Introduction/Promulgation Statement

The University of Northern Iowa (university) considers the safety of our staff, students, and visitors a primary mission. To accomplish this mission, the university must ensure its operations are performed efficiently with minimal disruption, especially during an emergency. The coordination and consolidation of the many emergency plans existing with individual departments will allow a clear understanding of roles, responsibilities, and expectations across all areas of our campus.  

The creation of this plan fulfills the requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, 1910.38 Emergency Action Plans. More importantly, it provides consistency between departments and provides direction to ensure that the university will be able to continue operations and minimize consequences the appropriate planning, training, and exercise efforts. This plan is available for all employees to review electronically at or a hard copy may be reviewed in the office suite of Risk Management (3219 Hudson Road) or Public Safety (Gilchrist Hall). 

Questions concerning this plan should be directed to the University of Northern Iowa Emergency Management, 319-273-2712.

Helen M. Haire
Director and Chief of Police

Approval & Implementation

The University of Northern Iowa Emergency Operation Plan (plan) is intended for use with all university facilities. Though many of the incident specific or procedural actions (i.e. fire, tornado, evacuation, shelter-in-place, etc.) provide general responses that apply to any facility.

We recognize that many facilities or departments have previously developed plans, or intended to develop plans, that identify specific roles and responsibilities, evacuation routes and other important information. It is important to ensure that these plans do not conflict with this plan or the plans of other departments. To avoid confusion, any existing or future plans related to disaster, crisis, or emergency response must be presented to, and approved by, the University of Northern Iowa Emergency Manager prior to implementation.

Each action contains information that describes content of that section and how it can be used, identifies steps that can be taken to mitigate potential damage or injury that may be incurred during a disaster, and may include expectations and responsibilities that have been identified for administrators and staff during an event.  

This plan supersedes all other Emergency Operation Plans for the University of Northern Iowa. This plan is intended to remain evergreen. Changes are expected as new potential threats are identified and mitigation strategy change to improve security posture. To ensure that continuity exist in how changes are achieved, all proposed changes will be managed by the University of Northern Iowa Emergency Management. 

Planning Assumptions

  • Emergencies or disasters, man-made or natural, may impact the University of Northern Iowa at any time.
  • There is no way to predict every type of disaster that may occur on campus.
  • There is no way to eliminate all injuries or damage that may occur as a result of disasters that occur on campus.  
  • UNI Policy 1.08 Line of Administrative Authority establishes the line of administrative authority in order to administer university operations in the event of an emergency.
  • Leadership and employees will continue to recognize their responsibilities to public safety and exercise their authority to implement this plan in a timely manner when confronted with an incident.
  • The lives of staff, students and others on campus may be lost due to significant mortality associated with injuries or disease that occur during disasters.
  • Employees may be psychologically impacted by disaster, disease, family concerns, concerns about economic loss or fear in general.
  • Communications systems and information sharing that support essential functions during normal day-to-day activities may not be available during a disaster.
  • The University of Northern Iowa may need to rely on outside assistance and volunteers in the response and recovery process.
  • If properly implemented, this plan will reduce or prevent disaster-related losses.
  • This plan is part of a broader emergency planning process/structure that includes the continuity of all essential functions for the University of Northern Iowa.

Emergency Communications

The emergency communications section of this plan is designed as a guide for communicating critical information to campus constituents during emergencies where there is a requirement to alert individuals of situations which may pose a threat to injury and/or the loss of life.

Delivery of emergency communications have been developed in consultation with the University of Northern Iowa Emergency Management and University Relations.

Section Objective

The objective of emergency communications is to prepare the quick and accurate dissemination of information for the safety of all University of Northern Iowa constituents. The intent of the section is to provide initial notification, ongoing updates and post incident information ensuring that all university constituents are notified, aware and informed.

Framework of Emergency Communications

The following outlines considerations related to the deployment of mass notification systems for alerting individuals of emergency events:

  • Emergencies can occur with little to no warning. As a result of the campus layout, individuals may not be readily aware of potential threats that may impact their safety and well-being.
  • This plan’s communication section is designed to work with established communications platforms to receive and convey critical messaging quickly and accurately to University of Northern Iowa constituents.  
  • Emergency communications and messaging will provide to University of Northern Iowa constituents immediate and necessary information and appropriately direct individuals regarding actions to take throughout the emergency event.
  • The University of Northern Iowa, through this communications section, will endeavor to ensure timely and accurate information is provided concerning emergency incidents and to not convey information which is speculative or may lead to confusion and/uncertainty.

