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Emergency Information

**In case of emergency call 911**


Ohio Northern University's commitment to students, faculty and staff extends to preparing for possible emergency situations. In case of an emergency, updates will be posted on the ONU web homepage along with phone numbers or other methods of receiving information. You may also want to make home emergency plans or create an emergency contact plan for your family. This link from is offered to help you and your family prepare for emergencies.

Public health information: Bed Bugs

For road conditions, visit Buckeye Traffic


Communications Outages

Internet or Network Failure

In case of physical damage to facilities or equipment

  1. Notify appropriate emergency agency to control situation:
    1. 911 - Hardin County, if appropriate
    2. Security Office - 2222
  2. As appropriate:
    1. Evacuate facility if danger exists.
    2. Do not attempt to fight fire or save equipment and records
    3. Warn others in the building of the emergency - pull fire alarm.
    4. Stay with injured persons until emergency personnel arrive.

Information Technology staff will:

  • Obtain necessary communications equipment to coordinate emergency with others,e.g., University telephone, cell phone, 2-way radio.
  • Document events of the emergency such as dates, times, telephone contacts, events, steps taken to control and restore services.
  • A decision will be made to open the Incident Command Center or establish a separate Information Technology office.
  • Notify University Security, Information Technology staff, and other officials of the location and temporary telephone number.
  • Begin assessment of physical damages.
  • Plan for priority restoration of services.

Telephone System

ONU's telephone system has battery backup and emergency power generators to stay in operation if electrical power is lost. However, temperature extremes, tornado, storm damage, lightning strike, flood, hardware/software failure, explosion, fire, utility failure, and unauthorized/intentional disruption could cause the system to fail.

In such cases, listen to radio and television or visit the ONU website or personal e-mail for emergency updates.

There are blue-light emergency phones strategically located around campus. These phones are a direct link to the campus dispatcher/operator, who can immediately mobilize Campus Security, police, fire and rescue services if needed.

Emergency Phone Instructions

In case of an emergency, press the button marked "Emergency". A hands-free phone link will be established to the dispatcher/operator. A blue strobe light will be activated on top of the unit and will flash, alerting emergency personnel in the area. The phone will also send a message to the dispatcher/operator that displays the location of the phone.


If telephone communications fail due to system damage. Security and Physical Plant radios and cell phones will be a primary means of communication. Security will assign radios and available phones to staff to meet priority response needs. A back-up generator has been installed on the radio repeater system that operates the radios. Hand-held radios, carried by all Security officers and most Physical Plant personnel, are battery operated.

Emergency Radio Traffic

In the event of an emergency, radio transmissions should be limited to vital information only. The term "Emergency Traffic" may be used by ANY emergency personnel who wishes to clear routine radio traffic and make an emergency announcement. This will be used only in life threatening situations.

After a request for "Emergency Traffic" all units should cease talk and clear the frequency and the unit with the emergency traffic should proceed with his/her message. The Incident Commander will be the only one to announce the termination of "Emergency Traffic."


Bomb Threat

If you see suspicious object or potential bomb on campus, do not touch the object. Clear the area and immediately call Campus Security at 2222.

Any person receiving a bomb threat by phone should try to obtain the following information from the caller:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb located?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does the bomb look like?
  • Why did you place the bomb?

Keep talking to the caller as long as possible and record the following:

  • Time of the call.
  • Age and sex of the caller.
  • Speech pattern, accent, possible nationality, etc.
  • Emotional state of the caller.
  • Background noise.


  1. Do not activate a building alarm. Immediately notify Campus Security at 2222. 
  2. Do not touch suspicious objects. Do not open cabinets, drawers, or closets. Do not turn lights or office equipment on or off.
  3. If instructed to evacuate, move to a safe distance away from the building. Do not re-enter the building until instructed that it is safe to do so by Campus Security.
  4. Campus Security will initiate the procedure for contacting appropriate personnel when a bomb threat occurs on campus.



Ohio Northern University's buildings are equipped with fire alarms and fire extinguishers. Fire drills are held to acquaint students, faculty and staff with building alarms, exits, assembly areas and safety procedures.

