The Commons on the Green Evacuation Plan - Student Affairs (Policy VIII-028)

The Commons on the Green Evacuation Plan - Student Affairs (Policy VIII-028)

This policy outlines the instructions for evacuation of Commons on the Green.
Effective Date:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Material Original Source:

Policy Number: SA VIII-028
Policy Date: 4/13/07



(Updated March 1, 2019 for unit name change)




A disaster is any event which seriously disrupts the normal functions of The Commons on the Green (The Commons), regardless of the cause. Special detailed plans are included which address such scenarios as fire, bomb threat, loss of electrical power, and severe weather.


Should an internal disaster cause many injuries among faculty, staff, students, and/or visitors, UAB Hospital will be called on to initiate their external disaster plan to assist in treating the injured.


Administrative Notification and Responsibilities



The order of notification will be as follows:


  1. General Manager or designee
    1. UAB Police
    2. Campus Maintenance
    3. Building Services 
    4. Assistant Vice President of Student Facilities and Finance
    5. Environmental Health and Safety (Nights and Weekends call UAB Paging at 934-3411 and ask the operator to page the Safety Officer) - if needed

Command Center

When possible, The Commons administrative office  will be used as a command center by The Commons staff to monitor communications such as the weather radio, contact with UAB Police, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, UAB/University Hospital Emergency Department, and Environmental Health and Safety. All operations needed to return The Commons to normal operation will be coordinated through the command center. If telephone lines are lost, cellular phones or two-way radios will be used to maintain communications outside of The Commons.

Handling of Damaged Areas

All damaged areas will be evacuated and kept clear by UAB Police until it is determined by the incident commander or designee (i.e., police, fire department, or safety officer) that the area is safe to re-enter.

Building Services will be responsible for cleaning the damaged area after it is declared safe. Campus Maintenance will be responsible for making repairs, with all expediency, which will return The Commons to normal operation or as close to normal operation as possible.



Evacuation of faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be carried out in a timely and orderly manner whenever the fire alarm is sounded, if fire is detected, or if ordered to do so by management or emergency personnel.

Evacuation will occur as follows:

  1. The General Manager or designee will make the following announcement:

“May I have your attention please? We have an emergency in the building. Please proceed to the nearest exit and move away from the building.”

  1. All building occupants should proceed to the nearest exit, move away with The Commons Staff members assembling outside the lower level of Blazer Hall's Resident Life Center . This will provide a quick and easy way to account for all personnel. It is also important that the fire department has clear and unobstructed access to the building.
  2. Managers will be responsible for maintaining an occupant roster which will be used to account for occupants after evacuation.
  3. Do not return to the building unless told to do so by the fire department, police, administration, maintenance or the Safety Officer.


  1. General Procedures for all Areas

If you detect FIRE or SMOKE, no matter how minor it may appear to be, do this at once.

    1. STAY CALM and use common sense. Students, patients, and visitors will depend on your actions.
    2. Close ALL doors to help confine the fire and smoke.
    3. ACTIVATE THE FIRE ALARM--a small red box located on the wall near each exit. Follow the instructions on the alarm.
    4. REPORT THE FIRE. Call UAB Police at "911", (from an off campus phone, such a s a cell phone call 934-3535) identify yourself and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the fire or smoke and what is burning.
    5. Notify the General Manager or designee immediately.
    6. EVACUATE yourself and visitors.
    7. The General Manager or designee should notify all persons on the administrative notification list.
  1. Fighting Small Fires

If you are certain that a small or contained fire does not pose an immediate threat to you, your co-workers, visitors, or the surrounding area, you may be able to put it out with the appropriate fire extinguishers, but each is rated according to the type or types of fires it can put out. Before you use an extinguisher, check to see if it is rated for the type of fire you are confronting. (This information must be prominently listed on the extinguisher itself.) Don’t wait for a fire to learn where fire extinguishers are located and what ratings they carry.

Four Types of Fires:

Type A: Wood, paper, cloth, rubbish, etc.
Type B: Flammable gas/liquids (like oil, grease, paint)
Type C: Electrical Fires
Type D: Combustible metals

  1. Fire Drills

In an actual fire, there will be a great deal of excitement and confusion. The confusion may be compounded by thick smoke and toxic gases. A normally well marked exit route may appear unfamiliar and disorienting. For this reason, it is essential that fire response procedures be practiced on a regular basis.

