What are Emergency Notification Service (ENS) messages, and when are they sent?

The University of Pittsburgh's Emergency Notification Service (ENS) provides University students and employees with critical information in the event of an emergency using voice, text, web, social media and email channels. Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees, Pitt’s ENS will be activated without delay. The exception to this is when activation will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist victims, or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

How do I get ENS messages? Do I need to sign up?

All University members are automatically subscribed to receive ENS messages by email. You are strongly encouraged to sign up for optional text and phone messages as well.

How can my parents receive ENS messages?

Students may add parents’ contact information when signing up.

Where else can I learn more about what is happening on campus during an emergency situation?

The Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management will post updates at emergency.pitt.edu. We know these updates may seem insufficient and slow at times, especially when social media is able to quickly spread unsubstantiated information. Our priority is on keeping the community safe and sharing only accurate information that will not compromise the response.

What does “lockdown” mean?

In a broad sense, a campus lockdown means that you should stay where you are if you are indoors. If you are outside and cannot enter a building, move in a direction away from the incident.

What does “evacuate” mean?

Evacuate means to leave the building and go to a safe spot. There are many possible reasons for an evacuation, including reports of smoke or fire. In some emergency situations, like an active assailant situation, evacuation may not be possible. Locate a safe spot through your building occupancy handbook.

If you are able to safely evacuate, you should do so calmly and quickly, without your belongings. If you are safely able to help others, you should do so.

What does “run, hide, fight” mean?

Run, hide, fight is a tool specific to an active assailant situation. After evaluating the situation in your building or area:

RUN if a safe path is available. Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.

Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone, and call 9-1-1 or Pitt Police at 412-624-2121.

If you can’t get out safely, find a place to HIDE.

When hiding, turn out the lights, lock your doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone

As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression; use improvised weapons and FIGHT.

How do I respond when police arrive during an active assailant situation?

Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions. Keep your hands visible and clear, because officers will not know the assailant.

Police priorities during an active assailant are unique. Their foremost objective is to proceed to the area the assailant is believed to be and neutralize the threat. Initial police arriving on scene will not stop to aid injured persons. A supplemental rescue team composed of additional officers will follow to help those who are injured. The rescue team may ask for those who are able to assist in moving those who have injuries or are unable to move independently.

Where can I learn more about what to do in an active assailant situation?

Pitt Police has resources available to learn more