Emergency Communication Systems


The purpose of this policy is to clarify and delineate responsibilities and authority for communications with the campus community during various campus emergencies. This policy addresses who has responsibility and authority to authorize and trigger the use of emergency communication systems intended to inform the campus community of verified situations that pose an imminent or ongoing threat to health/life/safety. Such communications would include information necessary to increase the safety and security of the campus community and the general campus environment.


This policy applies to all members of the campus community.


The Chancellor and/or his/her designees have the ultimate authority on the use of or decision to send emergency communications.

As the senior public safety official, the Executive Director of Public Safety, and his/her designees, may initiate the use of any and all communication mechanisms deemed appropriate in support of the safety of the campus community or in response to a campus emergency.


The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is committed to a safe and nonviolent environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors. The actions of the University in response to a campus emergency and/or disaster must place the safety of human life above all other concerns. The procedures for responding to a campus emergency and/or disaster will be guided by this principle. If a condition arises that presents an imminent threat to health/life/safety of the campus community, the campus will utilize any/all communication resources available to mitigate the situation as efficiently and safely as possible. The University will rely on multiple duplicative emergency communication systems as deemed appropriate in order to disseminate timely communications during an emergency and/or disaster. To the degree possible, all members of the campus community will be automatically provisioned to receive emergency communications.


  • DisasterAn occurrence or threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or technological cause, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, hazardous materials spill or other water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, epidemic, air contamination, blight, extended periods of severe and inclement weather, drought, infestation, critical shortages of essential fuels and energy, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, or acts of domestic terrorism [20 ILCS 3305/4].
  • EmergencyA sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action.
  • Emergency CommunicationAny informational notification, message or instruction pertaining to an ongoing campus emergency and/or disaster.


Suspicious behaviors and/or actions, violent acts and threat of violence should be reported to the campus police immediately by calling 9-1-1 (See Prevention and Response Planning).

In service of its commitment to the welfare, health and safety of all those in its campus community, the Division of Public Safety has developed and maintains a comprehensive Standard Operating Guideline that defines specific roles, responsibilities and procedures that shall be followed during an emergency and/or disaster that may affect campus. This Standard Operating Guideline is held within the Division of Public Safety.

The Executive Director of Public Safety is designated the following responsibilities under this policy:

  • The creation and maintenance of all emergency communication standards, procedures and is authorized to execute them.
  • Designating the official systems for emergency communications and the standards and procedures for their use and operation.
  • Documenting, communicating, and maintaining operations information (procedures, integration requirement, etc…) related to emergency communications.
  • Requiring, as appropriate, the integration of campus communication systems (such as web sites) with emergency communication systems.

The Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs is responsible for public statements, press releases, or other electronic means of disseminating information to the broader public about a campus emergency and/or disaster, including web publishing. The Office of Public Affairs also plays a consultative role, time permitting, in the creation of any emergency messages sent to the campus community.


Executive Director of Public Safety (police@illinois.edu)