Emergency Management FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The University has a comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to cover emergency situations from weather to pandemics. The plan provides guidelines for activating decision processes, gathering decision-makers and marshaling resources to address University-wide emergencies.

  • To report a University emergency call the University of Chicago Police Department from any on-campus telephone by dialing 123. Or dial 773.702.8181 from your cell phone.

  • A University-wide emergency is defined as an unplanned event that:

    1. Poses a serious threat to persons or property, and significantly disrupts normal operations

    2. Cannot be managed by routine response

    3. Requires a quick and coordinated response across multiple departments or divisions

  • The University is dependent on many interconnected services for the success of the day-to-day operations and has applied that same concept to the management of emergencies by creation of the Emergency Management Team (EMT). The University's EMT provides a framework within which essential units come together to coordinate the response to an emergency.

  • Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may have to evacuate. There are three response levels associated with an order to evacuate:

    • Level I Evacuation is total building or partial building evacuation due to conditions making it no longer safe to remain inside a building or a specific area in a building

    • Level II Evacuation is total or partial evacuation of certain sector(s) of campus due to conditions making it no longer safe to occupy buildings or areas in that area

    • Level III Evacuation is evacuation of the University of Chicago campus

    Evacuation may be prompted by the University’s cAlert system or by fire alarms, notification from building managers, safety teams, or other building occupants who are aware of an immediate danger. If you feel your safety is jeopardized and evacuating is an appropriate strategy given your circumstances, you do not need to wait for an official notification to evacuate.

  • cAlert is the University’s mass notification system. It is designed to provide rapid notifications and instructions to the campus community in the event of an emergency, via text message, voice calls, and email.

  • Visit calert.uchicago.edu to subscribe to cAlert to receive emergency alerts using any communications device, such as email, mobile phone, off-campus telephone or pager. If you are already subscribed, log in to edit or add contact information.

  • The emergency plan is updated as needed or at a minimum of once a year.

  • Whether natural or man-made, a disaster can strike at any time and in many ways. University students must become familiar with the emergency plan for their residence hall, residential building, and academic unit. University employees must become familiar with their own department's emergency plan. All members of the campus community are encouraged to create a personal emergency response plan to guide the communication and actions between you and your loved ones during a disaster.

  • In the event of an emergency, a University official will serve as spokesperson to ensure accurate and timely information is communicated to the public.