The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes an emergency as "any unplanned event that can cause deaths or significant injuries to employees, customers or the public; or that can shut down your business, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or threaten the facility's financial standing or public image." Obviously, numerous events can be "emergencies" and will be handled according to the following protocol. Emergencies specifically dealt with in this plan include the following:

The plan itself has three components. First is notification of the emergency. Second is the initial emergency response from key departments. And third is the need for a crisis management team.

Emergency Information

Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) has produced a guide, The Safety Awareness Booklet, which provides instructions as to what to do and who to notify if an emergency occurs. Community members are encouraged to become familiar with campus emergency procedures. Contact University Police at ext. 4141 or by e-mail (lipinski@svsu.edu) to request a copy of the booklet.

Responding to an Emergency

Once an area on campus becomes aware of an emergency, it should assess the situation and respond accordingly. The following areas should develop plans for responding to any of the above listed emergencies:

  • Continuing Education
  • Conference & Events Center
  • Business & Auxiliary Services
  • Department of Athletics
  • Ryder Center Operations
  • Controller's Office
  • Student Counseling Center
  • Health Services
  • Campus Facilities
  • Housing and Residential Life
  • University Police
  • Information Technology Services

Departments should develop emergency response plans which will be incorporated into the University Police website. Individual department plans should guide persons within their area as to how to respond to a reported emergency. Each plan will include the basics of how the department will handle an emergency, individual responsibilities (if appropriate), and details on who is to be notified. The department head (or designee) and/or the Director of University Police will be responsible for assessing the impact of an emergency. If, in their judgment, the emergency has significantly wide-ranging effects, they will notify the President (or Designee) of their findings and possibly recommend assembling a crisis management team.

Crisis Management Team

The crisis management team will be assembled should the President (or designee) find that a situation has potential wide-range or long-lasting effects. The team will consist of some or all of the following individuals:

  • President
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs
  • Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Assistant Vice President for Campus Facilities
  • Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management
  • Dean of College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences
  • Dean of College of Business & Management
  • Dean of College of Education
  • Dean of College of Health & Human Services
  • Dean of College of Science, Engineering & Technology
  • Executive Director of Information Technology
  • Media Relations Officer
  • Director of Student Counseling Center
  • Director of Health Services
  • Director of Staff Relations
  • Chief of University Police

The following management process for crisis situations will be followed:

  1. The President (or designee) must be informed immediately when an incident is reported.
  2. The President will contact members of the crisis management team and set up a meeting. The team must be ready to act quickly.
  3. Team meeting. The team will review all known information provided by the Chief of University Police or any individual with direct information. If the team cannot meet, a teleconference call will be used.
  4. The team will decide on a course of action, proper response, public statements and other appropriate activities.
  5. Investigation. A single office will be designated to investigate the situation, and all staff members will work through that office. (Note: The office designated to investigate the situation will maintain documentation describing the actions taken.)
  6. Media contact. All media contact and external inquires will be handled by the person or office designated by the President. Refer all inquires to that office or person.
  7. Communication. As events develop or change, the team will communicate clearly before taking further action or issuing additional statements.

Disaster Recovery Plan Council

The Disaster Recovery Plan Council will consist of the following members:

  • College Deans
  • Vice President for Administration & Business Affairs
  • Vice President for Public Affairs
  • Vice President for Student Services & Enrollment Management
  • Assistant Vice President for Campus Facilities
  • Director of Student Counseling Center
  • Director of Health Services
  • Director of Staff Relations
  • Director of Business & Auxiliary Services
  • Chief of University Police

The Council will assemble following each crisis to evaluate how the emergency was handled. The Council will make recommendations to better respond to similar emergencies in the future. The Council will assemble at least once per year to review the overall University response plan, individual department plans, and to evaluate training and emergency notification literature. The President will appoint the Chair of the Council.

Bomb Threat

  • Remain calm and do not panic.
  • If a written message is received, keep track of the following information:
    • Who found it?
    • Who else was present?
    • Where it was found or how it was delivered?
    • When it was found or delivered?
    • Who touched it?
    • Have any previous threats been received?
  • Threat by telephone. In a calm voice, try to obtain as much information as possible about the bomb and the caller: Use the following Bomb Threat Check List.
    • Date and exact time of call
    • Time set to explode
    • Which building is it in?
    • Where is it?
    • Type of bomb
    • Estimated age and gender of the caller
    • Emotional state
    • Background noises
    • Why it was set?
    • Who is the target?
    • Who is the caller?
  • If practical, do not hang up the phone, but phone the police from a different telephone. Call 9-911 and report the threat.
  • The President (or his designee[s]), with the assistance of University Police, will determine a plan of action. A decision on whether or not to evacuate a specific building or area of campus will be based on all available information.
  • If the decision is made to evacuate, occupants should take lunches, purses, personal packages (they could be mistaken for concealed explosives) and exit the building.
  • If ordered to evacuate, move at least 300 feet away from the building and wait for instructions. Stay away from glass.
  • If a decision is made to evacuate a residential housing unit(s), University Police will assist the Department of Housing and Residential Life in the evacuation of the unit(s).



