University of Southern California

SCampus Student Guidebook


Emergency Safety Plan

Major Emergency Information

For general USC emergency plan information, visit, which includes information about safety and emergency preparedness. In the event of a major emergency situation, the USC home page will be updated, and additional information will be listed at An emergency hotline is also available for updates and information at (213) 740-9233. These services are for students, parents, faculty and staff to access campus safety information after a major emergency.

During a major emergency, please call (213) 740-2421 for specific inquiries about students. Calls will be answered 24/7 by Student Affairs staff.

For more detailed information about USC emergency response and preparation plans, visit

Trojans Alert

You will also receive instructions on where to go, what to do, or what not to do, whom to contact and other important information from Trojans Alert. Trojans Alert is a system that allows university officials to contact you during an emergency by sending text messages to cell phones, pagers, smart phones and handheld devices, land lines and email accounts. To register for Trojans Alert, visit

Emergency Services

Report all emergencies to the Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-4321. The Public Safety dispatch center is staffed 24 hours a day and will dispatch Public Safety officers as well as the fire department and paramedics as needed. In addition, a professional staff member is on call at Student Counseling Services during weekday business hours or via the Department of Public Safety after business hours and weekends at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus and (323) 442-1200 for the Health Sciences Campus.

Preparing for the Unexpected

The USC Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning works with all schools and departments to ensure the university is ready to respond to and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. The goals of the Emergency Operations and Recovery Plans are to:

  • Ensure the safety and security of students, faculty, staff and visitors.
  • Minimize disruption of academic and research programs.
  • Minimize university losses.

The university stocks emergency response equipment and supplies including emergency food, water and first aid supplies. USC follows the National Incident Management System and conducts training and exercises throughout the year on incident management, first aid, fire suppression, search and rescue and other emergency skills. Specialized response teams on campus are prepared to conduct such efforts as well as hazardous materials response, damage assessment, mass care, communications, security, technology recovery, student support and more. All resident advisers are trained in evacuation, first aid and basic fire suppression skills. For large-scale emergencies, the university will activate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate response and recovery efforts.

Reporting an Emergency

All emergencies should be reported to Public Safety by calling (213) 740-4321 or using a campus emergency blue light phone.

If, in a major emergency situation, telephone communications are out, report emergencies to any USC staff member equipped with a hand-held radio or directly to Public Safety.

Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation of specific buildings or all buildings may be necessary in a major emergency. Information regarding assembly area locations by building is available at If buildings are damaged in an earthquake, facilities’ staff will inspect all structures, posting each with either red “CLOSED” or green “OPEN” signs. If off-campus areas must be evacuated, USC Buses will assist evacuees. If USC Buses are unavailable, residents should follow specified routes to campus, walking together in groups. In the event of extended night-time evacuation, assemble at Cromwell Field.

Evacuation Instructions for Residents

In a major emergency, evacuation of some or all residential buildings may be necessary. In a fire or earthquake, do not use elevators. You should discuss the location of building evacuation routes and meeting points outside the building with your resident adviser or customer service representative.

Civil Disturbance Procedures

In the event of a major civil disturbance, university emergency plans will be activated and all resident students will be instructed to remain indoors. Security patrols will be increased and staff volunteers will establish emergency watches around the campus, including the North University Park residential area. All students will be advised of emergency instructions and may be relocated, depending on circumstances.

Role of Faculty Members

If a major emergency occurs during classroom instruction, the responsibility of faculty members will be to provide emergency guidance to students in their classrooms. For example, in a major earthquake, faculty should instruct students to duck and cover until the end of the shaking and provide assistance in safe evacuation to designated assembly areas.

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