If you discover a fire or evidence of a fire such as smoke or the smell of smoke:

  1. Activate building fire alarm.
  2. Call 911, give the location and description of the fire.
  3. Call ONU Security at ext. 2222.
  4. Alerts others in the building, if this can be done safely.
  5. Leave the building by the nearest exit. Do NOT use elevators.
  6. Stay out of the building until Campus Security tells you it is safe to return.

Note: state law requires that all fires or fire-related incidents be reported to Campus Security, regardless if the fire has been extinguished. Even in case of a small fire, the building should be evacuated and the fire reported.

Special Responsibilities:

Personal Fire Safety

  1. If you are in your room and can not get out, shut the room door.
  2. Call Campus Security, ext. 2222, and tell them where you are.
  3. Signal out your window for help.
  4. Stay low to the floor where air is less toxic and wait for assistance.
  5. If you think there is fire in the hallway (the door is hot or you see smoke coming in around the door) do NOT open the door.
    1. Stuff material in the cracks around the door to keep smoke out.
    2. Dampen a cloth with water and place it over your nose and mouth and breathe lightly through it.
    3. Do not stand up. Keep low to the floor where air is less toxic.

Building Directors

  1. Know the location of all fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers and building emergency exits.
  2. The building director is responsible for evacuating the building when an alarm is sounded. Be sure all floors are evacuated; check restrooms and elevators. Help handicapped persons out of the building.
  3. Report pertinent facts to the fire department or security, including people trapped in the building, injuries, location of hazardous materials stored in the building, etc.
  4. Initiate a head count of known building occupants to determine if anyone is missing, making sure all building occupants are kept together at the assembly area, a safe distance upwind of the fire.
  5. Ensure that no one re-enters the building until notified by Campus Security.

Campus Security

  1. Respond to and investigate all fire emergencies.
  2. Ensure that all non-emergency personnel are evacuated from the building.
  3. Verify that all handicapped persons are accounted for.
  4. Direct fire personnel and equipment at the scene.
  5. Direct building occupants to safe areas.
  6. Assist emergency personnel in access to critical areas.
  7. Control vehicle and pedestrian movement in fire emergency area.
  8. Ensure that a casualty/transport roster includes names of all people transported to medical facilities.
  9. Ensure that the scene is secure until its release by the in-command fire personnel.
  10. Campus Security officer on scene shall, in addition to giving all-clear, provide vice president of financial affairs or designated duty-person with all facts pertaining to the incident before departing from the scene.


Hazardous Materials Leak

If any type of potentially hazardous material or liquid appears to be leaking or posing a danger, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Call 911 - Hardin County.
  2. Call Campus Security at 2222. No one should enter an area where they could be exposed to toxic chemicals.
  3. If vapors or gases in an enclosed room or area overcome someone, rescuers should not enter the area unless protected with lifelines and self-contained breathing apparatus. Confined space entry procedures should always be followed.
  4. Manholes or other confined space should not be entered unless personnel are trained, properly equipped, and there is supervision. Confined space entry procedures should be followed.
  5. If exposed to any chemical, either on clothing, skin, or by inhalation, decontamination and medical treatment should be provided immediately.
  6. Chemicals should not be cleaned up unless personnel are trained in the proper methods, have been equipped with personal protective equipment, and have the necessary cleanup and containment equipment. It is best to use insured and licensed outside contractors.

Individuals in the immediate vicinity of the spill or leak should be notified immediately. If the spill or leak is serious, the emergency alarm system should be sounded for evacuation of building occupants.

Tell emergency personnel responding to the scene:

  1. The nature of the incident (leak, spill, derailment, fire, or explosion).
  2. Location - to include street address if known.
  3. Area affected (area of the building, the entire building, or does it threaten surrounding properties.)
  4. Name of the material(s) released (Safety Data Sheet information, shipper placard, or label.)
  5. Quantity, type, and hazards of the chemical.
  6. Injuries, property damage, or threat to the environment.

Local, state, and federal environmental authorities should also be notified if the quantity of material spilled meets or exceeds reportable threshold quantities.

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) should be used to identify the chemical manufacturer, trade name, and chemical type. The emergency response instructions on the SDS should be relayed to the emergency director. Copies can be found in each department, as well as in the Security Office.


