Campus Power Failure / Blackout Procedure


Although the reliability of utility delivery systems is very high, system failures may occur. The number of failures, although low, is unpredictable and the duration of a power outage may range from less than a minute to more than a day. The university community must know that power failures may occur and what to do if/when power service fails.

The University Will Remain Open During A Blackout Event. The objective of this procedure is to plan for potential blackouts and to mitigate loss of class time and University services. Faculty members and supervisors shall establish and announce a plan as to where to go should a blackout occur. Please follow the guidelines below in the event of a blackout.

Faculty:  Blackout during daylight hours

  • Faculty should include in their class syllabus instructions to students informing them what to do in case of an electricity blackout.
  • If there is natural lighting in the classroom, please remain in the classroom and continue the class session, if practical.
  • If there is no natural lighting in the classroom, proceed to a naturally lighted area. If sufficient class time remains, return to the classroom when power has been restored, and resume class.
  • Should there be less than 60 minutes of class time remaining and there is not sufficient light to teach the class, the instructor has the option to suspend the remainder of the class time.
  • Should a blackout occur before a class session begins, students should wait outside the building until power is restored. Once the blackout is over, faculty and students can enter the building and the class session can begin.

Staff: Blackout during daylight hours:

The University will remain open during the blackout event. If there is not sufficient light in the work area, staff should proceed to a naturally lighted area. Staff will return to their work area when power has been restored.

Note: If there are less than 60 minutes remaining in the work day, CSUSB supervisors have the option to release staff for the remainder of the work day. One employee will remain in each department until the end of the work day, on a rotational basis, to provide departmental coverage.

Faculty/Staff:  Blackout during hours of darkness:

If safe to do so, please wait 10-15 minutes. If power is not restored, proceed with classroom/building evacuation and exiting the campus.

Faculty/Staff Evacuation Guidelines

  • As soon as information regarding a blackout event becomes available, the information will be communicated to the university community through the telephone voice mail system. Please refer to the Policy on Emergency Notification of Staff and Faculty (Emergency Notification Plan) for information regarding communication with university units.
  • REMAIN CALM! Gather your personal belongings and proceed to the nearest exit.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
  • Prior to leaving, turn off all light switches, computers, and all electrical devices.
  • Faculty and staff are asked to assist with building evacuation and to assist individuals with disabilities. Individuals in wheelchairs should proceed to the nearest stairwell and wait for assistance to be evacuated.
  • When leaving campus, drive in an orderly and safe manner.
  • Call campus 911 for emergencies only.