Emergency Preparedness

It is the responsibility of each resident to know what to do in the event of an emergency. For further University emergency procedures, please see the Emergency Response Guide at:

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The Emergency Alert System is a federal program ( that allows the public safety community to easily alert the public through radio, television and other modes of alerting. The University subscribes and participates in this system.

The University has integrated video from this system into the campus television distribution system and the University digital signs. Audio is also distributed to those sources as well as campus wide through the centralized fire alarm public address system. Student, staff and faculty e-mails are automatically subscribed to the emergency alert notification system.

Bomb Threat

If a student receives a bomb threat via phone, email or note, they should call 911 immediately. The student should not erase any messages or texts they may have received that are related to the threat. If the threat was made by phone the student should immediately write down everything they can remember about the threat including time, date, exact wording of the threat, background noises and details of the caller's voice. Students are expected to follow further instructions from University Police.

Fire Alarms / Evacuation

UW System policy requires that all students evacuate their residence hall at the sound of a fire alarm. Failure to do so can result in a citation and/or Residence Life conduct charges. Students and employees should know where the nearest exits are to their location and always vacate the building at the nearest exit immediately.

Students and employees should only return to the building once the all clear has been given by University Police, the City of River Falls Fire Department or Residence Life staff. No one should use elevators during a fire alarm. Students and employees with disabilities should have a personal evacuation plan in place in the event of an emergency.

Fire Extinguishers

The location of fire extinguishers and facility areas of rescue/refuge are detailed on the "Tornado and Fire Procedures" posted on every floor of university facilities.

Smoke Detectors

In the event of a fire, the smoke detection systems will activate the alarm automatically. The alarm for a building-wide evacuation will be alarm tones followed by a voice message indicating that the fire alarm has been activated. All students and employees are required to evacuate the building when the alarm sounds. Building occupants should remain outside the building, at the assembly area. until both the audible and visual strobe light alarms stop.

Pandemic Preparedness / Influenza / H1N1

The best way to prevent the spread of influenza or other communicable disease is to practice good hygiene habits. If a student is sick, they should not go to class or outside activities. Students are expected to inform their instructors via e-mail that they are unable to attend class due to illness. It is the student's responsibility to make up any work that is missed from class due to illness. Students can contact Student Health Services with any questions or concerns regarding personal health and wellness.

Power Outage

If a power outage occurs, students should remain cognizant of their surroundings and limit their activity to avoid injury. As Residence Life staff members receive information on the duration of the power outage, they will do their best to inform residents. It is recommended that all students bring with them a small flashlight to keep in their room in the event there is an extended power outage.

If the power outage is only one or two rooms students should contact their RA for assistance.

Severe Weather


A blizzard warning is an advisory issued by the National Weather Service where sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater with heavy snow is forcasted for a period of 3 hours or more. A Severe Blizzard Warning is where there are winds above 45 mph expected with temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. In some cases, this will also activate the Emergency Alert System. Please check the UWRF website for more information related to delays and closings for this type of severe weather.


Water damage can occur from a number of sources: broken pipes, clogged drains, damaged skylights or windows, construction errors, or weather related events.

If you become aware of a water leak:

      1. Contact University Police at 715-425-3133.
      2. Be ready to evacuate as directed by University Police.
      3. Follow the recommended primary or secondary evacuation routes.


Tornadoes can occur any time during the year with the right weather conditions. However, Wisconsin’s peak tornado season is May through August. A tornado “watch” means that weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. A tornado “warning” is issued when a funnel cloud has actually been sighted in the surrounding area by a qualified spotter or has been detected on radar. Emergency warning sirens are activated in the city of River Falls when there is a tornado warning.

If a tornado warning is issued, students should immediately head to one of the designated tornado shelters in their residence hall. Tornado shelters are all marked in yellow signage throughout the residence halls. Tornado shelters vary from building to building. If a student is unable to get to a tornado shelter, they should take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture and protect their head. Stay away from windows. Do not come out until the all clear has been given.

Sign Up for Emergency Alerts

All University of Wisconsin-River Falls students are encouraged to
sign-up to receive text message emergency alerts on their cell phone
during an emergency. Please see the website for details at: