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​​Contact NIH Police

Bethesda, MD- Main Campus

On Campus: (301) 496-9911
Campus Phone: 911

On Campus:(301) 496-5685
Campus Phone: ​311

NIH Police Office
Building 31, Room B3B17
31 Center Drive MSC 2012
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2012
Phone: 301-496-2387
Fax: 301-402-0394

Resources / FAQs

​What is AlertNIH and how do I use it?

AlertNIH is the official emergency communications service for the NIH community. AlertNIH notifies employees across many communication devices – cell phone, home phone, work phone, smart phone or email. Please visit for more information or to sign up.

How does "Lockdown" differ from "Shelter-in-Place"?

As published in the NIH Emergency Preparedness Procedures flip guide:  “Lockdowns protect employees from a threat from an armed person, inside or outside the building, in instances where it may be more dangerous to leave the building by directed evacuation than to stay in a secured room.”  Shelter-In-Place is defined as “SIP will used when it is safer for employees to remain inside the building rather than to evacuate.  Interior windowless rooms can be used for SIP.  Examples of SIP incidents include tornado warnings and HAZMAT incidents.”  If you would like copies of the NIH Emergency Preparedness Procedures flip book delivered to your office, please call 301-496-1985.

What is the best recommendation to ensure staff "Shelter-in-Place" during a "Lockdown"?

Effective execution of any plan depends on training.  Many resources are available and the Division of Emergency Management can be contacted at (301) 496-1985 to conduct in-house training exercises.

What is a "Partial Release"?

A partial release can be used by the Incident Commander to release people in unaffected portions of the campus.  A Partial Lockdown only applies to NIH facilities off the NIH-Campus.  A Partial Lockdown secures the most external points of entry (gates, building entrances, office suite doors, etc.) for a facility and restricts entry and exit movements to and from the facility or NIH area of a facility.  Once a Partial Lockdown is declared, no one, including NIH personnel, are allowed to enter the facility.  However, NIH personnel may leave the facility at their own risk.  Normal activities within the building continue as much as possible.  Instructions would be provided via AlertNIH. 

How Should "Run, Hide, Fight" be used?

From the NIH Emergency Preparedness Procedures flip guide:  "While escape is typically the response of choice to an armed intruder inside a building, this action should only be considered if it is absolutely safe to do so, without coming in contact with the intruder.  Run:  If escaping, exit the building as quickly as possible, seek safe cover outside, and call the Police immediately.  If safe escape is not possible the "lockdown" is the best option."  Hide: inside or outside, be aware of your surroundings.  Find a location that can be secured.  Lock the door(s) if possible and barricade the door with furniture or heavy objects such as a filing cabinet.  Fight: The last option.  If you are confronted by the shooter, fight aggressively with any weapons you have available, your life may depend on the ferocity of your attack.  Each individual must maintain situational awareness and make the choice in the moment that best suits the situation.

If you would like copies of the NIH Emergency Preparedness Procedures flip book delivered to your office, or need to coordinate training, please call (301) 496-1985.


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