Emergency Operations Plan - Basic Plan


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University Emergency Operations Plan - Basic Plan

E-mail norrissa@appstate.edu to request a PDF copy of the full Basic Plan and/or EOP annexes.


Higher education institutions across the United States have recognized the importance of comprehensive all-hazard planning in response to both incidents and federal mandates. Emergency management is an evolving field that now recognizes the unique vulnerabilities present on college campuses. Appalachian State University provides this Emergency Operations Plan as a guidance document for all-hazard emergency management. This document is established to replace the former University Emergency Response Plan. While similarities between the two plans exist, this Plan considers emergency functions, numerous hazards, and a heightened role of the Emergency Operations Center in response to major emergencies and disasters.

This Emergency Operations Plan is a guide to how Appalachian State University conducts all-hazards response. It is built upon scalable, flexible, and adaptable coordinating systems to align key roles and responsibilities across the University. It describes both authorities and best practices for managing and coordinating incidents that range from the serious but purely isolated, to large-scale incidents and catastrophic natural disasters.

This emergency operations plan is founded on the principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides a national template that enables federal, state, local, and tribal governments and private sector nongovernmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently.

Implementation of this plan will require extensive cooperation, collaboration, and information sharing across all Appalachian State University departments, as well as local and state agencies that will assist the University during major emergencies and disasters.

Portions of this preface are adapted from the National Response Framework, January 2008.

EOP Organization

The Appalachian State University Emergency Operations Plan contains three fundamental elements that follow the format of the National Response Framework, and many other institutions within the University of North Carolina system. This plan is intended to be utilized a "tool box" where specific annexes may be applicable, based on the situation. The Base Plan is the fundamental guidance for all emergency incident and disaster operations. Annexes may then be used in addition to the Base Plan. The Plan is continually under revision, and therefore annexes will continuously be adapted to the current risk and vulnerability of the University.

The Base Plan
The Base Plan describes the structure and process through an all-hazards planning approach, based on an emergency incident or disaster of any magnitude or geographic size. The Base Plan provides general guidance for primary University resources and outlines the procedures for such major tasks as notification, organizational structure, and emergency operations center coordination.
Emergency Functional Annexes
The functional annexes are based on models developed in the National Response Framework and adapted for the specific functions necessary at Appalachian State University. These annexes provide direction for specific functions during preparedness, response, and recovery phases of an emergency incident or disaster. These annexes do not address specific incidents or disasters, but rather provide a general framework that may be adapted for emergency operations during any type of incident.
Situational & Hazard Annexes
Certain hazards or situations present a greater risk or vulnerability for the University and should have specific plans for such incidents. Examples of these incidents include an active shooter or major fire. Situational annexes expand on the framework of the Base Plan, and provide additional guidance for responding to specific situations.
Checklists, maps, resource lists, or other documents not critical to the Emergency Operations Plan may be attached as appendices.
1.0 Purpose

The purpose of the Appalachian State University Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to provide the framework and guidance to protect the faculty, staff, students, and visitors of Appalachian State University. To protect the Appalachian community, the Plan will establish both general and specific responsibilities during major emergencies and disasters, or at other times when the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) may be activated. The Plan seeks to facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements of Federal, State, and Local agencies, as well as the University of North Carolina System.

The Plan is designed to be utilized as a "tool box," where each department or member of the University may apply a specific portion of the Plan to their operations during a major emergency or disaster. Additionally, the Plan addresses specific hazards and provides general guidelines for University operations if these situations arise. This plan will not, nor can it be expected to address every possible emergency situation, therefore it encourages generalized preparedness and empowers University stakeholders with the resources and knowledge they need to prepare.

This is not designed as a shelf plan, but rather a readable working document that is continuously revised through exercises and departmental evaluation. In addition to the Plan, educational and marketing materials supplement the information to better disseminate the purpose and intent of the Emergency Operations Plan throughout the Appalachian community. This base plan serves as the fundamental framework that provides authority, scope, and general direction for emergency operations. In addition to the base plan, functional and situational annexes may be utilized to provide additional direction and guidance for specific operations within an incident.

2.0 Scope

This plan is designed and intended to address numerous hazards that may affect the University. Through the utilization of an all-hazards planning model, this plan may be used for any type of incident, whether natural, man-made, or technological. This plan applies to all departments, personnel, and agents of Appalachian State University, although some departments or agencies may have more specific roles and responsibilities within emergency operations.