Medical Emergencies


  • Minor Injury/Illness: should be directed or transported to the Health Center during normal operating hours. After hours, the on-duty nurse will be contacted by the Security Dispatcher.
  • Serious Injury/Illness: should be transported to the Health Center or nearest hospital by ambulance. To dispatch an ambulance directly, call 911. Immediately afterwards, call Campus Security at 2222.


  • Minor Injury/Illness: (work related) should seek treatment at the Health Center or Lima Memorial Hospital's Center for Occupational Health at 1001 Bellefontaine Ave., Lima. 419- 226-5180.
  • Serious Injury/Illness: (work related) should be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Employees should report work-related injuries or illness at once to a supervisor or department head and Campus Security. Campus Security must complete an injury report and forward one copy to the Human Resources Office. An injury report is required for all workers' compensation claims.

Medical Emergency Guidelines

  • Persons administering first aid must be aware of the possible life-threatening effects of pathogens as a result of exposure to bodily fluids. Life saving techniques should be administered according to current Red Cross guidelines to avoid exposure to pathogens.
  • Do not attempt procedures or techniques beyond your abilities or training.
  • When calling 911 or Campus Security, be ready to give your name, describe the nature and severity of the injuries, and the location of the victim(s).
  • Do not move the victim unless imminent danger exists, such as fire, structural damage, chemical spills, toxic fumes, explosion danger, etc
  • Keep the victim still and comfortable until help arrives.
  • Question witnesses and be ready to give all information to emergency personnel when they arrive.
  • Stay with the victim until help arrives.

Mass Injuries

At any sign of significant injury to one or more people, or if mass injuries have occurred:

  • If there is a fire - activate building alarm.
  • Call 911 and report the address of the site, request an ambulance and/or the fire department, explain the number and type of injuries (burns, chemical bums or exposure, trauma, etc.), and any significant safety factors to alert emergency responders, such as chemical fumes, hazmat spill, downed power tines, etc.
  • Call Security at 2222.

If appropriate, direct evacuation of all personnel to safe location outside of building. During a mass casualty incident, a triage area will be established where injured persons will be assessed for degree of injury. Area emergency personnel will transport injured people to local hospitals. Clerks will be assigned to record all medical transports on a Casualty Transport Roster.

Food Poisoning

In the event of suspected or confirmed food poisoning:

  • Call Security at 2222. Security dispatcher will notify the dining service general manager to initiate a formal Sodexho investigation.
  • Call Hardin County Health Dept. at 419-673-6230.
  • People who are feeling ill should report to the Health Center if possible.
  • If illness is severe enough to need emergency treatment, dial 911 for an ambulance.
  • The Hardin County 911 Dispatch Center and local hospitals should be alerted immediately if a large number of people intend to seek medical attention.
  • Student Affairs should be notified.
  • Mass transit (ONU buses) to medical facilities should be considered.
  • Maintain a Casualty/Transport Roster of all people transported to medical facilities.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED's)

Automatic External Defibrillators are located In the Science Annex, first floor; King Horn, front hall west, front hall east, by weight room and pool area; Dial-Roberson Stadium, near concession stand; Freed Center, main lobby; McIntosh Center, main lobby; Presser Hall, front vestibule; Dicke Hall, atrium; Law Building, near library lobby; Pharmacy, first floor north staircase; Lehr Memorial, main lobby; the Health Center; Chapel: The Inn; Physical Plant and in both security vehicles.



Utility Outages

Utility outages can involve loss of electrical power interruption of gas service, or gas leak. Such outages can be caused by a number of natural and/or accidental events and may be short term or long term. To report an utility outage, call the physical plant at ext 2460, or Security at 2222.

Power failure

If a power failure occurs during regular work hours, the Physical Plant, Ext. 2460, and/or Campus Security, ext. 2222, should be notified. Only Physical Plant or Security officers should report power outages to utility companies. If the power outage will be lengthy, administrators will decide whether their buildings will continue to be used. For example, laboratory buildings may be evacuated to minimize risks resulting from inoperative fume hoods.


During very heavy power usage, area utility companies may have to reduce voltage. Such "brownouts" may occur when air conditioner use is very high. If a brownout occurs:

  1. Turn off all light switches.
  2. Set all equipment and appliance switches to the OFF position.
  3. Turn off window air conditioners. Central air conditioning may have to be shut down. General ventilation will be maintained in centrally air-conditioned buildings at diminished levels.

