Statement Addressing Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

I. Policy Statement:
This policy establishes the emergency response and evacuation procedures for UCCS.
This policy has been established to ensure to the greatest extent possible the safety and
welfare of UCCS students and employees. This policy is aligned with, and in compliance with
the Higher Education Opportunity Act that requires all Title IV institutions, without exception, to
have and disclose emergency response procedures in response to a significant emergency or
dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or
employees occurring on the campus.

II. Scope:
The requirements set forth in this policy are only applicable to emergency or dangerous
situations occurring on campus. The institution may issue emergency notifications about
emergency or dangerous situations that occur in the broader community if institutional officials
determine that such notifications provide helpful or relevant information to the campus

III. Situation:

UCCS will, upon confirmation of an ongoing significant emergency or dangerous situation that
poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of campus community members,
immediately issue emergency notifications to the campus community. While it is impossible to
predict every significant or dangerous situation that may occur on campus, the following
identified situations shall warrant an emergency notification after confirmation.

a) Armed/Hostile Intruder
b) Bomb/Explosives (threat)
c) Communicable disease outbreak
d) Severe weather
e) Terrorist incident
f) Civil unrest
g) Natural disaster
h) Hazardous materials incident
i) Structure fires

University officials shall use their best, reasonable judgment in all other situations as to
whether an emergency notification is warranted. Situations that may create business,
academic or research interruptions, but do not pose a health or safety risk, do not necessitate
an emergency notification. Notifications about such situations will be facilitated by University
Communications and Media Relations with coordination of involved departments as appropriate.

Examples of such situations include:

a) Snow closures
b) Temporary building closures
c) Power outages

An emergency notification will not be issued upon confirmation if the notification will, or is likely

a) Compromise the efforts of first responders
b) Compromise efforts to assist the victim
c) Increase the vulnerability of campus safety
d) Compromise efforts to contain, respond to or otherwise mitigate the emergency

IV. Emergency Notification System

UCCS has a policy regarding the use of this Emergency Notification System for emergencies
that pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community as well as
weather-related campus closures or delays, such as snow closure. This system will not be
used for routine, non-emergency or non-urgent events.

The Emergency Notification System allows designated administrators (see graph on page 14)
to send emergency messages via text to cell phones, email, web site banners, UCCS
Emergency Management social media sites and select digital signage as well as select voice mails to
UCCS main desk areas and classrooms/labs. In the event of an emergency, the Emergency Notification
System will be one of the primary systems utilized to notify subscribers of the situation. All uccs.edu
email accounts are registered to receive alerts, and students' contact numbers entered in the MyUCCS
Portal can be used to text alerts unless they opt out during class registration. Additional mobile numbers
i.e. - parents or spouses, non-UCCS email addresses, and all staff, faculty, and affiliate information
should be entered via UCCSAlerts. Registration is free, and more information about the system can
be found at alerts.uccs.edu. For concerns or questions regarding UCCSAlerts, contact Emergency
Management at 255.3106, or via email at eprepare@uccs.edu

V. Confirmation of an Emergency or Dangerous Situation:

Reports of emergency or dangerous situations can originate from various sources including;

  • Reports from first responders
  • Reports from established warning points
  • Reports from other campus departments
  • Reports from citizens through 911 or 255-3111

Confirmation of these situations will occur through several different processes:

Criminal Nature:

Emergency or dangerous situations that are criminal in nature will be considered confirmed if a
law enforcement officer observes the situation as it is occurring. For situations that are criminal
in nature that are not apparent or not directly observed by law enforcement, confirmation will
be made by University Police command-level staff. Command-level staff will review the readily
available information and determine if there is enough information to reasonably conclude a
significant emergency or dangerous situation is occurring on campus. Command-level staff
may consult with additional departments and policy level personnel as practical without
jeopardizing life or safety.

Other Emergency or Dangerous Situations:

Confirmation of non-criminal situations will be determined after readily available information is
reviewed by campus emergency management, law enforcement or policy level personnel.

Established Warning Points:

Established warning points are considered entities with subject matter expertise on particular
hazards that may affect campus. When a warning is issued by one of these entities it is
considered confirmed, however, additional consultation with campus officials will occur as
practical without jeopardizing life or safety.

  • National Weather Service Warnings for weather events, flood events and wildfires
  • El Paso County Public Health Communicable disease/public health emergencies
  • Colorado Springs Fire Department Structure fire and hazardous material events

*This table is not all inclusive, but represents a sampling of established warning and
confirmation points.

