Campus buildings will hold mandatory evacuation exercises throughout 2017 to prepare students, faculty, and staff for fires and other emergencies. Starting this year, 85 University Park campus buildings that meet certain occupancy and hazard criteria will conduct the drills annually (and mostly in the warm weather).
These drills aren’t necessarily new to campus — residence halls and childcare centers on campus have routinely done this in the past. The new component of the Building Emergency Evacuation Program (BEEP) was rolled out over the last few years and is aimed at educating faculty, staff, and students about the importance of preparing for an emergency. It doesn’t require all buildings to host a drill, but occupants of any building can voluntarily schedule a drill by contacting EHS.
Another new stipulation of the BEEP program is that unit and campus safety contacts must review and update written evacuation plans for each building at least once a year. Contact information for campus safety officers can be found here or you can look for one of the safety monitors assigned to the building’s floor.
Those who are attending class or working in a building that is conducting an evacuation will not be warned. However, it goes without saying that everyone is expected to evacuate.
Since Penn State is constantly conducting classes in nearly every academic building on campus and the drills will be conducted just once a year, it’s very likely that the new procedures will barely be noticeable.