Emergency Preparedness

If you receive or overhear a bomb threat, immediately call 911 and WSU Security (ext. 5555). You should complete the Bomb Threat Checklist as thoroughly as possible and submit it to WSU Security or the police.

Do not activate the fire alarm.

Threats may be communicated in a number of ways and certain measures should be taken:

  • Written Threats– Anyone receiving a bomb threat in writing should handle the correspondence as little as possible.
  • Emailed Threats – Persons receiving a bomb threat via email should leave the message on the computer. The person receiving the email should remain at the computer and not allow anyone to interfere and/or tamper with the message until Security arrives.
  • Other Threats– Anyone receiving a bomb threat in person and/or overhearing such a threat should obtain the following information if possible and practical: the name of the suspect, time and location of the threat, witnesses, exact wording of the threat and any other relevant information.


  • If circumstances require that evacuation efforts are necessary, WSU Security or emergency personnel will direct those affected to appropriate locations.
  • If an evacuation is taking place, turn off all cell phones and leave the immediate area (at least 300 feet) and “listen only” on two way radios.


Building(s) may be re-entered only after clearance is given by WSU Security or emergency personnel.

Bomb Threat Checklist: Questions to ask the caller

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • What is your name?
  • Where are you at?
  1. Exact wording of the threat:
  2. Other Identifying Characteristics:
  3. Number at which call is received:
  4. Observe Background Sounds, Caller Voice, Threat Language
  5. Report call immediately to: Police (911) and WSU Security 507.457.5555

1. Building Evacuation

  • All building evacuations will occur when an alarm is sounded and/or upon notification from Maintenance/Security/Building Captains or Administration. (Refer to exception for an Active Shooter).
  • When the building evacuation alarm is activated during an emergency, leave by the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same. If emergency personnel direct you to another exit based on the type of emergency, follow their directions.
  • Do not use elevators in case of fire, tornado, or earthquake.
  • Once outside, proceed to a clear area that is at least 500 feet away from the affected building(s). Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel. Evacuate further if directed by emergency personnel.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until an all clear is given by emergency personnel.

2. Shelter-in-Place

One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place.

This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. This is not the same as going to a shelter in the event of a storm or tornado.

Shelter-in-Place means selecting a small, interior room with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.

Depending on the type of emergency and directives received from authorities and emergency personnel the following options are available depending upon the emergency and/or disaster.

  • Closing of the University and activation of the University’s Crisis Plan.
  • Follow reverse evacuation procedures and bring students, faculty, and staff inside.
  • Monitor television, radio, and other forms of communication for information regarding the threat/emergency and follow their directions.
  • Bring everyone in the building. Shut and lock the door.
  • Gather emergency supplies if possible.
  • Close windows, secure doors and duct tape if told to do so.

3. Evacuation for People with Disabilities

The most important factor in emergency planning for people with disabilities is advanced planning.

A. In all emergencies after an evacuation is ordered evacuate people with disabilities if possible.

  • Do not use elevators, unless directed to do so by police or fire personnel. Elevators can fail in certain situations.
  • If situation is life threatening call the police/fire departments immediately (911).
  • Check on people with special needs during an evacuation. A buddy system, where people with disabilities arrange for volunteers to alert them and assist them in an emergency, is a good method.
  • Always ask someone with a disability how you can help before attempting any rescue technique or providing assistance. Ask how they can best be assisted or moved and whether there are any special considerations or items that need to come with the person.
  • If you are unable to evacuate a disabled person contact law enforcement or fire personnel and be able to provide them with the person’s location that needs assistance in evacuating. Students should inform faculty members of their special needs regarding evacuation, especially prior to an emergency or disaster.

B. Response to emergencies (blindness and visual impairment)

  • Offer to lead them out of the building to safety.
  • Give verbal instructions about the safest route or direction using compass directions, estimate distances, and directional terms.
  • Do not grasp a visually impaired person’s arm. Ask if they would like to hold onto your arm as you exit, especially if there is debris or a crowd.

C. Response to emergencies (deafness or hearing loss)

  • Get the attention of a person with a hearing disability by touch and eye contact. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing are helpful, but be prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not seem to understand.
  • Offer visual instructions to advise of safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.

D. Response to emergencies (mobility impairment)

  • It may be necessary to clear the exit route of debris (if possible) so that the person with a disability can move out or to a safer area.
  • If people with mobility impairments cannot exit, they should move to a safer area for example:
    o Most enclosed stairwells
    o An office with the door closed, which is a good distance from the hazard
  • Notify police or fire personnel immediately about any people remaining in the building and their locations.
  • Police or fire personnel will decide whether people are safe where they are and will evacuate them as necessary.
  • If people are in immediate danger and cannot be moved to a safer area to wait for assistance, it may be necessary to evacuate them using an evacuation chair or a carry technique.
  • Building Captains when possible will assist in the coordination of evacuations and/or shelter-in-place.

Mass Evacuation

In the event a limited or mass evacuation of any part of Winona State University, officials will instruct members of the campus community where to evacuate to and/or what staging areas will be used to coordinate transportation to safe areas.

There are a number of designated staging areas which are listed within this manual that members of the campus community are encouraged to become familiar with them. However, these areas may change depending on the nature and extent of the emergency and/or disaster.

The Incident Commander and/or emergency personnel will coordinate the evacuation of members of the campus community to designated safe areas.

On limited evacuations faculty, staff and students may be directed to safe areas outside the affected building and/or area. WSU Security will allow those displaced members access to facilities when necessary based on inclement weather, special needs, etc.

Buildings located next to the staging areas will become part of the staging areas if possible to provide shelter and comfort until individuals can be transported to safe areas.

Designated Staging Areas

A. Main Campus

  • Kryzsko Commons (west side)
  • Memorial Hall (Main Street)

B. East Lake Apartments

  • Building A (west side of building)

C. Wabasha Hall

  • North entrance, main level, Wabasha Street (7th Street).

The location of staging areas may change based on the extent and nature of the emergency/disaster.

Members of the campus community will be directed to the above and/or alternate staging areas by emergency personnel and/or University officials when appropriate.

Evacuation Transport

WSU has several forms of transportation that will be provided to transport members of the campus community to safe areas in the event of a disaster and/or emergency.

The method and source of the transportation will depend on the extent and nature of the emergency, specific needs and number of individuals to be transported.

Level I Evacuation

Level I involves a limited evacuation of a specific building and/or area with a population that is relatively small.

WSU Security, Facilities Services and/or WSU Shuttle Services will be used to transport and/or direct members of the campus community to safe areas.

Level II Evacuation

Level II involves a larger scale evacuation of buildings and individuals to safe areas.

Depending on the nature and extent of the emergency all resources used during a Level I evacuation will be used along with Transit Buses from the City of Winona and/or buses from Philip’s Bus Service.

Level III Evacuation

Level III evacuations is generally required when a large number of buildings are affected, entire campuses, and/or a large amount of people need to be moved.

All resources available to the University may be used in the event of a Level III evacuation.

Evacuation with City of Winona Transit Buses

In the event additional assistance is needed in evacuating members of the campus community the following options are available to move students, faculty, staff and visitors to safe areas.

Winona State University in agreement with the City of Winona the University will use Transit Buses in the event their services are need to evacuate students, faculty and staff.

If an evacuation is ordered and Transit Buses are needed the University will contact the Winona Police Department. The police shall be informed that Transit Buses are needed for an evacuation, the number of buses needed, the amount of individuals to be evacuated, and the location of the staging area.


A lockdown is an emergency course of action ordered by a person or persons in command, such as law enforcement, WSU administration, to contain a problem or incident within the area of origin by controlling the movement of people.

When considering a lockdown of campus facilities, campus authorities will take into account the severity and urgency of the problem or threat and the imminent danger to persons on the campus.

When a lockdown is ordered members of the campus community are encouraged to take appropriate action immediately. The university may use a number of different options in making notification to the campus community.

For information concerning lockdowns refer to the “Violent Behavior” section of this plan.

Safe Areas:

  • Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical (Winona Campus)
  • St. Mary’s University 

Report any explosion by calling 911 immediately and WSU Security 507.457.5555. If necessary, or when directed to do so, activate the building fire alarm.

