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Emergency Notification and Timely Warning Policy

Emergency Notification and Timely Warning Policy


To establish utilization standards for emergency notification and the issuance of timely warnings at the University of Dayton.  This policy includes policy statements required by the U.S. Department of Education in the Clery appendix of the Federal Student Aid handbook and which are a required element of the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report.


Staff responsible for system management of making notifications.  Faculty, staff, and students receiving emergency notification and timely warning messages.

Policy History

Effective Date:  December 17, 2015

Approval:  February 15, 2024

Policy History: 

  • Approved in its original form:  December 17, 2015
  • Approved as amended:  February 15, 2024

Maintenance of Policy:  Director, Clery Compliance & Records Coordinator, Department of Public Safety



I.  The safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors is a paramount concern, especially during an emergency.  The use of the emergency notification system provides for the rapid dissemination of time-sensitive information to enhance the safety and security of the university environs during an emergency and to relay timely information to parents and guardians.

II.  For the purposes of this document, an emergency is defined as any current or imminent event with significant threat to life and/or property and with a high potential to disrupt operations or adversely impact the quality of life at the University of Dayton.  Some examples include but are not limited to:

a.  Tornado warning (tornado has been sighted and the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for areas that include the University campus).

b.  Large-scale environmental incident within or near a campus facility (i.e., fire or hazardous material).

c.  Ongoing acts of violence or other criminal activity which present significant risk of physical harm (i.e., active shooter).

d.  Urgent notification for cancellation of classes due to severe weather or environmental.

III.  The University of Dayton maintains a contract with an approved vendor to provide an off-site emergency notification system.  The system can be activated during an emergency to provide rapid notification to members of the university community through a variety of communication means, including:

     a.  Standard telephone;

     b.  Cellular telephone;

     c.  Email;

     d.  SMS text messaging.

IV.  Department of Public Safety is responsible for the management of emergency notification systems.  UDit will provide technical support and assistance as required.

V.  Emergency notification procedures are provided in APPENDIX A - Emergency Notification Procedures.


I.  In the event of an incident, on property owned or controlled by the University, that constitutes an ongoing threat to the campus community, a timely warning in the form of a safety advisory will be issued as soon as reasonably practicable.  All crimes reportable in the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety report that is considered to represent a serious or continuing threat will be reported to the community in a timely warning.

II.  Timely warnings are issued by Public Safety via the campus email system to each student, faculty, and staff member with a University email member.

III.  Timely warning procedures are provided in APPENDIX B, Timely Warning Procedures. 

Reference Documents

  1. Clery Appendix of the Federal Student Aid Handbook
  2. Violence Against Women Act
  3. Appendix A: Emergency Notification Procedure
  4. Appendix B: Timely Warning Procedure

Appendix A - Emergency Notification Procedure

The University's mass notification system is used to rapidly notify the campus community in the event of a significant emergency or dangerous situation imminently impacting the safety or security of the University area.  Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, authorized personnel will activate the system without delay, transmitting a notification and instructions for community members.  The following steps will be followed:

I.  Confirm the presence of a significant emergency or dangerous situation.  Reports by responding officers or other University officials (e.g., Facilities Management and Planning, Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management staff) are the basis of this confirmation.  The Department of Public Safety is responsible for confirming the emergency, sometimes in conjunction with local first responders, Public Health officials, the National Weather Service and/or other University administrators.

II.  The Director of Clery Compliance and Records Coordinator or another member of the Emergency Management Committee will determine the content of the notification and will use some or all of the systems described below to communicate the threat to the UD community or to the appropriate segment of the community, if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population.

The Emergency Management Committee consists of members from the following areas:

  • Department of Public Safety;
  • Audit, Risk, and Compliance;
  • Environmental Health and Safety;
  • News and Communications;
  • Office of the Provost.

If necessary, the initial notification will provide information relative to evacuation from or avoidance of the impacted area.  Follow-up information, including an all-clear message, will be distributed using some or all of the identified communication systems (except fire alarm).

