Give Now

Office of Risk Management

Emergency Notification Procedures

SMU is committed to providing timely notification and instructions in case of an emergency on any of our campuses -or one that affects an SMU campus.

Because an emergency often involves a life-threatening situation, initial notification will be guided by the first emergency responders (police and/or fire) called to the incident. Subsequent notifications will contain updates and more detailed information as it becomes available to SMU and other officials.

Those in active or imminent danger will receive emergency alerts with instructions – evacuate, seek shelter or lockdown. The breadth and timing of notification for any type of emergency will depend upon the individual incident, using these guidelines:

Campuswide Emergency

This level of emergency affects, or has the potential to affect, the entire campus. This type of emergency might include an approaching tornado or the threat of an active shooter or shooters at-large on campus.

In a campus-wide emergency, a text message will be sent to students, faculty and staff as quickly as possible. Subsequent information will be sent using one or more of the following: additional texts, email, social media, SMU website, police bullhorns and campus fliers.

It is important to note that in such cases, full information might not be immediately available. In those cases, until the exact nature of the emergency or threat is known, you may receive preliminary information with instructions for protective action, to be updated as more details become available.

Limited Area Emergency

This level of emergency affects a limited area of campus. An example might be a small fire or flooding in a building that requires evacuation but is otherwise contained. Officials will restrict access to the affected area.

In a limited area emergency, no general campus-wide text message should be anticipated. SMU will inform affected areas via police personnel, building managers and public address systems. A targeted communication protocol aims to minimize the arrival of observers who may put themselves in danger and/or interfere with police activity. SMU may inform the broader campus at any point during or after the emergency has been resolved, depending on the circumstances of the emergency. Communication tools could include phone, email, social media, SMU website and campus fliers.

Components of Emergency Notification System (ENS)

SMU's Emergency Notification System is designed for redundancy and employs both high and low-tech solutions for notifying constituents located on any of our three campuses. The ENS may utilize all, or any combination of the following communication modes based on the direction of first responders and the type of emergency at hand. The ENS is tested monthly.

  • Phones: cell and office
  • Text messages
  • E-mails
  • Public address systems
  • Outdoor siren/speaker
  • Hand-held radios
  • Scoreboards
  • The SMU website and Facebook page
  • The SMU Information Line: 214-768-INFO
  • Runners & Bullhorns