The intention of the University in a crisis situation is to ensure our efforts work towards the immediate safety and security of the individual lives of Iowa Wesleyan University students, faculty, and staff as our first priority, as well as to protect the assets of the University. The following information provides important direction for students impacted by such a crisis situation occurring at the University or in the general area. Every student should familiarize him/herself with the emergency procedure, evacuation routes and designated gathering locations in buildings in which they live, attend classes, or frequently use. Students should be prepared to assess individual situations quickly and thoroughly, and use common sense in choosing a course of action. Students should evacuate to designated areas in an orderly manner and otherwise comply with directions from University staff and emergency personnel as circumstances warrant.


The safety of every member of the University is of paramount importance. To continue providing a safe and secure environment, students are encouraged to register for IW Omnilert, a mass communication system that communicates emergency and crisis information rapidly with all registered members of the campus community. All students will automatically be registered with the contact number that is connected to your student account. IW Omnilert allows all registrants to receive University Alert notices within seconds of a message being sent. Communication may be received through SMS messages, emails, and phone calls / voicemail. To register, follow- the link below. Additional instructions are sent during the first few days of each semester.

Important things to Note:

You can register multiple SMS devices, emails, and phone numbers. This means you can enter parent and/or spouse phone numbers and emails so your loved ones can be informed of emergencies or crises as quickly as you are through official University communication.

Parents and Spouses are not eligible registrants. Again, you can register phone numbers and emails of your parents or spouse under your account so they have no need to register.

IW Campus Alert won’t flood your devices with SPAM or information you deem unnecessary. This system will only be activated to test the system or in times of crisis or emergency.

*Standard text messaging rates apply


In the event of a crisis situation, the University Crisis Management Team (UCMT), in conjunction with the University President, directs the response of the University. Individuals making the discovery of such a situation should first move to a safe location and then contact the Student Development Office at 319-385-6256 during business hours or call 911. Student Development will contact the UCMT and summon the necessary University and outside resources required to respond to the situation.

Crisis information is generally communicated by either a fire alarm (indicating the need to evacuate a given facility), community tornado siren (indicating the need to seek shelter from approaching storm), or by an IW Omnilert message (electronic communication [email, phone call, text message] often indicating the need to perform a Shelter-in-Place or other required response. Crisis information may also be communicated through website based announcements. Communication with parents, when appropriate, is typically conducted by personal telephone or on the University website (
Media communication procedures and responsibilities are detailed in other parts of the developing University Crisis Management Plan. The individuals designated are the only persons authorized to speak with the news media.

For events that are affecting or may impact normal University operations, it is likely IW Omnilert will be activated but if you are not aware of affects, contact the University switchboard at (319) 385- 8021 or (800) 582-2383 or visit the University website:


Iowa Wesleyan University is employing the ALICE program to address hostile intruders / active shooters.

The ALICE acronym stands for:

A – The purpose of ALERT is to notify as many people as possible within the danger zone that a potentially life threatening risk exists.
L – The purpose of LOCKDOWN is to secure in place, and prepare to EVACUATE or COUNTER, if needed.
I – The purpose of INFORM is to continue to communicate the intruder’s location in real time.
C – The purpose of COUNTER is to interrupt the intruder and make it difficult or impossible to aim. This is a strategy of last resort.
E – The purpose of EVACUATE is to remove yourself from the danger zone when it is safe to do so.

ALICE is intended to give people options. Every active shooter situation is unique and ALICE is not intended to be chronological in nature.


If a fire is discovered in any building on campus, the individual shall immediately pull the nearest fire alarm pull station, and exit the building. If there is no fire alarm nearby, notify 911 by phone, if able.


Evacuation orders may be given for various purposes. When an evacuation of a building is ordered, the evacuation will occur in an orderly and safe manner. All faculty, staff, and students are to assemble in designated assembly areas:


Adams Street Apartments: Nemitz Suites Parking Lot
Chadwick Library: Between the Chapel and Old Main
Chapel: Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center
Harlan-Lincoln House: Grass field south of building
Hershey Hall: West side of Union
Howe Activity Center: Parking lot, south side
Juckette Hall: Parking lot, east side
John Wesley Holland Student Union: Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center
McKibbin Hall: Grass area on east side
Nemitz Suites: Grass area on north side
Old Gymnasium: Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center
Old Main: Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center
Administration Building: Flag pole north of Howe
Activity Center Pioneer Hall: Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center Physical Plant Flag pole north of Howe Activity Center
Sheaffer-Trieschmann Hall: South side, in front of Hershey
Science Building: Lawn west of Nemitz Suites
State Street Apartments: Across the street on the north end

In order to respond effectively in a crisis situation, students need to be aware of the location of fire pull stations, fire extinguishers, stairwell safe areas, and emergency exit routes.
Additional guidelines:

  • Become familiar with your general area, posted floor plans that identify escape routes, and designated exit locations. When the alarm sounds, prepare to evacuate immediately.
  • When a fire alarm sounds, all occupants must evacuate the building in an orderly and timely manner (a constant tone means fire alarm, a pulsating tone indicates tornado warning).
  • Do not panic, but walk quickly to the closest emergency exit.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Do not use cell phones.
  • Walk single file, to the right, through hallways and stairwells. Avoid unnecessary talking and keep the lines moving.
  • If smoke is encountered, drop to the floor and crawl along the wall to the nearest exit.
  • When approaching a closed door, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, carefully open it, and if safe, proceed with evacuation.
  • Building managers should be the last occupants to leave the building to ensure that everyone has exited the building.
  • Individuals requiring assistance in evacuation should proceed to stairwell entrance area and wait for assistance.
  • Should an individual be unable to evacuate the building and have to remain due to circumstances beyond his/her control, the building manager will notify the arriving fire/police personnel of the individual’s location and condition (e.g., handicap, wheelchair, injury, etc.)
  • No one is to return to the building until given permission by University personnel.


The University monitors weather events on an ongoing basis. Some ongoing or anticipated events will result in student notification via IW Campus Alert, email, broadcast voice, website posting, or general campus announcement. Issues of a more long-standing nature will be kept updated on the University website (, click on CRISIS INFORMATION. When conditions are exceptionally hazardous, the University will cancel classes and notify students by IW Campus Alert, email, KILJ AM/FM 105.5 radio in Mt. Pleasant, and KBUR 1490 AM in Burlington.

Remain indoors when weather conditions are dangerous.


Unless there is a specific announcement to the contrary, the University does not cancel classes for inclement weather and will remain open. However, it is up to the individual student to use his/her best judgment regarding safety when traveling to class.

In the rare instances the University feels it is necessary to close, it will do so before travel conditions become dangerous and will not reopen until such conditions are judged safe. Therefore, there are no special on-campus safety guidelines for students. Notification of closure will be sent to each student in one or many forms of communication which could include IW Omnilert, University e-mail account, personal contact and postings in residence halls, public information systems (e.g., radio and television stations), and Website posting.


The City of Mount Pleasant will make every effort to provide appropriate warning alerts to the University should a tornado or other severe warning be issued by the National Weather Service.
Notification of a pending disaster will be announced via IW Campus Alert. The tornado siren is a pulsating sound (a steady sound indicates a fire alarm).

If severe weather conditions exist, the safest response is to seek shelter in a designated area, monitor the weather by battery operated radio, and follow directions indicated below. The National Weather Service uses two labels specifically in reference to tornados:

  • Watch – Conditions are favorable for tornadoes or severe weather. Monitor weather radio and take action as needed.
  • Warning – Tornadoes have been spotted in the area and may be imminent.

Take shelter immediately by moving to the lowest level of the building you are in, and as far from doors and windows as possible. If a basement is not available, first floor hallways, closets, or restrooms without windows are generally the safest areas. Do not seek shelter in gyms, auditoriums, and other large open areas.

  • Take cover under a sturdy object.
  • Protect your head, neck, and face.
  • Stay away from windows, glass, and items that might fall.
  • Do not leave shelter until the all clear has been given by University personnel.
  • There is not sufficient warning to close the University or to effectively protect physical assets. Therefore, no special effort should be made to protect physical assets. All attention will be directed towards life safety considerations and procedures.
  • If you are outdoors or not at school, keep the following in mind:
  • In a small building – go to the basement. If there is no basement, go to an interior room on the lowest level. Take cover under a sturdy object, covering your head, neck, and face.
  • In a school, office, or shopping center, go to an interior hallway on the lowest level as far from windows and glass as possible.
  • In a high-rise, go to an interior hallway on the lowest level possible. Do not use the elevator.
  • In a car, if the tornado is near, get out. Tornados can move quickly and erratically.
  • In the open, lie face down in a ditch or nearest low area and cover your head with your arms. This procedure is preferable to remaining in a car.
  • Evacuate all mobile homes and temporary structures. Proceed immediately to a structurally secure building or follow directions above.
  • In the event of temporary or longer need to relocate residential students, students will be directed to shelter on campus in a location identified by the Office of Student Development. Direction from University personnel will instruct students regarding location of the shelter and supplies that they should bring with them.

