Emergency Text Alert Program

NMU continues to provide a safe learning, living and working environment for students and employees.  It is critical that NMU and its student, faculty and employee population be able to effectively communicate in emergency situations. All students and employees may sign up for notification regarding all campus emergencies through a text message and e-mail alert system.

Five Things to Know in an Emergency Situation

The following are 5 things to know if you are involved in an emergency situation at Northern Michigan University: Safety first. Call 911. Help is on the way. Do not leave the safe gathering area. Do not become the NMU spokesperson.

Response Guidelines for an Active Shooter

Response for an active shooter situation on campus at Northern Michigan University: secure the immediate area, contact authorities, what to report, un-securing the area, and police response.

Lake Superior Safe Swim Tips

As Northern Michigan University student you will have many opportunities to interact with magnificent Lake Superior. We encourage you to enjoy all the natural wonder that Lake Superior has to offer, but also respect the lake’s power, too. Please do not put yourself or your friends in dangerous water-related situations.  Enjoy Lake Superior, but be safe when you do.

Inclement Weather

If you attend or work at NMU, you know we sometimes have inclement weather. There are several ways to get an update on the university’s decisions about bad weather, including messages on the NMU home page and NMU Police Department home page, as well as calling the B-R-R-R line (906-227-BRRR) and listening to area media outlets. The media outlets are notified by 6 a.m. if day classes are canceled and by 2 p.m. if night classes are canceled.

If you know of a possible or definite emergency situation that is not being reported on this page, contact the NMU Police Department immediately by dialing (906) 227-2151. Marquette County Central Dispatch can be contacted by dialing 911. You will be asked to provide your name and location as well as a description of the emergency situation.

Remember that falsely reporting a crime or emergency is illegal. The NMU Police Department will prosecute all falsely reported crimes and emergencies to the fullest extent.

More Information

Q:  How do I get this service?

A:  You must have a cell phone that accepts text messages. You may want to sign up for a text message plan with your carrier, if you do not have one already. Register for alerts at NMU Alerts. You may have the option to choose different alerts and some alerts may allow you to decide which days of the week and times of the day to receive those alerts; all other alerts are automatically 24/7.

Q:  How do I stop this service?

A:  The suggested method is to unsubscribe at NMU Alerts.

Q:  What will it cost? 

A:  There will be no cost from NMU. The only cost would be from your carrier depending on the standard messaging rate of your plan.

Q:  Will my cell phone number be given out or made public?

A:  No. Northern will not publish or give out your cell phone number.  It will only be securely shared with Mobile Commons, the company providing NMU with this alert service.

Q:  Some alert services are advertiser supported. Will I receive ads on my phone?

A:  No,

Q:  Does this work with all carriers?

A:  The service works throughout the United States and some territories. 99 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers are covered. If you have a pay-as-you-go plan with carriers such as Virgin Mobile, you may not be able to receive alert messages and is a limitation of those carriers, not the service or service provider.

Q:  What if I change carriers or phone number?

A:  Please be sure to re-register or update your profile information to facilitate successful message delivery to you.

Q:  How will this be used?

A:  Northern Michigan University will use this alert system only in case of emergency that impacts the campus and requires immediate communication. Again, the service will not be used for advertising.

Q:  How else does Northern communicate in emergencies?

A:  Depending on the situation, various types of communication is used.  This includes, but is not limited to e-mail, voice mail, postings on the Web site, radio and television broadcasts and personal contact to an area.

Q:  Can parents sign up for this program?

A:  Students sign up multiple cell phone numbers, including the cell phones of their parents as long as those numbers also have text messaging access.

Q:  Has this system been tested?

A:  Yes, NMU has already run several small-scale tests on campus.  However, many colleges, businesses and organizations nationwide are using this same system on a daily basis. 

Q:  How do I get help if I have a question or problem?

A:  For general system questions and issues with registration, contact NMU Police Department at 906-227-2151or PSPS@nmu.edu.

The following are 5 things to know if you are involved in an emergency situation at Northern Michigan University:

Safety first.

Remain calm, but act quickly to get you, your students and other staff members out of harm’s way. If an alarm sounds, do not spend time trying to verify that there is an emergency. Just grab your coat, backpack, briefcase and purse and GET OUT OF THE BUILDING.

Call 911.

If you are the closest person to an emergency situation, your first action (once you’ve removed yourself from danger) is to call 911. A Police Department official will phone the Office of the President.

Help is the on the way.

