Emergency Situations Policy & Procedure


Applies to: All University employees

Emergency situations refer to severe weather, a long-term power outage, a fire, a tornado, human-made and natural disasters, cyber emergency, or a declared "state of emergency" situation. In the event of a major campus emergency, the University media coordinator, under the direction of the President of the University and the Police Chief and Director of MSU Police Department, will disseminate warning information through the appropriate media.

In cases of prolonged emergency situations, the level of services appropriate to the functioning of the University and the needs and levels of employee involvement will be determined by the unit administration in order to protect the health and safety of human and animal life and the basic security of the University's physical plant and equipment.


Critical functions: University operations that are required to protect the health and safety of human and/or animal life and provide basic security to the university’s property and assets.

Critical personnel: Those employees pre-identified by their supervisors and deemed necessary to carry out critical functions (see payroll discussion points below).

Suspension of classes: All academic courses occurring in MSU facilities impacted by a disaster or emergency will be temporarily suspended by order of the President and Provost.

Suspension of all activity, except critical functions: All non-critical functions are suspended by order of the President due to a need to reduce activity during an emergency or disaster.


Unit administrators are responsible for developing specific emergency action plans for their building(s) within the guidelines provided by the Police Department.

Details of building emergency action plans must be provided for all personnel within the building. Plans should be reviewed and tested as needed. Classroom Emergency Guidelines posters are  provided in all classroom spaces on the East Lansing campus.

For information on department and employee responsibilities related to maintenance of critical operations during an emergency situation, as well as guidance on associated time keeping, please refer to the "Guidelines for Maintaining Critical Functions/Services at MSU".

During snow emergencies, employees are requested to park in the parking ramps.

Refer questions on emergency procedures to: Emergency Management Division, MSU Police Department of Police (non-emergency line at 517-355-2221 or info@police.msu.edu).

Refer questions on time off procedures and pay for employees to: Human Resources (telephone 517-353-4434, SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu).