuation.
  2. During normal working hours verbal notification will evacuate the building. Inform employees and students of the bomb threat and request an orderly evacuation from the building area to a designated area of the campus or complete evacuation of the campus.
  3. After normal working hours, Campus Security will inform the Chancellor of the threat. Campus Security will inform the Chancellor and work with the Hawai‘i Police Department, and Hawai‘i Fire Department and evaluate the threat and take appropriate action.
  4. Two-way radios, cellular phones and fire alarms should not be used during the interim since the radio frequency transmission could activate the explosive device.

Location of Suspicious Object

  1. Personnel locating any suspicious object should report this to Campus Security. Do not move, jar, or touch the objects or anything attached thereto. The removal/disarming of an explosive device must be left to the professionals in explosive ordinance disposal.
  2. Evacuate the area of all other personnel involved in the search. Do not permit re-entry into the area until the device has been removed/disarmed.

Re-occupancy of Building

  1. After a search has been completed and all located explosive devices have been removed, or no explosive devices have been located, and the building is declared safe, the ALL-CLEAR will be given by First Responders and re-entry will be permitted.
  2. The decision to permit re-entry must be made by the Chancellor or the Incident Commander on site.

All bomb threats must be treated as legitimate and must be immediately reported.

When a Bioterroristic Threat of Anthrax or Threat to use any other Biological Agent is received:

  1. Call 911, inform the Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Team of the Fire Department of the threat.
  2. Notify Campus Security of situation; however, do not call Campus Security or any other staff member for emergency response.
  3. Evacuate in a professional manner and stay upwind of the building.
  4. Entry into the building should be restricted. Police Department will enforce a quarantine and No Entry Zone.
  5. Remain at the Evacuation Area, until an ALL CLEAR is announced by the Emergency Personnel.

Handling of Suspicious Unopened Letter or Package Marked with Threatening Message such as “Anthrax”
From State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, Guidelines for Handling Anthrax Scares or Threats in Letters and Packages.

  1. Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  2. Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  3. If you do not have any container, then cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  4. Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  6. What to do next – notify your supervisor, campus security, and call 911.
  7. List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the police and the Department of Health authorities for follow-up investigations and advice.

Envelope with Powder and Powder Spills Out onto Surface
From State of Hawai‘i Department of Health, Guidelines for Handling Anthrax Scares or Threats in Letters and Packages.

  1. Do not try to clean up the powder. Cover the spilled contents immediately with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover!
  2. Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  4. What to do next – notify your supervisor, campus security, and call 911.
  5. Remove heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or some other container that can be sealed. This clothing bag should be given to the emergency responders for proper handling.
  6. Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other disinfectant on your skin.
  7. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder. Give this list to both the police and Department of Health authorities so that proper instructions can be given for medical follow-up, and to law enforcement officials for further investigation.

All Bioterroristic threats must be treated as legitimate and action must be taken immediately.

One of the highest current risks to individuals is the emergence of an influenza pandemic – the rapid worldwide spread of influenza caused by a novel or mutated coronavirus to which people would have no immunity, resulting in more serious illness than that caused by seasonal influenza. COVID-19 is such a pandemic.

During a pandemic, governmental and non-governmental agencies will issue advice on the full range of response policies that should be adopted to achieve the objectives below, based on their understanding of the nature of the pandemic virus and its likely impacts. The main objectives of the response to influenza pandemic (COVID-19) are to:

  • Limit illness and death arising from exposure and infection.
  • Provide information and minimize disruption to essential services.
  • Maintain continuity as far as possible.


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don't live in your household.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit. 
  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

For more information and resources on COVID-19 and what to do during the pandemic, please consult the University of Hawaii COVID-19 guidelines and other relevant government agencies. 

Note: Please refrain from feeding any feral animals on or off campus. This can also be a catalyst to many contagious and infectious diseases.

If you have been sexually assaulted:

  • Know the assault is not your fault and you are not alone.
  • Go to a safe place and reach out for help and support.
  • On the Big Island, call the YWCA Sexual Assault 24 Hour Crisis Line: 808-935-0677.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Learn about your options to report.
  • Preserve evidence of the assault.

