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Emergency Management Program

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Policy 302.1

1 Introduction

1.1 Appalachian State University is committed to the safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors. One component of safety is a comprehensive emergency management program. This policy provides authority for the emergency management program at Appalachian State University and outlines requirements for emergency management plans, policies, and procedures.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to the university-wide Emergency Management Program to include all faculty, staff, and students, and university property within the territorial limits of the university.

3 Definitions

3.1 Business Unit

Any academic or administrative department, unit, center, institute, division, or college.

3.2 Continuity of Operations

Capability to continue essential program functions and to preserve essential processes and functions, positions, lines of succession, applications and records, communications, and facilities across a broad range of potential emergencies/disasters.

3.3 Critical Functions

Functions or services offered that if interrupted or unavailable for several business days would significantly jeopardize the university's ability to serve its students and the campus community.

3.4 Disaster

A severe or prolonged emergency that threatens life, property, environment and/or critical infrastructure, systems or processes.

3.5 Emergency

An incident, human-caused, natural, or technological, that requires responsive action to protect life, property, and/or the environment.

3.6 Incident

Any occurrence, natural or human-caused, that requires action by the Emergency Management Program.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Program Organization

4.1.1 The Emergency Management function of the Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management Office is the central coordinating entity for activities and programs relating to emergency and disaster prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery for the university. Responsibility for coordinating with outside entities as needed to prepare for or respond to emergencies rests with this office, including communication with officials within the UNC System and local, state, and federal agencies.

4.1.2 The Emergency Management Program shall consist of the following:

  1. An office of emergency management led by a director, which is filled by the director of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management.
  2. The Crisis Policy Group (CPG), which is the senior level response team that sets strategic policy for the university’s disaster response and recovery efforts. The CPG works under the direction of the Chancellor and is comprised of members of the Chancellor’s executive staff at the discretion of the Chancellor.
  3. The Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF) is authorized to staff the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and to exercise operational decision-making authority for their business unit during an emergency. The EMTF has the authority to assign university resources, make operational decisions and coordinate with external emergency support agencies to provide the most efficient response and recovery possible. In addition, the EMTF will serve as an advisory body to the director of the university’s emergency management program and provide guidance and assistance with program implementation and evaluation.

4.1.3 It is campus policy to maintain a state of readiness for emergencies of any size. Departments assigned an emergency response or recovery role through plans or policy are expected to maintain a state of readiness, as well as plans to carry out their assigned functions. Activities shall be coordinated with the Office of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management.

4.2 Responsibilities of the Director

4.2.1 The director shall be responsible for the organization, administration, and operation of the emergency management program. The director or designee shall coordinate the activities, services, and programs for emergency management and disaster response within the university, and shall coordinate with the local, state, and federal authorities to ensure the most effective operation and implementation of emergency management plans.

4.2.2 The director's duties and responsibilities shall include, but are not be limited to, the following:

  1. Manage the university-wide comprehensive emergency management program including, but not limited to, elements addressing prevention, protection, and mitigation activities; responses to emergencies and disasters; and recovery operations.
  2. Coordinate the activities of all public and private agencies engaged in any emergency management activities within the university.
  3. Educate the campus community through public information programs as to actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in the event of an emergency or disaster.
  4. Plan and conduct exercises to enhance emergency preparedness and to familiarize business units with emergency management plans, procedures, and operations.
  5. Monitor and advise the Executive Group of threats, hazards, and emergencies or disasters that pose a risk to the lives and safety of students, faculty, and staff, or university interests, as well as propose for their consideration solutions and protocol aimed at how to best protect people and property from imminent danger or further damage.
  6. Activate and manage the university Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as the central coordinating entity during an emergency or disaster.
  7. Coordinate and document timely after action reviews following the activation of the campus emergency operations plan or emergency management program in response to an emergency, disaster, or large plan event once the incident or event has concluded.
  8. Prepare program reports as deemed necessary and prudent by senior university administration.
  9. Establish and oversee a university emergency management advisory committee to provide input and assist with matters related to preparing, implementing, and evaluating the university emergency management program.

4.3 Responsibilities of the Emergency Management Task Force

4.3.1 The EMTF will be chaired by the Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management, who will determine appropriate committee representation based on program guidance, planning needs, unit roles & responsibilities, resources, and other related criteria.

4.3.2 The EMTF will meet on at least a quarterly basis to discuss and evaluate elements of the emergency management program to include but not limited to prevention and mitigation efforts, outreach efforts, emergency plans, and other pertinent program elements.

4.3.3 EMTF representatives will be responsible for ensuring appropriate written plans are developed and maintained to support their assigned roles within the Appalachian State University Emergency Operations Plan. Plans shall be coordinated with the Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management Office.

4.3.4 The EMTF will convene following the conclusion of any activation of the University’s Emergency Operations Plan for a crisis incident to review the response efforts and provide recommendations for future plan improvements.

4.4 University Emergency Management Plans

University Emergency Operations Plan

4.4.1 A university-wide Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) shall be adopted and maintained. This plan shall be developed with the support of the EMTF and approved by the Chancellor.

4.4.2 In the preparation of this plan, the services, equipment, facilities, and personnel of all business units shall be utilized to the fullest extent possible, as appropriate, based on their functions and capabilities.

4.4.3 Following approval of the plan, each business unit listed therein is charged with being informed about their role in an emergency, maintaining a state of readiness to respond effectively, and performing the functions assigned to it by the plan.

4.4.4 The plan shall be updated at least once every three years, with interim revisions taking place as deemed appropriate.

4.5 Other Emergency Management Plans

4.5.1 Additional emergency management plans, separate from the EOP, shall be maintained by the Office of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management to ensure coordinated activities within the mission areas of emergency management: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. Examples of these plans include the Recovery Plan and Hazard Mitigation Plan.

4.5.2 In the preparation of these emergency management plans, the services, equipment, facilities, and personnel of all business units shall be utilized to the fullest extent possible, as appropriate, based on their functions and capabilities. Each business unit listed within these plans should formulate internal implementation processes and train staff to perform the functions within the plan.

4.6 Continuity Plans

4.6.1 Each business unit that is determined by the university to provide essential functions shall develop and maintain a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). This plan should reflect sufficient forethought and detail to ensure a high probability of restoration of essential functions following an incident.

4.6.2 Each business unit requiring a COOP shall designate an individual to serve as their continuity program manager.

4.6.3 Plans shall adhere to the format provided by the Office of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management.

4.6.4 Plans shall be updated annually and submitted to the Office of Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management for review.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management (828.262.6488)

8 Original Effective Date

June 18, 2003

9 Revision Dates

July 15, 2019