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Housing and Residence Life is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of its residents. This section of the website was designed to help students better evaluate, prepare, respond and recover from emergency situations. When necessary HRL will notify residents via email and social media (i.e., when severe weather may impact campus).

This information is intended for staff and residents.  The quick reference provides essential information in regards to emergency situations that could arise in housing.  For more detailed emergency information, please visit the University's Emergency Information website.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

Emergency Preparedness

A resource for emergency preparedness is  Ready educates people on how to prepare and respond to various emergency situations.

Ready recommends the following for a basic disaster supplies kit: 

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Campus Safety 

Simple safety tips to protect yourself and your valuables.

  • Don't leave your door unlocked.
  • Don't give your apartment key or suite key card to another person.
  • Don't prop doors open.
  • Don't let others follow in behind you when entering a residence hall.
  • When leaving housing for breaks, don't leave valuables in your apartment or residence hall.
  • When packing up to move out, don't leave valuables in your vehicle.

Be Careful. Be Aware. Be Safe.

Stay Informed, Stay Safe!

USI will keep students informed via Rave Alert and media outlets such as TV, radio, Twitter and Facebook.

Rave Alert

  • Log into myUSI and click the Rave Alert icon on the Dashboard Channel to begin.
  • USI Rave Alert gives critical and timely warnings – via email, text message, and voice message – about emergencies, severe weather, and other incidents impacting the University community.
  • You can add additional emails, mobile numbers and landline numbers.

Social Media Outlets

Local TV Stations

Channel             Station

Local Radio Stations

95.7 FM WSWI
96.1 FM WSTO
103.1 FM WGBF
104.1 FM WIKY
107.1 FM WJPS
107.5 FM WABX

Important Phone Numbers

  • Public Safety
  • 812-464-1845
  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Community Center Front Desk
  • Police
  • Fire
  • Deaconess Hospital
  • St. Vincent Hospital

USI Public Safety has information on Active Shooter situations.

If indoors, seek refuge in a doorway or under a desk or table.  Stay away from glass windows, shelves, and heavy equipment.  Stay under cover until shaking as stopped, then be prepared to calmly evacuate the building.

If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, power lines, utility poles, and other structures. Always avoid power or utility lines to avoid electrocution.

If in a vehicle, stop in the safest place available, preferably an open area away from power lines, utility poles, and trees.  Stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle for the shelter it offers.

Protect yourself at all times and be prepared for aftershocks.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

Fire Evacuation
When a fire alarm sounds, or when instructed to evacuate by staff, all residents are expected to leave the building immediately. Failure to comply with the fire evacuation may result in a disciplinary fine. If a student has an ESA or service animal in their room, they should evacuate with the animal.


  • Know where fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
  • Know location of primary and secondary exits.
  • Know evacuation routes.


  • Even for a minor fire, immediately contact Public Safety at 812-492-7777 or activate the building alarms.
  • If a fire appears uncontrollable, IMMEDIATELY sound the building alarms and evacuate the building. If possible, aid others to safety and close all doors to confine fire. DO NOT LOCK DOORS.
  • Do not use elevators when there is fire. Take the stairs.
  • Smoke is the greatest danger in a fire, so stay near the floor where the air will be easier to breathe.
  • Once outside, move to an assigned clear area away from the affected building(s). Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • If you become trapped in a building, place an article of clothing outside the window as a marker for emergency personnel. If there is no window, stay near the floor where the air is more breathable. Shout in intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location.


  • Inform emergency personnel of any trapped or injured individuals.
  • Enter the building only after it is declared safe to do so.

Fire Safety Tips

If trapped in a room

  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Wet and place cloth material around or under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room.
  • Be prepared to signal to someone outside.

Caught in smoke

  • Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit. Stay low as smoke will rise to ceiling level.
  • Hold your breath.
  • Move quickly.
  • Cover your head and hair.
  • Keep your head down and your eyes closed as much as possible.

Using a fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher should only be used on small, contained fires and only if it can be done safely. If you have doubt, evacuate.

  • Pull safety pin from handle.
  • Aim at base of fire.
  • Squeeze the trigger handle.
  • Sweep from side to side at base of fire.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

Do you know where your fire extinguisher is located?

A fire extinguisher should only be used on small, contained fires and only if it can be done safely. If you have doubt, evacuate.

  • Pull safety pin from handle.
  • Aim at base of fire.
  • Squeeze the trigger handle.
  • Sweep from side to side at base of fire.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.
  • Do not move the pot or carry it outside. Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.

Apartment Residents

How to Put Out a Grease Fire

  • Turn the heat off. Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
  • Cover the pot with a metal lid. Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
  • Pour on baking soda. Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
  • Spray the pot with a fire extinguisher. This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
  • Get out and call Public Safety. If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero.
  • Whatever you do, do not use water! Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire.

Residence Hall Residents

Microwave Safety

  • To minimize risk of fire, never attempt to heat articles that are not approved for use in microwave ovens.
  • Read and follow food package heating instructions. Common fire alarms in residence halls are from not
    following heating instructions for ramen noodles, popcorn and Easy Mac.
  • Remove food from packaging before defrosting in a microwave oven. Do not use plastic storage containers, foam trays and plastic wraps in
    microwave ovens because they are not heat stable at high temperatures.
  • Do not leave a microwave oven unattended.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. Never open the oven door until you are absolutely certain that the fire is out.
  • Use only microwave-safe utensils. The instructions that come with each
    microwave oven specify what kinds of containers are safe to use and how to test the suitability of materials before use.
  • Be careful when heating liquids in the microwave oven. Since the containers may only feel warm, rather than hot, they are sometimes handled with less caution. This can easily result in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid.​

Where to go?
If there is an extended power outage, the Residence Life Community Center will be open 24-hours until all power is restored to campus housing.

