University Communications staff will serve as primary coordinators of public information in a major emergency situation, assisting the University administration in gathering key information and disseminating it.
Key priorities will be:
- Communicating accurate information to the public, which will help prevent the spread of rumors; and
- Providing timely status reports and announcements to the University community.
A representative of University Communications will report to the Emergency Operations Center in an emergency situation to gather information, reports, and recommendations on the status of the University. The representative will assist in conveying this information as necessary to the Policy Group, which includes representatives of the News Office.
Depending on communications channels available, University Communications staff will provide updates on the status of the campus to media outlets in order to ensure that accurate information is disseminated regarding the University campus.
The University Web site will also be utilized to provide emergency information. If the University Web site is unavailable due to the emergency, University Communications staff will communicate with the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) to serve as a mutual aid partner, providing key announcements and bulletins to be posted on the UCMC Web site. University radio stations, including WHPK, 88.5 FM, may also serve as a broadcast source of emergency information if required.
The Incident Management Team will provide assistance in disseminating emergency bulletins or announcements if needed, using available emergency notification systems. This may include notification systems maintained by the Department of Public Safety or e-mail systems operated by the Information Services Division.
If University Communications itself experiences an incident that impacts department facilities, systems, or operations, department staff will implement procedures to quickly re-establish critical services and restore full services when conditions permit. To the fullest extent possible, continuity of services most essential to the University will be maintained according to the department’s contingency plan.