University Safety and Assurances

Emergency Response to Floods

Quick Reference: Emergency Response to Flood


Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters--except fire. Most communities in the United States have experienced some kind of flooding, after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, or winter snow thaws. Flooding within a building may also be the result of a mechanical failure.

Photo from AUP Flood

The following are some steps you can take in response to a flood situation to minimize propety damage and losses:

If the flooding is caused by a pipe break, sink overflow or other plumbing problem:

  • During normal business hours, notify Physical Plant Services at x4742. After hours contact Physical Plant Services at x4652 or the University Police at 9-911 (emergency number) or x4627 (non-emergency phone number).
  • Try to identify the source of the water and turn it off if this can be done safely.

If the flooding is caused by heavy rains or winter snow thaw:

  • During normal business hours, notify Physical Plant Services at x4742. If the situation occurs after hours, contact Physical Plant Services at x4652 or University Police at 9-911 or 229-9911 from a cellphone.
  • Attempt to close doors and windows to prevent additional water from entering the building, if possible.
  • Focus resources on minimizing the spread of water into other areas of the building.

Additional actions you may take to minimize damage from water include:

  • Protecting property and records by removing items from floors and /or covering items with water-resistant coverings.
  • Moving items of value to "higher ground" if possible.
  • Unplugging electrical equipment such as computers, printers, etc. if it is safe to do so. If electrical circuits appear to be getting wet, leave the area immediately.

Depending upon the severity of the situation, evacuation of personnel may be required. If immediate evacuation is necessary, use the fire alarm system to notify building occupants.

Once the building has been evacuated, call the University Police (9-911), or 229-9911 from a cellphone, or send a runner to the Campus Police Station (Sandburg W140) to notify them of any needed assistance or other emergencies that may exist.

Report any losses or equipment damage to Risk Management at x5079 as soon as possible.

Additional Resources: