Emergency Response & Evacutation Procedures

Emergency and Evacuation Plans

University of Minnesota Department of Emergency Management (DEM) coordinates the development of emergency plans. DEM tasks each area of the University to develop and maintain emergency procedures and guidelines for their buildings and employees.


General Building Evacuation Procedure

At the sound of the emergency alarm, it is the responsibility of all building occupants to evacuate immediately and proceed to predetermined assembly points, away from the building.

Building occupants are also responsible for ensuring that visitors, customers, and contractors in their department follow the evacuation procedure described herein, and leave the building along with all other occupants.

Faculty and instructors are responsible for dismissing their classes and directing students to leave the building upon hearing the emergency alarm or being notified of an emergency.

Designated essential personnel who are needed to continue or shut down critical operations while an evacuation is underway are responsible for recognizing and/or determining when to abandon the operation and evacuate themselves.


Evacuation Instructions

Whenever you hear the building alarm or are informed of a building emergency:

  • Do not panic.
  • Do not ignore the alarm.
  • Leave the building immediately, in an orderly fashion.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Classes and meetings in session must be dismissed and students directed to leave.
  • Follow quickest evacuation route from where you are (see posted floor evacuation diagram/map).
  • Do not go back to your office area for any reason.
  • Proceed to the designated emergency assembly point for your area. If the designated assembly point/area is unsafe or blocked due to the emergency, proceed to the alternate assembly point.
  • Report to your Work Area Representative at the assembly point to be checked off as having evacuated safely; also report any knowledge you may have of missing persons or those located in an Area of Refuge.
  • Return to the building only after emergency officials or building coordinator give the all-clear signal; silencing of the alarm doesn’t mean the emergency is over.


Chemical Spill Lab Evacuation instructions:

  • Notify other lab occupants in immediate area
  • Everyone who can safely leave, should leave lab away from spill
  • While exiting, close double doors leading into other labs
  • A lab occupant leaving lab should immediately call 911 (or head to area of refuge button, located near freight elevator on each floor, if applicable)
  • Notify operator of spill and location
  • Operator can remotely activate fire alarm (for some buildings) and send emergency personnel
  • Evacuate building according to general evacuation procedure


Building Emergency Instructions

In the event of a loss of power, water leak or flood, elevator failure, or other building emergency:

  • Call the Facilities Management 218-726-8262 to notify them of the emergency. Call 911 for emergencies with injuries.
  • Notify staff that is located near the emergency so they may take appropriate precautions.
  • Follow evacuation instructions, if evacuation is necessary.


Shelter Emergency Instructions

In the event of notification of severe weather, safely discontinue work and go to the nearest designated safe shelter location.

In the event of the release of hazardous chemical substances which threaten human health, and the immediate lab needs to evacuate but other building occupants are safe, please follow the steps below:

  • Notify other lab occupants in immediate area
  • Everyone who can safely leave, should leave lab away from spill
  • While exiting, close double doors leading into other labs
  • Contact 911 according to established lab safety protocols


Active Threat Instructions: Run, Hide, Fight

The guidelines below should be considered during this type of emergency, but your specific situation may require deviation from these suggestions:


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Run to a place of refuge, well beyond the norm.


  • If running is not possible, hide.
  • Lock and barricade doors, shut off lights, silence cellphones
  • Remain silent, yet vigilant
  • Avoid huddling together


  • Fighting is a last resort, use only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Use improvised weapons, i.e. chair, fire extinguisher.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active threat.
  • There is strength in numbers; work together against the active threat.

Call 9-1-1:

  • Call ONLY if safe and with information about the active threat
  • Clarify you are on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus and where you are
  • Give the location of the active threat(s)
  • Provide physical description of active threat(s)
  • Describe type of weapons held by the active threat(s)
  • Notify the dispatcher of victims and their location


How to React When Law Enforcement Arrives:

  • Remain calm; follow officers’ instructions
  • Keep your hands up and out in front of you, assuring your hands are empty
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements towards officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming, and/or yelling
  • Move quickly towards the nearest exit or where directed by police
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or directions when evacuating

Once in a Safe Place:

Emergency responders need to account for everyone. Once you are in a safe place, DO NOT LEAVE. As the event unfolds and is better understood, law enforcement will provide additional instructions as to where you should be or when you will be able to leave. Please be patient. Your safety is our most important concern.