University Safety and Assurances

Emergency Response to Electrical Failures

Link to Quick Reference: Emergency Response to Power Outage.pdf document, Adobe Acrobat Required


Using Flashlight During Power Outage

Electrical failures can disrupt work and study activities throughout individual buildings or large areas of the campus. In order to ensure employee, student, and visitor safety, the following guidelines should be followed:

Before a Power Outage:

  • Prepare or review existing internal communications plan to notify affected personnel about workday and after-hours emergencies
  • Identify and prioritize vital power-dependent functions, operations, and equipment. Plan ahead for short-term and longer-term impacts and needs.
  • Battery-powered flashlights should be kept at known locations, readily accessible during outages. Candles and other open flame devices are prohibited.
  • Keep duplicates of critical data.
  • Determine if there are emergency power outlets (red) in your area. Use them for critical functions only.
  • Determine if there is emergency lighting in your area. Keep flashlights in all work areas.
  • Develop strategies for resuming operations when power returns.

Short-Term Power Outage:

  • Assess the extent of the outage in your area. Report outages to your Building Chairperson and/or Facility Services at 229-4742. If after hours contact Facility Services at 229-4652 or University Police at 9-911 from any campus phone or 229-9911 from a cellphone.
  • Building chairpersons may make the decision to evacuate individual buildings. If you are told to leave the building, lock or secure your area, collect your personal belongings and leave. Reenter the building only when directed to do so by the Building Chair or the UWM Police.
  • If evacuation of the building is not necessary, restrict movement to areas that are adequately illuminated.
  • Report any losses or equipment damage to Risk Management at 750-4699 or 229-3805 as soon as possible.

Response to Prolonged Power Outage:

  • Building chairpersons should check their buildings elevators and initiate rescue efforts by notifying the University Police, if necessary. Only trained rescue personnel shall assist persons stranded in elevators.
  • Building chairs should notify the University Police (229-4627) and Facility Services (229-4742) to facilitate assistance and repair as necessary.
  • Move building occupants in darkened work areas to safe locations. Keep refrigerators and freezers closed throughout the outage.
  • Unplug personal computers.
  • Unplug non-essential electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Open windows for additional light and ventilation, if appropriate.
  • The Crisis Management Team will make any decisions to cancel classes.
  • Report any losses or equipment damage to Risk Management at 750-4699 as soon as possible.

After Power Outage:

  • After a power outage make sure that all power is restored before turning on any equipment.
  • Facility Services will ensure that all elevators are reset as well as security systems reactivated and other alarms are reset.