Communications Resources

Each of the following resources has a unique and specific use for emergency communications. Emergency communication resources my include, but not limited to:

  • Radios (UNI Public Safety Radios are Iowa State Interoperable Communications System (ISICS) compatible and programmable)
  • Public Address (PA/intercom/speaker system)
  • Website
  • Social Networking
  • Alarms (Fire and critical systems)
  • UNI Alert
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Media


Level 1 - Routine Incidents
Routine Incidents are those which can be managed within university resources (security, facilities, IT, etc.) and for which there is no immediate threat to life safety or critical infrastructure. Although no imminent threat, there may be a requirement to provide information to the university constituents and, depending on the event, to keep individuals away from the affected area. Messaging for these scenarios will be sent through the university’s mass communication network using language prepared for release by the University of Northern Iowa Emergency Management and University Relations. 

Level 2 - Emergency Incidents 

Emergency Incidents are situations which require emergency services in collaboration with university services (Cedar Falls Police Service, Cedar Falls Fire, Paramedic Service, or others as required). These incidents have the potential to cause, or have caused, a disruption to normal operations — and the potential of injuries or damage to infrastructure is likely to or has occurred. 

In these types of events, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) may be activated.

Critical information relating to emergency incidents will be communicated through established messaging protocol including UNI mass communication messaging (UNI Alert), the UNI website, internal email, UNI social media channels and established media protocols.

Level 3 – Disaster-level Incidents 

Disaster-level Incidents are significant and involve major disruption to university operations, including serious injuries and/or loss of life and critical infrastructure. Disaster-level Incidents are well beyond the university’s capacity to manage on its own and require a full activation of the University Emergency Operation Plan. Emergency communications will flow through the established messaging protocol, and there will also be significant involvement of the Senior Leadership Team, the Emergency Operations Center and First Responder Teams operating under the provisions of the Incident Command Management System.
Disaster-level Incidents require continuous information involving all aspects of emergency communications, including: 

  • The development of key outbound messages for pre-approval by the President or designee; 
  • The coordination of news conferences and/or news releases with final approval of messaging, is done through the President or designee; 
  • Updating the media throughout the emergency event; 
  • The development of messaging for operators at the call center or “hotline”; 
  • Continuous updating of the university’s website for dissemination of information and guidance related to the emergency event for faculty, staff, students and their families;
  • Designating a “site” representative, if needed, at the emergency event to serve as the media manager and working in partnership with emergency responder services; and/or 
  • Convening a communication working group (if required) established by the Communications Director or designee to assist the Information Officer with the development of key messaging and dissemination.

Post-Incident Communications

The Senior Leadership Team, in consultation with the EOC and/or Emergency Services, will determine when an emergency incident has concluded and regular communications may resume. Although the emergency may have subsided, it will still be necessary to inform university constituents and stakeholders about recovery efforts and other supports/services to deal with the after-effects of the emergency incident. These messages will typically be conveyed through the use of the university’s established messaging protocol and apparatus.

Training & Maintenance


As outlined under 29 CFR 1910.38(e), UNI Police Officers are designated, and have received training, to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees.

As outlined under 29 CFR 1910.38(f), employees will review or exercise this plan:

  • Upon development of this plan
  • Upon new hire
  • If their responsibilities change under the plan
  • If there are material changes to this plan, these changes will be communicated to all employees.
  • During training and exercises as required by law.  This may include tornado drills or active threat drills


This is a living document and subject to regular review and updating, including:

  • Changes in operational methods (equipment, software, etc.)
  • Key contacts and lists
  • Additional supporting documents (templates, checklists, etc.) 

Threat Analysis & Prioritization

It is impossible to anticipate all possible threats that may be faced by the University of Northern Iowa. To ensure that those threats that are most probable, carry the potential for the greatest consequence, and have the potential to jeopardize the university’s ability to perform essential functions key staff and public safety personnel for the university have completed an evaluation of known threats and prioritized those requiring immediate attention.  
It is understood that as these threats are addressed and mitigation measures are taken, the list of threats or prioritization of threats may change over time. An established timeline for plan review, at least annually, will ensure that this list remains current and applicable.  