During and/or after a building explosion:

  • Do not use the elevators
  • Stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible
  • Stay below the smoke at all times
  • When approaching a closed door, use the palm of your hand and forearm to feel the lower, middle, and upper parts of the door. If it is not hot, brace yourself against the door and open it slowly. If it is hot to the touch do not open the door – seek an alternate escape route.
  • Assist the disabled to an enclosed stairwell landing and notify police and/or fire personnel of their location.

After the Explosion

  • If you are trapped in debris, remain calm and minimize your movements so that you do not kick up dust
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or a piece of clothing
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear where you are
  • Shout only as a last resort, as shouting can cause a person to inhale dangerous amounts of dust

Untrained persons should not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Familiarize yourself with the location of fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers and exits in your vicinity.

  • If you see or smell smoke immediately pull the nearest fire alarm, leave the building, and contact the Winona Fire Department (911) from a safe area. Be prepared to give the following info:
    • Location of fire
    • Building and room number (if known)
    • Your name and telephone number
    • Stay on the line until the dispatcher releases you
  • The person reporting the fire should remain in the vicinity outside the building to supply information upon request to the Winona Fire Department
  • Always take fire alarms seriously. When a fire alarm has been activated, everyone is to evacuate the building immediately
    • Persons who do not leave the building when a fire alarm is sounded may be subject to disciplinary action and/or possible criminal charges
  • Evacuate all rooms, closing all doors to confine the fire. Do not lock doors. Check doors for heat before opening. Open doors slowly and check for smoke.
  • Fire doors leading into stairwell landings should be closed
  • Do not attempt to put out a fire if you are endangering your own safety or the safety of others
  • Do not use elevators. Power may fail causing the elevators to stop between floors or elevator doors may open onto the fire floor
  • Disabled persons who are unable to move down the stairwells should move to a stairwell. Caution should be used as to not block traffic.
  • Immediately notify rescue personnel of any persons left in the building along with their locations

If you become trapped in a building during a fire and a window is available place an article of clothing outside the window as a marker for rescue personnel.

If there is no window, stay near the floor where the air will be less toxic. Seal up the cracks around the door using pieces of clothing or whatever is handy.

Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location.

Caution: Building fire alarms may stop ringing. If they stop, do not return to the building unless notified by the Winona Fire Department or WSU Security. 

Gas leaks are very serious and pose a potential danger for all in the area. In the event of a gas leak, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not turn on lights or turn on/off any electrical appliances
  • Do not use any electrical devices such as flashlights, radios, or telephones. They can cause electrical sparks that could ignite the gas fumes.
  • Do not use the fire alarm
  • Do not use elevators for evacuation
  • Do not smoke in the area
  • Leave the area immediately, leaving doors and windows open.
  • Call 911 immediately. Go to an unaffected area and notify WSU Security 507.457.5555 and Facilities Services 507.457.5045.
  • Inform others not to enter the affected area.
  • If safe to do so, assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities. 

If you are involved in or witness any medical emergency immediately call 911 and WSU Security (ext. 5555). Be prepared to provide the following information to the police dispatcher

  • Name of the injured or ill person, if known.
  • Current location of the person (i.e. building, room number, etc.)
  • Nature and type of injury, in known.
  • If safe to do so, remain with the individual until help arrives; try to keep the individual still. Do not attempt to move a seriously injured person (unless a more serious injury or life threatening situation may result). Provide first aid only if you are trained to do so.
  • Provide any assistance to emergency medical personnel at the scene upon request.

Exposure Control Plan

Immediate treatment for an individual exposed to blood and/or body fluids is to thoroughly wash the exposed area with non-abrasive antibacterial soap and running water.

Students should be sent to WSU Health Services or to the closest emergency room.

Employees should be referred to the closest emergency room for treatment.

Hazardous Materials

In the event of an environmental spill involving hazardous chemicals or other materials follow these guidelines:

  • Evacuate the affected area of spill immediately. Use judgment depending on the nature and quantity of spilled material.

Small containable spills

  • Call WSU Security 507.457.5555
  • Call 911 immediately for police/fire if emergency response is necessary

Large spills

  • Call 911 immediately for emergency assistance
  • Call WSU Security 507.457.5555 for immediate assistance
  • Remove the victims from the spill area to fresh air if possible to do so without endangering yourself
  • Do not endanger your own life by entering areas with toxic gases
  • Inform others not to enter the affected area
  • If safe to do so, assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities

Communicable Disease Protocol

If you believe a student has contracted a contagious disease that may pose a health risk to others, notify the WSU Clinical Director of Health Services. Refer the student to Health Services for treatment or further referral.

If Health Services is closed students will be sent to the closest emergency room. The Clinical Director and Medical Director will be notified by WSU Security.

Disaster/Terrorism Protocol

The Winona County Public Health Services has the authority and responsibility to respond to a mass disaster or terrorism act.

All WSU Health Services employees will be placed on call and should remain in Winona County in the event of a mass disaster. WSU Health Services may provide supplies and medications to public health services as needed.

The staff of WSU Health Services is prepared to offer first aid at Health Services.

If Health Services is the site of the emergency or there is is a large number of injuries, the McCown Gym will be used by WSU Health Services.

Winona County Health Services will be contacted to provide additional medical personnel. 

Severe Weather/Tornado Watch

A watch is a statement that severe weather/tornado conditions are present and could occur. The National Weather Service will issue a watch bulletin to local authorities as well as to the local radio and TV stations.

Severe Weather/Tornado Warning

When a severe weather/tornado sighting occurs, the National Weather Service alerts all weather stations and local authorities. If severe weather or a tornado is approaching a continuous sounding of the city’s emergency sirens will signal the warning.

In case of severe weather/tornado

When the emergency warning sires sound, it is your responsibility to get to shelter. All persons should immediately seek shelter in the nearest building. Go to the basement or interior walls of lower floors. Auditoriums, gymnasiums, and similar large rooms with wide roofs should be avoided. Stay away from all windows and exterior doors. Take a battery-operated radio with you and listen for the “All clear” signal.

Severe Weather Guidelines

  • Move to the nearest building and locate a safe place.
  • Move to, or stay on, the lowest floor of any building.
  • Stay in central corridors away from glass, cover your face with folded arms.
  • Stay away from windows
  • Leave corridor doors open
  • Do not use any elevator
  • Types of areas considered to be the safest
    • Basements
    • Stairwells
    • Tunnel
    • Lower level rooms without any windows
    • Lower level hallways without any windows

Most tornadoes strike in the late afternoon and evening hours. When a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued, take shelter immediately.

  • Go to the basement and seek shelter under stairs or sturdy furniture.
  • If you do not have a basement, seek shelter in a small room at the lowest level, in the center of the building.
  • Bathrooms and closets are good potential shelters. Avoid rooms with windows.

What to Do When Away from Campus or Your Home

  • The best tornado shelter in any building is the lowest level.
  • Look for predesignated shelters in buildings you frequent
  • Smaller rooms, such as closets, rest rooms, or storerooms are good shelter areas.
  • Position yourself beneath a piece of sturdy furniture.
  • Cover your head and chest to protect yourself from flying debris.
  • Seek shelter away from doors and windows.
  • Long span roof areas like those in malls and gymnasiums are especially vulnerable to tornadoes. Find as small room.
  • Don’t run from your car. You are safer inside a car than in the open.

