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Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications

The University of Oklahoma Police Department on the Norman and Health Sciences Center Campuses, in consultation with their campus Vice President of Operations or his/her designee and OU-Tulsa Police Department on the Schusterman Center campus in consultation with the OU-Tulsa president or his/ her designee, are responsible for issuing Timely Warnings and Emergency Notifications to the campus community. OUHSC PD will continuously work and coordinate with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Anyone with information warranting a Timely Warning, Emergency Notification or activating the University’s emergency communications system should report the circumstances to OUHSC PD immediately. The University will issue warnings or notifications as appropriate to keep the campus community informed about safety and security matters on an ongoing basis and to prevent similar crimes from occurring. The decision to issue a Timely Warning or Emergency Notification shall be decided on a case-by-case basis in compliance with the Clery Act and considering all available facts. The notification shall, in the first instance, be based upon whether the crime is considered a serious or continuing threat to students or employees and the possible risk of compromising law enforcement efforts.

Timely Warnings:

Timely Warnings are issued for crimes to persons or property including arson, burglary aggravated assault, criminal homicide, motor vehicle theft, and robbery and sex offenses. Timely warnings also may be issued for other crimes as deemed necessary. Upon receipt of all relevant information, such warnings will, as circumstances warrant, be issued in a manner to best protect the campus community.

Emergency Notifications:

The University of Oklahoma will immediately issue an Emergency Notification to the campus community upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff on campus. The system is designed to be used only during emergency situations that require immediate action by the recipient. Examples include but are not limited to:

            • Dangerous Situations (Armed intruder, civil disturbance, hostage situation, etc.)

            • Fire

            • Hazardous Material Leak/Spill

             • Inclement Weather Delays/Closures

             • Tornado Warning

Warnings may only be withheld if they would compromise efforts to contain the emergency. Confirmation of an emergency means that OUHSC PD and other University officials, as appropriate, will gather and analyze reported facts to verify that a legitimate emergency or dangerous situation exists.


When a determination has been made that a Timely Warning or Emergency Notification is appropriate, OUHSC PD will take all appropriate steps to ensure timely notification of the campus community including immediately contacting the Vice President or Operations or his/her designee to allow for appropriate media distribution. These urgent messages will be transmitted to all available voice service, e-mail, text, and RSS feeds. Options for notifying of students, faculty and staff include the University’s Emergency Communication System. Additional methods of distribution may include, as appropriate:   

             1. Contacting the local media for immediate distribution;

             2. Issuing a campus-wide e-mail of the Timely Warning or Emergency Notification; and

             3. Posting a Timely Warning bulletin on the OUHSC PD website.

Such warning(s) and notifications may include but are not limited to, the following information: type of crime, date, time and location of crime as well as available suspect information. OUHSC PD will test the system twice a year. These messages will be clearly identified as test messages from the Emergency Communication System.

Emergency Operations Plan:

OUHSC’s Emergency Operations Plan includes information concerning emergency response organization, response teams, lockdown, and evacuation guidelines. Departments are responsible for developing contingency plans for areas of responsibility. OUHSC conducts emergency response exercises each year including tabletop exercises, field exercises and tests of the emergency notification systems on campus. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency capabilities of the campus. The OUHSC Emergency Operations Plan and General Emergency Evacuation Procedures may be found at EmergencyOperationsPlan.aspx.

OUHSC Emergency Response Group, which includes the Emergency Policy Group and the Emergency Operations Group, Incident Command and OUHSC PD supervisors and officers have received or are receiving training in Incident Command and the National Incident Management System. When an incident occurs on campus that causes an immediate threat, the first responders to the scene, including OUHSC PD, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma City Police Department, and Emergency Medical Services work together in Unified Command to manage the incident. Depending on the incident type and level of activation, other OUHSC departments, local or federal agencies may also be involved in the response and utilization of OUHSC’s Emergency Operations Center.