Look for NMU Police Department officers – they are on their way to the crisis site. Do not re-enter a building until they tell you to do so. Do not attempt to intervene in a crisis situation unless the only way for you and others to be out of harm’s way is to do so.

Do not leave the safe gathering area.

NMU Police Department or other university officials may need to ask you questions or give you information about the crisis situation. This is particularly important when health officials need to record names and addresses for follow-up purposes.

Do not become the NMU spokesperson.

It is unwise to even guess at the ramifications of a crisis situation and provided unverified information to media, parents or others. It also may have some legal implications for the university. Let President Fritz Erickson or his designee do the talking.

Sponsored by the Office of the President, NMU Police Department and Communications and Marketing.

Secure immediate area

  • Lock and barricade doors
  • Turn off lights
  • Close blinds
  • Block windows
  • Turn off radios and computer monitors
  • Keep occupants calm, quiet and out of sight
  • Keep yourself out of sight and take adequate cover/protection (i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets), which may protect you from bullets
  • Silence cell phones
  • Place signs in exterior windows to identify the location of injured persons

Contacting authorities

  • Dialing 911 from a land line or a cell phone will connect with Marquette County Central Dispatch. Make sure to give the dispatcher your exact location
  • Dialing 227-2151 will contact you with the NMU dispatch (the non-emergency line)
  • Be aware that the 911 system will likely be overwhelmed
  • Program the NMU Police Department administrative line (227-2151) into your cell phone for emergency use

What to report:

  • Your specific location, in particular the building name and the office or room number
  • The number of people at your specific location
  • The number of injured persons and what types of injuries have been suffered
  • Provide as much of the following information as is known
    • Assailant’s location
    • Number of suspects
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Clothing description
    • Physical features
    • Type of weapons (long gun or hand gun)
    • Backpack type
    • Shooter’s identity
    • Type of incident – i.e. shooting or explosion

Un-securing an area

  • Consider risks before un-securing rooms
  • Remember, the shooter will not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
  • Attempts to rescue people should only be made if they can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area
  • Consider the safety of masses vs. the safety of a few
  • If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured

Police response

  • Objective is to immediately engage assailant(s) and neutralize the threat
  • Evacuate victims
  • Facilitate follow up medical care, interviews and counseling
  • Launch full investigation

Important websites:
Marquette Beach Flag Advisory System    
Video: Understanding what to do in a Rip Current

Safety Tips for Lake Superior:
  1. Swim where there are lifeguards.  Never swim alone.  Before entering the water, make sure someone knows you are doing so.
  2. Check the City of Marquette website’s beach flag advisory system before swimming in Lake Superior. Flags are put up at South Beach, McCarty's Cove, Middle Beach and Picnic Rocks to indicate dangerous to highly dangerous rip current conditions. 
  3. Rock formations are a likely place to find dangerously strong rip currents. This includes the Picnic Rock area, which is located on Lake Shore Boulevard, near the Lakeview Arena and a short walk from campus. Do not swim in this area.  Move down the beach to McCarty’s Cove where lifeguards are located. 
  4. Know how to “break the grip of a rip.”  Learn more from the National Weather Service at http://ripcurrents.noaa.gov and see below.
  5. If you see someone caught in a rip current, going into the rip current area yourself is not the best solution.
  6. Strong winds on Lake Superior that create huge waves are amazing to see and photograph, but they, too, can be deadly.  Do not go into the water or out onto the breakwall at Presque Isle Park during high winds.

Rip Current Safety Tips

 From the National Weather Service (http://ripcurrents.noaa.gov)


If caught in a rip current:

  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the current--towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

If you see someone in trouble, don't become a victim, too:

  • Get help from a lifeguard.
  • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats--a life jacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape.
  • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

Should you attempt to drive to the Northern Michigan University campus if the blizzard outside keeps you from being able to see your mailbox at the end of your driveway? 

If you attend or work at NMU, you know we sometimes have inclement weather. There are several ways to get an update on the university’s decisions about bad weather, including messages on the NMU home page (www.nmu.edu) and NMU Police Department home page (www.nmu.edu/policedepartment), as well as calling the B-R-R-R line (906-227-BRRR) and listening to area media outlets.  The media outlets are notified by 6 a.m. if day classes are canceled and by 2 p.m. if night classes are canceled.

The decision to cancel classes due to inclement weather is made cooperatively by the director of the Police Department and NMU’s provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

Read the full policy.

Road condition information throughout the State of Michigan may be found on the Michigan State Police Road Conditions site.  To use the site, simply click the county you are driving through and a list of current road conditions will be displayed.