Emergency and Safety Information


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Being prepared for any hazard that may hit us–whether large or small in scope, natural or not–is a priority of our School.

Campus and weather hazards

    • UNC sirens will sound if the University issues an emergency warning. Situations include the presence of an armed and dangerous person, major chemical spill or tornado warning (learn more about the sirens). If you are inside a building or driving in a car, you may not hear the sirens, which are intended to be heard by people who are outdoors.
    • The University uses multiple methods of emergency notification, such as text messages, for those who are registered with the Alert Carolina system and other methods as described on the Alert Carolina website.
    • To receive Alert Carolina text messages, please visit the Alert Carolina website. We urge all members of the SPH community to register your cell phones now.
    • When you receive an Alert Carolina notification, please share the information with those around you. Don’t assume that others also have heard the siren or received the message. You may save someone’s life.
    • When an Alert Carolina warning is issued, classes should cease and not resume until an “all clear” is announced. Please follow the instructions that accompany the warning message.
    • An “all clear” announcement will be made by siren and text to let you know when it is safe to resume regular activities. The School’s leadership and designated emergency coordinators will assist in spreading the “all clear” message when the emergency has passed.

    Emergency Tips

    Register your phone with Alert Carolina.

    Know the safe locations within our campus buildings.

    Know evacuation routes and meeting places.

    Know your department’s emergency coordinator.

    Tornado information

    Tornado or severe weather watch:

    Conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area.

    When a watch is in effect, be aware and ready for a possible tornado or severe weather warning (or several warnings throughout the day).

    Be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions, listen for warning sirens, and stay tuned to media channels that will have the most up-to-date weather information.

    Know the location of safe areas in your building, more than one route to your location, and the name of your department’s emergency coordinator.

    Tornado or severe weather warning:

    A tornado has been sighted or dangerous severe weather is present or approaching.

    When a warning is in effect, seek shelter in interior spaces on the lowest floor of your building, away from windows and doors.

    In our campus buildings, the safest shelter areas are (see maps below):

    • Basement of Rosenau Hall
    • First floor of McGavran-Greenberg hallways or inside classrooms 1301, 1304 and 1305
    • Ground floor of Michael Hooker Research Center, inside storage room 0005 or inside the ground-floor restrooms.

    Pass along to others any weather updates you receive.

    Stay put until an all-clear is given.

    Lab occupants should close and seal all chemicals, and place all hazardous materials in primary containment.

    Lab occupants may also want to move valuable or sensitive equipment or materials away from windows and shutdown and unplug sensitive electrical instruments.

    Safe locations in campus buildings


    Emergency coordinators

    Emergency coordinators (PDF)

    Evacuation points

    Evacuation points (PDF)

    Town of Chapel Hill and Other Partnerships

    Community Safety Partnership
    Neighborhood Watch
    CrimeStoppers of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and UNC
    SAFE Kids Orange County
    National Night Out
    Town of Chapel Hill