Severe Winter Weather

For complete details review the Severe Winter Weather Notification Plan

General Guidelines for Handling Suspicious Mail

  • Notify WSU Security immediately (ext. 5555). Call 911 if you perceive an immediate risk of a dangerous situation.
  • Isolate all suspicious packages and seal off the immediate area. If possible, place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other container to prevent leakage. All personnel should leave the room. If possible, turn off air flows, such as fans or air-conditioning.
  • If necessary employees processing mail should wear protective gloves.
  • If you have identified as suspicious package, do not handle, shake or empty it. Do not carry it to other areas or show it to other people. If anything spills out, do not try to clean it up.
  • Cover any spilled contents immediately. You can use clothing, paper, or a trash can. Do not remove the covering materials from the spill. Do not cover with wet objects.
  • Direct all persons who have touched the mail to wash their hands with soap and water. After hands are washed, wash/rinse face for a period of time. Make a list of anyone who has handled or come into contact with the mail. Include contact information and provide this to responding EMS personnel and WSU Security.
  • As soon as practical, employees who have come in contact with any contamination should shower and place all clothing in plastic bags. The clothing should be made available to the police responding to the reported incident. Contain the potentially impacted individuals to ensure that they receive proper medical attention. Names and contact information of those that may have been contaminated should be obtained and given to public health officials.
  • Attempt to verify the sender and/or the legitimacy of the package (i.e. ask the recipient if they were expecting a package that matches the suspect package’s size and shape).

Things to Look for When Inspecting Mail

  • Origination postmark or name of sender is unusual, unknown, or no return address is given, if given, it can’t be verified as legitimate.
  • Shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address.
  • Excessive or inadequate postage.
  • Addressed to title only or incorrect title; addressed to someone no longer employed at WSU.
  • Misspellings of common words or names.
  • Restrictive markings, i.e. “Personal, Eyes Only or Special Delivery”
  • Rub-on block lettering.
  • The letter is lopsided, unusually thick or contained in an uneven envelope.
  • Excessive weight, the letter or package seems heavy for its size.
  • Damaged envelope(s) or packages
  • Stiffness or springiness of contents; protruding wires, aluminum foil or components; oily outer wrapping or envelope; feels like it contains powdery substance (when checking do not bend excessively).
  • Oily stains, discoloration, package/letter emits an odor, particularly almond or other suspicious odors.
  • Crystallization or powdery substances on wrapper.
  • Ticking sound.
  • Powders
  • Soil
  • Sand
  • Liquids of any kind, any color
  • Oily or soapy residues
  • Sticky or adhesive substances
  • Flakes
  • Crystals
  • Fibers

The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaced the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS).

This new system will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation’s security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do.

WSU will take actions necessary based on alerts and recommendations made by federal, state, and local agencies in implementing measures to respond to threats or other actions that may affect the campus community.

Imminent Threat Alert

Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

Elevated Threat Alert

Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.

After reviewing the available information, the Secretary of Homeland Security will decide, in coordination with other Federal entities, whether an NTAS Alert should be issued. NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.

These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.

The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.

Sunset Provision

An individual threat alert is issued for a specific time period and then automatically expires. It may be extended if new information becomes available or the threat evolves.

NTAS Alerts contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date when the alert expires - there will not be a constant NTAS Alert or blanket warning that there is an overarching threat. If threat information changes for an alert, the Secretary of Homeland Security may announce an updated NTAS Alert. All changes, including the announcement that cancels an NTAS Alert, will be distributed the same way as the original alert.

  • Call 911 immediately. Contact WSU Security 507.457.5555.
  • Do not approach the derailed train.
  • Move away from the affected area immediately.
  • Follow directions of emergency personnel, WSU Security, and other emergency response coordinators.
  • If you are located a distance from the derailed train, continually monitor radio, television, or other forms of electronic communication and respond as directed.
  • If an evacuation of any or all of the University is ordered, students, faculty, staff and visitors will be directed to safe areas by emergency personnel. If safe to do so assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities. 

Utility failures include electrical power outages, disrupted cable service, interrupted telephone service, unavailable water or heat.

In the event of a major utility failure, follow these guidelines:

  • Call 911 immediately if there is potential danger to occupants of the affected buildings and/or risk of serious damage to the building
  • Evacuate the building if an emergency exists

During Business Hours

  • Notify Facilities Services at 507.457.5045
  • If telephone service is not available go to the Facilities Services office located in the Physical Plant or WSU Security (Sheehan Hall)

After Regular Business Hours or During Weekends

  • Notify Winona State University Security at 507.457.5555 immediately.
  • If telephone service is not available go to WSU Security located on the main floor of Sheehan Hall. 

It is important that all faculty, staff and students be proactive in the prevention of potentially violent situations.