A number of sources were used to establish a list of potential threats. This includes information received from Black Hawk County Emergency Management’s local hazard mitigation plan, threat information from the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation crime statistics and analysis, University of Northern Iowa staff and other open source materials. A list of potential threats was developed and methodically evaluated by university staff.  

The evaluation criteria used to develop a prioritized threat list included probability (how likely it is that this event may occur), consequence (consequence includes information on injury or loss of life, damage to property, or business interruption), and preparedness (internal planning, internal response capability, and external response capability).  

The result of this evaluation provided the following threat priority list:

Threat Rank (high, medium, low)
Tornado or strong winds High
Pandemic/human disease High
Active shooter/active threat High
Terrorism High
Infrastructure failure High
Fire Medium
Extreme temperature Medium
Dam or levee failure Medium
Severe winter storms Medium
Thunderstorms, hail & lightning Medium
Hazardous materials Low
Flash flooding Low
River flooding Low

Incident Driven & Procedural Actions

The outcome of the threat analysis provided the background and information necessary to identify both incident specific and procedural actions to assist in the mitigation of these and other disasters. These actions should be considered components that can be used by staff, students, and others to help address potential threats to persons and property.  

Incident Specific:

  • Active Shooter/Active Threat
  • Bomb Threat
  • Civil Unrest
  • Fire
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Natural Gas
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Severe Weather
  • Suspicious Mail or Package
  • Workplace Safety & Security


  • Reporting
  • Evacuation
  • Shelter-In-Place/Lockdown

Active Shooter/Active Threat

Though there are no safety guarantees in an active threat situation, the University of Northern Iowa is dedicated to the safety of all employees, students, and visitors. Active threat situations are very dynamic and quickly evolving situations. It’s important to react quickly and decisively if faced with an active threat situation.  

Employees should report threats of violence or perceived threats and safety concerns to:

  • Their immediate  supervisor or management
  • In the event of immediate danger, Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or Cedar Falls Police at 911
  • Remember, all threats or perceived threats should be taken seriously

Signs of Potential Violence

In most cases, indicators of an active threat situation existed prior to the event. Potential indicators of violent behavior can include the following:

  • An entitled or blaming view of disputes with the organization
  • Unsettling references to other incidents of violence or fascination with prior violent incidents
  • Regular threats to physically harm themselves or commit suicide
  • Direct or indirect statements to harm or kill others
  • Inappropriate outbursts, can’t control impulsive behavior
  • Excessive focus on firearms, weapons, or military gear
  • Physical or behavioral signs of substance abuse
  • Obsessive behavior toward others or a specific issue
  • Persistent unwanted contact of others
  • Gestures of violence toward self or others
  • Physical aggression or intimidation
  • Frequent misinterpretation of others’ behaviors (views as personal attacks)
  • Unrealistic fears of being mistreated by others
  • Changes or losses in personal support system
  • Recent loss of a primary relationship or child custody
  • Financial, legal or employment troubles
  • Uncharacteristic absences or withdrawal

It is important to remember that any one of these characteristics may not mean anything but a compilation of signs could indicate potential violent behavior. If you recognize these characteristics in a co-worker, friend, family member or others, you should report the behavior. 

Options for Consideration

Based on your situation here are some options to consider:


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call UNI Police, 273-2712 or 911 when you are safe


If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door) Try to put as many barriers as possible between you and the active shooter.
  • Do not trap you or restrict your ability to move if at all possible.  Learn your facility and know the areas that you can lock doors that also offer an alternate exit
  • Take steps to prevent the shooter from entering your hiding place:
  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone or mobile device
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen


As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your action

Bomb Threat

The procedures for responding to bomb threats are established under UNI Policy 7.03 Bomb Threats. ALL bomb threats must be taken seriously until they are assessed. The Senior Leadership Team and UNI Police are responsible for assessing the threat. The decision to evacuate rests with the university in cooperation with emergency responders.

