The University of Iowa

Emergency Information


An explosion is caused by a rapid expansion of gas from chemical reactions or incendiary devices. Signs of an explosion may be a very loud noise or series of noises and vibrations, fire, heat or smoke, falling glass or debris, or building damage.

Immediate Action

  • Get out of the building as quickly and calmly as possible.
  • Find a safe location and dial 911 as soon as possible to report the incident.
  • If items are falling off of bookshelves or from the ceiling, get under a sturdy table or desk.
  • If there is a fire, stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible.
  • If you are trapped in debris, tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are.

Assisting Others

Assist others in exiting the building and move to designated evacuation areas. Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.

Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.