QUESTIONS TO ASK: (Try to report the exact wording of the threat)

1. When is the bomb going to explode?

2. Where is it right now?

3. What does it look like?

4. What kind of bomb is it?

5. What will cause it to explode?

6. Did you place the bomb?

7. Why?

8. What is your address?

9. What is your name?

Sex of caller: M F Age: Race: Length of call:


  • Calm
  • Angry
  • Excited
  • Slow
  • Rapid
  • Soft
  • Loud
  • Laughing
  • Crying
  • Normal
  • Distant
  • Slurred
  • Nasal
  • Stutter
  • Lisp
  • Raspy
  • Deep
  • Ragged
  • Clearing throat
  • Deep breathing
  • Cracking voice
  • Disguised 
  • Accent
  • Familiar (If so, who did it sound like?)



  • Clear
  • Static
  • Local
  • Long Distance
  • Booth
  • Street Noise
  • Outdoor Noise
  • Voices
  • PA System 
  • Music
  • House Noises
  • Moto
  • Animal Noises
  • Office Machinery
  • Factory
  • Other: 



  • Well-spoken (educated)
  • Foul
  • Irrational
  • Incoherent
  • Taped
  • Message read by threat-maker?






Name: ___________________________ Date:

Position: _________________________ Phone #:


Bomb Threat: Identifying Suspicious Items

  • Look closely around work area when you arrive for work. This will help you if you are called on to identify unusual or suspicious items later.
  • Report potential safety or security problems to University Police (ext.4141).
  • Be on the lookout for anything unusual, particularly packages or large items seemingly left behind or thrown out. Note time and location of anything odd.


Explosion on Campus

  • Report an explosion by calling 9-911 immediately!
  • If necessary, or when directed to do so, activate the building fire alarm system to evacuate the building.
  • When the building evacuation alarm is sounded, an emergency exists. All rooms should be evacuated. Closing doors will help to contain a fire. DO NOT LOCK DOORS.
  • Follow the evacuation route as indicated in the building diagram posted at the entrance of each facility on campus.
  • Assist the disabled to an enclosed stairwell and notify emergency personnel of their location.
  • Do not use the elevators.



  • In all cases of fire, activate the nearest fire alarm to warn other occupants of the building to evacuate.
  • In all cases of fire, call the Fire Department immediately (9-911). Do not assume someone else is making this call – call yourself.
  • When the building fire alarm is sounded, an emergency exists. All rooms must be evacuated. Leave the lights on. CLOSE, BUT DO NOT LOCK THE DOORS.
  • Follow the evacuation route as illustrated on the building diagram posted at the entrance of each facility on campus.
  • Assist the disabled to the nearest stairwell in the building. Have them wait on the landing. Stairwells are checked first by the fire department and are constructed to provide a higher degree of protection.
  • Immediately notify the police or fire department if a disabled individual is waiting on a stairwell landing.
  • Fire drills will be conducted periodically throughout the campus. The campus community will be notified of the drills well in advance. Facilities experiencing a fire drill must be completely evacuated.



Toxic fumes can infiltrate a building from various sources – improperly stored chemicals, faulty refrigeration, equipment fires, gasoline engines operated near air intakes, etc.

If the presence of toxic fumes is suspected, the area(s) affected should be evacuated. Use a telephone away from this area and call 9-911 if it is an emergency. If not an emergency, call University Police at ext. 4141.

Ventilate the contaminated area(s). It may be possible to clear an affected area by opening windows and/or activating exhaust fans, provided such action is undertaken by trained personnel.

Emergency Treatment:

  • Don't endanger yourself or others.
  • Remove victims from area only if it can be done safely.
  • Call 9-911 for police/ambulance services.
  • Assist victims as necessary.


Hazardous Substance Spills

  • Any major spill of a hazardous substance must be reported immediately to the Fire and Police Departments (9-911).
  • Personnel on site should be evacuated from the affected area at once. Seal off the contaminated area to prevent further contamination until the arrival of trained responders.
  • Persons who may be contaminated by a spill/release are to:
  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Alert responders/emergency personnel of injury.


Mechanical Failures

Any emergency related to building or facility problems, such as equipment failure or erratic operation, must be reported to Campus Facilities as soon as possible.

If a failure occurs after-hours, weekends, or holidays, notify University Police at ext. 4141.

NOTE: If there is potential danger to buildings(s) and/or its occupants, call 9-911 immediately.

Anthrax and Other Biological Agent Threats

According to the Center for Disease Control, anthrax organisms, which can be contained in a white powdery substance, can cause infection in the skin, gastrointestinal system, or the lungs. To do so, the organism must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed or inhaled as a fine, aerosolized mist. Disease can be prevented after exposure to the anthrax spores by early treatment with the appropriate antibiotics. Anthrax is not spread from one person to another. For anthrax to be effective as a covert agent, it must be aerosolized into very small particles. This is difficult to do and requires a great deal of technical skill and special equipment. If these small particles are inhaled, life-threatening lung infection can occur, but prompt recognition and treatment are effective.