Students will receive electronic notification once power is restored.

Refrigerator Precautions
Open your refrigerator as few times as possible to preserve the food inside. Food in a refrigerator will last about four hours during a power outage and a full freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours.

Water Pipes in Apartments (if power outage occurs during winter weather)
If you leave your apartment, please follow these precautions:

  • Turn on water in kitchen and bathroom sinks to a slow drip, with the stream just trickling.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors under the sinks. This allows the pipes to get more heat.

For additional information or periodic updates, please contact the Community Center at 812-468-2445.

On occasion the USI campus will be impacted by a water boil advisory as a result of a water main break. In the event of a boil advisory residents should bring all cooking and drinking water to a complete boil for five (5) minutes before using. Residents should boil all cooking and drinking water until notified by the University that the boil advisory has been lifted. Residents can shower, use toilets, wash dishes and use laundry facilities during a boil advisory.

During a boil advisory notices are posted on campus specifically at water fountains and bathrooms. Housing and Residence Life notifies residents about the advisory and provides bottled water to residents.

Residents should monitor social media and email for updates. The University will also send out RAVE alerts.

Evansville Water and Sewer Utility

Weather Sirens
The City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County operates an outdoor warning siren system.  This system consists of 40 sirens located throughout Evansville and Vanderburgh County. There is a weather siren located next to the Housing and Residence Life office. When the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning or a Tornado Warning,  the County Central Dispatch Center activates the sirens. The Outdoor Warning Sirens are operated by the Evansville/Vanderburgh County Central Dispatch.  The Emergency Management Agency is responsible for the administration, testing, and maintenance of the sirens.  Evansville/Vanderburgh County will activate warning sirens for any life-threatening emergency, including severe weather or hazardous chemical spills. Sirens are tested on occasion typically at 12 p.m./noon, weather permitting. The sirens are an integral part of your weather awareness program, along with your NOAA Weather Radio, and your own 'eyes to the sky'. For more information about emergency management in Evansville, visit the Evansville Emergency Management Agency website.

Midland Weather Radio
HRL has a limited number of weather radios if a student would like one in their room. It is important for your safety that the University-provided weather radio remains in good working condition. Please do not remove the batteries or disconnect the power. 

Instructions for your Midland Weather Radio

  1. Make sure radio is “ON” (right side on/off button)
  2. Make sure the unit is plugged into the electric outlet (batteries are for back-up power only)
  3. Your radio is preset with surrounding counties (DO NOT try to reprogram the radio)
  4. To listen to the weather, press the “Weather/Snooze” button. To turn the weather off, press the “Weather/Snooze” button a second time.
  5. WEATHER ALERTS: Yellow Advisory Inclement weather is possible; Orange Watch Conditions are right for possible damaging storms; Red Warning Damaging storms—seek shelter

It is vital to your personal safety that you observe common sense safety precautions during inclement weather.


  • If you are indoors, seek shelter in the lowest level of the building.
  • In a building with no basement:  Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the lowest floor (if possible), small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows.
  • Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands.
  • A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection.
  • Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, pillows, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail.
  • Do not open windows; this can increase damage to the building.
  • If walking outdoors or in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. Do not attempt to outrun a tornado.
  • If a building is not available, lying flat in a ditch or ravine offers some protection. Take cover away from power lines and trees.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

Make sure terminals are tight and clean.  If lights seem dim or vehicle starts are sluggish, have the electrical system (including battery) checked by a technician.

Check coolant strength with a hydrometer.  Recommended protection level is -36 degrees.  Never check hot.

Check belts for cracks or fraying.  Check hoses for leaks, bulges, or cracks.  Make sure clamps are secure.

Windshield Washer/Wipers
Make sure reservoir is filled with washer solvent.  Replace wiper blades if needed.

Check oil, brake transmission, radiator coolant and power steering fluid levels.  Follow owner's manual directions.

Air Filter
Hold air filter up to a light.  If you can't see through it, replace it.

Inspect wear.  Check pressure with a gauge when tires are cold.  Refer to owner's manual for recommended air pressure and tread depth specifications.

Activate to make sure all work properly.

Survival Gear
These items are recommended to carry in your car during the winter months.

  • Ice scraper/brush
  • Coffee can furnace
  • Boots, gloves, hat, blanket
  • Tools, flashlight
  • Tire traction material such as sand or cat litter
  • Food
  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Shovel

Snow and Ice
It is important to be aware of any weather situation and plan accordingly. Keep in mind that even treated snow and ice covered sidewalks and roads may remain slick and hazardous.  Cold temperatures make it difficult for the treatment to melt snow and ice. Residents are encouraged to stay on treated sidewalks and roads and avoid taking short cuts through snow and ice covered areas. In times of snow and ice, main campus will be cleared first and then housing areas.

Housing Parking Lots
USI and contractor crews cannot clean housing parking lots if residents do not park their vehicles correctly in spaces. It is important that residents pull in completely into parking spaces. Parking lots will not be cleaned that have vehicles improperly parked making it difficult or unsafe for snow removal equipment to enter the lot.

Snow Shovel Check Out
Snow shovels are available at the Community Center, Housing and Residence Life central office, and residence halls’ front desks.  Residents may check out a shovel for use while they are on campus. Residents may not take the shovels with them to an off campus location. Shovels are the property of USI Housing and Residence Life.  Residents may check out one snow shovel at a time.  If a resident would like to check out a snow shovel they may do so with an HRL staff member.

Reporting Emergencies

  • The quickest, easiest way to obtain help for any emergency is to call Public Safety at 812-492-7777.
  • Stay calm and carefully explain the problem and location.

For more guidance on how to protect yourself in winter weather, visit