Prepare for Emergency Evacuation and Lockdown Drills

Pacific University conducts annual evacuation and lockdown drills. Understanding what to do in these two very different scenarios is important to personal safety and the safety of those around you.


Building occupants should be prepared for a number of anticipated building emergencies, some of which will require immediate or delayed evacuation. Immediate evacuations are used for incidents involving fire, hazardous chemicals spills, gas leaks, etc. Delayed evacuations typically follow a shelter-in-place period and are most commonly used during severe storm incidents or after an active threat lockdowns.

There are several ways that you can prepare yourself for these types of events:


Evacuation drills are generally unannounced so they are realistic and educational. Advance notice may be provided in certain circumstances where the drill would create a safety hazard or disrupt critical and expensive research operations or create safety concerns for individuals. With the exception of residential housing, drills are scheduled during normal working hours and last between 10 to 15 minutes.

Evacuation due to an actual real-world emergency or an unintentional or malicious activation of a fire alarm may last 30 minutes or longer depending on the location and the first responders' assessment of the situation.

During an evacuation drill or actual live scenario, you should exit calmly and as expeditiously as possible while being aware of any hazards. If you need assistance during an evacuation, let someone know so that your location and needs can be reported to first responders during an actual emergency.  


In the event of an imminent threat to public safety, such as an active shooter or other threat of violence, one or more buildings at a university campus may be placed on lockdown. During a lockdown drill or actual live scenario, it is important to follow all of the lockdown procedures. Key actions include:

  • Find a secure room or other place to hide, ideally one that that is well-hidden and well-protected. If possible, avoid places that restrict movement.
  • Close and lock the door – if the door does not lock, try to barricade the door with heavy objects.
  • Turn off all lights.
  • Draw any shades or blinds.
  • Silence your cell phone and any other devices that make noise (e.g. TV, radio, etc.).
  • Get out of sight (e.g. under a desk, in a closet, etc.) and not visible from the outside through windows.
  • When hiding in rooms, consider line of sight for someone coming through the door. Place yourself along walls behind doors if possible.
  • Remain quiet.
  • If there are multiple people in the room, spread out if possible. This will enable those in the room to engage an intruder if necessary.
  • Call 911 (or text where available) if you can safely do so.
  • Stay in place until given an all clear by law enforcement personnel or drill administrators.

The university schedules annual lockdown drills for Hillsboro and Forest Grove. The drill begins with a notification of a lockdown drill via Boxer Alert. The notification clearly indicates that it is only a drill. Once drill facilitators have assessed the response a second message will be sent indicating that the drill has ended and everyone can resume normal activity.


Occasionally, we may be notified of threat outside of our buildings and in nearby surrounding areas. These notifications come into our Campus Public Safety from local first responders. We will respond by sending a Boxer Alert with key information related to personal safety and situational awareness and we will lock the doors so that they are key card access only. Locations without key card access may be manually locked or occupants may lock the individual spaces they are in (classrooms, offices, etc.).  

In a typically lockout, you are still able to move in and between buildings but are urged to use extreme caution and pay attention to your surroundings.

Should information be received indicating that the threat is imminent and in a known location that would impact our campuses, we may elect to go into a lockdown.


View more emergency preparedness resources or contact Amy Rasmussen, Business Continuity/Emergency Manager, at

Tuesday, April 2, 2024