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Emergency Preparedness

The University of Minnesota Crookston is committed to the safety and security of its students, faculty and staff. This Web site will help you understand how you will be notified and what to do during an emergency. It is important to think about your response before an emergency occurs, so please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this site.

In the event of an emergency, dial 9-911 from any campus phone.

Emergency Scenarios - Basic Steps to Respond

Emergency Scenarios - Basic Steps to Respond

Below are some basic steps to respond to more common emergency situations.

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Do not move the person unless he or she is in danger.
  • Avoid leaving the person except to summon help.
  • Render first aid or CPR if you are trained and qualified.

Criminal Activity

If you become aware of criminal activity, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Do not attempt to apprehend or interfere with a criminal.
  • Note the criminal’s characteristics: Height, weight, sex, race, age, clothing, weapon (if any), and direction and method of travel.
  • If the criminal flees the scene in an automobile, note the license plate, make, model, color, and any other characteristics of the vehicle.

Workplace Violence

If you notice workplace violence, including intimidation, threats, physical attack and property damage, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately and provide a location and description of the assailant or suspicious individual.
  • Seek cover behind a locked door.


If you discover a fire, take the following steps:

  • Manually activate the fire alarm.
  • Immediately exit the building and close the door(s) behind you.
  • Tell others in the area that there is a fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 when you have reached safety.

If you are trapped during a fire, take the following steps:

  • Wet and place cloth material around and under the door to prevent smoke from entering.
  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Be prepared to signal someone outside, but do not break glass until absolutely necessary as smoke may be drawn into the room.

If caught in smoke, take the following steps:

  • Drop to the floor and crawl toward an exit.
  • Stay as low as possible.
  • Take shallow breaths through your nose and use a shirt or towel as a filter.


In the event of flooding, take the following steps:

  • If it’s safe to do so, turn off electrical equipment and secure experiments, vital equipment, records, and hazardous material by moving it to higher ground.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report hazardous substances that may contaminate flood waters.
  • Do not dump flood water down the storm drain unless doing so is approved by environmental health and safety staff.

Power Outages

In the event of a major, campus-wide outage, the University has emergency generators that restore power to some areas of campus. To report a minor, localized power outage,
call Facilities Management during business hours at 218-281-8483 or 218-281-8495 after hours. Please note that the campus phone system will NOT work if there is an electrical outage affecting Selvig Hall.

In the event of a major campus-wide outage, take the following steps:

  • Remain calm.
  • Turn off lights and unplug all electrical equipment, including computers.
  • Do not light candles or other flames as they could ignite an explosion.
  • If evacuation is required, secure all experiments and shut off research gasses. All chemicals should be stored in their original locations. Fully open fume hoods. If this is not possible or natural ventilation is inadequate, evacuate the laboratory until power is returned.

Chemical, Radioactive or Biological Spill

In the event of a spill, take the following steps:

  • During business hours call Environmental Health and Safety at 218-281-8300. After hours, or if someone is injured, call 9-911.
  • Attend to injuries first.
  • Warn others nearby of the spill.
  • Avoid breathing vapors from the spill.
  • Direct potentially contaminated people to stay in a controlled area until they have been cleared of contaminants.
  • Isolate and contain the spill. Post or tape off the affected area and establish a controlled entry point to the area.
  • Do not allow others into the area, even to retrieve personal belongings.
  • Do not spread contaminants. Take off your shoes before walking to other parts of the building.
  • Cover wet spills with something absorbent. Cover dry spills with something slightly dampened.
  • Discard towels in the garbage. Do not wash contaminants down the drain.
  • Use appropriate kit to neutralize and absorb inorganic acids and bases or to absorb spills with vermiculite, dry sand, or diatomaceous earth. Collect and dispose of as chemical waste.
  • If spill is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources. Don't light burners or turn on switches.

To prevent emergencies, talk to your laboratory safety officer to ensure you are following all safety protocols.

Bomb Threat

If a bomb threat is received by phone, take the following steps:

  • Remain calm. Use the telephone checklist (PDF 34 KB) to record information regarding the bomb threat and have it available for the police when they arrive.
  • If your phone has a display, copy the number or letters on the window display.
  • The most crucial information you can obtain from the caller is detonation time, location, and appearance of the bomb.