Responding to a telephone bomb threat:

  • Use the Bomb Threat form to document the threat
  • Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or 911 to notify law enforcement
  • Consult with first responders on credibility of the threat

Responding to a written bomb threat:

  • Save the threat document and all materials associated with the threat, including any envelopes, containers, samples of handwriting or, paper and postal marks
  • Handle these items as little as possible
  • If possible, place all items in an envelope or box to protect them

If the threat is determined to be credible:

  • Implement appropriate lockdown procedures
  • Scan office or designated areas for suspicious items
  • Do Not touch any suspicious devices, packages, etc. If a device is located, it should be pointed out to emergency responders
  • Limit the use of cellular phones, two-way radios, or fire alarm system
  • Determine if evacuation should be initiated

If an evacuation is initiated:

  • Notify employees of need to evacuate
  • Do not use cell phones, two-way radios, or fire alarm system because of risk of activating a device
  • Ensure evacuation routes and area(s) are clear of suspicious items

**When responding to a bomb threat, law enforcement and first responders generally will not search a building unless requested. It is unlikely that law enforcement would recognize a that a bag, package, or other items that could contain a device is out of place or unusual to your facility.

Civil Unrest

Freedom of speech and expression are required by, and legally supported and explained in the U.S. and State of Iowa constitutions, federal and State law, federal and state court decisions, and Board of Regents, State of Iowa (BOR) and university policies. As outlined in UNI Policy 13.10 Freedom of Speech and Expression/First Amendment, the university has a responsibility to ensure freedom of speech and expression is lawfully supported and protected. Protection and promotion of freedom of expression is crucial in implementing the UNI mission statement. In addition, freedom of expression is an important aspect of each goal that supports the university’s mission and strategic plan, i.e., the unifying goal of “student success”, and the supporting goals of “diversity and inclusion”, “campus vitality”, and “community engagement”. 

On rare occasions demonstrations can turn into situations requiring actions. 

If a demonstration is near, but not at your building:

  • Monitor the situation and make decisions based on developing information

If the demonstration is at your building:​

  • Consider securing valuables, sensitive information and non-public areas


Procedures for Reporting a Fire

As outlined in the university’s Fire Safety Policy 7.04 and Reporting an Emergency Section of this EOP, in the event of a fire individuals should activate the fire alarm system on their way out of the building and dial 911. 

Procedures for Evacuation

Follow the steps outlined in the Evacuation Section of this EOP.

Specifically at it relates to fire, the following additional steps will help to protect persons and property: 

    • If alarm sounds, immediately follow your evacuation procedures
      • Immediate and total evacuation is mandatory whenever a fire alarm is activated
    • If you see or smell smoke and there is no alarm:
      • Leave now and tell others to leave
      • Pull the fire alarm
      • Let your supervisor know
    • Follow planned routes or emergency exit signs
    • If you reach smoke or fire, find an alternate route
    • If caught in smoke, get low to the ground, crawl if necessary. Breathe through clothing as a filter
    • If clothing or hair catches on fire; STOP, DROP, and ROLL
    • Get outside to a safe assembly location and let others know you are okay
    • Always follow emergency instructions and do not return until the “ALL CLEAR” has been given

If your exit is blocked:

  • Find another exit
  • Call 911 and advise them of your situation and location
  • If smoke is entering room, if possible, place wet towels or clothing under door
  • Breathe through your nose and use your shirt or jacket as a filter

Related Programs

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written Fire Safety Plan in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.39. The purpose of this plan is the prevent injury or loss of life and protect property that may be damaged by fire. It provides employees with information and guidelines that will assist them in recognizing, reporting and controlling fire hazards.

Hazardous Materials

In the event of a hazardous material incident inside your building:

  • Call UNI Police or 911 and notify management
  • Report location and type (if known) of the hazardous material
  • Move employees away from the immediate zone
  • Report any employees missing or injured
  • If safe, close doors to the affected area
  • Develop an action plan with emergency responders (e.g., evacuation, shelter-in-place, shutdown HVAC system)

In the event of a hazardous material incident outside of your building:

  • Call UNI Police or 911 and notify management
  • Report location and type (if known) of hazardous material
  • Move employees away from the immediate vicinity of the danger
  • Develop an action plan with emergency responders
  • Avoid turning on and off lights or other electrical appliances

Related Programs

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written Hazard Communication Program in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1200. The purpose of this program is to establish minimum safe procedures and guidelines for employees working with hazardous chemicals or materials.