For Immediate Emergency:

  1. Activate the building (fire) alarm and call Campus Security at 2222.
  2. All building evacuations will occur when an alarm sounds and/or when an emergency occurs.
  3. Do not use elevators.
  4. Walk to the nearest stairway exit. Take personal items with you. If disabled, ask for help in getting down stairs.
  5. Assist disabled persons to leave the building. If an individual is unable to use the stairs, help them to a stairwell and remain there. Inform Campus Security where to find the individual.
  6. Move at least 500 feet away from the building and out of the way of emergency personnel. Do not return to the building until instructed to do so by Campus Security.
  7. A Security officer will respond with the appropriate authorities to evaluate the situation and to supervise an evacuation or appropriate action.
  8. Notify Security of any known downed power lines.
  9. The university dispatcher/operator will initiate the procedure for contacting appropriate personnel.
  10. All emergency response personnel or departments will provide regular reports to update Campus Security or the Emergency Operations Center.

Long-term Emergency:

In the event of long-term power outage, such as an ice storm:

  1. A decision will be made to cancel classes, close school or continue operations. General information will be communicated across campus to faculty, staff, and students.
  2. If necessary an Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C.) will be opened and staff emergency positions will be assigned.
  3. Essential personnel will be called to campus to maintain facilities and insure safety of residents and property.
  4. If needed, shelter and/or food can be offered to the community and emergency personnel.
  5. Make contingency plans to insure adequate utilities and communications, including use of existing generators and/or rental of additional generators.

Elevator Failure

If you become trapped in an elevator, use the emergency phone to notify Campus Security. In most cases, there is no dial pad and picking up the handset will automatically connect you to the Security office.

Gas leaks

Call 911 - Hardin County Call Campus Security, 2222, if you suspect a problem with gas equipment or a gas leak. Gas Escaping Inside Building

  1. Call 911-Hardin County
  2. Call Campus Security at 2222 and identify the problem.
  3. Ventilate the area.
  4. Shut off open flames.
  5. Do not turn on or operate electrical equipment.
  6. If there are heavy concentrations of gas, evacuate the building.
  7. Do not return to the building until told to do so by Campus Security.

Gas Escaping Outside

  1. Call 911-Hardin County.
  2. Call Campus Security at 2222 and identify the problem.
  3. Check for gas odor.
  4. Extinguish all flames. No smoking.
  5. Secure ignition switches.
  6. Notify others and move to a safe area.
  7. Do not return until told to do so by Campus Security.

Gas Burning Inside Building

  1. Call 911-Hardin County
  2. Call Campus Security at 2222 and identify the problem.
  3. Shut off gas at appliance wall valve, if safely possible.
  4. Evacuate area.
  5. Do not return to building until told to do so by Campus Security.

Gas Burning Outside

  1. Call 911-Hardin County.
  2. Call Campus Security at 2222 and identify the problem.
  3. Let the gas burn. Do not try to extinguish.
  4. Evacuate the area and do not return until told to do so by Campus Security.




If you see a violent crime in progress, believe a crime may be in progress, or are the victim of a crime:

  • Call 911
  • Contact Campus Security immediately at 2222.
  • Report suspicious persons or activities. All calls are kept confidential.
  • Do not attempt to apprehend or interfere with a criminal except in cases of self-protection.
  • If safe to do so, take time to mentally record a description of the suspect.
  • Note height, weight, sex, color, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and the person's name if known. If the suspect is entering a vehicle, note the license number, make, model, color and outstanding characteristics.
  • Protect the crime scene. Do not clean or disturb the area. If a serious crime has occurred, the area should be sealed off immediately. Do not allow anyone to enter the area until Campus Security or Ada Police have secured and examined the area.
  • Do not interfere with those persons creating the disturbance, or with law enforcement or Campus Security on the scene.
  • The Campus Security dispatcher will initiate the procedure for contacting appropriate personnel when a crime occurs on campus.


Weather-Related Emergencies

Thunderstorms | Tornadoes | Winter storms | Flooding | Extreme heat

Weather-related emergencies in our area can take many forms from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes to flooding or blizzards. To deal with these threats, ONU has a series of plans in place. In case of weather emergencies, the President of the University, Provost and/or the Vice President for Financial Affairs is authorized to cancel, delay or dismiss classes. If the decision is made to close the University, announcements will be made on the ONU website, campus email, text messages, local and area radio and television, including WONB. Updates and additional information will be available through the same media.

General Guidelines:

  1. During inclement weather pay attention to current local weather conditions reported on radio or TV.
  2. In case of a tornado, outdoor warning sirens will sound. If a tornado warning is issued, remain inside a safe area until the warning is canceled.
  3. Do not use elevators.
  4. If evacuation is necessary, stay calm and, if possible, evacuate along the north side of the building to a safe area. Move to the lowest level in the building, or to hallways or rooms without windows in the center of the building.
  5. Do NOT go near any downed power lines.
  6. When severe weather forces the cancelation or delay of classes, announcements will be made via the ONU website, on area radio and television stations, and via email and text messages.  


All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities—more than 140 annually—than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard.

Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.

Thunderstorm Watch: Weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a severe thunderstorm.
Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm has been sited on radar and persons in the path of this storm should take shelter.


The campus outdoor siren is a continuous three-minute unwavering tone. Warning sirens are tested the first Wednesday of the month at 12:00 noon. ONU’s outdoor warning siren is activated when:

  1. A funnel cloud or tornado is sighted or confirmed by Security, law enforcement or fire department and is threatening the University or Ada area.
  2. A tornado has touched down within any of the three adjoining jurisdictions.
  3. A report of a tornado radar echo threatening the University or surrounding area has been received from the U.S. Weather Service.
  4. The report of a tornado or funnel cloud threatening the University has been received from the county Emergency Management Agency.

Take action:

  1. If you are outside when you hear the warning siren, seek inside shelter, preferably in a steel-framed or concrete building. Stay away from all windows and seek interior hallways or rooms.
  2. If you are inside a building, go to a first floor interior hallway or other enclosed area that is away from windows. Avoid going into auditoriums, gymnasiums, or other such large rooms where roof collapse may be likely. In wooden buildings, such as houses, the least hazardous place is in the basement. Next best is a small interior room (preferably on the northeast side of the building), under a stairway, or under heavy furniture.
  3. In the event of casualties, notify 9-1-1 and give first aid to the best of your ability. The siren-warning indicates you should take cover for a period of at least 30 minutes. If the danger continues, the warning signal will be repeated every 30 minutes for as long as necessary.

Tornado Watch: Weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes.
Tornado Warning: A tornado has been indicated on radar and persons in the path should seek shelter immediately.

Winter storms

Road/Travel Conditions

Sheriffs' Departments in Ohio have the authority to declare a "snow emergency" and to temporarily close county and township roads within their jurisdiction for the preservation of public peace. Snow emergency levels are:

  • Level 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy. Drive very cautiously.
  • Level 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.
  • Level 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.

Hardin County Sheriff's Office: 419-673-1268 

Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. Be prepared.
Winter Storm Warning: Life-threatening severe winter conditions have begun or are expected to begin within 24 hours.
Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous.


Flooding can be widespread because of weather conditions or can be limited to a single area due to an equipment problem or accident. In case of widespread flooding:

  1. Security and emergency response personnel will be notified.
  2. The University owns a number of watercraft that can be used for rescue or safety needs.
  3. A helicopter can be directed to land at the nearest high ground and a boat dispatched to pick up and deliver goods or people to campus.

In case of flooding limited to one building, due to equipment failure:

  1. Do not enter until electrical power has been turned off.
  2. Call the Physical Plant at 2460 and then Campus Security at 2222 to report the problem, then building director or head resident.
  3. Keep others from entering the building.
  4. Physical Plant personnel will be responsible for removal of water.
  5. Physical Plant will identify a temporary shelter, building, or area to house water-soaked items and University will arrange for protection of all personal property.

Students, faculty, and staff will be notified that:

  1. it is their responsibility to clean and repair their personal belongings,
  2. it is their responsibility to notify their homeowners, renters, or student property insurance companies,
  3. that the University is not responsible for personal property,
  4. secured areas will be accessible to remove personal property.

Extreme heat

Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Most heat disorders occur because the victim has been overexposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Older adults, young children, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to succumb to extreme heat.

Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures known as the "urban heat island effect."