In case of emergency, please reference the following information: 

Jump to: Active Shooter | Bomb Threat | Chemical Spills | Criminal Activity | Fire and Evacuation | Hazardous Odors or LeaksMedical Emergencies | National Terrorism Advisory System | Severe Weather | Suspicious Package | Utility Failures 

Dialing the Public Safety emergency line (414) 277-7159 will allow Public Safety Officers to respond immediately; the Public Safety Department will call 911 for Emergency Management System (EMS) activation and response coordination. Dialing 9-911 on a campus phone will connect you with the Milwaukee Police and Fire EMS. If 9-911 is dialed on a campus phone, Public Safety will receive an alert and will dispatch officers to investigate. Contacting EMS yourself may result in the emergency not being treated as quickly or efficiently as it deserves. 

Individuals who need assistance during an evacuation should pre-plan their evacuation. This involves identifying a helper who will assist them in leaving the building and/or who will inform emergency personnel of where they are located so additional assistance can be provided. 

In case of building evacuations:

  • Exit the building immediately using the most direct route.
  • If unable to do so on your own, ask for helper assistance to the nearest exit or room near a stairway with a window. Note the room number.
  • Ask the helper leaving the building to notify emergency personnel of your location so that they can get the assistance you need.
  • If available, activate a “rescue assistance” button to notify Public Safety.
  • Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app.

Active Shooter

YOUR safety is the #1 priority. Only you are aware of you’re capable of doing, and comfortable with doing. Please consider the below information as a loose guide or suggestions. Ultimately, your response to an active shooter is 100% unique to you, given your limitations/capabilities, and location. 

The Public Safety Department recognizes the ALICE response to active shooter events. The following steps are being presented via the acronym ALICE. They are not meant to be instructions followed step-by-step. Each person, in each room, in each building, may have a unique response to dealing with an active shooter. 


  • As soon as Public Safety is made aware of an active shooter event on campus, a RAVE mobile safety alert will be sent out. DO NOT ignore this alert, or treat it as an error.
    • Avoid the area detailed in the RAVE mobile safety alert.
    • Follow any instructions issued in the RAVE mobile safety alert.
  • You may receive calls or messages from others advising of an active shooter event on campus. DO NOT ignore these messages, or treat them as a hoax. 
    • Avoid the area detailed in the call or message.
  • Be mindful of sights or sounds that seem off or make you uncomfortable. 
    • Gunshots (i.e. loud popping or cracking sounds)
    • Suspicious individuals or actions
    • Yelling, shouting, arguing, or screaming
    • Emergency exits propped open, or chained shut. 
      • If you feel something isn’t right, inform Public Safety. 


  • If unable, or unwilling, to evacuate, lockdown the room that you are in.
  • Barricade the door with furniture. 
    • Use belts or cords to tie off door handles or tension bars. 
  • Try to avoid locking down in classrooms surrounded by glass
    • If this is your ONLY option, try to use furniture to cover glass and obstruct the shooter’s view. 
  • Do NOT get comfortable. Spread out, plan your next move, arm yourself, and prepare to counter in case the shooter enters/attempts to enter your space. 
  • Use this time to inform others of the active shooter situation. 
  • Do NOT dismantle your barricade or open your door for anyone. 
    • Public Safety and Facilities will be present with Milwaukee Police Department. Communications will be sent out via RAVE Guardian. We’ll find our way into your room. 


  • Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app.
    • Public Safety will respond immediately to assist with evacuation and/or engage the shooter.
    • Public Safety will call 911 and alert EMS.
      • Time is of the essence. If you provide EMS with the wrong information, i.e., accidentally providing the wrong address, or no address, it will take EMS longer to respond. 
  • Be prepared to provide the following information. 
    • Your name
    • Building name
    • Room number/location
    • Name or description of shooter. Last known location.
    • Weapons
    • Are you alone, or with people? If so, how many?
    • Are you, or anyone with you, injured? If so, what is the extent of their injury. 
  • Do NOT activate the fire alarm. 
    • You may force individuals out of a safe position, into a potentially dangerous position.


  • If the shooter enters your room, or you encounter them while you evacuate you must be prepared to defend yourself! 
  • Cause distractions and confuse the shooter. Create a chaotic environment.
    • Rapid movement
      • Harder to shoot a moving target.
      • Harder for shooter to orient who’s present, and how many.
      • Put the shooter off balance.
    • Loud noises
      • Human reflexes will draw the shooter’s attention away from their target. 
    • Throw objects
      • Whether you throw a chair, or a water bottle, the shooter’s flinch mechanism will take over. The brain will send a message for the shooter to protect their body in some capacity (i.e., ducking, turning, swatting etc). 
        • Offers you a brief opportunity to escape or engage the shooter.
        • For a split moment the shooter is focused on protecting themselves, instead of harming you/someone else.
    • Get physical
      • Strike
      • Use your hands, feet, chairs, improvised weapons.
      • Grapple
        • Grab on to a limb and go limp. Let their appendage support your whole-body weight.
        • Break the shooter down and bring them to the ground. 
          • Stay on top of them. 
            • Do NOT get up unless Public Safety or MPD removes you. 
          • Arms outstretched. Control their hands. Do not let them touch themselves or retrieve another weapon.