Members of the University community are encouraged to report all incidents of threats (oral or written), physical assaults, violent encounters, etc. to the Winona Police Department and/or WSU Security.

Weapons on Campus

  • Immediately call 911 and WSU Security 507.457.5555.
  • Wait for police to arrive.
  • Do not confront the person with the weapon.
  • No effort should be made to intervene.
  • If known, provide the following information to the police:
    o Name of individual(s) with weapon(s)
    o Location of individual(s) with weapon(s)
    o What person(s) did with weapon after it was displayed

Active Shooter

If shots are fired, notify the Winona Police Department immediately by calling 911. Be prepared to provide the police with the following information:

  • Description of the shooter(s)
  • Location of incident
  • Nature of injuries
  • Stay on the phone with the police dispatcher if safe to do so
  • Number and types of weapon/s used by the shooters

An active shooter presents multiple problems to everyone involved. A number of options may be available to members of the campus community in the event of an active shooter, i.e. lockdown, escape, evade and confronting the shooter are some options.

Any decision made by those involved in an active shooter should be based on available information, knowledge, training, etc. and realize that these are very dangerous and volatile situations.

Members of the campus community must adapt to ever changing circumstances when an active shooter is present.


If a lockdown is your best option secure the room you’re in using all available means. However, consider other options of escape if possible with available information.

If multiple people are in the room spread out (do not huddle together), develop a plan with others in the room if the shooter is able to enter.


If escape is a viable option do so, create as much distance between you and the shooter. Based on available information you have, this may be an option.

Don’t run in groups, spread out and flee. Consider the possibility of multiple suspects.


As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

Hostage - Witness

  • If hostage taker is unaware of your presence, do not intervene
  • Call 911 immediately and be prepared to provide the police with the following information:
    • Location of the incident
    • Number of hostages (if known)
    • Reason for hostage taking
    • Injuries to hostages (if known)
    • Stay on the phone with police if requested and safe to do so
  • Do not enter the hostage scene and advise others not to enter the area
  • Follow police directions upon arrival at the scene

Hostage – If You are Taken Hostage

  • Follow the instructions of the hostage taker.
  • Do not panic. Calm others if they are present.
  • Be respectful to the hostage taker.
  • Ask permission to speak and do not argue.

Emergency Operations Plan

The Winona State University Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) guides decision making and response to emergency situations. The guides decision making and response during emergency situations.

The EOP is regularly updated to maintain relevancy to modern emergency management practices.

These procedures apply to all University faculty, staff, students and visitors. It encompasses all university operations, domestic and abroad.


The purpose of this plan is to:

  • provide for the carrying out of emergency functions
  • establish responsibilities necessary to performing these functions
  • prevent, minimize and repair damage
  • ensure continuity of operations so that essential services may continue to be provided to the WSU community
  • provide a management structure for coordinating and deploying essential resources

WSU has many capabilities and resources that could be used in the response to any major disaster. These include the facilities, equipment, personnel and skills of both government and non-government professions and groups.

The purpose of this plan is to promote the effective, coordinated use of these resources to:

  • Maximize the protection of life and property;
  • Ensure the continuity of the University; and,
  • Provide support to all areas of the University which require assistance. The actions outlined in this EOP constitute the existing guidelines of WSU in response to a disastrous emergency. However, the President has the authority to alter this operations plan during the course of an emergency to the extent that it is deemed necessary.


WSU adheres to the “all hazards” concept for emergency planning under which all emergencies or disasters are different with unique issues, but the consequences are typically the same. This allows a set of operational fundamentals to be used to manage response activities to all emergencies.

Paramount to the “all hazards” concept is that planning must address what is expected, but be flexible to adapt to what is unknown.

The EOP addresses likely hazards, such as severe weather or fires, yet does not overlook the possibility of an unlikely, catastrophic hazard, such as a train derailment or a terrorist act. This plan may be activated in response to a regional or national crisis that impacts the WSU community.

Any major emergency that affects our students, faculty, and/or staff community is considered a University emergency.

The WSU EOP is based on and complies with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Minnesota Incident Management System (MNIMS)—a proven emergency management system.