What To Do in an Emergency

Hostage Situation

If you hear or see a hostage situation:

  1. Immediately remove yourself from any danger.
  2. Immediately notify the Office of Public Safety at 911 from any campus phone or 607-274-3333 from any other phone.
  3. Be prepared to give the Office of Public Safety dispatcher the following information:
  • Location and room number of incident
  • Number of possible hostage takers
  • Physical description and names of hostage takers, if possible
  • Number of possible hostages
  • Any weapons the hostage takers may have
  • Your name
  • Your phone number

If you are taken hostage:

  1. Remain calm, be polite, and cooperate with your captors.
  2. DO NOT attempt to escape unless there is an extremely good chance of survival. It is safer to be submissive and obey your captors.
  3. Speak normally. DO NOT complain, avoid being belligerent, and comply with all orders and instructions.
  4. DO NOT draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements, statements, comments, or hostile looks.
  5. Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing, or other details that can help provide a description later.
  6. Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with the captors.
  7. Try to establish a relationship with your captors and get to know them. Captors are less likely to harm you if they respect you.
  8. If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, either in writing or on tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors. Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.
  9. Try to stay low to the ground or behind cover from windows or doors, if possible.

If you are in a rescue situation:

  1. DO NOT RUN. Drop to the floor and remain still. If that is not possible, cross your arms, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden moves that a tense rescuer may interpret as hostile or threatening.
  2. Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.
  3. Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer isn’t sure whether you are a terrorist or a hostage.
  4. Even if you are handcuffed and searched, DO NOT resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.
  5. You will be taken to a safe area where proper identification and status will be determined.