Emergency Notifications and Response

Basic information

  • Applies to:
    • Current Students
    • Full-time faculty
    • Instructor
    • Staff
    • Part-Time/Adjunct
  • Approved by:
    • Student Life
  • Last updated: April 21, 2020

Specific building evacuation maps are posted in strategic locations in campus buildings and can also be found on the Calvin Campus Safety website. Emergency preparedness plans are exercised each year. These exercises may include tabletop exercises, scenario responses and fire drills. A minimum of one fire drill per semester is conducted in each residence hall. A minimum of one fire drill per academic year is conducted in the academic buildings.

Calvin University utilizes an Emergency Notification System for faculty, staff, and students. After responsible personnel have been made aware of an emergency affecting all or part of the Calvin University campus, the Calvin Alert System will be activated without delay by the Campus Safety dispatch center, Operations Analyst or Director of Campus Safety. Initial confirmation for activating the emergency notification system may occur as a result of the observations of a Campus Safety employee, notification from an emergency liaison, multiple eyewitness telephone calls, or an alarm system notification received at the dispatch center.

The message content may contain pre-scripted brief messages or tailored content developed by the Director of Campus Safety or Operations Analyst. The information will be shared to help the public take action for their safety. An “all clear” message or follow up information will be disseminated as appropriate.

Localized incidents within a building, such as a small fire or hazardous material spill in a lab most likely will not require a mass notification, however occupants in individual buildings may receive a notification.

In the event of an emergency, the Calvin Alert System will be activated to notify faculty, staff, and students, as Calvin University Administration deems necessary, based on the circumstances of the event. The Calvin Alert System activation will make notifications in the following manner:

  • E-mail
  • SMS text message
  • Knightguard App

Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for correctly providing all necessary personal information to ensure a successful message delivery. Calvin University cannot provide communication to those who fail to provide a correct and current cell phone number and/or email address information.

The following Calvin University officials shall have authority to activate the Emergency Notification System:

  • President
  • Vice President of Finance
  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Provost
  • Campus Safety Director
  • Campus Safety Assistant Director
  • Campus Operations Analyst
  • Campus Safety Patrol Supervisors
  • Campus Safety Patrol Officers
  • Dean of Students
  • Director of Communications and Marketing

The Calvin Alert System may be used to transmit brief urgent messages as quickly as possible. Emergency notifications may include, but are not limited to:

  • Campus Closures
  • Weather Warnings (Severe Thunderstorm Warnings & Tornado Watches & Warnings)
  • Fire
  • Natural gas leaks or hazardous material spills
  • Natural disasters affecting the Campus
  • Campus wide power outages and/or utility failures
  • Violent criminal behavior
  • Bomb threats or other imminent violent threats
  • Explosions on campus
  • Terrorism incidents
  • Pandemic incidents

Depending upon the contact information supplied by faculty, staff, and students, notification may be made in the following manners:

  • Calvin University email
  • Personal email
  • SMS text to cell phone
  • Knightguard App

The Calvin Alert System will be tested at the beginning of each semester, with welcome back messages going to the entire community. In the event that adverse weather conditions exist on a test day, the test/welcome message will be delayed until the adverse conditions clear the area to prevent any misinterpretation of the test/welcome message and also keep the Emergency Notification System available in case of a true emergency condition.

It is the responsibility of each faculty member, staff member, and student to provide the correct contact information and update the their account if their contact information changes. Instructions for updating contact info can be found in the resources page for employees at https://calvin.edu/faculty-staff/ and for students at https://calvin.edu/students/ under the directory information header.


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