Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures


In the event of a confirmed emergency or dangerous situation on campus or an incident off campus that threatens the campus community, UCO will, without delay, initiate our emergency communication plan through mechanisms described below.

UCO will, without delay, evaluate each circumstance believed to pose a threat to the safety of our community members and determine the proper mechanism(s) and content of emergency communication message(s). Emergency notifications may not be immediately initiated if, in the opinion of UCO authorities, they would compromise efforts to assist victims or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Awareness of an emergency can come from any source. UCO Police Services is normally, but not always the starting point for evaluation of emergencies that may impact the campus community. When an emergency is reported, the information is forwarded to UCO authorities that comprise the Crisis Management Team (CMT). The CMT will promptly evaluate the emergency, determine who within the community needs to be notified, determine the content of the notification, the means of notification and initiate the emergency communication.

Persons who comprise our Crisis Management Team who are responsible for carrying out this process are the following UCO personnel by title: 



Vice President – Administration/Finance

Vice President – Student Affairs

Vice President – Information Technology

Vice President – University Relations

Executive Director of Safety and Transportation Services/Chief of Police

 Emergency Management Coordinator

Procedures for disseminating emergency information to the larger campus community are inclusive in our emergency communication plan. The means by which a message will be delivered to the campus community may include but are not limited to:

Central Alert (voice, text message, e-mail)

Net Notify (computer network pop-up system)

Office Calling Trees

Residential Housing Notification Procedures

Voice Addressable Fire Systems (available in all academic buildings)

UCO Web Site

UCO Closing Line

UCO’s official FaceBook page

UCO’s official Twitter account

Media notifications

Public address via police megaphone/vehicle

Our Central Alert system and other communication systems are tested each February, July and October (the actual dates may vary based on a number of factors, but no less than three tests will be conducted annually). The exact date and time are not announced, but the months of testing are provided to students in UCO’s network portal system.

Evacuation testing occurs in each residential structure each semester. These are not advertised in advance, but generally occur in the first two weeks of the semester during the evening hours when the largest population is likely present.

Evacuation testing of non-residential campus structures occurs at least once annually. These are performed without notice, during the business/class day.

In addition, UCO conducts emergency situation exercises at least once annually. These may be a table-top exercise in partnership with other governmental agencies,a functional exercise or full-scale exercise. These are scheduled in advance, but the context of the simulated emergency is not known to responders until the exercise commences.

Our shelter communication components are tested at least quarterly to ensure they are in working order. UCO is partnered with the City of Edmond and their severe weather warning system. The City of Edmond tests their systems regularly to ensure they are operating.

UCO has installed Emergency Procedure Guides in more than 900 locations across campus. At each location, the wall-mounted holder for the guide includes a shelter location designation sticker specific to that particular location. In addition, emergency exit maps for each structure are installed across campus. These maps are specific to the exact location where they are installed and include a visual guide to primary and secondary emergency exit routes as well as a listing for the nearest severe weather shelter. These maps include a glow-in-the-dark background to ensure visibility if the lights are not working.


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