VI. Population Notified/Segmented Notification:

With the exception of emergencies that are contained to one campus facility/area, the
University has decided not to provide segmented emergency notifications. This decision was
made based on the analysis of identified risks to the campus and to prevent accidental
exclusion of a segment of campus population for which the emergency notification was

In the situations when a single facility/area is involved, facility alarms, public address systems,
phone-trees, and other technologies of the facility may be utilized to provide warning. Campus
personnel may also provide warning if needed and feasible. Should a segmented emergency
notification be issued, on-going assessments of the situation will occur and a campus-wide
notification will be sent as necessary.

VII. Emergency Notification Content:

The content of an emergency notification will depend on the situation and the notification
method. However, the following information will be included in all initial emergency
notifications regardless of the situation or method:

- Specific location of the emergency
- A description of the situation (flash flood warning, dangerous situation, etc.)
- Relevant safety instructions (move to higher ground, shelter in place, etc.)

A fourth element of where to get more information (i.e., university website) will be included in
the initial notification if feasible. Because of text character limits, or the immediate availability
of information, the fourth element of where to get information may not always be included in
the initial emergency notification. Typically, more information will be provided on the
university website at http://www.uccs.edu.

Pre-scripted Emergency Notifications:

To the greatest extent possible, the institution will develop and utilize pre-scripted emergency
notifications that have been collaboratively developed and agreed upon by UCCS PD, campus
Emergency Management, University Communications and Media Relations and appropriate policy level personnel. The
development of these notifications facilitates faster dissemination. Pre-scripted notifications
have been developed primarily for the Emergency Notification System and the UCCS website.
During situations for which a pre-scripted notification has not been developed, the UCCS PD,
University Communications and Media Relations, or Information Technology, will be the primary
departments responsible for creating content (see below graph for further information on message
creation and dissemination responsibilities).

Additional content considerations:

As feasible, after the situation description, relevant instructions, and additional information
sources are provided, the following content should be considered for inclusion:

  • Campus operating status (open, closed, etc.)
  • Information update frequencies
  • Additional instructions that are not specific to life safety

Follow-up Information:

UCCS will use some or all of the systems above to communicate follow-up information to the
community as deemed necessary. An “all clear” notification should be sent at the conclusion of
a significant emergency or dangerous situation. These notifications should include campus
operating status if relevant.

VIII. Concept of Operations:

The primary method of issuing an emergency notification is the Emergency Notification
System. Additionally, the campus website is designed to accommodate increased traffic during
emergency situations so that both campus community members and the broader community
are provided with emergency notifications and information. The website will be the primary
point of information dissemination for the broader community, including parents.

The below graph represents a listing of primary and secondary systems available to the
campus for creation, approval, and dissemination of emergency messages:

Possible tools used to disseminate Emergency information may include:

Message Creator
Backup Message
Authority for approving
& sending messages
Primary Message Sender
Backup Message Sender
ENS: Text, email,
voice messages,
Social Media Sites
Public Safety University Communications and Media, IT EOC team member Public Safety University Communications and Media, IT
campus email

University Communications

and Media

EOC team member Public Safety University Communications and Media, IT
UCCS website Public

University Communications

and Media

EOC team member IT University Communications and Media
Notification System

University Communications

and Media

EOC team
Public Safety University Communications and Media
UCCS Official
Social media

University Communications 

& Media

EOC team
University Communications and Media Chancellor’s
Media release

University Communications &  Media

EOC team
University Communications and Media Chancellor’s
Flashnews Public
None Public Safety Public Safety None
Campus Closure
None Public Safety Public Safety Public
City of Colorado
Springs Reverse
911 system
University Communications and Media EOC team member City of
Department’s 2-
way radio system
None EOC team member Public Safety None
Police Vehicle
Public Address
None Public Safety Command. Public Safety None
Building PA Public
University Communications and Media EOC team member (when possible). Responsible
Building Manager
Poster/flyers Public
University Communications and Media Public Safety Public Safety Available
campus personnel.
University Communications and Media EOC team member Crimestoppers None
CSPD Community
University Communications and Media EOC team

IX. Emergency Response Organization

The campus maintains an Emergency Operations Plan that outlines responsibilities of campus
departments during emergencies. This plan outlines incident priorities, campus organization
and specific responsibilities of particular departments or positions. The Emergency Operations
Plan can be found at: http://www.uccs.edu/pusafety/emerplan.html.