3.0 Authority

The Appalachian State University Emergency Operations Plan is based on the foundations of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), and Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes. Other guidance documents from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, and the University of North Carolina General Administration are also utilized.

4.0 Situation
  1. Appalachian State University has over 16,000 students and more than 4,000 faculty and staff. The University is continuing to increase the number of students, and consequently faculty and staff positions are also added. The University is a member of the University of North Carolina System.
  2. Appalachian State University's main campus is located in the Town of Boone, the County Seat of Watauga County in the northwest corner of North Carolina. Boone is a community of approximately 14,000 full-time residents with population surges during numerous months of the year due to the University population and the vibrant local tourism industry.
  3. The main campus of Appalachian State University includes 56 buildings across 410 acres. Satellite properties such as intramural fields, camps, and other off-site locations comprise an additional 890 acres. The university owns buildings located within other areas of the Town of Boone, Watauga County, Wilkes County, City of Hickory, and New York.
  4. The University operates 21 residence halls that house over 5,000 students.
  5. The most accessible airport that is capable of handling commercial flights is located in Hickory, North Carolina. The Boone airport is a privately owned facility that has limited capabilities.
  6. The University is exposed to many hazards which have the potential to disrupt normal operations within the University and local community, or cause damages and/or casualties.
  7. The University experiences population surges at numerous times during the year for specific events such as football games, graduation, and other cultural events that are hosted on campus from time to time.
5.0 Assumptions

5.1 Incident Assumptions

  1. An incident that affects the University is likely to also affect the surrounding communities and region. Therefore, the University should plan to manage all incidents with limited external resources for the first 24 to 48 hours.
  2. Specific University operations and interests will remain under the coordination and management of the University; therefore, it is necessary to plan accordingly and maintain incident operations until the incident is concluded.
  3. Non-University coordination and external resource requests will be forwarded to the Watauga County Emergency Operations Center (WEOC).
  4. An emergency incident or disaster may occur at any time of the day or night, weekend, or holiday, with little or no warning.
  5. The succession of events in an emergency incident or disaster is unpredictable; therefore this plan should be utilized as a guidance document, and adapted accordingly for the specific needs of the emergency incident or event.
  6. Although Appalachian State University is more vulnerable to specific hazards, such as flash flooding or winter storms, the University must plan to respond using a standard structure and organization to any hazard that may affect the University.
  7. The fundamental priorities for Appalachian State University during an emergency incident or disaster are:
    1. The preservation of life and protection of people.
    2. The protection and restoration of property and infrastructure.
    3. Stabilization of the emergency incident or disaster.
    4. Recovery fulfilled to pre-incident conditions.
  8. During an emergency incident or disaster, all operations will be coordinated through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC will issue tasks to the field, and coordinate through the University Executive Group and Watauga County Emergency Operations Center.
  9. Appalachian State University will consult the advice and guidance of Watauga County, the Town of Boone, and North Carolina Emergency Management when making evacuation and other emergency management decisions, but reserves the right to make decisions beyond that of Watauga County and the Town of Boone.
  10. Extended incidents that require 24 hour operations will most likely be divided into two (2) operational periods or shifts of 12 hours each. Staffing should be planned accordingly.

5.2 Plan Assumptions

  1. Appalachian State University will maintain and disseminate an all-hazard Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). In addition to the Plan itself, the University will educate individual departments and units so that all personnel will be aware of the general framework for responding to emergency incidents and disasters.
  2. All University departments and units will be familiar with the emergency operations plan, and their specific responsibilities within the plan.
  3. All departments must maintain specific emergency response plans relevant to their area and operations. In addition to the framework provided in the EOP, these departmental plans should address additional specific issues that may affect the department. Faculty and staff within each department should understand the basic premise of the EOP, as well as any departmental plans so that emergency incident and disaster operations may be conducted in both a timely and effective manner. Department plans should address at a minimum:
    1. Evacuation
    2. Sheltering in Place
    3. Building Lockdown
    4. Communication procedures for both dissemination of information and contacting the Emergency Operations Center or other coordinating entities.
    5. Actions to be taken to ensure continuity of operations including critical tasks, services, key systems, and infrastructure.
    6. Method to ensure that all personnel have been made aware of the plan and the plan is revised at least annually.
    The Director of Emergency Plans and Operations may assist any department with the development of a departmental policy or plan.
  4. The Emergency Operations Plan will be reviewed and updated at least annually by the Emergency Management Coordinator and the Emergency Management Committee. A record of changes will be maintained.
  5. The Plan will be exercised at least once annually.
6.0 National Incident Management System

