Safety Precautions for the Presidential Address to a Joint Session of Congress

April 27, 2021

President Biden will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday April 28th, at 9 p.m. Enhanced security measures and street closures may disrupt travel in and around the District and there will likely be an increased law enforcement presence near the Capitol. Currently, we do not anticipate related gatherings in and around Washington, D.C. However, we ask that all members of our community be prepared and aware.

We offer a few preparedness tips and safety precautions for those in D.C.:

  • Be aware of the behavior of those around you and report suspicious or threatening behavior immediately to GWPD at (202) 994-6111 or the Metropolitan Police Department through 911.
  • Avoid crowds and do not engage with individuals seeking a confrontation.
  • If there is a disturbance, seek shelter indoors until normal conditions return. Observe directions from law enforcement personnel.

On campus:

  • Make sure doors close and lock behind you as you arrive and depart.
  • Do not allow strangers into GW buildings.
  • Carry identification and your GWorld card at all times when on campus.
  • GW Police will be on campus and available for assistance.

As is standard procedure for a National Security Special Event (NSSE), we will activate our Emergency Operations Center (EOC), monitor activity in the District, and will send email or text alerts to the entire GW community if necessary. The latest safety and security information will be posted on GW’s Campus Advisories

Additional safety and security resources are at or download the GW Guardian app for resources at your fingertips. Additional emergency management information from the District of Columbia is also available online

All GW community members (students, faculty and staff) are automatically signed up to receive GW emergency email alerts. You can manage your GW Alert account to also receive GW text alerts to your mobile device. In addition to adding your own mobile number, you can add multiple email addresses and phone numbers so that friends or relatives may also receive GW emergency alerts. Visit the GW Alert FAQ for instructions on how to add additional people to your account.