Before An Emergency
Be Prepared for Any Emergency
Knowing what to do before, during, and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared. Being ready for a disaster starts with you. Take these basic steps so that you’re prepared to survive if disaster strikes.
Some of the hazards that Central Virginia is vulnerable to include:
- Extreme Weather and Floods
- Hazardous Materials and Radiological Events
- Bomb Threats and Terrorism
- Utility Failures
Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards, and now is the best time to learn more about the effects of these hazards and how you should respond. Review our Emergency Plans page for details.
The Campus Alert System is the comprehensive communications solution that allows Liberty University to quickly disseminate an urgent message through multiple communication mediums. If there is a condition that significantly threatens the health and safety of persons on campus, university officials will warn the campus community through the notification system in conjunction with other communication measures, such as the outdoor sirens and social media.
Alerts will be sent by the Liberty University Police Department, and include:
- Life-Threatening Situations
- Hazardous Material Situations
- Road Closings
- School Closings
- Severe Weather
Users can select from text message, voice phone call, or email notification methods for different types of non-life-threatening alerts and choose which alerts go to which devices. For example, road closings can be sent to email and school closing sent via text message or phone call.
Build an emergency kit with these essential disaster items to ensure your basic needs are met during the first 48-72 hours after a disaster:
- Water – one gallon per person per day for at least three to seven days
- Non-Perishable Food – at least a three to seven day supply
- Flashlight – with extra batteries
- Emergency Radio – battery-powered or hand crank
- First Aid Kit – including medication and prescription drugs for at least 2-weeks
- Fire Extinguisher
- Sanitizer – moist towelette or liquid
- Multi-Tool / Tool Kit
- Tarp or plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Plastic garbage bags
- Important Documents – in a weatherproof container
- Special items for pets, infants, children, the elderly, and persons with functional needs.
Make a Plan
Develop a family emergency plan to ensure everyone knows what to do. Family emergency plans outline how you will get to a safe place, contact one another, get back together, and what you will do in different situations. You can find resources for developing a plan that works for your unique family needs at https://www.ready.gov/.
Get to know the emergency assembly areas for the buildings you frequent. Your dorm leadership, professors, or supervisor can tell you how and where to evacuate in case of an emergency. Staff and professors will be trained on emergency assembly areas in their departments.
Get involved before a disaster strikes! Here are a few ways you can help make the community more resilient to disasters:
- Volunteer to support disaster relief efforts
- Be a part of the whole community planning process
- Donate cash or goods that may help meet the need of the community in times of disaster
The EMCE’s Community Engagement Division provides tips and training to help keep the Liberty University community safe.
- Use common sense: If something doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Always be aware of your surroundings: Continually look and listen to what’s going on around you.
- Show that you’re confident: Walk with a sense of purpose, keep your head up, and make eye contact.
- React to potential problems before they can develop: Don’t wait for an uncertain or uncomfortable situation to go wrong; leave, call the police, or take other protective actions.
- Educate yourself: Take time to review personal safety information from an accurate and trustworthy source. The LUPD Crime Prevention Unit offers self-defense classes for students, faculty, and staff.
- Never leave property unattended: The majority of crime on our campus involves the theft of unattended or unsecured property; you can’t be a victim if you don’t create the opportunity.
- Always lock everything: Lock your property in a secure area, lock your door, your car, your bicycle, and anything else you have with a lock on it.
- Never leave anything visible inside your vehicle: If somebody walking by your car can see your property inside, they may break the lock or a window and take it.
- Record serial numbers: Keep a record of serial numbers, models, brand names, and a description of all of your valuables in case they are ever lost or stolen.
- Report, report, report: Report all thefts and all suspicious activity to police, security, or campus safety officials; the problem is unknown unless you report it!
Liberty University prohibits workplace violence. Understand what is considered workplace violence and how to report it.
Liberty University prohibits workplace violence. Specifically, the university will respond promptly to violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, or disruptive behavior of a threatening nature towards people or property. Individuals who violate this policy may be removed from university property and are subject to disciplinary and/or personnel action up to, and including, termination and/or criminal prosecution.
- Workplace violence is defined as any actual or threatening behavior of a violent nature, as understood by a reasonable person, exhibited by faculty, staff, student employees, or others.
- Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to:
- Intentional physical contact for the purpose of causing harm (such as slapping, punching, striking, shoving, or otherwise physically attacking a person).
- Menacing or threatening behavior (such as throwing objects, waving fists, damaging property, stalking, or otherwise acting in an aggressive manner; or, using oral or written statements specifically intended to frighten, coerce, or cause distress) where such behavior would be interpreted by a reasonable person as being evidence of intent to cause physical harm to individuals or property.
- If you have any questions, please reach out to Human Resources at (434) 592-7330 or HR@liberty.edu.
General Reporting Responsibilities
- Any member of the university community who has been subject to workplace violence or who has witnessed workplace violence must promptly notify their supervisor, who must notify the Department of Human Resources Director of Employee Relations. As appropriate, the LU Police Department must also be notified.
Reporting Concerning Behavior
- Additionally, employees are encouraged to report any concerning behavior to the Liberty University CARE Team. It is imperative that all university employees take this responsibility seriously.
Reporting Imminent or Actual Violence
- Any person experiencing or witnessing imminent or actual violence involving weapons or potential injuries should call LU Emergency Communications at (434) 592-3911 or 911.