The National Incident Management System prescribes a national template for responding to major emergencies and disasters. One of the core elements within NIMS is the directive to utilize the Incident Command System (ICS). For incidents that are site specific or limited in scope, the Incident Command System will be utilized with little or no Emergency Operations Center involvement. The University Police Department will most likely fulfill the ICS structure, although other departments may be involved from time to time.

The decision to operate within the on-scene ICS model, or, to integrate operations into the Emergency Operations Center should be determined by:

  1. Incident Size: If the incident is expanding beyond a limited geographic area the EOC model should be used to manage the incident.
  2. Incident Complexity: As more departments and resources are committed to the incident, the University may utilize the Emergency Operations Center to improve communication and coordination.

Although the ICS model will be incorporated into the response throughout the incident, the system may also be incorporated into the Emergency Operations Center structure, and operate by emergency function. The EOC will increase coordination capabilities and align within any ICS structure.

The use of the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate an incident does not preclude the use of the Incident Command System, but provides the University with improved capabilities to most effectively respond and recover.

7.0 Concept of Operations

Removed from the online version. Please contact norrissa@appstate.edu to request a copy.

8.0 Organization

Removed from the online version. Please contact norrissa@appstate.edu to request a copy.

8.4 Essential Staff

Essential Staff are those University personnel that work within one of the Operations Group Departments, members of the Emergency Operations Center Group, and other personnel that may be designated as essential by the department Director.

Essential Staff are expected to be directly involved with the response and recovery actions as the result of a major emergency or disaster. Immediately upon notification of an emergency or disaster, Essential Staff should stand?by for specific tasks, or follow department policy with regards to emergencies and disasters. Essential staff should use caution appropriate to the circumstances when reporting to work during emergency or disaster conditions. Each director of an Operations Group Department is responsible for determining Essential Staff in each respective department. The Director of each department must then:

  1. Notify the App Card Office so the "Essential Staff" designation may be placed on the employee's identification card.
  2. Notify the Human Resources Office when a vacant or new position is posted that is considered essential.
  3. Ensure that all employees identified as Essential Staff annually review the Emergency Operations Plan and their possible involvement during a major emergency or disaster. The University Emergency Management Coordinator may assist withtraining at the request of a department Director.

All University personnel may be requested to work during a major emergency or disaster; however, Essential Staff are those that are more likely to be requested for assistance. Essential Staff may be called back through Department request, or by an official University State of Emergency Declaration.

8.5 Operating Within the Incident Command System

During incidents where the Emergency Operations Center is not activated, the Executive Group and Operations Group may be working directly with the Incident Commander. The Incident Command System provides several positions the Incident Commander may designate to order and coordinate resources. Examples of the key incident command system positions include the Operations Section Chief, Plans Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, and Finance / Administration Section Chief. The University may choose to expand or condense the structure depending on the incident.

9.0 Emergency Operations Center

Paragraph 1 removed from the online version. Please contact norrissa@appstate.edu to request a copy.

The Emergency Management Coordinator, in coordination with other University officials, will identify and maintain alternate emergency operations centers that may be utilized during an incident where the primary is inaccessible or damaged.

EOC Activation Levels

  • Level IV - Routine operations, comparable to a normal University Condition.
  • Level III - Minimal staffing, may include limited personnel to monitor a situation or assist in planning and logistics for the on-scene Incident Command System.
  • Level II - Some staffing to support an expanding on-scene Incident Command System and provide communication to and from the Executive Group.
  • Level I - Fully activated, includes staffing with the Emergency Operations Center Group as activated by the Executive Group.

The Emergency Management Coordinator will serve as the EOC Manager during a major emergency or disaster and ensure the continuity of EOC operations.

The Emergency Management Coordinator or the Director of University Police may open the Emergency Operations center for situational monitoring or limited operations. The decision to staff the EOC with the EOC Group will be made by the Executive Group following the recommendation of the EOC Manager.