The training of personnel to respond effectively to a fire emergency is the heart of any fire safety program. Each person must know exactly what to do and must have enough practice to be able to perform quickly and efficiently.

Fire drills should be conducted as follows:

    1. Drills should be conducted in such a way as to ensure that all personnel participate at least semi-annually.
    2. Drills are to be conducted by the UAB Safety Officer or a designee.
    3. Drills are to be initiated through verbal notification of an employee or by activating a pull station. If a pull station is used, UAB Police must be called in advance and Campus Maintenance should be on hand to reset the alarm.
    4. The Safety Officer, Building Administrator or designee will monitor and evaluate the fire drill response. Training will be held at that time if an employee is found to be unfamiliar with procedures.
    5. All clear to be called by the Safety Officer, Building Administrator or designee.

Bomb Threat

It is the responsibility of the UAB Police Department to investigate all suspected bombs and reports of bombs being placed on UAB property and coordinate evacuation, searches, and removal of suspected explosive devices. This shall be accomplished in cooperation with UAB staff, Birmingham Police Department, Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, and other agencies which may be called to assist.

  1. If you receive a bomb threat, use the bomb threat checklist (Appendix A) to gather all pertinent information.
  2. Report the bomb threat and all available information to the UAB Police and wait for further instructions.
  3. Do not advise the public. Allow business as usual until directed otherwise.
  4. If evacuation is necessary, the Assistant Vice President/Student Facilities and Finance or the Director of HiL University Center Operations or his designee will make the following announcement:

" May I have your attention please? We have an emergency in the building. Please proceed to the nearest exit and move away from the building."

Loss of Electrical Power

  1. Upon loss of power, Campus Campus Maintenance should be called to determine the cause.
  2. All non-essential equipment should be turned off until power has been restored to prevent surges.

Severe Weather

The General Manager or designee will be responsible for monitoring the weather for changes that may require an upgrade in preparedness.

  1. Heavy Raining and Flooding
    1. Campus Maintenance will be prepared to handle sewer back-up and other problems associated with flooding.
    2. Building Services will be responsible for monitoring floors in traffic areas and keeping them clean, dry, and serviceable.
  1. Severe Lightening/ Electrical Storms
    1. While it is unlikely that such storms will result in serious damage to The Commons as a result of electrical activity, it is advisable to curtail certain activities that may present risks, such as outdoor activities, or the use of any equipment that could cause injury or be damaged by interruptions in the power supply.
  1. Tornado Watch
    1. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes or very intense straight-line winds capable of causing severe damage. The watch will be issued by the National Weather Service for a specified period of time. The General Manager or his designee will notify all The Commons staff of the watch.
    2. No specific action should be taken by The Commons staff during a watch except to stay alert to weather conditions and updates.
    3. When the watch has been lifted and no other severe weather conditions exist, the General Manager or his designee will notify all staff.
  1. Tornado Warning
    1. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted in or near Jefferson County. Personnel must stay alert to any sudden changes in weather conditions or weather announcements and must be prepared to seek shelter immediately.
    2. The General Manager or his designee will make the following announcement:

    “May I have your attention please? A tornado warning has been issued for Jefferson County. Everyone is advised to stay away from all windows and doors. Tornado-safe areas include interior corridors and stairwells."

    1. The General Manager or his designee will monitor conditions closely for any changes. During a tornado warning where it appears that a tornado is located close to the downtown area, service will be limited to take-out only. During a tornado warning where the possibility of a tornado near campus is high, ALL service will be suspended until further notice. ALL persons residing in the residence halls will be discouraged from leaving the hall to go to The Commons during tornado warnings.
    2. If a tornado has been spotted in close proximity of The Commons during normal operations, all building occupants should move away from all windows and take shelter immediately in the tornado-safe areas. All non-essential activities will stop until the danger has passed and the “all clear” has been announced.

Training and Education

All personnel shall receive training on this plan as part of their departmental orientation at initial employment and at least annually thereafter.

Training shall be documented.