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Southern Oregon University

Campus Disasters and Emergencies

Disasters in Southern Oregon result from natural hazards, accidents, or terrorism.

Natural Hazards: Natural disasters which may occur in this region can be caused by flooding, earthquake, ice storms, snowstorms, volcanic eruptions, wildfire, and disease outbreaks.

Accidental Disasters: Can be due to large explosions, equipment failure, and hazardous material incidents.

Terrorism: According to the Department of Homeland Security, acts of terrorism include assignations, bombings, cyber attacks, and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological weapons.

Disasters That May Occur on Campus

Armed Intruder: This is one or more individuals who carry out randomly or systematically a shooting spree. Their objective appears to be mass murder not robbery or hostage taking.

Bomb Threat: This is usually reported by telephone. If you receive a bomb threat via telephone, please immediately report to campus police from a different telephone than the one in which you received the call.

Building Fires: Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super-hot air can sear your lungs. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three-to-one ratio.

Civil Disturbances: This includes riots, demonstrations, threatening individuals, mass celebrations or assemblies that become disruptive. Looting and fire setting are the most common disruptive activities.

Due to the potential size, emergency personnel can become overwhelmed leading to a slower response time and blocking transportation routes which prevents non-rioters from being able to leave the area.

Earthquake: A sudden vibration or trembling caused by the earth releasing energy can create serious destruction. Falling debris, trees, power lines, and buildings can cause death and serious injury. Recent geologic studies show that the Pacific Northwest has experienced very large earthquakes in the past. The data indicate that the Pacific Northwest could experience an earthquake of a Magnitude 8 or 9.

Hazardous Materials: Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. The same chemicals if used or leaked improperly, can be hazardous to humans or the environment.

Hostage Situation: A hostage is a person that is held by a captor. In most situations the captor is holding a person or persons in exchange for passage or ransom. Hostages may be used as a bargaining toll by captors.

Severe Weather:This can have a serious impact on our community. Examples may include thunderstorms, hail, ice storms, blizzards, flooding, and high winds.