  • If you able to evacuate, do it. 
    • Utilize conventional or emergency exits – which ever exit is closest and less congested. 
      • Large crowds=large targets
  • If necessary, break windows and evacuate that way. 
    • Strike windows in upper left or right corner and work your way down. 
    • Leave all belongings behind, i.e., keys, vehicle, bags.
      • Things are replaceable. People are not.  
      • Do NOT try to drive away. The area will be congested with people leaving, and EMS entering. You increase the chance of harming someone or delaying EMS from responding. 
  • If you see law enforcement, head in the direction they are coming from. That path has been cleared. 
    • Do NOT attempt to touch or speak with officers. Just move towards the path they’ve cleared. 
    • You may provide information as you pass. i.e., “He’s on the 3rd floor.”
  • Once you are out of the building get away as far as possible. We do not use evacuation assembly areas for active shooter situation. 

Public Safety will issue RAVE mobile safety alerts as the situation changes.

Bomb Threat

If you receive a bomb threat by telephone here are some helpful things to keep in mind:

  1. Remain calm. When a bomb threat is received, the person taking the call must remain calm and obtain as much information as possible.
     - Do NOT hang up 
     - Do NOT put the caller on hold 
     - Do NOT attempt to transfer the call
  2. The person taking the call should immediately notify another staff person in the office preferably while the caller is still on the line. This would be a perfect time to use the RAVE Guardian app to notify Public Safety.
  3. Keep the caller on the line as long as possible and listen carefully.
  4. Pay close attention to the caller and his/her words and speech.
     - Does the caller have any distinguishing voice characteristics such as an accent, stuttering or mispronunciation?
     - Is the caller angry, excited, irrational or agitated? 
     - Is the caller a man or women, young, middle-aged or old?

View the FBI's official Bomb Threat Checklist. Be sure to reference it and follow the FBI's recommendations while on the phone with the caller.

Chemical Spills

Do NOT attempt to contain or clean up any chemical spill unless you know the hazards of the spilled material and you have been trained in safe clean-up methods. Prevent others from entering the spill area and spreading the material to other areas. 

Minor Spills
(inside building, not escaping to drain and not an inhalation hazard)
Anyone who knows what was spilled, its hazards and safe clean-up methods may clean up a minor spill. If you do not know how to clean it up, contact your supervisor or instructor. 

Major Spills
A major spill is one that cannot safely clean-up or one that has occurred outside of a building. A major spill requires trained responders. For inside spills that are major or present an immediate hazard, pull the fire alarm and contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from the building’s evacuation assembly area. For outside spills, contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from a safe location. 

If you have made bodily contact with a spilled material that poses a contact hazard, immediately remove any contaminated clothing and flush all areas of bodily contact with copious amounts of water for fifteen minutes.


  • Contain and/or clean up the spill only if you are trained and can do so safely.
  • Evacuate the room(s) where the spill occurred.
  • Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from a safe place with as much information as possible about the material and the amount spilled. 
  • Meet Public Safety

In addition to the above information on volatile chemicals:

  • Avoid any actions that might create a spark.
  • If the spill is close a source of ignition, verbally notify individuals in the area to evacuate. 

Outside of building

  • Contain and/or clean up spill only if you have been trained and can do so safely.
  • Unless you can clean up the spill completely, contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from a safe place with as much information as possible about the material and the amount spilled. 

Entering a drain

  • Block additional material from entering the drain if you do so safely (use a designated spill kit).
  • Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from a safe place with as much information as possible about the material and the amount spilled. 

Criminal Activity 

If you observe a crime in progress or observe behavior that you suspect is criminal, immediately notify Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159 or via the RAVE Guardian app.  

Please be prepared to provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • What is happening?
    • Are weapons involved?
  • Where is it occurring?
  • Who is involved?
    • How many people are involved?
    • Describe, if possible, the height, hair color, facial features and clothing of those involved.
    • Describe the vehicles involved, if any, including vehicle description (model, color, year) and license plate number. 
    • If vehicles are involved, where are they headed?
    • Has anyone been injured?

If you’re able to provide video or photos of the incident, those may be provided via RAVE Guardian.

Do not approach or attempt to apprehend the person(s) involved. If possible, stay on the phone with the Public Safety dispatcher until officers arrive on the scene. You can provide additional information as it becomes available, or as the situation changes.  ALWAYS REPORT THINGS THAT ARE UNUSUAL OR SUSPICIOUS!

