Luddy School Emergency Information

What kinds of emergency do you need to know about?

The good news is that Bloomington is a very safe place to live - it has a low crime rate, pleasant weather, good facilities, is safe from hurricanes and is unlikely to have serious earthquakes. However there are some things that we want you to be aware of. We recommend that you sign up for IU Notify to get alerts about emergency events on campus.

Extreme weather

Located in the central part of the country, Bloomington has a moderate climate, but occasionally the weather can cause problems, including a risk for tornadoes and thunderstorms with strong winds and hail, mainly in the spring, fall and summer months; and snow, ice and frigid temperatures in the winter months. Usually it is possible for forecasters to predict hours in advance whether severe weather is likely in our area, so a good way to keep on top of things is simply to check the weather forecast each morning: in particular, look out for a hazardous weather outlook and, if you like meteorological details, the forecast discussion.

The Storm Prediction Center makes daily predictions of tornado and severe thunderstorm risk, and will issue "watches" if conditions are becoming particularly ripe for dangerous weather. If a severe thunderstorm or tornado is imminent, a severe thunderstorm warningor tornado warningmay be issued. For a tornado warning, sirens will sound outdoors, and alerts will go out on special weather radios and through other outlets such as IU Notify. If you hear an alarm for a tornado warning, you should immediately go to the shelter areas in the building you are in, until you are told it is safe to leave - see the Luddy Emergency Procedures Poster for details. Note that tornado sirens are tested on the first Friday of the month at noon. For extreme winter weather, monitor the weather forecast. Weather conditions can change quickly, and a few inches of snow can cause lots of problems on the roads. On rare occasions, IU will decide to close - so keep an eye on the Protect IU Page . If IU does not close, instructors will have to make individual decisions about whether to run or cancel classes, and students have to make individual decisions about whether it is safe for them to get to campus. Be sure to also check the status of the Indiana travel advisories page. If Monroe County is at a Red (Warning) level, then you cannot legally drive on the roads, even if IU is technically "open".

Epidemiological emergencies

This wasn't on our list until 2020, but COVID showed that we all need to be ready for infectious disease outbreaks and to each take steps to protect our own health and that of others. COVID is still a major hazard with new variants and surges, and this winter outbreaks of RSV and flu have added to the problems. While masks are no longer required at IU, wearing a KN95 or N95 mask while in buildings is still the simplest, most effective step you can take to protect yourself and others. Vaccine boosters also help build immunity and prevent serious infection. If you do become sick, be sure to stay home and away from others as much as possible. For the most recent local COVID19 advice, see IU's COVID19 page.


This one is simple - if the fire alarm sounds in a building, immediately leave the building by the nearest exit using stairs, not elevators, closing doors if possible, and proceed to the one of the evacuation points around the building. For Luddy School buildings, these are listed onthe Luddy Emergency Procedures Poster . You can re-enter the building only when told safe by a firefighter or staff member.

Medical emergencies

Occasionally medical emergencies happen, from sprained ankles to heart attacks. If you are with someone having a medical emergency, the best thing to do is to immediately call 911, and tell the dispatcher the exact location, and nature of the emergency. A 911 call and ambulance response is always free, so if in doubt, call. You can also call for help if needed. Any of the facilities team (the ones with two-way radios) can secure more help as needed. AEDs (defibrilators) are on the walls by the kitchen on each level of Luddy Hall (south wall in the basement) and are by the elevators in Info East ground and third floors and Info West ground floor. We encourage everyone to get trained in first aid, CPR and AED use. At minimum, check out the basics of CPR on Youtube .

Personal emergencies

For a wide range of crises, emergencies and problems that occur in our personal lives, Indiana University CAPS provides counseling and support. For mental health emergencies, you can call 911, the CAPS crisis line 24/7 on 812.855.5711 (choose option 1) , the National Mental Health helpline on 800.662.HELP (4357), or the Suicide Prevention Hotline on 800.273.8255.

Shooting emergencies

These are extremely rare, but of terrible impact if they do happen, which is why it is worth taking some steps to prepare.

Notes on active shooter incidents

While the U.S. homicide rate overall has fallen in recent years, the number of active shooter events, that is where a person with a gun attempts to kill people in a confined and populated area, has increased in the U.S. since 2000 . The disaster psychology literature tells us that when faced with sudden, fearful events that are unfamiliar, our natural tendency is to go into denial . This is because our brains try rapidly to find prior experience to work from, get "no search results found", then our backup plan is to look to see if anyone else has a "search hit". The psychology and neuroscience of this is described in the book The Unthinkable: who survives when disaster strikes . If we find ourselves in the midst of an active shooter event, particularly in a classroom situation, this means we will likely have one of a number of reactions, such as freezing (everyone gets in a loop of "no search results found"), thinking our senses must be giving us bad information ("that probably wasn't a gun"), or pulling out an inappropriate experience, such as treating the event as if it were a fire alarm, or making jokes. We tend to not want to be seen to be over-reacting. In an active shooter event, seconds are critical, so we cannot afford to risk this happening. This psychology was likely behind the surprisingly inappropriate responses of professors during the Purdue shooting incident (see Purdue Review article ). Here are some steps you can take before an incident, to make sure this doesn't happen.

  • Watch the IU Run-Hide-Fight video. This is one of the single most useful things you can do. RUN-HIDE-FIGHT is a clear and research-supported immediate action plan for individuals to make good decisions on the scene of a shooting. Students should be encouraged to take their own action based on this, regardless of what a professor says. Instructors should be prepared to take an immediate and authoritative lead in RUN-HIDE-FIGHT. "Programming" the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT approach into your brain will mean you will "have a search hit" of an appropriate response if something happens
  • Instructors should think through a RUN-HIDE-FIGHT plan for their classrooms at the start of the semester, including knowing where the exits are, examining the windows to see if they can be opened as an exit route, and examining the doors to see if they can be blockaded. If you feel comfortable doing it, you might also run through the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT process with students in the class at the start of the semester

If you think your hear gunshots and/or screams or you hear a report of a person with a gun in the building your are in, immediately start a RUN-HIDE-FIGHT decision making process for yourself, and lead others around you in this, including any class your are teaching. Once you are in a safe place out of the building, dial 911 and give as much detailed information as possible.

If you get information about an active shooter elsewhere on campus (for example through IU Notify), you should be prepared for an extended period of time with very little information. RUN-HIDE-FIGHT still applies here - if you are able to get away from campus safely without going anywhere near the scene of the shooting, this is probably the best thing. If you are running a class, and you get this kind of notification, the best approach is probably to stop class, close doors, stay away from windows, and make a RUN-HIDE-FIGHT plan with the students for if a shooter came in proximity. You should also make a plan for how to handle bathroom visits, etc.

For more recommendations and information, see the IU Active Shooter page.

Emergency resources

General information

  • Luddy Emergency Procedures Poster, with specific information for Luddy School members, including evacuation areas and tornado information (PDF)
  • Luddy Artificial Intelligence Center shelter and evacuation information (PDF)
  • IU Notify for time-critical alerts for emergency events on campus

Social Media

Weather Emergencies


Medical Emergencies

Shooting Events

Mental Health Crises and Counseling

Guide owner: David Wild -
Last updated: November 13, 2023