Contacting Students in the Event of a Crisis

Following the shooting tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, as well as other incidents of human and natural made disaster, parents have begun to rightly ask, “How will my student be informed if there is a crisis on campus?”

EMU’s Crisis Management Preparedness Team has joined all other colleges across the country in assessing crisis communication protocol. This has included reviewing dozens of offers by vendors for electronic and other means of communication.

EMU is a relatively small campus. This has informed our choices and decision making process. First and foremost, EMU works to build relationships with each student, so that any student in crisis is provided with a supportive environment.

Communication Plan

In the event that we need to get a message to all of our student body, we will immediately convene our crisis management team to assess the situation, prepare communications for parents and lead the campus during the crisis. This includes a plan to immediately implement one or more of the following:

  1. Send text message alerts to persons who have provided us with their mobile phone numbers
  2. Post an EMU Alert message on the myEMU campus website. An icon for the EMU Alert will also appear on the EMU home page that will take you to the Alert page on myEMU.
  3. Send an e-mail to everyone on campus pointing them to our website for updates
  4. Distribute appropriate message through the HEARO radio devices installed in many rooms across the campus
  5. Have residence life staff meet with and account for their students on campus
  6. Notify local radio and TV stations via a news release

Building Access and Evacuation Plans

In the event that we need to evacuate a building, EMU building “wardens” will institute prescribed evacuation plans. If a building lock down is necessary, these same wardens will institute their agreed-upon plan for implementing a building-specific lock-down of their building.

Finally, EMU limits access to classroom buildings outside normal class times, and all residence halls are accessible only through an ID-card access system.

EMU Crisis Management Preparedness Team,
Ken L. Nafziger, Vice President for Student Life, chair