More about what to do if You're Sexually Assaulted at http://satchawaii.com/get-help-what-to-do-overview.aspx including information about emergency contraception for females, medical care, and forensic examination.

UH Hilo Victim/Survivor Resources 
The Title IX Office can provide assistance and interim measures for students whether or not they choose to report sexual assault, harassment, domestic/dating violence, or stalking.

People who experience sexual assault may experience:

  • Feeling a loss of control.
  • Feeling a sense of shock and disbelief, numbness and difficulty concentrating.
  • A period of acting as if nothing happened (after the initial shock is over).
  • Feeling fearful and unsafe.
  • Flashbacks and/or nightmares.

If you or your friend has not experienced any of these, it does not mean there is something wrong with how you are healing from the assault. The feelings you experience are part of the healing process, and everyone experiences trauma and heals differently.

How to help a friend:

  • Believe your friend. Don't judge.
  • Allow him or her to make choices. Don't question.
  • Expect a range of emotions.
  • Be patient.
  • Encourage him or her to get help, but know that only s/he can make that decision.
  • Be a friend. If you see someone at risk, or witness abuse or assault, get help to intervene in a safe way.
  • Self-care is important. If you have experienced sexual violence, helping your friend may bring up difficult feelings. It may be time to take care of yourself by getting seeking help from the resources on this page.

If you are seeking emergency medical services from a hospital, you should be aware that all Hawai‘i hospitals are required to provide information about and access to emergency contraception following a sexual assault, even if you choose not to undergo an acute forensic examination or choose not to report the sexual assault to law enforcement. If you decide to undergo an acute forensic examination, access to emergency contraception will be provided to you as part of that examination.

Medical Care and Evidence Collection
This service, called the acute forensic examination, is available to adults and minors, females and males. Sexual assault related examinations are done at UH Hilo Community Family Planning Clinic at the Campus Center as well as the Hilo Medical Center.

Medical care following a sexual assault is important even if you have no visible injuries. The acute forensic examination will:

  • Ensure that you are physically all right, and address concerns about the risks of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and HIV.
  • Collect and preserve any evidence, even if you do not want to report the assault to the police. Sometimes people change their minds and decide later that they want to pursue legal action.

To Preserve Evidence
It is best to not wash, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth (if oral activity took place). But even if you have cleaned up, you can and should still get a medical examination.

If you have not changed the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault, keep these on as they can be collected at the time of the examination.
If possible, bring a change of clothing in a separate paper bag and bring everything to the hospital.

Do not clean or disturb the physical location where the assault occurred.

If you suspect that you were a victim of a rape drug, medical care for testing and collecting evidence as soon as possible is important. These drugs leave your system very quickly.

Although going to the hospital after a sexual assault may feel overwhelming, it is a safe place to get help. A nurse or staff member will stay with you the entire time.

  • You can bring a friend or relative for support to the Hospital or Clinic.
  • You can receive the forensic examination even if you do not want to reportto the police.
  • Interpreters are available for those who have limited English ability or if you are hearing impaired.
  • Crisis counseling is provided if requested.
  • There is NO COST for the acute forensic examination or the crisis counseling.
  • For more information go to: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/studentaffairs/health

Title IX
Title IX is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender/sex at educational institutions that receive federal funding (20 U.S.C. 1681). Title IX was strengthened by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) in 2013. State laws and UH policy reinforce and add to UH Hilo’s obligations. Read the policy in full.

Prohibited Conduct
Prohibited conduct includes sex or gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity & expression, and nonconformity with sex stereotypes; sexual violence, including sexual assault; sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Cases reported to the Title IX Coordinator or any other responsible employee may be investigated. Investigations will be conducted promptly, thoroughly, and impartially by a trained investigator. Additionally, the University will take measures to ensure that the harassment/discrimination stops and is not repeated, and that its effects are remedied. If you have questions about the investigation process, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at 808-932-7641.

If you are a witness to or victim of Workplace Violence try to remain calm. Your actions may help calm a potentially violent situation, or they may escalate the problem.