Specific locations to go to during a tornado warning are posted in each building and are as follows:

  • Adams Street Apartments— Residents should seek shelter in the basement of one of the nearby facilities or as directed.
  • Chadwick Library—Proceed to the lower level of the library.
  • Chapel – Proceed to lowest level away from windows
  • Hershey West—Individuals in the art classrooms will be in the proper area during a tornado warning. They should congregate as near to the center of the building as possible away from the glass areas. Individuals on the first and second floors of Hershey Hall should attempt to reach the first floor main hallway of Hershey Hall. Room and office doors must be closed.
  • Juckette Hall—- Residents should seek shelter in the basement of one of the nearby facilities or as directed.
  • McKibbin Hall—Room doors leading to the hallways should be closed. All individuals should proceed to the nearest basement hallway. The recreation room area should be evacuated immediately due to the amount of glass in the area.
  • Nemitz Suites— Residents should seek shelter in the basement of one of the nearby facilities or as directed.
  • Old Gymnasium—The basement of the gym serves as a temporary shelter for individuals in case of a tornado warning.
  • Old Main—Proceed to the ground floor of Old Main in the hallway. All room doors must be closed as well as the fire doors at the end of the hallways.
  • P.E.O. Building—Go to the lower level of the P.E.O. Building via the north or south entrance. Stay away from windows.
  • Physical Plant—Proceed to the basement.
  • Pioneer Hall—Proceed to the entryway of the building on the ground floor. Classroom doors must be closed.
  • Science Hall—Proceed to the basement of the Science Hall within the confines of the hallway itself.
  • Sheaffer–Trieschmann Hall—Room doors leading to the hallways should be closed. All individuals should proceed to the nearest basement hallway. Stairwells with windows should be avoided, therefore use the interior stairwells of the building. The front lobby of S–T should be avoided due to the large amount of glass in the area.
  • State Street Apartments— Residents should seek shelter in the basement of one of the nearby facilities or as directed.
  • Student Union, Howe Student Activity Center—Go to the basement of the Student Union. The entrance to the basement is near the north end of the building.


Notification of pending severe storms deemed necessary to communicate will be announced through IW Campus Alert. If severe weather conditions exist, the safest response is to seek shelter in a designated area, monitor the weather by battery operated radio, and follow directions indicated below. The National Weather Service uses two labels specifically in reference to thunderstorms:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Severe thunderstorms are possible in the area. Remain alert for approaching storms. Monitor weather radio and take action as needed.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Severe thunderstorms are occurring in the area or are indicated by weather radar. Tornados occasionally develop in areas where a severe thunderstorm watch or warning is in effect.

Lightning strikes pose one of the greatest thunderstorm related risks. Observe the following guideline if lightning is occurring or is about to occur:

  • Avoid water fixtures, telephone lines (lightning can travel through phone lines), computers or any electrical conducting materials.
  • Do not carry or go near anything made of metal. Lightning is attracted to metal.
  • Stay inside buildings and off University grounds. University buildings are designed to withstand significant damage resulting from thunderstorm, wind, rain, hail and lightning strikes.
  • If you are outdoors or not at school depending on your location, keep the following in mind:
  • In a building, follow the above stated guidelines.
  • In an open area, go to the nearest ditch or low area and drop to your knees. Do not be higher than your surroundings (lightning normally strikes the highest object in the area of discharge).
  • In a wooded area, go to a low area of small trees/bushes. Do not go under a large tree that stands alone. Lightning can be attracted to it because of its height relative to the surroundings.
  • Stay away from metal – farm equipment, vehicles, golf clubs, wire fences, etc.
  • If you are inside a vehicle during a thunderstorm, remain there. If a tornado develops, get out of the vehicle as soon as you can. Seek shelter in a building, or lie flat in a ditch. Do not climb under an overpass. If you feel your hair standing on end, drop to your knees; bend forward placing your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
  • Be aware that winds in a severe thunderstorm can reach 100 mph.


In the event a crisis situation requires students to be relocated to temporary shelter and attainment of the following is possible without increasing safety risks, certain steps must be adhered to by international students studying at the University. It is not advised to attempt to retrieve documents you don’t have with you in the case of an immediate crisis and evacuation situation.

Documents – Remember to take these important documents with you:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • I-94
  • EVIS-issued I-20 or DS 2019
  • Plane tickets
  • Social Security Card, if possessed
  • Financial records, checks, credit cards

Contact info for Iowa Wesleyan University: If displaced, international students should contact the University to report their safety and location and to receive instructions of what to do.

Specific directions for such contact will be found on the University website and/or students may contact the International Programs Advisor, Xiaobin Daivia email at [email protected] or via phone at (319) 385-6455.

Contact information for SEVP – If you cannot contact your designated school official (P/DSO), you must contact SEVP to let them know where you are and how they can reach you. Check the website at for information and guidance, email to SEVIS[email protected] or call toll-free (800) 961-5294 to report location and contact information.

Decision to transfer – Should you ultimately decide to transfer to a different school you will need to check the SEVP web site at or call (800) 961-5294 to determine if your new intended school is on the list of certified schools.