During incidents that utilize the on-scene incident command model the EOC may serve as a central coordination point for resource allocation and general planning. The EOC Manager will notify the Executive Group if the activation of the EOC Group if necessary for extended operations.

All University departments must submit their requests for external resources to the EOC. The EOC is the single point for coordination with the Watauga County Emergency Operations Center and the North Carolina Emergency Operations Center.

EOC Operations

The EOC Manager is responsible for setting-up the EOC, including but not limited to computers, telephones, expendables, forms, etc.

Direction and Control
The EOC Manager or his/her designee is responsible for the direction and control of the EOC.

All personnel reporting the EOC will be expected to sign-in and out to document their position in the incident.

All personnel operating in the EOC will maintain documented actions using appropriate Incident Command System forms.

For extended incidents or planned events, the EOC will publish and disseminate a written Incident Action Plan and Situation Report at least once every operational period.

EOC Demobilization

As the incident lessens in scope, the EOC Manager may reduce staffing in the EOC based on situational need. The EOC shall remain in operation until the University is placed in normal condition.

EOC Readiness

The EOC Manager is expected to ensure EOC readiness at all times.

10.0 University Conditions

The condition of the University is intended to assist all personnel in understanding the risk level of a specific hazard or threat. The Emergency Operations Center / University Police Department will initiate the University condition status.

Additional status changes may be released by the Emergency Operations Center / Incident Commander as the incident changes.

Normal Condition
This indicates that the University is operating under normal conditions. There is no special hazard or threat.

Guarded Condition
This indicates that there is some general threat information that may affect the University. Examples include general threats towards a college campus in North Carolina or natural hazard watch.

Elevated Condition
This indicates that information has been collected in regards to a specific threat directed towards the ASU campus including an act of terrorism or imminent flash floods.

High Risk Condition
There is information of an immediate threat on campus including but not limited to hazardous materials release, active shooter, or major fire.

11.0 Public Notification and Information

The initial notification of a major emergency or disaster will first be received by the University Police Department. The University Police Department has established policies for notifying intradepartmental personnel. The following process will then occur to notify the campus community.

  1. Depending on the incident, the University Police Department will send text and voice messages to the APPSTATE-ALERT database that includes many University offices, all residential hall staff, and faculty, staff, and student telephone numbers registered in the online APPSTATE-ALERT registration system. Additionally and subsequently, e-mail messages will be sent to all faculty, staff, and students via the Appalachian State e-mail system.
  2. All communications will direct faculty, staff, and student to the emergency website that is maintained by Public Affairs and will be updated immediately as the notification is made. The site address is http://www.emergency.appstate.edu.
  3. Subsequent emergency communications will be handled through the Office of Public Affairs in coordination with the Executive Group, Emergency Operations Center, or the Incident Commander. The Public Affair's Emergency Communication Plan is maintained by the Office of Public Affairs.
  4. In the event of an expanded incident, the Office of Public Affairs, in coordination with the Emergency Operations Center, may establish a Joint Information Center to handle all media inquiries.
  5. The Joint Information Center will be located at the McKinney Alumni Center, unless a secondary location is necessary, which will be established by the Office of Public Affairs.
12.0 Plan Annexes

In addition to the general guidance provided in the Base Plan, annexes are provided that address specific functions, hazards, and situations. The Base Plan is intended to provide the general framework based on an all-hazards planning model. Appalachian State University recognizes that specific functions should be clearly defined and associated roles and responsibilities should be assigned to individual departments within the University. The Emergency Functions outlined in this plan align with the Emergency Support Functions of the State of North Carolina and the Department of Homeland Security. Each function is constructed as a supplement to this Base Plan. The current Emergency Functions that will be incorporated into the Plan include:

Appalachian State University Emergency Functions

  1. Parking & Transportation
  2. Communications
  3. Public Works & Utilities
  4. Emergency Support Services
  5. Emergency Management
  6. Mass Care & Shelter
  7. Resource Management
  8. Health and Medical Services
  9. Mental Health Services
  10. Volunteer Coordination
  11. Hazardous Materials
  12. Food & Water
  13. Technology Systems
  14. Law Enforcement
  15. Public Information
  16. Damage Assessment & Recovery

Additionally, specific hazards that present a significant risk or vulnerability should have specific plans to provide more detailed guidance than the Base Plan provides. Certain situations, such as special University events or sheltering may require additional planning. The University will continually address hazards and provide specific plans for managing these hazards to include:

Appalachian State University Incident Specific Annexes

  • Fire
  • Power Failure
  • Severe Winter Weather
  • Flooding
  • Hurricane
  • Infectious Diseases / Strategic National Stockpile
  • Active Shooter Response
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction / Terrorism
  • Evacuation
  • Special Events Plan
  • Chemical Spills, Toxic Gas Releases

The general response roles and responsibilities of the Base Plan provide basic guidelines and ensure that departments are prepared to respond to any major emergency or disaster. The annexes expand on the information provided in the Base Plan to outline more specific responsibilities.