  • Stay calm. Don’t be in a hurry.
  • Be empathetic. Show you are concerned.
  • Try to sit down with the other person. Sitting is a less aggressive position.
  • Give positive-outcome statements, such as “We can get this straightened out".
  • Give positive feedback for continued talking, such as “I’m glad you’re telling me how you feel”.
  • Stay out of arms’ reach.
  • Have limited eye contact.
  • Take notes.
  • Avoid yelling or arguing.
  • Do not joke or be sarcastic.

If someone becomes agitated

  • Leave the scene immediately, if possible. Call Campus Security from a safe place.
  • Or try to alert a co-worker that there is a problem; e.g. by calling and using an agreed upon code word to indicate trouble.

Practice preventive measures

  • Discuss and agree on circumstances and situations in the workplace that everyone should watch out for. Have procedures, signals and code words in place to deal with threatening situations.
  • Avoid scheduling appointments for times when no one else is in the area.
    Alert your colleagues in advance about a difficult meeting, and keep the door to the room open, or meet in a public area.
  • Try to avoid working alone after hours. If you must work late, advise a colleague, friend or family member.
  • When working after office hours, keep doors locked and do not open the door unless you are expecting someone.
  • Report any strange or unusual activities in and around your workplace immediately to your supervisor, Campus Security, and/or the police.
  • Do not leave money or valuable belongings out in the open. Purses should be locked in a desk or cabinet.
  • Lock your office and/or lab doors when these areas are not in use, even when you are leaving for “just a moment".
  • Always walk in well-lit areas and know your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, do not go home; go where there are other people. Call Campus Security as soon as you are in a safe place.
  • Report to your building administrator any workplace locks, windows or lights that need repair or attention.

Immediate or Imminent Danger
If a reported or on-going incident of possible workplace violence, in the judgment of the first line supervisor, presents an immediate or imminent danger they will immediately take the following action:

  • Notify the Hawai‘i County Police Department – 911 (9-911 from a campus phone).
  • Call Campus Security – 808-974-7911 (7911 from a campus phone).
  • Call their immediate supervisor (Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor).
  • Decide whether to continue operations or evacuate the area.

If you hear shots fired on campus, or if you witness an armed person shooting people (active shooter), the following actions are recommended:

  • Gunfire may sound artificial. Assume that any popping sound is gunfire.
  • FIGURE OUT Your course of action immediately. In the initial moments, try to decide what is occurring and which option listed below will provide the greatest degree of security.
  • GET OUT: If there is considerable distance between you and the gunfire, quickly move away from the sound of the gunfire and find a secure place to hide or at least a place that will provide protection from gunfire such as a brick wall, large trees, or buildings. Leave your belongings behind; help others escape if possible; get out regardless of whether others choose to follow.
  • HIDE OUT: If the shooter is near your location, use the Lockdown or Shelter in Place procedures and hide within the room. Make sure that you are under concealment and under cover (hidden and protected). If possible, do not restrict your options for movement. Silence cell phones and any other sources of noise (i.e., radios, televisions).
  • KEEP OUT: Lock the door and barricade it with any heavy objects available.
    Remain quiet.
  • SPREAD OUT: If there are two or more persons in the same place when an active shooting incident begins, you should spread out in the room to avoid offering the shooter an easy target.
  • Wait for Police or Campus Security to assist you out of the building.
  • CALL OUT: When you reach a safe location call 911 first, then Campus Security at 808-974-7911 or ext. 7911. DO NOT assume that someone else has reported the emergency. The information that you can provide law enforcement officers may be critical, e.g. number of shooters, physical description and identification, number and type(s) of weapons, and location of the shooter. If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.
  • FIGHT: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by acting as aggressively as possible; yelling, throwing items and improvising weapons; committing to your actions. If two or more people commit to this action, there is a chance of overpowering the assailant.

Hostage Situation
If a hostage has been taken or the perpetrator is armed, DO NOT attempt to:

  • Disable or disarm the perpetrator.
  • Negotiate.
  • Set off any audible alarms.

