Common Emergency Definitions

A distinct signal or message provided by public safety officials that indicates the threat or dangerous situation has ended. If you are registered for the CU Alert system, this will be provided in the same way that an initial emergency notification is received. An all-clear message may also be provided through the outdoor siren system, by public safety, or campus officials.
Any individual on campus that poses a threat to university affiliates or visitors.
The explosion of a bomb or a credible report of the existence of a bomb that can create an environment that threatens the safety of university affiliates or visitors.
The ability of an organization to ensure continuity of service and support for its customers and to maintain its viability before, during and after an event.
A set of audible warning sirens, currently within various flood basins around the university, designed to provide alerts for incidents of floods, tornadoes, and nuclear attack.
Any human-caused or natural incident(s) that require(s) urgent attention and action to protect life or property. For the purposes of this protocol these events are specifically defined as: (1) any incident that involves serious injury or death to a university affiliate (i.e., faculty, staff or student), or any person on university property; (2) any incident that has legitimate potential for causing serious injury or death to an affiliate, or any person on university property; (3) serious crime occurrences involving university affiliates or guests as the perpetrator or victim, e.g., sexual assaults, bias motivated crimes, armed robberies, felony offenses, etc.; and (4) any incident that has the potential for directing serious media attention to the university (especially in a negative fashion), e.g., the arrest of a university affiliate for a serious crime; hazardous materials spills, etc.
An internet based communication portal designed to provide information to students, faculty and staff (link wording MyCUInfo to https://portal.prod.cu.edu/MyCUInfoFedAuthLogin.html).
The general name for the mass notification system that is used to send timely warnings and emergency notifications to the campus community. The CU Alert system is capable of sending text messages, voice messages, and emails to registered users while also publishing posts to twitter, facebook, and digital signs across campus. (link wording CU Alert to https://www.getrave.com/login/cuboulder)
The physical location on campus where 9-1-1 emergency telephone calls are received and emergency services dispatched.
A recorded message line providing information to university affiliates and visitors on emergency events – (303) 492-INFO (4636).
An electronically delivered memorandum received using the university email system.
A communication and outreach plan executed whenever an incident disrupts operations, threatens life, creates major damage, or occurs within the university community and its environs in order to notify and warn university affiliates.
The designated organization that oversees operational emergency responses and crises management on campus. EMOG is drawn from organizations involved directly in managing emergencies or large scale events and includes representatives from the campus and Boulder community.
Provides information in an immediate, active and passive manner that pertains to life safety, and/or instructions that require immediate action. Can include Clery crimes. Emergency notifications are sent using all notification mediums available in order to alert the greatest amount of the community in the least amount of time.
Any individual or organization who performs an operational role in responding to an incident.
The movement of individuals from a specific, potentially dangerous or threatened area to a safer location - may become necessary in the event of an emergency. Depending on the situation, evacuations may be necessary from your home, neighborhood or campus building. You will be notified of the need to evacuate by public safety officials, via CU Alert, sirens, and other local media outlets. Notice to evacuate may come with little to no warning. As such, it is important to be prepared ahead of time to ensure safe evacuation.
Undesired detonation caused by a variety of sources, including hazardous materials, lab activities, criminal acts and other reasons.
Flood: An overflow or inundation resulting from a body of water (including Boulder Creek, South Boulder Creek and others that run through or near campus) that causes or threatens damage, injury or loss of life.
Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately (FEMA).
Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television stations for additional information (FEMA).
A condition or phenomenon with the potential to cause injury, illness, or death of university affiliates or damage to or loss of property (see crisis / emergency definition).
A substance (gas, liquid, or solid) capable of creating harm to people, the environment, or property.
The release of materials that may pose a hazard to university affiliates and may be disruptive to normal campus operations and activities.
An actual or potential occurrence or event.
The individual responsible for all decisions relating to the management of an incident, including the coordination of resources and the development of strategies and tactics.
Securing the immediate area or room you are in, and then sheltering in place- may become necessary to minimize a threat to your safety. Locking down the entire campus is not feasible because of the geographic layout and size of the campus. When instructed to “lockdown” begin to secure the immediate area you are in by locking/blocking doors, turning off lights, and taking other actions that will conceal your location such as shutting blinds. If you are in a large open area try to find a nearby location that is easier to secure. You should never leave a secured room until told to do so by public safety officials or when you receive an “all-clear” message from the campus.
A major criminal, traffic, or other incident or event with the actual or potential significance to impact a large number of university affiliates, access to part of one or more buildings, transportation or other vital services.
Non-emergency information in an active and/or passive manner that helps individuals receive the latest information regarding an event to aid them in making informed decisions, but does not have an immediate life safety implication. There is no set time parameter for dissemination of notifications.
An infectious disease epidemic (sudden outbreak) that becomes widespread and affects a large area.
Any disruption in service that can affect life-safety systems in buildings or could become a hazard to the campus community if the timeframe of the outage is significant.
An electronic alert system designed to provide text and email alerts to university affiliates.
A system providing automatic emergency telephone notification to a defined event area.
Any atmospheric condition that is potentially destructive or hazardous to university affiliates or property. These events are often associated with extreme convective weather (tropical cyclones, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, etc.) and with storms of freezing precipitation or blizzard condition.
Staying or moving indoors to a safe location until provided an all clear – If you are outdoors, move inside immediately. If indoors, remain where you are or follow your building’s specific instructions on where to go once inside (to an internal room, below ground, upper level, etc.). Shelter-in-place orders may be given for events such as flash flooding or an active harmer scenario.
The potential cause of an unwanted incident, which may result in harm to university affiliates, the university organization, the environment, or the community.
Provides information in an active and/or passive manner for Clery crimes which pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Timely warnings are considered for the following classifications of reported crimes: criminal homicide, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, hate crimes, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson, as outlined in 34 CFR 668.46. Timely warnings may also be issued for other reported crimes as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. The decision will be made in compliance with the Clery Act and in an effort to prevent similar crimes from occurring. Timely warnings are sent using the appropriate notification medium based on the situation surrounding the crime.
An extremely complex wind event producing damage ranging from minimal or minor to complete devastation.