Emergency Planning

Public Safety is responsible for developing the Emergency Organization Plan and its appendices and annexes for use by the MCW community in responding to and recovering from any type of emergency situation that may present itself. Those affiliated with MCW may go to Public Safety’s Emergency Planning webpages to reference these resources. Those not affiliated may contact MCW Public Safety, 414.955.8295, for assistance.

Members of the MCW community are educated on a continuous basis that they are required to notify MCW Public Safety of any situation or incident on campus that involves a significant emergency or dangerous situation that may involve an immediate or ongoing threat to the health and safety of students and/or employees on campus.  

MCW Public Safety has the responsibility for responding to, and summoning the necessary resources to mitigate, investigate, and document any situation that may cause a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or staff occurring on the campus. In addition, MCW Public Safety has a responsibility to respond to such incidents to determine if the situation does in fact, pose a threat to the community. If that is the case, MCW will immediately notify the campus community or the appropriate segments of the community that may be affected by the situation, upon confirming that an immediate threat exists, in accordance with federal law.

In the event of a serious incident that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the MCW community, MCW has various systems in place for communicating information quickly to faculty, staff, and students. The Director of Public Safety, or designee, reviews all reports to determine if there is an immediate or on-going threat to the community and if the distribution of an emergency message is warranted. The Associate Vice President of Public Affairs, or designee, will assist with dissemination of any emergency messages.

Public Safety has the ability to post periodic updates during a critical incident to MCW’s Intranet website and to utilize a text based notification system to distribute alerts to enrolled users. Individuals can also call a dedicated emergency voicemail box, 414.955.4545, to hear updates. In addition, network e-mails and building alarm system notifications may be used along with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Face to face communication may be used, if deemed appropriate or necessary. Some or all of these methods of communication may be activated in the event of an immediate threat to the MCW campus community. Public Safety will determine the appropriate segment or segments of the campus community to receive notification.

Warnings may be distributed through several different mechanisms including:

• Mass notification system messaging
• Postings on the MCW Intranet (“Infoscope”) and Public Safety website
• Via MCW’s e-mail system
• Dedicated emergency voicemail box
• Strategic placement of public notices and/or warnings

MCW uses the mass notification system, AlertSense, to send alerts to the on and off campus population via e-mail and text messaging. This mass notification system is only used for critical, timely emergency notifications, to include weather related campus closings and other significant events.

All students, staff, faculty and contracted employees have their MCW e-mail addresses automatically enrolled. However, enrollment of cellular phones, smartphones and other text capable devices is purely voluntary. If an individual uses his/her MCW-issued or personal mobile phone as a primary communication tool, the benefits from text messaging will increase if that contact information has been provided. 

In the case of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, Public Safety will notify various campus partners such as Campus Operations and the Office of Public Affairs as determined necessary. If an emergency or dangerous situation is confirmed by the Director of Public Safety, or designee, (with the assistance of campus administrators, local first responders and/or the National Weather Service), and that situation presents an immediate threat to the health and/or safety of some or all members of the MCW community, the Director of Public Safety, or designee, will determine the content of the emergency notifications used to communicate the threat to the campus. Information will be disseminated in the most timely and appropriate manner.

These notifications will be sent without delay, taking into account the safety of the community, unless issuing a notification will, in the judgment of the first responders (MCW Public Safety, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Wauwatosa Fire Department, etc.), compromise the efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. 

MCW will post follow up information during a critical incident on MCW’s Intranet website, as well as using some or all of the methods described previously (i.e., mass notification system messaging, MCW’s e-mail system, dedicated emergency voicemail box, and/or strategic placement of public notices/warning).  

Emergency Messaging Systems available to MCW students, faculty and staff:

Emergency Messaging Systems Primary Message Creator Backup Message Creator Authority for approving & sending messages Primary Message Sender Backup Message Sender 
 Mass  Notification  System  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant        Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Assistant  Director,        Public Safety
 Infoscope  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant        Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Associate    Director of        Web Services  Web Production  Editor
 Email  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant        Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Chief      Information  Officer  Director,  Application  Development
 Social Media  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant        Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Assistant  Director,      Public Safety
 Face to Face  Communications  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant          Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Director,          Public Safety  Assistant  Director,        Public Safety


Emergency Messaging Systems available to the Community at Large:

Emergency Messaging Systems Primary Message Creator Backup Message Creator Authority for approving & sending messages Primary Message Sender Backup Message Sender
 Mass    Notification  System  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant    Director,        Public Safety  Director,            Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Assistant  Director,      Public Safety
 Social Media  Director,  Public Safety  Assistant    Director,        Public Safety  Director,          Public Safety  Director,        Public Safety  Assistant  Director,      Public Safety


Mass Notification System

Registration for current students, faculty and staff:

If a student, faculty or staff member has an MCW e-mail address, they have an existing mass notification system profile. If a student, faculty or staff member would like to add e-mail or cell phone contact information to their existing mass notification system profile, they should go to mystateusa.com and enter their MCW e-mail address.

Once submitted, AlertSense will send to a link that will allow them to update their contact information. Depending on e-mail spam filters, one may need to check their junk mail folder for 'update@alertsense.com.' Please be aware that the update link is time sensitive and will expire after thirty (30) minutes.

Registration for the Community at Large:

If a member of the community at large would like to enroll in MCW’s mass notification system, they may do so by visiting our main page and clicking on the Mass Notification System Enrollment icon. They will then be directed to the AlertSense website to submit their e-mail and cell phone information.

Annual Tests (Drills and Exercises)

Annual tests of these emergency notification systems are conducted in conjunction with an evacuation drill and a severe weather/tornado drill. These tests, including the date, time, and whether the drill was announced or unannounced, are documented by Public Safety.  MCW will publish, on MCW’s Intranet site and Public Safety webpage, a summary of its emergency response and evacuation procedures in conjunction with at least one drill or exercise each calendar year. MCW’s emergency response and evacuation procedures are reviewed on an annual basis and publicized to the MCW community. This information is also available on the Emergency Planning section of Public Safety’s Intranet site.

General Evacuation Procedures

At the sound of a evacuation alarm (fire or evacuation)  or if you are otherwise instructed to evacuate the building, leave your work area immediately, travel to the nearest exit, proceed to ground level and exit the building. 

If you discover a fire or smoke, use the following acronym: RACE 

1. Remove yourself and anyone in immediate danger.

2. Alarm. Pull the nearest Manual Pull Station. This signal will alert others in the building.

3. Confine the fire, if safe to do so, by closing doors and windows. In all cases, removing yourself from danger and providing notification take precedence over confining the fire. If the fire is believed to be controllable, you may attempt to contain it using a portable fire extinguisher from a nearby area. Be familiar with the location and proper use of portable fire extinguishers. Always maintain a safe exit path between yourself and the fire. 

4. Evacuate the building. As required, go to your designated Evacuation Assembly Area.  Await further instructions from Public Safety, the fire department or your supervisor.

Contact Us

Public Safety Center
Health Research Center, Room H1820
Emergency: (414) 955-8299 | Non-Emergency: (414) 955-8295

Access and Parking Service Center
Health Research Center, Room H1860
(414) 955-8471 

Central Administration
Medical Education Building, Room M0740
(414) 955-8424 | Fax: (414) 456-6557

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Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 09/30/2015