National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)

The United States Department of Homeland Security has an advisory system to warn the country of potential terrorist attacks. The system and any current threats can be found at the U.S. Homeland Security Department website. In addition, media, emails, and Wisconsin Emergency Management will broadcast advisories.

Upon notification of an advisory, University Police and Security Services, in conjunction with the Emergency Operations Team, will provide necessary information to the campus through communication methods listed and institute appropriate actions to respond accordingly.

If you see something, say something

Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) Attack

Likely targets of a Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) terrorist attack are enclosed, densely populated areas.

NBC attacks may be apparent or completely indistinguishable. Therefore, consistent observation of one’s surroundings is critical.

Attacks could involve the University directly or the entire community. Direction will be provided by emergency personnel (e.g., Police/Sheriff, Fire Department, FBI, FEMA, etc.).

Evacuation orders will be contingent upon the amount, type, and degree of hazard present. Be prepared to assess the situation. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the attack, emergency response authorities will provide information as to the need to evacuate or shelter in place (stay indoors) during an NBC attack.

University Police, the media, Emergency Alert System, and other listed communication methods will communicate this information throughout campus. Monitor reports and follow directions.

If emergency personnel are not able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do, use your knowledge to determine whether to evacuate or shelter indoors.

Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or the air is obviously badly contaminated, you may not be able to safety step outside thus requiring the need to shelter indoors. On the other hand, if the strike is miles away and the threat is not immediate you may need to evacuate upwind, away for the attack.

Response to Suspected Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) Attack

  1. Report all suspicious packages or activity immediately to University Police at 715-346-3456.
  2. Be alert for unusual and/or unexplained items such as: spraying materials, peculiar pools of liquids, fogs, devices, odors, packages, environmental signs, vehicles, medical signs and symptoms, unauthorized personnel, or other irregular activities or items.

  3. When reporting, provide the following information:
    1. Your name.
    2. Description of the emergency.
    3. Exact location.
    4. Actions you have taken.
    5. Where to meet emergency personnel.
    6. Stay on line until told to hang up.

  4. University Police will contact the necessary emergency personnel to respond.

  5. Do not touch, smell, move, taste, or otherwise handle any suspicious items.

  6. Vacate and seal the affected room(s) if possible. Go to a safe area, avoiding additional contamination of other personnel. As practical and if instructed, take precautions to limit the spread of contamination to other areas by closing/sealing doors and windows of affected room, and alerting others. Wash your hands as soon as possible.

  7. If ordered by emergency authorities to shelter indoors during a NBC attack:
    1. Go indoors immediately. You can provide a minimal amount of protection to your breathing by covering your mouth and nose with a damp cloth.
    2. Close all doors to the outside and close and lock all windows.
    3. Turn off fans, heating and air conditioning system. Close other ventilation system dampers and inlets. Minimize use of elevator to only essential needs.
    4. Go to an interior room as directed with the fewest windows and doors. Take or have available emergency nonperishable food, water, flashlights, battery radio, and other emergency supplies (see Ready.Gov). Keep away from windows and doors.
    5. If instructed, seal with tape and plastic around doors, windows, fans, outlets, registers, vents, grills, or other sources of outside air. Wet towels or other fabric items and jam them in the crack under the door. Use plastic (trash bags are good) to cover all windows and doors. Use tape to seal the edges of plastic.
    6. If you become bothered by the gaseous release hold a wet cloth or handkerchief over your nose and mouth. If you experience medical difficulties call 911.
    7. Stay in the room and listen to the radio until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.

  8. If the threat is imminent and known (e.g., gas emitting from room) that requires complete withdrawal from the building/area in order to protect life or if ordered by emergency personnel to evacuate area, initiate building evacuation following Evacuation Procedures. Wait for further instructions from emergency personnel regarding evacuation procedures (e.g., expanded evacuation may be required). Emergency personnel will order all other evacuations in less apparent and hazardous situations (e.g., unknown powder on table).

  9. When evacuating, cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth (e.g., handkerchief). Doing this may filter out some hazardous particles which may be in the air. Evacuate upwind of the affected area a minimum of 100 yards away or as directed and wait for further instructions from emergency personnel. Evacuate to an area apparent to emergency personnel and communicate to them your status upon arrival.

  10. Decontamination may be required, therefore wait for instructions before leaving the evacuation gathering location. If attacked, your clothes may have trapped vapors or particles. It may be required to remove your clothing so you or others don’t get contaminated from residual materials.

  11. If professional decontamination is not available, take off known contaminated clothing. Attempt to self-decontaminate by using soap and excessive amounts of water. Leave discarded clothes in a single designated area that will inhibit spread of any harmful substance. Do not taste, eat, smell or touch anything during an NBC attack.

  12. Facility Services will adjust building ventilation system as needed.

  13. Buildings downwind and those surrounding the affected area will be evacuated as directed by emergency personnel.

  14. Individuals with any information regarding the attack must report it to emergency personnel.

  15. Do not return to an evacuated building unless authorized by emergency command. Warn others outside not to enter the affected building(s).

Page last reviewed: November 10, 2022

Page last updated: November 10, 2022