University of Chicago Emergency Management Program

The University’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) is a programmatic approach to emergency management that stresses:

  •    Hazard analysis
  •    Planning
  •    Training
  •    Exercising
  •    Corrective action

The program is cyclical in nature. It sets goals to develop responder capabilities required for commonly occurring hazards. This is accomplished by developing plans, training responders on procedures identified within plans, exercising and analyzing the performance of responders in the execution of those procedures, and incorporating lessons learned back into planning to improve capability.

Director’s Message

The University of Chicago is a world-renown academic and research facility situated on a 215 acre campus in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, near the shores of Lake Michigan. In addition to its Hyde Park campus, the University owns and manages a state-of-the-art medical center, has established partnerships with various research institutions throughout the country, and conducts academic and research activities from campuses all over the world. In total, the University instructs more than 15,000 students and employs more than 2,000 faculty members and 8,000 staff members.

Due to its broad mission and diversified programs, the University of Chicago is subject to the effects of multiple natural, technological, and human-caused hazards. To prepare the University for these threats, the Emergency Management program was created.

The University’s Emergency Management Program is tasked with preparing, responding, recovering, and mitigating against the variety of hazards that can jeopardize the safety of University students, employees, and visitors, and threaten to damage University property and assets. The Emergency Management Program coordinates with many internal and external partners to leverage the collective skills and resources of the University to provide a safe environment.

Through working with our partners we are able to plan for emergencies, train personnel on the skills needed to respond to threats, and exercise these skills to identify lessons learned and best practices. It is this approach that continues to expand our capability to protect the University and maintain its ability to support innovation and learning.

Please feel free to read the emergency management website to learn the steps the University has taken to prepare for an emergency, what you can do to ensure your safety during an event, and what role we all play in emergency response.

Emergency Management Resources

Social Media

The University has Twitter and Facebook feeds that can disseminate messages to large audiences in the event of an emergency. Information related to threats and where and how to receive assistance can be provided through these feeds.


cAlert is the University’s mass notification system. The cAlert system has the ability to disseminate information to anyone registered within the system instantaneously. The cAlert system can send messages by text, phone call, pager, or email until the recipient has acknowledged the message was received.

Internal Notification System

The University’s Internal public address system is installed in more than a dozen facilities that have large public gathering areas. The internal public address system can remotely broadcast emergency notification messages through pre-recorded, text to speech, and live broadcast methods.

Emergency Operations Center

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a scalable command center situated in a secure location. The EOC is large enough to accommodate dozens of response partners, has internet capability, and can monitor informational updates from emergency partners and the media.

Emergency Communications Center

The Emergency Communication Center is staffed 24 hours a day and has the ability to receive emergency calls, notify the University of Chicago Police Department and 911 of an emergency, and monitor certain areas of the campus remotely from video cameras situated in strategic locations.

Emergency Phones

The University has more than 300 emergency phones located throughout campus. Emergency phones connect directly to the University’s dispatch center and can be used to report emergencies. Additionally, some emergency phones have the ability to broadcast messages to the surrounding area and have cameras to monitor the area.

Access Control

The University has the capability to control access to facility entrances through an ID card activated access control system. Access to doors can be controlled and locked remotely.