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Law Enforcement and Safety

Natural Disasters & Fire

You may not have time to plan for a natural disaster, but you can know what to do should one of these dangerous situations arise.

What To Do

  • Drop to the ground. 
  • Take cover under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. Avoid bookcases or furniture that can fall on top of you.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking ceases and it's safe to exit. 
  • Never leave a pet or child in an enclosed vehicle.
  • Drink non-caffeinated fluids even if you do not feel thirsty and avoid alcohol.
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and avoid dark colors.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise, outdoor games or activities during the hottest part of the day.
  • If the fire is small, use a fire extinguisher to eliminate it.
  • If you smell smoke or suspect a fire, call USCPD at 803-777-4215 or dial 911 to report the location.
  • To evacuate, use stairs. DO NOT use an elevator.
  • If the air is smoky, get as low as possible, hold your breath and move quickly.
  • If you're trapped, break a window (as a last resort) and hang a towel outside to let firefighters know you're trapped.
  • DO NOT drive onto a flooded road or through flowing water.
  • If you approach a flooded roadway, turn around.
  • DO NOT drive unless absolutely necessary.
  • DO NOT walk, swim or play in flood water.

View flood-prone areas on or near campus.

  • Learn the elevation level of where you are and whether the land is flood-prone to judge your vulnerability to storm surge or tidal flooding.
  • Know your evacuation route.
  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly if needed.
  • During a hurricane, stay indoors and do not visit riverbanks, beaches or flooded areas.
  • DO NOT walk or swim through floodwater.
  • If caught in rapidly rising water in your car, get out and move to higher ground as quickly as possible.
  • Return after evacuation only when authorities say it's safe.
  • Pick a safe area to gather in your home away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • If you have time, secure large outdoor items or stow them inside.
  • Avoid outdoor activities if lightning is a possibility — even if it's not raining.
  • Avoid being inside dangerous or dilapidated structures. Sheds, dugouts and picnic shelters are not safe.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and wait to travel until it's safer.
  • If you're outdoors and cannot reach a building, avoid the following areas:
    • high ground
    • water
    • tall, isolated trees
    • metal objects such as fences or bleachers.
  • Find a safe place at home where you can gather such as a basement, storm cellar or a lower-floor, interior room free of windows.
  • In a high-rise, if you can't get to the lowest floor; get to the center of the building.
  • Mobile homes are not safe.
  • Keep supplies on-hand to support you for at least three days.
  • Keep any heat sources away from all furniture and drapes.
  • Know how to shut off your water in case a pipe ruptures.
  • Prepare your car for winter weather and keep an emergency kit inside with an ice scraper, blanket and other essentials.
  • Bring pets inside during extreme cold.
  • Fill a gallon jug with water and place in your freezer in case you lose power to help keep food cold.


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