Emergency Procedures

The following document outlines the emergency procedures and responsibilities when a UNL Library needs to be evacuated. This situation could be the result of fire, bomb threats, tornado or power outage. We encourage you to read and understand these, in case of an emergency.

It is your responsibility to be familiar with the University alarms and the areas of evacuation or shelter.

You should also make yourself aware of this in any building, not simply the University Libraries.

Questions about the evacuation and/or shelter procedures for other libraries in the UNL system should be directed to ASKus, located at each library branch.

Types of Emergencies

The University Libraries have designated 4 types of emergencies that require procedures within the Libraries. These are:

  • Fire
  • Tornado
  • Power Outage
  • Bomb Threat

Fire/Bomb Threat

When the fire alarm sounds, procedures for clearing the building should be followed.

  • In case of fire/bomb evacuation, exit the building through the designated fire exits.
  • Do NOT use elevators when evacuating the building.


The civil defense siren will be sounded only when a tornado has actually been sighted in the immediate campus area or when radar or civil defense spotters indicate the tornado is approaching close to the campus and offers an actual threat to the University community.

  • When seeking tornado shelter, proceed to the basements.
  • Users should use main stairs to basement.
  • Wait for the all-clear from library staff before returning upstairs.

Users With Medical Conditions or a Disability

  • Do NOT use elevators when seeking shelter inside the building.
  • Move to an area in the center core of the building; away from possible flying debris or broken glass.
  • If you need to evacuate, proceed to the nearest fire exit.
  • If you see a staff member directing traffic inside the building, notify them of your presence.

Power Outage

Should a power outage occur in the building, the emergency lights will activate. You should be aware that you may need to leave the building.

Questions or Comments?

Deb Pearson
Head of Library Facilities and Planning