13.0 Responsibilities

13.1 Chancellor and the Executive Group

  1. Maintain availability through redundant communication mediums.
  2. Provide representative for press conferences.
  3. Plan for University continuity and major operations to recover.
  4. Coordinate with the University of North Carolina General Administration.
  5. Ensure that emergency financial resources are available.
  6. Declare a State of Emergency if necessary.

13.2 Emergency Operations Center Group

  1. Chancellor's Office
    1. Provide continual information from the field or Emergency Operations Center to the Executive Group.
    2. Serve as the primary liaison during Emergency Operations Center activation with the Executive Group.
  2. Academic Affairs
    1. Oversee Emergency Function 13 (Technology Systems).
    2. Ensure all faculty are made aware of situation and provided timely instructions pertaining to needs, tasks, and direction.
    3. Collect information from faculty pertaining to facility damages, and other pertinent emergency information.
    4. Provide personnel where required (Military Science) for assistance with response and recovery operations.
    5. Coordinate with Institutional Research and Planning to determine where classes may be relocated.6. Coordinate with Summer Camps and Conferences to provide resources if the incident is during the summer months.
  3. Business Affairs
    1. Oversee Emergency Function 1 (Parking & Transportation), Emergency Function 2 (Communications), Emergency Function 4 (Emergency Support Services), Emergency Function 7 (Resource Management), Emergency Function 11 (Hazardous Materials), Emergency Function 12 (Food & Water), and Emergency Function 16 (Damage Assessment and Recovery).
    2. Provide system for resource tracking, procurement and accountability of all items necessary to fulfill the response and recovery.
    3. Provide representative in the Watauga County Emergency Operations Center if necessary.
  4. Student Development
    1. Oversee Emergency Function 6 (Mass Care and Sheltering), Emergency Function 8 (Health and Medical Services), Emergency Function 9 (Mental Health Services) , and Emergency Function 10 (Volunteer Coordination).
    2. Establish methods to provide information to parents and students such as hotlines, family reception centers, etc.
    3. Coordinate with external agencies (i.e., American Red Cross) to support sheltering operations.
    4. Ensure the timely notification of parents and relatives of a serious injury via such methods as a hotline or information kiosk.
    5. Coordinate with Business Affairs to provide facility support to increase sheltering or clinic needs.
  5. Advancement (Public Affairs)
    1. Manage Emergency Function 15 (Public Information).
    2. Gather information from the field or Emergency Operations Center and coordinate with the Executive Group to release information.
    3. Establish Joint Information Center (JIC) if required to facilitate media releases and conferences.
    4. Provide information to the EOC or Incident Commander regarding community events scheduled on campus.
    5. Establish a schedule for regular media releases and conferences.
    6. Maintain personnel to update emergency website at the request of the Incident Commander or Emergency Operations Center.
    7. Activate the Emergency Communications Plan.
  6. Human Resources
    1. Assist with the oversight of Emergency Function 7 (Resource Management), Emergency Function 10 (Volunteer Coordination), and Emergency Function 15 (Public Information).
    2. Serve as the Resource Unit Leader to track and account for all personnel involved in the response and recovery.
    3. Provide documentation in regards to personnel.
    4. Maintain sign-in sheets and regularly gather information from all departments in regards to personnel staffing, and anticipated needs.
    5. Establish staffing plan based on anticipated need and operational periods (typically 12 hours) for 24 hour operations.
  7. Athletics
    1. Activate if incident occurs during an athletic event, or the incident may affect athletic events.
    2. Provide information to the Emergency Operations Center and coordinate all Athletic Department resources, including facilities.
  8. External Agencies
    1. Serve as a liaison between agency and Appalachian State University.
    2. Provide timely situation reports to the University.
    3. Provide additional resource needs to the University.
    4. Notify the University of all mutual-aid resources that are not members of the agency.