Don't hang up. Have someone call 9-1-1 from another phone. Give the phone number for the location that received the bomb threat. If a bomb threat is received by note, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Do not handle the note.

If a suspicious object is found, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Do not touch or move the object.
  • Evacuate the immediate area.
  • Stop anyone from entering where the object is located.

If a suspicious package arrives in the mail, take the following steps:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Do not handle the package.
  • Evacuate the immediate area.
  • Stop anyone from entering where the object is located.

Signs of a suspicious package:

  • No return address
  • Excessive postage
  • Stains
  • Strange odor
  • Strange sounds
  • Unexpected
  • Physical Appearance

Evacuation procedures:

  • Walk, don't run.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Move a safe distance from the building.
  • If you know of hazards or trapped persons, tell the nearest University police officer.
  • Do not re-enter the building. The University will announce when the building is safe to re-enter using TXT-U text messaging and the University Web page.

Active Shooter

If you are in a building when a shooting occurs, take the following steps:

  • If it is safe to do so, leave the building and get away from the incident.
  • If you can't leave, lock and/or barricade all doors.
  • Close blinds and block windows.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.
  • Stay low/behind available heavy objects.
  • Turn off lights, radios, and computer monitors.
  • Keep yourself out of sight.
  • Silence all cell phones.
  • Call 9-1-1 to provide your location, report any injuries, or provide a description of the assailant(s) (e.g., name, number of suspects, gender, race, clothing, physical features, type of weapon(s)).
  • Remain in the secured area until you are certain that the shooter(s) is contained by law enforcement.
  • Do not attempt to rescue anyone if it will further endanger the persons within the secured area.
  • When in doubt, remain within the secured area. Check for TXT-U messages.
  • If you encounter police officers, raise your hands and follow their commands immediately and completely. They may not know who the shooter is.

What You Can Do

What You Can Do

What Everyone Can Do

While every emergency is different and you may receive specific instructions, always take the following actions:

  • Dial 9-911 from a campus phone to report an emergency on campus.
  • Take action immediately if there are fire alarms, warning sirens or any other alert to evacuate or seek shelter.
  • Help others, especially those who may need physical assistance.

Each emergency is different and each may require a different response. No matter the course of action, it is critical that you act and help others. You should take some simple steps to prepare for emergencies.

Everyone in the University community should prepare for an emergency:

  • Familiarize yourself with this Web site.
  • Take note of your building's floor plan and exit routes.
  • Participate in fire drills and safety training programs.
  • Report all work-related injuries, illnesses, and hazardous material spills.
  • Designate a meeting place outside of the building for your unit or department, or make note of an existing meeting place.
  • Prepare and disseminate telephone trees and contact information for your unit or floor, and be sure you have the most recent contact information.
  • Identify tornado shelter areas in basements or interior hallways or corridors.
  • Keep a flashlight and battery-operated radio nearby.
  • Locate the nearest fire extinguisher and fire alarm. Learn to use a fire extinguisher.
  • Schedule an emergency preparation or safety course with the Department of Emergency Management. For information, the Crookston campus Environmental Health and Safety staff at 218-281-8300 .
  • Know where to find University emergency information and basic first aid materials.
  • Prepare yourself and your family at home so they know what to do if you are involved in an emergency, including where to go and how to cope until you're able to get home.

Each member of the University community has a role and a responsibility in emergency preparation and response. Specific information about emergency preparation and response for University employees, students, parents, the general public and the media is provided below.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff play an important role in promoting safety and responding to emergencies on campus. As a faculty or staff member, you are often in a position to quickly identify and report dangerous situations or safety concerns before they become emergencies and report incidents when they occur.

You should learn about emergency response and emergency communications plans for your unit. If these plans do not exist, talk to your supervisor about creating them. Call the Environmental Health and Safety at 218-281-8300 for assistance.

In an emergency, faculty and staff should follow directions given by emergency personnel. You are encouraged to help students evacuate or take shelter. If you think there may be hazardous materials or vulnerable people in the building, evacuate first, then tell a University police officer about your concerns. Remember, you may know more about your building than fire or police personnel.

For information during an emergency or to find out the institutional response to an emergency, go to the UMC Today page or contact your supervisor.


