We work hard to maintain a campus where Pitt students, faculty, and staff feel safe and secure. Despite our best efforts, there are a number of hazards which could affect the University of Pittsburgh and the surrounding community.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with potential hazards that could occur at Pitt and how you can prepare for them. A general list of hazards can be found below and in the right-hand menu.

For a condensed version of this information, refer to our Emergency Quick Guide. We encourage you to print or save a copy of this guide to have on hand in case of an emergency.

Act of Violence

View general guidelines for responding to an act of violence directed towards University of Pittsburgh students, staff and faculty. We've also created a quick reference poster for sharing.


Find important information on meningitis and the zika virus.


Pennsylvania experiences a relatively low level of earthquake activity, but they are possible. In fact, the largest earthquake recorded in Pennsylvania, known as the Pymatuning Earthquake, occurred less than 100 miles away from Pittsburgh in September of 1998. Pennsylvania is also subject to the effects of earthquakes that occur in other states.


View fire and emergency evacuation procedures, prevention tips, and notes on fire safety.

Hazardous Materials

Learn about hazardous materials and what to do if you come in contact with them.


View facts about lightning. The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors. If outside during a thunderstorm, do NOT lie down or seek shelter under a tree. Try to get indoors. If you can’t, crouch down and tuck your head in with your hands over your ears. Crouching down is the best combination of staying low while making as little contact with the ground as possible.

Mental Health Emergency

Find a list of warning signs and resources for mental health emergencies.


Find thunderstorm safety tips and learn about the dangers associated with thunderstorms including lightning, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.


Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms and can occur with very little warning. Pennsylvania is not located in "Tornado Alley," however that does not mean tornadoes don't occur here. In fact, every U.S. state is at risk. Learn about the environmental signs of a developing tornado.

Winter Weather

A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. View Pitt's interim policy for extreme weather conditions.