University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Safe U.

Emergency and Crisis Communications


The University of Minnesota has a detailed plan in place for communicating to the University community, the media, and the public in the event of a public safety emergency or issue crisis.

Public safety emergencies include fires, bomb threats, natural disasters, major crimes, riots, and accidents. Issues that could become crises include police or University investigations, protests, high-profile and controversial media events, and other situations that demand a public response.

According to University policies, the Office of University Relations serves as the institution's Pubic Information Office (PIO) in an emergency and is responsible for coordinating, managing, and leading all communications efforts during emergency and crisis situations.

What to do in case of a public safety emergency

If an emergency that requires response from emergency personnel (e.g., police, fire, EMS) occurs, immediately call 911. On campus, all 911 calls are routed to the U's Police Security Emergency Command Center (PSECC) who will send help.

Colleges or administrative units who are involved in a crisis situation should call 911 if emergency response is needed, and in any event call the director of public relations (612-625-7134), who is the public information officer (PIO) for the University. If the PIO can’t be reached, call the News Service main line (612-624-5551) to determine next steps. The PIO will manage and coordinate the communications response to the emergency or crisis and determine whether to form a Crisis Communication Team. The PIO will also inform the president, Board of Regents Office, and other senior leaders if necessary.

Download the Communicating in an Emergency or Issue Crisis manual.