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written Laboratory and Studio Chemical Program in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1450. The purpose of this program is to ensure each employee’s safety and health from hazardous chemicals or materials in laboratory and studio facilities.

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written Hazardous Waste Management Manual in accordance with EPA and OSHA regulations. The purpose of this manual is to assist university employees and students with the safe management and disposal of hazardous materials.

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written DOT Hazmat Security Plan in accordance with 49 CFR 172. The purpose of this plan to address potential security risks associated with the shipment of hazardous materials.

Natural Gas

The University of Northern Iowa has developed a written Natural Gas Odor Procedure. The purpose of this program is to protect students, faculty, staff, guests and property from the hazards associated with natural gas.

Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies can occur at any time. Common causes include accidents or pre-existing medical conditions. The role of employees in a medical emergency is to provide care to the victim until first responders arrive. Employees should NOT provide any first aid beyond their training. Often the person experiencing the emergency does not acknowledge, or denies, the situation is serious. If in doubt, take immediate action.

If you become aware of a medical emergency in your area:

  • DO NOT move the victim(s), especially if you suspect a head or neck injury, unless safety is a concern
  • Before providing any assistance, employees should survey the scene for additional hazards and ensure it is safe to render aid
  • Check victim for medical alert bracelet or necklace
  • Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or 911 when it is safe to do so
  • Be prepared to give the dispatch operator the following information:
    • Your name
    • Phone Number
    • Location
    • Description of the problem and patient information if available
  • Send someone to meet emergency personnel and show them to the location
  • Comfort the victim and reassure them that medical attention is on the way
  • Assist emergency personnel with pertinent information about the incident
  • Remain with the victim until trained help arrives
  • Report incident to your supervisor
  • Supervisor should contact EHS at 319-273-5800 in the event of fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye.

Severe Weather

Severe weather, such as tornados and high winds are all too common in Iowa. It’s important to remember the distinction between watches and warnings and know what to do when one of the weather events are identified in our area. 

Remember the following: 

  • Watches indicate that conditions are right for development of a weather hazard. Watches provide advance notice.
  • Warnings indicate that a hazard has been identified in the area and impact is imminent.

If a tornado or severe thunderstorm WATCH includes all or part of the area of the university’s location:

  • Monitor National Weather Service or other weather service. (e.g. weather radio, all-hazard or emergency alert radio, media)
  • Notify nearby employees, students, and guests
  • Consider moving all persons inside building
  • Review severe weather sheltering procedures and location of shelter areas for your building. Storm shelters can be found at 

If a tornado or severe thunderstorm WARNING has been issued or a tornado has been spotted near the campus:

  • Continue to monitor weather sources
  • Provide any updated information to employees
  • Close doors
  • Locate student roster
  • Take shelter immediately (pre-designated or away from outside windows and walls)
  • Shelter areas are interior restrooms or rooms away from exterior walls and windows and hallways on the south side of the building
  • Crouch low to the floor
  • When wind strikes, cover your neck and head
  • Stay away from windows until all clear is given
  • In the event of building damage, evacuate employees to safer areas
  • If evacuation does occur, do not re-enter the building until an “All Clear” signal is issued


Lightning is the deadliest weather event and can strike miles away from a thunderstorm and up to 30 minutes after.

  • Stay inside
  • If you do find yourself outside this situation and feel your hair stand on end (indicator of a lightning strike) 
  • Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet
  • Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees
  • Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground
  • DO NOT lie flat on the ground


Flooding is very dangerous and causes many deaths each year.

  • DO NOT attempt to walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall
  • If you must walk through standing water, consider using a long object to check the firmness of the ground in front of you
  • DO NOT drive into flooded areas, a foot of water will cause many vehicles to float
  • If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away

Alert Iowa

Sign up to receive weather alerts from Alert Iowa. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, an alert will be sent to the phone number and/or email address provided by voice, text and/or email. This is a free service provided by Black Hawk County and the State of Iowa, however, normal message fees may apply. To receive text messages to your cell phone, your cell phone must have text messaging capabilities. Notifications are dependent upon external providers and receipt of notifications by the intended recipient cannot be guaranteed. 

