Illinois State University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students, employees, and visitors. In many situations, emergencies are handled with routine procedures established within departments throughout campus. However, emergencies that are significant or dangerous and involve an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees on campus may require an emergency response.
Emergency Management Plan
The Illinois State University Emergency Management Plan is the framework for emergency response and preparedness. The plan supports a comprehensive all hazards approach compliant with National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) guidelines. The plan describes how Illinois State University will respond to a wide spectrum of emergencies at the University and, as warranted, interact with external emergency response organizations. The plan is designed to protect life, minimize damage, and ensure continuity of operations. This plan is available on the Police Department and Environmental Health & Safety websites.
Emergency Notification - ISU Emergency Alert
When an emergency warrants the issuance of an emergency notification, the senior Illinois State University Police Department (UPD) supervisor on duty or his/her designee will confirm that a significant emergency or dangerous situation exists, taking into account the safety of the community, and authorize activation of the ISU Emergency Alert.
When an emergency warrants the issuance of an emergency notification, the Illinois State University emergency notification system, ‘ISU Emergency Alert’, sends short emergency notification messages to the campus community. The ISU Emergency Alert contacts the campus community through cell phone (text and voice), land line phone, and email. To receive ISU Emergency Alerts, members of the campus community register their contact information through My.IllinoisState.edu. In the event of an emergency, an ISU Emergency Alert will be sent advising the appropriate members of the campus community of the emergency and brief instructions for action. If appropriate, ISU Emergency Alerts also direct persons to the ISU Home page for additional information and updates.
The University has pre-scripted initial ISU Emergency Alerts messages for common emergencies. The prescribed pre-scripted messages provide for timely accurate information being disseminated without delay. If necessary, a customized message can be delivered if a pre-scripted message is considered inadequate.
Timeliness of Notification
Illinois State University will issue ISU Emergency Alerts, without delay, unless issuing an Alert will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate an emergency.
The Campus Communications Group is responsible for providing timely updates and information relative to an emergency to the campus community via the ISU website, e-mail, and/or other communication systems.
Dissemination of Emergency Information to Larger Community
Information about an emergency is shared with the local community via local media. The Media Relations Office at Illinois State University is responsible for communicating information with the media during all phases of an emergency. Emergency response agencies in the Town of Normal are responsible for communicating to its residents any emergency affecting residents’ safety.
Evacuation procedures are incident dependent. The first emergency responder on the scene makes an initial determination on evacuation and uses the Emergency Management Plan to execute a safe evacuation, when appropriate.
Testing of ISU Emergency Alert System
Illinois State University conducts a full test of the ISU Emergency Alert system twice per year. Emergency response and evacuation procedures are publicized to the campus community in conjunction with these tests. Each test is documented with a description of the test, date, time, and whether it was announced or unannounced.
Exercises and Drills
In order for the University to maintain a state of readiness and test critical response components, including emergency response and evacuation, semi-annual exercises and drills are conducted. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for coordinating table top exercises and drill scenarios in order to test the university’s emergency response and evacuation procedures. In addition, evacuation drills are conducted at least annually for each of the University’s lab schools, Student Health Services, and Residence Halls. Each exercise or drill is documented with a description of the test, date, time, and whether it was announced or unannounced.