If the presence of anthrax is suspected in a package or letter, the following procedures are to be followed:

  • Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  • Gently place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  • If a container is not available, then carefully cover the envelope or package using clothing, paper, trash can, or similar item. Do not remove this cover.
  • Turn off any fans and/or portable heating devices in the area.
  • Leave the room and gently close the door, or cordon off the area to prevent others from entering. Keep others away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face. Do not use disinfectant or bleach on your skin.
  • Contact the police immediately by calling 9-911.
  • List all people who were in the room or area when the suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to the police when they arrive.
  • If you believe your clothing has been contaminated, remove it immediately and place it in a plastic bag or some other container that can be sealed. Give the clothing bag to the police when they arrive.
  • Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other disinfectant on your skin.

Anthrax contamination by aerosolization is unlikely to occur and would normally involve a small device triggering spores into the air. If contamination by aerosolization is suspected:

  • Turn off fans and/or ventilation units in the area.
  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Close the door or cordon off the area to prevent others from entering. Keep others away.
  • Contact the police immediately at 9-911.
  • Contact Campus Facilities at ext. 4080 to shut down the air handling system for the facility.
  • List all people who were in the area or room. Give this list to the police when they arrive.


Medical Emergencies

  • Report any serious injury or illness by immediately calling the University Police at ext. 4141 and requesting an ambulance. They will assist the ambulance in finding the location of the injured or ill person.
  • Non-emergency injuries or illness should also be reported to University Police at ext. 4141.
  • Begin first aid, if qualified, or seek someone who can. University police officers and/or trained personnel will respond as quickly as possible; however, do not wait to start necessary first aid treatment you may be qualified to offer.
  • Personal safety is your first priority. Use protective equipment when in contact with the victim's blood or any other bodily fluids.


Severe Weather/Tornado

Michigan is a state where severe weather can change quickly in the spring and summer months. This policy addresses severe weather conditions, including tornados and other conditions which could produce a life-threatening weather environment.

Severe Weather/Tornado Watch: A WATCH is an indication that the probabilities are highest for severe weather or a tornado. A WATCH is a statement that severe weather/tornado conditions exist. The National Weather Service, which uses available data sources such as Doppler radar, satellite imagery, surface reports, and spotter reports to monitor hazardous weather threats, issues a watch bulletin to radio stations, television, cable and local emergency alert systems, such as 911. The local emergency system then dispatches the information to local police agencies.

Severe Weather/Tornado Warning: When a severe weather/tornado sighting occurs, the National Weather Service, which uses available data sources such as Doppler radar, satellite imagery, surface reports, and spotter reports to monitor hazardous weather threats, alerts the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and a WARNING is issued. The NWR is then able to integrate the information to radio stations, television, cable and local emergency alert systems, such as 911. The local emergency system then dispatches the information to local police agencies.

In the event of a severe weather/tornado WARNING, the following communication procedure will be followed by the University Police, if time permits:

  • Activate the emergency warning siren
  • Send a voice mail message to all employees and faculty advising of the weather warning
  • Contact Campus Facilities
  • The University Police office is closed from midnight to 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, midnight to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and most holidays. During these times, only the emergency warning siren will be activated.

Diagrams of recommended shelter areas are located at the entrances in campus buildings.

If the campus is undamaged, classes and activities will resume. If there is damage to the campus, the University will respond in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Emergency Response Plan.

Two severe weather drills will be conducted in the spring and summer of each year, with the first occurring in April and the other in September. The dates and times of the drills will be announced to the campus community well in advance.

The emergency warning siren will be tested at 10:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month.

Student Crisis

In the event of crisis situations involving students of SVSU, such as the following, contact the University Police at 9-911. University Police will contact the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management, as appropriate, for further referrals.

  • Alcohol and other drug use emergencies
  • Disruptive behavior in the classroom
  • Death of a student, friend or family member
  • Discipline issues
  • Mental health/behavioral incidents or concerns
  • Physical injury
  • Sexual assault
  • Threat to public welfare


Utility Failure

  • All utility failures must be reported to Campus Facilities as soon as possible.
  • During normal working hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), call ext. 4080.
  • If a utility failure occurs after hours, weekends or holidays, notify (989) 776-1013.
  • If there is potential danger to building(s) and or occupants, call 9-911.
  • If telephone service is not available, go to the University Police Department and request that they contact Campus Facilities.
  • Consumers Energy can also be contacted to help shut down natural gas or electricity services. They can be reached at (989) 792-9701.


Violent or Criminal Behavior

Actions To Take:

  • All violent or criminal behavior should be reported by calling 9-911 immediately.
  • To report threats and other crimes, notify University Police at ext. 4141 or 9-911 in an emergency.
  • Practice crime prevention and learn self-defense techniques. If you do, the likelihood of being a victim of violent or criminal behavior will be greatly reduced.

Preventive Measures:

  • Protect yourself! Be aware of your surroundings. Walk in well lit areas. Do not walk alone.
  • Lock your doors.
  • Keep an inventory of your valuables and engrave them.
  • Lock your vehicle and do not leave valuables inside in plain sight.



Adopted 05/01/90 VP-ABA
Revised 12/10/01 VP-ABA