Fire and Evacuation

If you discover smoke or fire

  • Warn others, pull the nearest fire alarm and get out of the building.
  • From a safe location, immediately call Public Safety at (414) 277-7159.
  • Identify yourself and the exact location of the fire or smoke.
  • Do NOT attempt to put the fire out.
  • Do not call the fire department yourself.

If the fire alarm sounds

  • Always assume there is an actual emergency—Never assume an alarm is a false alarm.
  • Begin evacuating immediately, do not stop to collect personal belongings.
  • Do not use the elevators; instead take the stairs. If the nearest stairwell is blocked by smoke, fire or debris, attempt to evacuate using the other stairwells.
  • Do not run. Walk quickly and hold the handrails.
  • Stay to the right side in the stairwells to allow passage for firefighters or public safety personnel.
  • Once you are out of the building, congregate at the assigned location. (RWJ meets in the South parking lot and MLH meets in the West parking lot) Do NOT congregate in front of the building entrances.
  • Do NOT re-enter the building until told to do so by Public Safety.

It is university policy that in all instances where a building fire alarm has been activated, the affected building will be completely evacuated as a precaution. Faculty, staff and students should evacuate as quickly as possible.

Tips for getting out safely:

  • Before opening a door, feel it for heat. If it is cool, open it slowly. If smoke is present, close the door and use another route. Always close the door behind you to limit the spread of fire and smoke.
  • If you must go through heat or heavy smoke, remember that smoke rises. Crawl, keeping your face close to the floor. This applies even when opening doors; stay low and reach up to turn the knob.
  • Do not leave the scene or you may be believed to be trapped in the building.

Residence Halls Fire Evacuation Procedures

In the residence halls, the exits are located at both ends of the hallways. Residents should evacuate to the exit nearest to their room.

If both stairwells are inaccessible, residents should return to their rooms. Close the doors, and place clothing or a towel underneath the door to prevent smoke from entering the room. Open a window and hang a sheet outside the window to show the fire department where to begin rescue operations.

Hazardous Odors or Leaks

Report any gas leaks or suspicious odors to Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159 or via the RAVE Guardian app.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Building name
  • Nature of the incident
  • Floor or area that is affected
  • Room number
  • Type of accident
  • Name of the gas, if known

In the event of a gas leak or visible fire from gas cylinders or piping:

  1. Evacuate the area. If it is an explosive gas (i.e. natural gas), do NOT active devices that generate a spark. Light switches, fire alarm pull stations, phones, elevators, etc. are all potential sources of a spark that could ignite an explosive gas.
  2. Confine any fire or smoke to the extent possible (close off any doors to the affected area if you can do safely as you evacuate). This will help limit the impact of the leak or fire.
  3. Notify others in the immediate area if you can do safely. Knock on office doors and inform as many people as safely as possible if you are unable to active the building’s fire alarm.
  4. Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app, from the building’s evacuation assembly area.
  5. Remain upwind of the leak.
  6. If you have information about the source of the odor or leak, inform Public Safety.
  7. Do not return to the building until given approval by Public Safety. 

Medical Emergencies

Contact Public Safety immediately via phone at (414) 277-7169, or via the RAVE Guardian app.  Public Safety will contact 911 if immediate EMS response is needed.  AED locations (pdf).

Be prepared to give the following information:

  • Location of the emergency.
  • What happened?
  • Number of persons injured.
  • Is the injured person conscious?
  • Is the injured person breathing?
  • Is there severe bleeding?

If trained, provide first aid and/or CPR. Stop severe bleeding with direct pressure. 

  • Public Safety will take over as soon as they arrive. It may take several minutes for officers to respond. By initiating life saving techniques, prior to Public Safety’s arrival, you’ll be helping the sick/injured party. 
  • Remember universal precautions. Do NOT expose yourself to blood and/or bodily fluids without protection of a barrier such as gloves.

Remove all students and visitors from the room, unless they are actively assisting with first aid, CPR or severe bleeding. 

Do NOT approach persons injured by electrocution or toxic exposure unless they are clearly away from the hazard. 

Do NOT move a seriously injured person unless they are in an unsafe area. If the victim must be moved, move as a unit, always supporting the head and neck. 

Keep victim warm. 

Comfort the victim and offer reassurance that medical attention s on the way. After immediate medical needs have been cared for, stand by to answer any questions Public Safety or EMS has. 

National Terrorism Advisory System

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has established a National Terrorism Advisory System to provide the public with information regarding terrorist threats.

Please check this webpage for periodic updates and instructions in case of a situation that threatens the campus. At this time, there is no information to indicate that the City of Milwaukee or MSOE is in any increased risk of terrorist attack.