13.3 Director of University Police

  1. Oversee Emergency Function 14 (Law Enforcement), and assist with the oversight of Emergency Function 5 (Emergency Management), Emergency Function 4 (Emergency Support Services), and Emergency Function 16 (Damage Assessment and Recovery).
  2. Provide initial notification via text, voice, and e-mail alerts to the University.
  3. Notify Public Affairs to update emergency website.
  4. Notify the Chancellor and subsequently, the Executive Group.
  5. Assist in the set-up of the Emergency Operations Center.
  6. Identify University Police personnel that will work in the Emergency Operations Center.
  7. Provide security for the Emergency Operations Center.

13.4 University Emergency Management Coordinator

  1. Oversee Emergency Function 5 (Emergency Management), and Emergency Function 16(Damage Assessment and Recovery).
  2. Set-up the Emergency Operations Center and identify initial staffing requirements until the Executive Group activates the Emergency Operations Center Group.
  3. Serve as the manager of the Emergency Operations Center.
  4. Serve as the Planning Section Chief and produce an Incident Action Plan and regular Situation Reports.
  5. Coordinate with external emergency services agencies, including but not limited to local Fire Department, EMS, etc.
  6. Make notifications in the absence of the University Police Director.
  7. Coordinate with the Watauga County Emergency Operations Center, North Carolina Emergency Management, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide timely response and effective recovery and reimbursement if applicable.
  8. Serve as the custodian of the Base Plan.