Lockdown procedures are used in situations involving dangerous intruders, active shooters, or other incidents that may result in harm to persons on campus:

  • A campus lockdown will be issued in person, via telephone, or through the UH Alert /email and text messaging systems.
  • Direct all students, faculty, staff and visitors into enclosed buildings, ensure all persons are inside.
  • Account for everyone in the room or office.
  • Lock classroom internal and external doors.
  • Secure and cover all exterior doors.
  • If you are in an area that does not lock, use all available items including desks, dressers, tables, chairs, etc. to barricade the door.
  • Move all persons away from windows and doors.
  • DO NOT allow anyone to exit the classroom until the “ALL CLEAR” signal is given by the administration or Campus Security.

Shelter In Place is designed for those situations in which it is safer for employees to remain in the building than to evacuate. This is not the same as “Campus Lockdown” where the danger is specific to an intruder coming into your area to cause harm.


  • Severe storms, such as tornadoes.
  • Extreme life-threatening temperatures (e.g., cold or heat).
  • A public disturbance, such as a demonstration that has escalated to a violent level.
  • Explosives, whether intentional or accidental.
  • Chemical or biological contaminants released accidentally or intentionally into the air.

The most important function in either of these types of emergency is that of security operations. All principal entrances to the campus must be manned to ensure free access for authorized personnel and to restrict access of unauthorized personnel.

Civil Disturbance
With a civil disturbance, such as a “sit-in”, a decision by the Chancellor must be reached within a reasonable time whether to take police action or not.
Prior to taking such firm action, every possible attempt must be made to persuade the demonstrators to stop the disturbance voluntarily. Only as a last resort should arrests be contemplated since, once the municipal police are called on campus, the resulting actions are under their control and not under the control of University officials.

Labor Strike
During a labor strike, all non-essential maintenance must be stopped, and only emergency maintenance service is to be provided. Possibly the most important maintenance item during a labor strike involving service workers will be the cleaning of rest rooms and trash removal. As many volunteers as possible should be recruited to handle rest room cleaning and an attempt should be made to contract trash removal to a commercial company.

When any emergency notification is received by the State of Hawai‘i, the State Warning Point will activate the outdoor sirens statewide. Warning advisories will also be transmitted via cellular telephones, AM/FM radio, and television.

  • Missile Threats notified by outdoor sirens – Attack Warning is a wailing sound.
  • Natural Disasters such as tsunami, hurricane, volcanic eruption, etc. notified by outdoor sirens – Attention Alert is a steady tone.

Where is the best place to take refuge if there is a nuclear threat or radiation emergency?

  1. Get inside a building immediately. Stay inside and stay tuned. Radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings, so the best thing to do is stay as far away from the walls and roof of the building as you can.
  2. Close and lock all windows and doors.
  3. If possible, turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring air in from the outside. Close fireplace dampers.
  4. Bring pets inside.
  5. A basement or room underground is the best place to be. If you don't have a basement, stay as low as possible in the middle of the building away from windows and doors.

Do not remain outside.

Do not remain in your car.

Run to the closest building and stay in the middle of that building.

What to do to prepare for an emergency

Whether the emergency is a natural or a manmade disaster, it is important to be prepared for hurricanes, fires, civil disasters, bomb threats, other natural disasters, and now, nuclear threats.

Shelter In Place
Know ahead of time multiple places you can go in case you are at home, at work, or even driving.

Have a Plan
Make certain you have family, workplace associates, and friends included in your plan. Know what to do, where to go, and be ready.

Drill for Your Plan
Practice your plan so your actions will be automatic, as you may not have time to call family and friends.

Keep an emergency supply kit on hand. The kit should include a minimum of 14 days worth of the following items:

  • Food, water, medications
  • Battery powered AM/FM radio
  • FRS/GMRS hand-held walkie-talkie
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Important documents in a plastic bag
  • Whistles, blankets, and tarp
  • Personal hygiene items
  • First aid kit
  • Cash in small bills

Plan to meet the unique needs of your family, such as supplies for pets and seniors. For information on basic disaster supply kits go to:

Emergency Operations Plan
View the UH Hilo Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for information on preparing for hurricanes, fires, civil disasters, bomb threats, and other natural and manmade disasters.

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