Severe Weather

Know the location of the designated shelter area for your building (provided here). 

Consult the emergency evacuations postings to identify your shelter.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch
This means conditions are right for a severe thunderstorm. Monitor weather updates and be prepared to act.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning 
This means severe thunderstorms are occurring. Be prepared to move to shelter if threating weather approaches.

  • Remain indoors and away from windows until the severe storm passes. If large hail begins to fall, seek immediate shelter.
  • Report any injuries and damages by contacting Public Safety via phone (414) 277-5159 or via the RAVE Guardian app.
  • Be prepared to give the following information:
    • Your name
    • Building name
    • Type of injury or damage
    • Location of any injured person(s) or building damage
    • Room number you are calling from

Tornado Watch
This means conditions are right for a tornado. Monitor weather updates and be prepared to act.

Tornado Warning
This means radar or weather spotters have identified a tornado. The City of Milwaukee emergency siren will sound a steady tone for three minutes or longer if there is danger in the immediate area. Public Safety will also issue a RAVE Guardian mobile safety alert.

  1. Department personnel and faculty should make certain that everyone vacates the office or classroom. Take note of and report anyone who is missing. Close doors behind you as you evacuate.
  2. Immediately move to the designated tornado shelter area. If you are unable to get to the designated shelter area, try to get to the lowest level possible. An interior hallway away from windows is recommended. Rooms with long-span roofs, such as cafeterias and gymnasiums, are not recommended shelter areas.
  3. Remain in the designated tornado shelter area until Public Safety gives the "all clear" via RAVE Guardian mobile safety alert. 

Suspicious Package

If a suspicious package is received, notify Public Safety immediately via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via RAVE Guardian.

When sorting mail or receiving delivered packages:

  • Look for suspicious characteristics such as: 
    • Excess postage, excess weight
    • Misspelled common words
    • Oily stains, discoloration, odor
    • No return address or showing a city/state in the postmark that does not match the return address
    • Package not anticipated by someone in the university or sent by an unknown vendor
  • Do not open or move the package if it looks suspicious
  • Evacuate the immediate area and contact Public Safety via phone (414) 277-7159, or via RAVE Guardian. If the type and/or location of hazardous material are know, report that information to Public Safety.
  • If appropriate, Public Safety will notify law enforcement.

If a letter/package is opened and contains a written threat, but no suspicious substances:

  1. Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159 or via RAVE Guardian.
  2. Limit access to the area in which the letter/package was opened. It is considered criminal evidence.
  3. The person who discovered/opened the letter/package should place it into another container, such as a plastic bag. Use gloves when handling the item. 

If a letter/package is opened and contains a suspicious substance:

  1. Contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159 or via RAVE Guardian. If the type and/or location of hazardous material is know, report that information to Public Safety.
  2. Immediately isolate the people who have been exposed to the substance.
  3. Limit all access to the area in which the letter/package was opened.
  4. Use gloves and place the letter/package into another container.

Law enforcement officers will determine the need for decontamination.

Utility Failures

Report any utility failures to Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159 or via the RAVE Guardian app. Public Safety will contact Facilities.

Be prepared to provide the following information: 

  • Your name
  • Building name
  • Nature of the incident
  • Room number
  • Floor(s) or area affected

Electrical Failure

  1. Facilities will assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action.
  2. In the event of a significant power failure, the building’s emergency generator (if so equipped) will provide limited electricity to crucial areas of the building, including emergency lighting.
  3. Turn off all electrical equipment including computers. Do not turn any electrical equipment back on until you are given approval by your supervisor of Facilities.
  4. Some of the buildings’ emergency lighting power sources are battery powered. You should evacuate the building when the emergency lighting comes on. This is especially important when there is limited or no natural lighting available along your exit path.
  5. Do NOT re-enter the building until all power has been restored.
  6. The elevators will not function in a power failure. Use the stairs if you evacuate the building.
  7. If you are trapped in an elevator, us the elevator’s emergency button to notify Public Safety. 

Steam Leaks

  1. If the steam leak is inside a building, evacuate the area and close the door behind you. Steam can cause severe burns and displace oxygen. Moisture from steam can conduct electricity.
  2. A steam leak may cause the building’s fire alarm to sound. Even if you have determined the problem is a steam like, exit the building immediately. 

Water Leaks/Flooding

  1. In the event of water leaks, try to contain the leakage in a container to minimize damage or safety hazards. If it is a significant water leak, avoid the area where water has accumulated and contact Public Safety via phone at (414) 277-7159, or via the RAVE Guardian app.
  2. Water conducts electricity. No not walk through accumulated water that is in contact with energized conductors (i.e. an extension cord in a puddle).
  3. If the leak is from an unknown source, avoid contact with the leaking material. It may be hazardous. In case of accidental contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water.