13.5 Operations Group

  1. Information Technology Services
    1. Manage Emergency Function 13 (Technology Systems).
    2. Ensure the timely procurement of additional technology resources.
    3. Provide redundant power and servers for all critical information, including the emergency website and University e-mail.
  2. Centrex
    1. Manage Emergency Function 2 (Communications).
    2. Provide communication plans and provide redundant means for communications.
  3. Convocation Center
    1. Support Emergency Function 6 (Mass Care and Sheltering).
    2. Serve as the shelter or clinic shelter manager.
    3. Call-back personnel and set-up shelter or clinic in accordance with department plans at the request of the Emergency Operations Center or Incident Commander.
    4. Notify the EOC of additional needs such as cots, food, showers, etc.
    5. Maintain accountability of all expenses, including personnel.
  4. Conferences & Institutes
    1. If event affects conferences and institutes, serve as liaison between the Emergency Operations Center or Incident Commander and conference attendees and staff.
    2. Notify the Emergency Operations Center or Incident Commander of all resource needs, including transportation, food, and lodging for attendees if required.
  5. Counseling Center
    1. Manage Emergency Function 9 (Mental Health Services).
    2. Establish inventory of additional mental health personnel, i.e., American Red Cross, etc.
    3. Maintain log of all major actions and services.
    4. Coordinate all mental health services students.
  6. Counseling for Faculty and Staff
    1. Support Emergency Function 9 (Mental Health Services).
    2. Coordinate all mental health services for faculty and staff, provide support to the Counseling Center for student needs, if required.
  7. Food Services
    1. Manage Emergency Function 12 (Food and Water)
    2. Consider all food service tasks a critical operation.
    3. Establish feeding plan and provide food and water for all faculty, staff, and students, in addition to logistics feeding for all responders.
    4. Maintain staffing in the AppCardOffice to provide identification and card services.
    5. Prepare to establish mobile stations for AppCardreaders.
    6. Maintain an accurate account of all expenses, including personnel.
  8. Health Services
    1. Manage Emergency Function 8 (Health and Medical Services).
    2. Coordinate with outside facilities if the Health Services clinic will not handle increased patients.
    3. Notify the Emergency Operations Center or Incident Commander of need for external resource or caches of pharmaceuticals, such as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
    4. Immediately notify the Emergency Operations Center or Incident Commander of any trends that may be indicative of a communicable disease or pandemic situation.
    5. Serve as a technical specialist if requested.
  9. Housing and Residence Life
    1. Manage Emergency Function 6 (Mass Care and Sheltering).
    2. Determine the number of persons that will require sheltering and activate facilities as required.
    3. Provide accountability for all students in housing and disseminate information through the residence hall staff.
  10. Housing Operations
    1. Support Emergency Function 6 (Mass Care and Sheltering) and Emergency Function 15 (Damage Assessment and Recovery).
    2. Perform damage assessments of all residence halls in a timely manner.
    3. Assist with the relocation of students to other residential facilities.
  11. Materials Management
    1. Manage Emergency Function 7 (Resource Management).
    2. Ensure timely procurement of all additional resources necessary to perform response and recovery.
    3. Provide regular situation reports to the Executive Group and Emergency Operations Center.
  12. New River Light and Power
    1. Support Emergency Function 3 (Public Works and Utilities).
    2. Establish prioritized list, in conjunction with the Physical Plant to restore power.
    3. Provide technical expertise and communication within the Emergency Operations Center in the event of a major power failure.
    4. Provide regular situation reports to the Incident Commander or Emergency Operations Center.
  13. Parking and Traffic
    1. Manage Emergency Function 1 (Parking and Transportation).
    2. Plan for evacuation of the entire campus and provide suggested routes based on the specific incident.
    3. Establish vehicle and resource staging areas and account for all arriving resources at the staging areas.
    4. Plan for Rivers Street and Hardin Street areas as primary staging areas if available.
    5. Coordinate with area officials and consult with state agencies to plan evacuation routes, if needed.
  14. Physical Plant
    1. Manage Emergency Function 3 (Public Works and Utilities).
    2. Physical Plant resources and personnel will be requested for numerous tasks and functions, provide resources as available and notify the Emergency Operations Center of external needs.
    3. Acquire external resources required to fulfill emergency operations.
    4. Protect and restore critical infrastructure, and prioritize services.
    5. Assist with damage assessments.
  15. Military Science
    1. Provide personnel to assist with Emergency Functions as requested.
    2. Serve as liaison with military resources.
  16. Registrar's Office
    1. Provide personnel and student information as requested.
    2. Assist with Emergency Function 6 (Mass Care and Sheltering), and Emergency Function 10 (Volunteer Coordination).
  17. Safety and Worker's Compensation Office
    1. Manage Emergency Function 4 (Emergency Support Services), and Emergency Function 11 (Hazardous Materials).
    2. Serve as Safety Officer for the incident.
    3. Provide liaison service with the North Carolina Department of Insurance in regards to facility inspections necessary to inhabit damaged structures.
    4. Maintain log of all accidents to personnel incurred due to the emergency or disaster. Facilitate Worker's Compensation, and other injury treatment procedures with area medical providers, as needed.
    5. Publish a regular safety message throughout the incident.
    6. Provide directions for personnel that require medical attention.
    7. Procure additional personal protective equipment necessary to respond and recover.
  18. Student Union
    1. Manage Emergency Function 10 (Volunteer Coordination).
    2. Establish Volunteer Reception Centers at Legends or the Student Union.
    3. Advertise need for volunteers and track all volunteers, including credentials (i.e., First-Aid, EMT, etc.) as they sign-in.
    4. Report all volunteer resources and provide direction after task is assigned by the Incident Commander or Emergency Operations Center.
    5. Provide general area for uncommitted volunteers to stage until assigned.
    6. Document all volunteers, as well as their assignments.
    7. Assist University Recreation, Holmes Center, and Camp Broadstone officials with providing additional shelter areas if needed.
  19. University Police (Communications Division)
    1. Maintain log of major actions.
    2. Support Emergency Function 2 (Communications).
    3. Coordinate the radio communications plan and ensure continuity.
14.0 Preparedness Actions

Although the majority of the Emergency Operations Plan discusses response mechanisms and procedures, the ultimate resilience and capability of the University to respond is dependent upon the preparedness of all students, faculty, staff, and departments.

The University Emergency Management Coordinator is the point of contact for all emergency management programs, including preparedness. In coordination with various University departments, the Emergency Management Coordinator will ensure the following preparedness mechanisms are completed on a continual basis:

Emergency Exercises: Exercises are fundamental to the University's emergency preparedness program. Exercises test plan elements, as well as the University's ability to respond to specific incidents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency identifies four types of exercises, each with a significant degree of complexity and involvement. The University will conduct at least one emergency table-top exercise per year. The University should conduct a functional or full-scale exercise at least once every five years. Exercises should involve members of the Executive Group.

Plan Maintenance: The Plan should be reviewed and updated at least annually. This annual plan maintenance may be completed following the exercise schedule.