III.  The Department of Public Safety will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification immediately upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation, unless the notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist a victim or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Students, staff, and faculty of the University of Dayton will be included in the notification.

          Any required notifications to the larger community (outside the University of Dayton area) will be coordinated by the Department of Public Safety and/or News and Communications.

          The Emergency Notification System provides for multiple means of contact for students, faculty and staff, including:

  • University telephone numbers;
  • Home telephone numbers;
  • Mobile telephone numbers;
  • Email;
  • SMS text message.

IV.  The University may post information related to campus emergencies on the University’s website and on the "Current Situation" page of the Department of Public Safety's website.  These messages are posted by News and Communications or the Department of Public Safety.

V.  Face-to-face communication may also be used to communicate information during an emergency situation.

VI.  The University may implement the audible siren system when an initial mass notification system message is activated about an emergency occurring or potentially occurring on campus.

          University telephone numbers, email addresses, and University-provided mobile phone number are automatically loaded into the Emergency Notification System.  Individuals can add additional telephone numbers and email addresses to the system via Porches. When logged into the Porches community portal, campus community members can click on the "Menu", select "My Account" from the tasks menu and scroll to the bottom of the page to update, add to, or change their information in the Emergency Notification System.

          Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to provide updated information for other contact means to enhance notification ability.

          The local news media may be utilized to disseminate emergency information to members of the larger community, including campus neighbors, parents, and other interested parties.  The larger community can also access emergency information via the University of Dayton website.  If there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus, an institution must follow its emergency notification procedures.  An institution that follows its emergency notification procedures is not required to issue a Safety Advisory based on the same circumstances; however, the institution must provide adequate follow-up information to the community as needed.

The Emergency Notification System is tested at least once each academic year.  The Department of Public Safety will announce the schedule of the test, conduct the test, and provide instruction for including privately-owned contact information in the system.

Each test is documented and includes a description of the exercise, the date and time of the exercise, and whether it was announced or unannounced.

Appendix B - Timely Warning Notification Procedure

In the event a crime is reported within the UD Clery geography (On Campus, Public Property, and Non-campus) that, in the judgment of the University's Police Chief and/or the Chief's designee and in consultation with senior campus administrators when time permits, constitutions a serious or continuing threat, a campus-wide timely warning notice called a Safety Advisory will be issued. 

The Department of Public Safety issues Safety Advisories via the campus email system to each current student, faculty, and staff member.  Safety Advisories shall be provided in a manner that is timely, that withholds the names of victims as confidential, and that will aid in the prevention of similar occurrences.

Timely Warnings (hereinafter, "Safety Advisories") are typically used for the following Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR)/National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) crime classifications:

  • Murder/Non-negligent manslaughter;
  • Aggravated assault:
    • Reported cases involving assaults among known parties (such as two roommates fighting) which result in an aggravated injury will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the individual is believed to be an ongoing threat to the larger campus community.
  • Robbery involving force or violence:
    • Cases including pickpocketing and purse snatching will typically not result in issuance of a Safety Advisory, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Sexual assault:
    • Considered on a case-by-case basis depending on facts of the case, when and where the incident occurred, when it was reported, and the amount of information known by the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee.
    • Because cases involving sexual assault often are reported long after the incident occurred, there may be no ability to distribute a "time" warning notice to the community.
    • All reported cases of sexual assault, including those perpetrated by a stranger or someone known to the victim, will be assessed for potential issuance of a Safety Advisory.
  • Major incidents of arson;
  • Other Clery-reportable crimes as determined necessary by the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee in the Chief's absence. 

Safety Advisories may also be issued for other crime classifications and locations, even though that is not required by law, at the sole discretion of the University.

Safety Advisories are typically written and distributed by the Chief of Police or a designee and are typically reviewed by the Vice President of Student Development, Office of Legal Affairs, and members of the Emergency Management Committee before distribution.

The institution is not required to issue a Safety Advisory with respect to crimes reported to a pastoral or professional counselor.


For questions relating to the University policies of Student Development, please contact:

Bill Fischer, Vice President for Student Development