Additional Information

Individuals can visit for more information on emergency preparedness.

Suspicious Mail or Package

Characteristics of a suspicious package or letter include excessive postage or excessive weight; mis­spellings of common words; oily stains, discolorations, or odor; no return address or a city or state postmark that does not match the return address; or a package that is not anticipated by someone in the building; or is not sent by a known vendor.

If you receive a suspicious package or letter by mail or delivery service:

  • DO NOT OPEN package or letter
  • Notify your supervisor
  • Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or call 911
  • Limit access to the area where the suspicious letter or package is located to minimize the number of people who might directly handle it
  • Preserve evidence for law enforcement

If a letter/package contains a written threat but no suspicious substance:

  • Notify your supervisor
  • Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or call 911
  • Limit access to the area in which the letter or package was opened to minimize the number of people who might directly handle it
  • Preserve evidence for law enforcement

If a letter or package is opened and contains a suspicious substance:

  • Notify your supervisor
  • Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or call 911
  • Limit access to the area in which the letter or package
  • was opened to minimize the number of people who might directly handle it
  • Isolate the people who have been exposed to the substance to prevent or minimize contamination
  • Turn the letter or package over to law enforcement
  • Consult with emergency officials to determine:
    • Need for decontamination of the area and the people exposed to the substance
    • Need for evacuation or shelter-in-place

Workplace Safety & Security

Situational awareness is a foundation for general safety and security in any situation. It is important to recognize changes in our environment and identify any potential threat as soon as possible to help make good decisions on options that may be available. The following general safety and security tips are intended to help improve security posture no matter where we are.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. It is all right to be cautious around suspicious, strange, or unusual individuals, situations, and objects. It is important to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Many times, our subconscious recognizes a potential threat and gives us indicators long before we identify where the threat is coming from. Report suspicious or unusual individuals, situations, or objects to your manager. If you feel threatened or if you feel that you are in imminent danger, immediately call UNI Police at 273-2712 or 911.
  • If you notice an unauthorized person in your work area, acknowledge the person and ask if they require assistance. Do not take “no” for an answer; follow-up by ensuring that the person is authorized to be there. If you are uncomfortable approaching the person, unable to approach the person, or if the person acts in a suspicious or strange manner when you approach them, immediately Call UNI Police at 273-2712 or 911 and then report to your manager.
  • Theft is often a crime of opportunity. Do not leave purses or wallets unattended in plain view. Always keep medication with you or in a locked desk. 
  • Clear your desk of any valuable personal or company property at the end of each day and secure it in a locked desk drawer or file cabinet. Ensure you lock all of your desk drawers and file cabinets when they are unattended.
  • Ensure all laptop computers, storage devices and other items of value that can be easily carried away are secured when unattended.
  • Never prop open doors that normally remain secured. Do not allow “piggybacking” through secure doors or when exiting elevators on secure floors of your building. Safeguard company keys or access cards the same way you would safeguard your home or car keys.
  • Develop the practice of inspecting your work area daily. This will help you identify suspicious items or other things that are out of the ordinary. Report anything unusual.
  • When arriving for work, ensure you park your car in a well-lit area (if it is daylight, park near light poles or other sources of light). This is especially important in the winter months. When leaving work, survey the parking area for suspicious individuals or vehicles before existing the building. If you note something suspicious, trust your instincts and DO NOT LEAVE. When possible, walk to your car with a friend or in groups. Keep an eye out for each other and help ensure your co-workers get to their cars and leave the area safely.

Reporting an Emergency

As required under 29 CFR 1910.38(c)(1), and outlined in the university’s Fire Safety Policy 7.04, in the event of a fire individuals should activate the fire alarm system on their way out of the building and dial 911. In the event of an emergency, other than fire, dial 911 and a dispatcher will connect you to the appropriate party.


Students, faculty, and staff must evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds. Emergency evacuation is the urgent immediate egress or escape of people away from an area that contains an imminent threat, an ongoing threat, or a hazard to lives or property. It’s important to remember that evacuation may not always be the appropriate response. If you are advised to evacuate by emergency response personnel, if there is an imminent threat of harm to your person if you remain in the area, or if there is the potential for personal injury if you remain, evacuation may be the best option. 