Reporting Acts of Violence Not Involving Weapons or Injuries to Persons
- Any person who is the subject of, or witness to, a suspected violation of this policy should report the incident to his or her supervisor or to the Liberty University Department of Human Resources.
Get the skills and training you need to stay safe. Personal safety courses are available on a variety of topics that can help you to defend yourself around campus and beyond.
The Emergency Preparedness Office provides emergency management training for Liberty University faculty, staff, and command staff.
Check out our current course offerings on the Emergency & Safety Training page.
Our highly trained LUPD officers seek to maintain a safe, friendly campus for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, but you have a part to play too.
If you are stopped by a police officer, please be courteous and cooperative. Each situation is unique, and the officer will adjust their response to fit the circumstance.
If you are stopped while driving, do the following:
- Remain calm, pull over to a safe location, and stay in the vehicle.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid sudden movements.
- Comply with the officer’s requests. If your documents are out of reach, request permission to get them.
- Answer questions truthfully and, if asked, sign a citation. It is not an admission of guilt.
Campus safety begins with you. Please keep the following in mind as you travel around Liberty’s campus.
- Be alert and conscious of your surroundings.
- Always look both ways when crossing the street — even in a crosswalk.
- Walk on the sidewalk.
- Remain visible and make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.
- Be aware of other drivers, bicyclists, motor scooter users, and pedestrians.
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Not assume pedestrians can see them or will act predictably. They should be watchful and make eye contact with them.
- Obey the same laws on the road as other drivers.
- Not park on the sidewalk or in bicycle racks.
- Yield to all pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Follow the same rules as drivers of motor vehicles.
- Never ride against traffic.
- Always stop and look for approaching vehicles.
To help you cross campus quickly, e-scooters are available for your use. We recommend riding during daylight hours. E-scooters are for Liberty’s main campus only and should be driven and parked outdoors.
All e-scooter riders must be 18+ years old and follow these rules:
- Only one rider per scooter.
- No headphones or one-handed rides, so put down the phone and coffee cup.
- Follow all traffic rules, including street and stop signs.
- Break for pedestrians and dismount in heavily populated areas.
- Do not ride on sidewalks. Use bike lanes or stay close to the right curb.
- Park scooters near bicycle racks when possible and keep walkways, ramps, and fire hydrants clear.
Please do not abuse these privileges or endanger others.
Skating can be a fun way to get across campus, but all skaters must adhere to the following rules:
- Skate on sidewalks and crosswalks against vehicular traffic.
- Yield to pedestrians and be courteous when passing them on the left.
- Wear protective gear.
- Observe all traffic regulations.
Please do not abuse these privileges or endanger others.
Stalking, harassment, and assault can happen to anyone on any university campus. The Liberty University Police Department does its best to keep our campus safe, but you can also assist in making our campus safer.
Stalking is a pattern of behaviors that occurs over a period of time against the will of the victim, whereas harassment may be time-limited. Behaviors of stalking and harassment include but are not limited to:
- Following and/or watching the victim
- Calling repeatedly at all hours
- Sending unwanted gifts, cards, emails, etc.
- Posting multiple messages to the victim’s social media
- Threatening to harm themselves or the victim
Do not minimize your own experience or allow others to do so. If you feel uncomfortable or fearful, listen to those instincts and get assistance.
Flames Self Defense Training
Liberty now offers Flames Self Defense, a basic self-defense course to educate, enhance, and empower women to reduce their risk of victimization. Students receive access to hands-on training courses, a comprehensive reference manual, and other resources.
Sign up for the online Flames Self Defense course.
- Office of Equity & Compliance (Title IX)
- Liberty University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1971, which prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex in the university’s programs and activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, and retaliation, which are harmful to the well-being of the university community and its members, the learning and working environment, and collegial relationships among students, faculty, and employees. The Office of Equity & Compliance oversees and upholds these policies.
- (434) 592-4999
- Student Counseling Services
- Office of Community Life
- Student Health Center
- LU Shepherd
- Liberty University Safe Ride Program
- Emergency: (434) 592-3911
- Lynchburg Police Department
- Lynchburg General Hospital
- Sexual Assault Response Program
- NRA: Refuse to be a victim
- Rape Aggression Defense Training
- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
Intimate partner violence involves a pattern of behaviors aimed at gaining power and control over an intimate partner. Abusive and coercive behaviors include physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and isolation. If you find yourself in this situation, talk with someone you trust and ask for their support. You may also consult a counselor or victim advocate to develop a safety plan and strategy for leaving the relationship. If a friend seeks your support or you suspect a friend is in an abusive relationship, listen and encourage them to confide in a counselor. Do not attempt to mediate or involve yourself directly. Help is available. The departments and organizations listed in resources are ready and able to provide assistance.
Sexual assault occurs when someone takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit. It is a violation of personal rights and university policy, and, regardless of whether or not the victim pursues criminal charges, the assailant can be held responsible by the university and be subject to sanctions.
If it happens to you, get to a safe place and seek medical attention, if needed. Tell someone, such as a friend, police officer, resident assistant, or counselor. You may also contact LU Emergency Communications at (434) 592-3911, if you are comfortable doing so, or reach out to any of Liberty’s services listed in resources. Please do not isolate yourself or feel guilty. It is not your fault.
You can play an important role in your friend’s life by doing the following:
- Listen to and believe what your friend tells you.
- Avoid asking too many questions, especially ones that appoint blame.
- Respect their privacy.
- Share available local and campus resources with them.