Special Event Planning Considerations

For all UTSA events, planners and coordinators should read and become familiar with the special event planning considerations outlined below.

If you have any questions, contact Risk and Emergency Management.

UTSA Police Department

Risk & Emergency Management

When a fire alarm sounds, occupants should:

  • Proceed immediately to an exit according the posted evacuation plan and move a safe distance away (150 ft.) from the building to your rally point. If the primary exit is blocked, choose the best alternate route. If time permits, close doors and windows behind you.
  • Do not use an elevator.
  • Help others around you, but only if safe to do so.
  • Call (210) 458-4911 to report all emergencies.
  • Stay informed—use good, independent judgment regarding your situation and the environment around you.

Guidelines for Evacuating People with Disabilities

General Guidelines

  • DO NOT use elevators, unless authorized to do so by emergency personnel. Elevators could fail during a fire.
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before giving assistance. Ask how the person can be best assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • Attempt a rescue evacuation only if you have had rescue training or the person is in immediate danger and cannot wait for professional assistance. Evacuating a disabled or injured person yourself is the last resort. Consider your options and the risks of injuring yourself and others in an evacuation attempt. Do not make an emergency situation worse.

Visually Impaired

  • Do not grab a visually impaired person’s arm; ask if they would like to hold on to your arm to exit. Warn the person about steps. Be specific in your verbal instructions (i.e. "to the right" rather than "this way"). Keep guide dogs with owners whenever possible.

Hearing Impaired

  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Use facial expressions, gestures and body movements to help in communicating your message. Offer visual instructions to advise on the safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.

Physically Impaired

  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, assist them in moving into the nearest exit to await rescue personnel and inform first responders immediately of the individual's location in the building.

Additional Resources

Risk and Emergency Management routinely conducts assessments of campus facilities to determine areas that may be utilized as severe weather shelters. If you are on campus when severe weather occurs or tornado warning are issued, it is recommended that you use good, independent judgment in regard to your immediate safety and act quickly and appropriately.

Some general rules:

  • Seek an interior room with no windows (or glass walls) on the lowest level of a building.
  • Rooms without an exterior wall are preferred, and avoid auditoriums or rooms with high/vaulted ceilings.
  • At UTSA, we highly recommend interior restrooms and exit stairwells as places of safe refuge during severe weather, although some classrooms, conference rooms, meeting spaces, or hallways may also work well.
  • Heed the weather warnings provided by National Weather Service and/or the UTSA Alerts Emergency Notification System, and listen to local news stations or monitor radars.
  • Act quickly, warn other around you, and remain in a safe place until conditions improve.

Look for the red "Severe Weather Shelter" signs on campus.

» Severe Weather Shelter Locations

During periods of inclement weather, UTSA officials continuously monitor the weather with the safety of the UTSA community in mind. The Risk and Emergency Management coordinates with the National Weather Service, City of San Antonio, and other local, state, and federal agencies to receive the latest forecast information, as well as conditions of streets and highways. The following frequently asked questions will help guide you on what may happen at UTSA.

When does UTSA determine whether or not to close the campuses due to adverse weather?

When inclement weather conditions are expected, UTSA administrators, in consultation with Risk and Emergency Management, will assess the latest forecasts and local conditions to determine whether or not to close UTSA campuses. The timeframe for deciding this process is based on anticipated or ongoing conditions, and varies from situation to situation. Generally, UTSA will try to give as much lead time to the campus community concerning a possible closure, which can occur in the evening (before 10 p.m.) or early morning (before 5 a.m.). Subsequently, University Communications and/or Emergency Management staff members will provide updates on social media and UTSA Today, provide notifications, and contact media outlets.

At other universities, they continue to have classes regardless of snow or ice. What criteria are used to close UTSA?

UTSA is committed to making the best decision concerning the safety of students, faculty and staff. In San Antonio, even a small amount of ice might create an unsafe situation, considering that students and employees travel to the university from various distances. For example, weather in the Hill Country may not be the same as in southern portions of Bexar County. Other universities that are located in the interior of the city may experience very different weather than UTSA on the Northside, which may factor in to operational decisions.

What if my situation appears dangerous, and the university is open/I cannot determine if it is closed?

Everyone is encouraged to make a prudent decision about traveling to campus in consideration of the weather in their area. Use good, independent judgment concerning driving conditions in your area, and be aware of any road closures or inclement conditions. In the event the university is open and your conditions are too dangerous to drive, it is advised to communicate with your professors, coworkers, supervisors and others about your situation and driving conditions.

How will I be notified of a campus closure?

In the event of a campus closure due to inclement weather or other situations, the university will activate the UTSA Alerts emergency notification system. Users who have opted-in to the UTSA Alerts system will receive a text or voice message, and an email, about the status of campus operations and other pertinent information. Information will also be posted on UTSA Today and the university's official social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

What are official resources for me to use during inclement weather?

UTSA provides a variety of support to ensure our campuses are prepared in the event of an emergency.

 Explore Preparedness Resources      View UTSA Emergency Response Guide