Emergency Management Relationships: The Emergency Management Coordinator will maintain a positive relationship with Watauga County Emergency Management and North Carolina Emergency Management.

Maintain Record of Incident Command System Training: The Emergency Management Coordinator will ensure that sufficient courses are offered in Incident Command, and ensure that the University complies with all standards established through National Incident Management System guidance documents.

The Emergency Management Committee, chaired by the Emergency Management Coordinator will meet regularly throughout the year and provide oversight for the emergency management program.

Departmental Responsibilities

All University Departments should continually maintain preparedness via the following actions at a minimum:

  • Review the Emergency Operations Plan and applicable annexes at least annually and provide recommendations to the Emergency Management Coordinator to be considered in the annual revision.
  • Compile and maintain an active call-back list with current phone numbers of all personnel within the department.
  • Provide clear lines of succession that identify personnel that may fulfill the agency head's role during a major emergency or disaster.
  • Maintain a current and comprehensive resource manual that identifies suppliers and agencies that may assist during an incident where University resources are exhausted.
  • Train employees on basic preparedness procedures and general departmental plans for responding to an emergency.
  • Establish mutual aid agreements with other local agencies and governments that may provide resources during a major emergency or disaster.
  • Provide department personnel the opportunity to participate in Incident Command System training.
  • Identify program weaknesses and make recommendations to the University Emergency Management Coordinator.
15.0 Mitigation Actions

Mitigation actions include activities that are designed to reduce or eliminate risks to persons or property, or to lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident. The Emergency Operations Plan does not serve as a plan for comprehensive hazard mitigation, and therefore the University should establish and maintain an all-hazards mitigation plan and program.

Mitigation actions may be implemented before, during, or after an incident. During post-disaster mitigation the objective is to improve conditions so they may be more resilient than pre-disaster conditions.

Below are some examples of hazard mitigation measures that the University may complete:

  1. Create a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan that includes a hazard inventory, vulnerability assessment, and strategies for mitigating those identified hazards.
  2. Design and construct all University buildings with mitigation measures such as seismic protection, flood protection, and fire protection. Mitigation measures should be considered when constructing and/or improving infrastructure and drainage systems.
  3. Conduct hazard mapping of the University.
  4. Create predictive modeling to protect critical assets.
  5. Document all losses due to actual incidents where hazard mitigation measures may have lessened the loss.
  6. Continually seek grant funding for hazard mitigation programs.

Mitigation planning is a team-based approach that should influence elements of the Emergency Operations Plan, although the intent of a mitigation plan is independent of the Emergency Operations Plan. Models such as FEMA's Disaster Resistant University provide strategies and methods for the successful implementation of an all-hazards mitigation program.

16.0 Recovery Actions

Recovery from a major emergency or disaster will most likely begin while response activities are still being conducted. Recovery actions involve the development, coordination, and execution of University restoration. Examples of recovery actions may include debris removal, damage assessment, and re-opening of non-critical facilities.

Damage assessment is a critical process in any disaster; additionally an accurate damage assessment is critical to obtaining reimbursement during a state or federally declared disaster. Therefore, damage assessments should begin as soon as possible.

During larger incidents, Emergency Function 16, Damage Assessment is the responsibility of Emergency Management although personnel to physically conduct the damage assessment will be provided by various departments within Business Affairs. During the damage assessment, the damage and estimated repairs will be reported to the Emergency Operations Center.

All damages will be forwarded to the Physical Plant and/or Design and Construction.

Essentially, recovery resources will be handled in the same manner that response resources are managed. This could be managed through the Emergency Operations Center, or on-scene Incident Commander.

The two elements of recovery that are reserved for the Executive Group include:

  1. Determining when to terminate the incident.
  2. Determining when to return the University to normal condition.

Each of these two elements is separate and distinct with unique implications.

17.0 Remedial Actions

Following each major emergency or incident, the University will conduct a debriefing to identify major weaknesses, strengths, lessons learned, and best practices. The initial debriefing should occur not less than twenty-four hours, but not more than one week following the conclusion of an incident.

Following the debriefing, the Emergency Management Coordinator will ensure that an After Action Report (AAR) is drafted, reviewed, and distributed. Elements discussed in the AAR and debriefing(s) will be applied to improve the University's emergency management program and Emergency Operations Plan.