Emergency Preparedness

Surviving an Active Shooter Event

Sexual Assault

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, the university provides special counseling services through the Office of Student Affairs and the Counseling Office. Reports of assaults are made to the police, as is required by law, but victims have the choice of whether their names will be included in the report. The West Virginia State Police keeps a record online of registered sex offenders in the area, which can be accessed through the Shepherd University Police Department.

Fire Safety

If there is a fire in a building on campus, call Jefferson County Dispatch at 9-911. The Shepherd University Police Department and the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department will send help. If you are in a building with elevators, they will stop during a fire, so take the stairs to evacuate the building.

A fire emergency is defined as any situation in which a discernible smell of smoke or fire, visible signs of smoke, or a live fire in a residence hall exists. In case of fire:

  • Sound the alarm. Yell “fire!” repeatedly. As you leave the building, activate the nearest fire alarm pull.
  • Evacuate the building quickly. Use the nearest exit or follow posted emergency exit plans, and proceed to the designated gathering place. Remember that saving lives is the most important thing. Do not carry any items with you. Once you are outside, be sure to go to and remain in your designated area until an accurate headcount has been taken. Do not return to an evacuated building unless instructed to do so by a University official or fire and rescue personnel.
  • If the door to your room feels hot, do not open it. Keep the door closed and place wet towels at the bottom of the door, if possible, to prevent smoke from entering. Call 911 for help; if no operable phone is available, yell out the window for help. Remain in your room and wait for assistance.
  • If the hallway is filled with smoke, drop low to the ground, cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth, if possible, and crawl quickly to the nearest exits. If the smoke is overwhelming or fills the hallway, return to and remain in your room. Once you are in your room, again, keep the door closed and place wet towels at the bottom of the door, if possible, to prevent smoke from entering.
  • Call 911 from a safe place for emergency response services. Provide your name, phone number, and exact building location.
  • Call SUPD at x5202. The responding officer will be responsible for directing traffic and communicating with fire and ambulance personnel.
  • Under no circumstances are residents or staff to reenter the building until the responding fire chief or law enforcement officer has indicated that it is safe to do so.


In the event of emergency, University Police, the Director of Residence Life, and/or the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department will determine whether students need to be evacuated. If your building is evacuated, report to the Storer Ballroom on the third floor of the Student Center to receive any additional information. Once you have identified yourself and your plans for riding out the evacuation, you are free to leave the Student Center. You will be notified by Student Center staff when your building is safe to re-enter.