Procedures for Emergency Evacuation

As required under 29 CFR 1910.38(c)(2), and outlined in the following section and the university’s Fire Safety Policy 7.04, the following evacuation procedures have been developed. 

Building evacuation exit routes and evacuation chair locations can be found below:

Procedures for specific type of evacuations are listed below.

Non-Residential Building

Students, faculty, and staff must evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds using the nearest exit or the exit farthest from the fire or smoke and not re-enter a building until authorized by UNI police officers. 

  • Close all windows and doors, if possible, prior to leaving the room. 
  • DO NOT use any elevator during building evacuation. 
  • Individuals with disabilities not on ground level during a fire evacuation should go to the nearest stairwell making sure any fire doors are closed behind them. 

Each supervisor should be aware of any physically impaired personnel in their work areas and any special assistance needed to safely evacuate them. Persons with disabilities who may require assistance in an emergency evacuation and their supervisor(s) should prepare a personal evacuation plan. This applies to all forms of impairments and whether it is permanent or temporary. When a fire is reported, the caller should inform emergency personnel of any persons with disabilities inside the building. The university or Cedar Falls police and/or fire personnel will check stairwells as soon as possible after arriving to assist persons with disabilities. The university has placed evacuation chairs in most campus buildings to assist if needed.

Residential Building

Students, faculty and staff must evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds using the nearest exit or the exit farthest from the fire or smoke and not re-enter a building until authorized by UNI police officers. 

  • Residents in residence hall rooms should turn off lights, close windows, and close and lock the door. 
  • DO NOT use any elevator during building evacuation. 
  • Residents in residential buildings who are not capable of exiting the room without assistance of another should remain in their room until firefighters arrive to assist them.  
  • Residence Hall Professional Staff, Resident Assistants and other personnel shall have a list of rooms where residents are located and provide that information immediately to the first firefighters to arrive.

Procedures for Employees who Remain to Operate Critical Operations before the Evacuate 1910.38(c)(3)

Critical operations are operations that are important to the safety of others. Some of those operations are the safe operation and shutdown of the power plant, boilers, and dispatch. 

  • Staff may be instructed by UNI Police or Supervisory Staff to re-enter or remain in the building once an alarm has been activated to perform critical shut down of operations, only if safe to do so.
  • Utility Plant Operators will shut down equipment and make it safe.
  • Immediately after critical duties are performed, the staff must proceed to the closest and safest exit.
  • Once evacuated from the building, Critical Operations Staff are not to re-enter the building until the “all clear” is given by UNI Police.

Procedures to Account for all Employees after Evacuation 1910.38(c)(4)

It is a supervisor’s responsibility to account for all employees in their area:

  • Taking a roll call or phoning/radioing staff to make sure all employees are accounted for.
  • Report any unaccounted for staff to UNI Police

Procedures to be Followed by Employees Performing Rescue or Medical Duties 1910.38(c)(5)

UNI Police are the designated first responders to emergencies at the university and will help with and direct all rescue and medical duty assignments upon their arrival on site.

Cedar Falls Fire Rescue may be called to assist. Until their arrival, emergency first aid skills and techniques may voluntarily be used by those who have been trained in first aid procedures.


Shelter-in-place may be required for a variety of reasons including: hazardous materials release outside of the building, acts of violence in the vicinity of the building (this should be accompanied by instructions to lock exterior doors and prevent anyone from entering or exiting the building), or other emergencies in which the potential for harm is greater outside of the building than inside the building. 

Shelter locations can be found below:

Additional Instructions

Additional instructions will be issued via UNI Alert and other available emergency notification systems/methods. If you are outside when you receive the alert, seek shelter inside.

While in shelter-in-place mode:

  • Stay away from windows and doors
  • If possible, find an interior room away from outside walls
  • Remain calm
  • Continue to monitor for additional information on the situation
  • DO NOT leave the building until advised by an emergency response agency that it is all right to do so

If you are sheltering from an exterior active threat:

  • Lock and/or barricade the exterior doors
  • Block or cover the windows
  • Shut off interior lights
  • As much as possible, make it look like no one is in the room

Prior to an event:

  • Think about those things you will need in an extended shelter in place event
  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Medication