Important Rice Numbers
- Rice Police 713-348-6000
- News Media 713-348-6774
- Automated Emergency Information 713-348-8888
- Rice Switchboard 713-348-0000
- Rice Counseling Center 713-348-4867 (24/7)
- KHOU Channel 11 Weather Center
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather
- Harris County Interactive Rainfall Map
- Employee Assistance Program
- Rice University / Texas Medical Center Flood Alert System (FAS2)
- Houston Chronicle (newspaper)
Rice University Emergency Communication, Response
and Evacuation Procedures
Emergency Communications to the University Community
Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus and involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students, faculty or staff members, Rice University will provide accurate and timely information to the campus community during such emergencies. Rice may utilize a variety of communication methods, including text messaging to mobile phones, e-mail, voice mail, web pages, emergency hotlines, announcements via Rice’s public address system, meetings in affected buildings, and announcements in the news media. In the case of a severe weather emergency, an episode of campus violence or other sudden emergency, Rice University will use an automated system to notify students, faculty and staff of the nature of the emergency and of any steps the recipient should take to safeguard his or her personal welfare. To ensure that students, faculty or staff members receive this critical emergency information, they should maintain updated contact information in the ESTHER system. Contact information can include local and home emergency numbers where Rice can most effectively provide time-sensitive emergency information; usually these contact numbers will be for mobile phones or other hand held electronic devices. Rice will limit use of this emergency contact information to only the most urgent campus emergencies. Rice urges community members to take seriously any emergency notifications received via their primary emergency contact point and to respond accordingly.
In the event of a severe, time-sensitive emergency, persons on campus (depending on their location) may also hear announcements or instructions via Rice’s public address system. Persons should take seriously any announcements received in this manner and follow any instructions provided..
At Rice, confirmation of significant emergency or dangerous situations is usually made through the Crisis Management Team, though in extremely time-sensitive situations the Rice University Police Department (RUPD), the Office of the President, or the Office of the Vice-President for Administration may make such a confirmation. The content, appropriate distribution and initiation of any emergency communications will usually be determined through these same channels. These determinations will be made while taking into account the safety of the community, and emergency notifications will be made without delay (unless issuing notifications will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency). The offices listed above, as well as the various members of the Crisis Management Team, are responsible for making the decisions discussed in this paragraph. (Refer to Rice Policy 105 for more details about Rice’s emergency management procedures.)
The University will test its emergency communications systems, as well as its public address warning system, at least once per calendar year, at which time Rice will publicize the overall emergency communication system. This testing will usually be announced in advance. RUPD will document the nature and date of the test (as well as whether the test was announced or unannounced).
Each building at Rice has a unique evacuation plan and building occupants should familiarize themselves with these plans. A larger scale evacuation plan may be formulated by the University for a particular emergency or situation, in which case such a plan may be transmitted via the most appropriate channels of communication discussed above.
Calls Seeking Police, Fire and EMS Assistance
Anyone on campus requiring emergency police, fire or medical services may dial extension 6000 from any Rice phone to reach the Rice University Police Department (or use the blue light emergency phones located around campus or the emergency phones found in most campus elevators). Callers may also dial 9-1-1 to reach the Harris County 9-1-1 Service. A direct call to RUPD at extension 6000 (713-348-6000 from a non-Rice phone) may shorten response times to campus emergency calls, especially calls for police and emergency medical services. For non-emergency situations, a caller may also dial extension 6000 to reach the RUPD.