As a student, you should learn safety procedures and exit routes for your classroom buildings, study areas, laboratories and in residence halls and other University housing. All University owned residences have evacuation and emergency plans. If you have questions or want to know more about the plan in your building, contact your resident adviser (RA) or a Residential Life staff member.

During an emergency, please act quickly. It is critical to leave buildings when fire alarms sound and to take cover during tornado threats.

Once you are safe, contact your family and let them know you are OK. If it is a major emergency you may not be able to get a cell phone signal and campus phones could be tied up. Using a pay phone may be a good option.


Communications with parents during and after an emergency are an important priority for the University.

In a localized event, information is posted on the University's Web sites and delivered through the media.

In a campus-wide event, the University establishes telephone hotlines and post incident-specific information on the Web.

Cell phone signals and the campus phone system could be difficult to access during a major event. Be patient if you cannot immediately reach your student by phone.

There are some situations in which you should not immediately come and pick up your student. There may be significant traffic congestion during a large evacuation, or there could be issues of contamination with a biohazard. The University will include information about whether it is safe to pick up students as part of its emergency communications.

In a major event, the University makes every effort to communicate with parents and the internal University community about emergencies before informing the broader public. Our goal is that you always hear news about your student first and directly from a University official.

General Public

In the event of an emergency on campus, the University uses the mainstream media to publicize class and event cancellations. Cancellations are also posted here.

RADIO: KROX (AM 1260) Crookston

TELEVISION: WDAZ (Channel 8); KVLY (Channel 11)

VOICE MESSAGES will be left on campus telephones and the automated attendant at 218-281-6510.

E-MAIL MESSAGES will be sent to the campus Faculty/Staff and Student distribution lists.

In the event of a major emergency on campus, the public is asked to stay away from campus. An evacuation during business hours could tie up traffic around the University and on adjacent freeways.

The campus phone system could be difficult to access during a major event. For information, listen to local news broadcasts or check the UMC Today page.

If there is a specific role for the general public to play in disaster or emergency recovery efforts at the University, a call for volunteers will be issued through the media.


Providing timely, honest and accurate information during an emergency is one of the University's highest priorities. Every effort is made to give members of the media credible information as quickly as possible.

In some cases, it may be necessary to inform members of the University community or family members of certain news before we make information available to the general public.

A member of the University Relations staff is reachable 24 hours a day by cell phone. Call the Office of University Relations at 218-281-8438 for more information.

During an emergency, information is communicated to the media through briefings, news conferences and in writing. The University makes every effort to have a University administrator or the person closest to the incident available for interviews. All written information is posted on the University of Minnesota Crookston Homepage.

The University has emergency response plans similar to those in any public agency. For a major emergency an incident command post is established and a public information officer designated. If the incident is large or ongoing, an Emergency Operations Center may be established as well.

As in all emergencies, please do not cross police safety tape, block traffic lanes, or otherwise interfere with first responders.

The City of Crookston Police Department responds to incidents on campus. The local fire department responds to fires and health emergencies.

SAFE-U Emergency Notification

SAFE-U Emergency Notification

SAFE-U Emergency Notification

SAFE-U logoSAFE-U (formerly known as TXT-U) is the University of Minnesota's emergency notification text messaging system. It uses the Everbridge platform and allows the University to effectively communicate with students, staff, faculty, and visitors in emergency situations. If you received TXT-U messages in the past, you have been automatically opted into SAFE-U. The system is in use on all five campuses of the U of M, and messages are campus-specific. Students, faculty, and staff are automatically registered to receive messages from the campus where you are primarily affiliated.

Visit SAFE-U's Self Help Guide and learn how to add numbers or update your phone number.

SAFE-U emergency messages are sent to alert students, faculty, and staff on-campus during dangerous conditions. For example, severe storm warnings, building evacuations, or equal threats of danger. While SAFE-U retains information privacy the service also comes at no charge to students. However, cell phone carrier text plan rates and fees may vary upon the current text message package assigned. 

Learn more about SAFE-U at safe-u.umn.edu,

Additional Resources

Policies and Procedures

Department Faculty & Staff

Department Faculty & Staff

Assistant to the Chancellor
(218) 281-8343

Emergency Preparedness

University of Minnesota Crookston

2-C Kiser Building

2900 University Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

PHONE: 218-281-8300



M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm