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What to Do in an Emergency?

SLAC911 - Emergency Alert System

SLAC911 is the lab’s mass rapid-alert system. In the event of an emergency, the system will notify faculty, staff and students via text messaging, voicemail and/or email. Personal cell phone and email will be contacted if the information is entered in the system.  If you are SLAC personnel and would like to update your emergency alert information in the system, please log onto a SLAC network* and follow these instructions.

*SLAC network is a computer onsite at SLAC, or remote log-in with VPN or Citrix.


911- Calling for Help

  • Call 911 from any phone
    (Note: Dialing 9-911 from a SLAC phone is no longer necessary.  Dialing 911 without the extra '9' will still reach Palo Alto Dispatch from any SLAC phone)
  • If you use a cell phone, tell the operator that you are at SLAC and that Palo Alto is your dispatch center.

Calling 911 should always be your first action. Getting the professional responders on the way is a time critical function.

  • Answer any questions the 911 operator asks.  Common 911 questions will be:
    • What is the emergency?
    • Where is the emergency?  
      (SLAC is located at 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park. Also, give the building and room or directions to the specific location on the SLAC site.)
      (Important: If your call is interrupted, the 911 call will go to the phone number location listed in the SLAC Phone Directory.  It is very important to keep this current.  Contact your ATOM to update your phone directory information.)
    • Who is injured?
    • Are there any hazards in the area?
    • Your name and phone number you’re calling from.

Do not hang up until the 911 operator tells you to.

After 911

  • Call SLAC Security at x5555 let them know of the situation. They will also respond to the scene.
  • Notify your supervisor of the situation.
  • Have someone meet the responders and direct them to the exact location.
  • Do not move injured persons unless it is absolutely necessary for their safety.
  • Do not interfere with the emergency responders. If you do not have information or skills they need, it is better to stay out of their way.

No plan, training or checklist can possibly foresee every situation. Ultimately, if you remember only one thing, let it be this:  Emergency/Disaster situations are inherently chaotic - improvisation is a necessary virtue.

Unintended 911 Calls

At SLAC, we normally dial '9' to get an outside line, and long-distant calls start with a '1'.  It is easy to accidentally hit the '1' key twice, resulting in inadvertently dialed 9-1-1 calls. 

If this happens, please stay on the line. Let the operator who answers know that it was an unintended call. 

If you hang up before they answer, the operator will call back within 30 seconds to check.  If you do not answer, or they get a busy signal, the dispatcher will assume it is an emergency and will dispatch responders to your location.  It is much better to let them know from the start that your call is not a real emergency.

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