University departments are responsible for developing emergency response and continuity of
operations plans for their areas and staff. Campus emergency management provides
resources and guidance for the development of these plans.

X. Emergency Response Education

Information about emergency response procedures is provided at the beginning of each
semester at student orientation, and it is re-emphasized throughout the year on a campuswide
basis as other relevant advisories are issued. Information on how to receive emergency
notifications is also located in the campus closure policy, which is provided electronically to the
entire campus community on an annual basis. Furthermore, the campus emergency
management website provides information and instructions about hazards that are likely to
affect campus.

a. Statement Addressing Testing Emergency Response

The Emergency Notification System alert system is tested a minimum of twice a year; other
tests are performed on individual and/or small-group basis. These tests will be received by a
test group rather than all Emergency Notification System users as text fees may apply. This
system is also used for weather-related closures or delay, allowing additional use of the
system in a non-emergency environment.

Fire alarm inspections and building evacuation drills are conducted twice annually by the
Environmental Health & Safety unit in conjunction with UCCS PD. These drills and exercises
are specifically designed by Public Safety to assess and evaluate campus emergency plans
and capabilities. Building emergency floor coordinators train annually on evacuation drills
along with other initial response scenarios. The campus Leadership Team also meets twice
annually to perform emergency exercises. Emergency e-mail messages and our
Emergency Notification System mass messaging system are tested several times each year.
Cross training with the City of Colorado Springs occurs once to twice annually. Each test on
campus will be documented by Public Safety, which will include the date, time, and whether
the test was announced or unannounced. Public Safety will publicize emergency response
and evacuation procedures in conjunction with at least one test per calendar year.

b. Statement Addressing Evacuation Procedures

An evacuation of part or all of the UCCS campus may be required before, during, or after a
significant incident, emergency, disaster or major disaster, or catastrophic incident as defined
in the UCCS Basic Emergency Operations Plan. An evacuation may constitute the movement
of people from one area of the campus to another, or it could require movement to an offcampus
location away from the hazards effecting an evacuation requirement. Such an
evacuation may lead to an eventual return to the campus, or may involve reunification and/or
mass transportation efforts in the event the return of people to the campus is not feasible.

i. General

1. The primary goal is a safe and orderly evacuation to save lives and allow
responding emergency personnel unimpeded access to address the campus

2. Identify specific areas of the campus to be evacuated, and where the
displaced people are to be sheltered (and by what method if beyond walking

3. Specify transportation pickup location(s) for mobility impaired persons.

4. The authority to issue a campus evacuation order rests with the Chancellor or
their designee; the authority to issue an order covering the area surrounding
and/or including the campus rests with the City according to its ordinances
and plans.

5. Alert shelters of the incident and evacuation plan, as well as the approximate
number of evacuees to be expected. This includes notifying shelter
operations organizations such as the American Red Cross.

6. The evacuation order should not be lifted until consultation is made between
the campus EOC, ICP, and the City EOC (if activated). The authority to lift a
campus evacuation order rests with the Chancellor or their designee; the
authority to lift an order covering the area surrounding and/or including the
campus, issued by the City, rests with the City according to its ordinances and

ii. Specific

1. The UCCS campus is divided into eight Evacuation Zones, hereinafter
identified as Evacuation Zones 1 through 8.

2. There are two types of evacuations of the campus.

a. An evacuation of one part of the campus which has been affected by
an incident to another, unaffected part of the campus; for instance, an
evacuation of Evacuation Zone 2 sending all affected people to
shelter in the University Center which is in Evacuation Zone 3.

b. An evacuation of part or all of the campus (one or more of the
Evacuation Zones) to an off-campus shelter location; for instance, an
evacuation of Evacuation Zone 4 to shelter at Colorado Springs Christian School.

3. UCCS has entered into Shelter Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with
the following pre-planned off-campus shelter locations (confidential after hours
contact information is maintained on file in the EOC and Public Safety):

a. Colorado Springs Christian School, 4855 Mallow Road: 599-3553.

b. Pulpit Rock Church, 301 Austin Bluffs Parkway: 598-6767.

For more information on campus emergency preparedness and quick reference information,
visit the website at http://www.uccs.edu/pusafety/emerplan.html