1. An emergency or a disaster can occur at any time of the day or night, on any weekday, weekend, or holiday. Some situations may occur after the implementation of warnings and other preparedness measures, while others may occur without any warning at all.
2. The succession of events in a crisis or emergency are unpredictable; therefore, a published and widely-shared ERP should serve as a guide and a checklist, which may require modifications in order to meet the requirements of the emergency. A crisis or emergency may evolve into being declared a disaster if information indicates that such conditions are developing or probable (e.g., as has been the response to potential or active shooter situations on college campuses recently).
3. Community disasters are likely to result in the delayed response times and Webster University should prepare to function independently (without outside support) for at least 72 hours in accordance with local, state and federal recommendations and guidelines.
4. Many emergencies will require the installing of a command center, equipped with appropriate communications ability and an established chain of command that will direct and coordinate activities and responses to the situation.
5. All employees of Webster University must be aware the possibility of crisis and emergency situations occurring, as well as their responsibilities in the execution of this plan. Proper implementation of this plan can prevent or reduce the loss of lives and property.
6. In responding to any critical incident, Webster University responds with the following priorities in mind:
|Priority 1||Life Safety and Security|
|Priority 2||Incident Stabilization|
|Priority 3||Preservation of Property|
|Priority 4||Maintaining of University Services|
|Priority 5||Damage Assessment|
|Priority 6||Restoration of Normal Business Operations|
Selected substantive features of Webster University, which have implications for crisis and emergency response procedures:
- Webster University is an educational institution comprised of approximately 100 campus locations worldwide. The main campus is an approximately 47-acre site located within the municipality of Webster Groves in St. Louis County, Missouri.
- Webster University is primarily a commuter campus, but does have approximately 725 resident students living in apartments and residence halls. Major community connections with entities maintaining space and events on campus (Community Music School, St. Louis Opera Theater, the Rep) as well as immediate neighboring of two major high schools (Webster Groves HS and Nerinx Hall) At any one particular time of day, the main campus in Webster Groves can have thousands of people on site.
- Webster University is susceptible and vulnerable to all types of crisis situations (critical incidents, campus emergencies, and disasters).
- Webster University is capable of, and experienced in, handling many small or minor incidents (critical incidents) but must rely on local assistance for many larger crisis situations (emergencies and disasters).
- Webster University promotes academic freedom, advocates community openness and access, makes substantial use of adjunct instructors, and welcomes hundreds of new students to campus approximately every nine weeks, all of which pose unique and substantial challenges in terms of providing emergency and crisis response.
- Webster University promotes an international approach to education and learning with robust study abroad programs. This, combined with a vast domestic network of campus sites, suggests that the University must have plans to initiate and manage emergency and crisis response efforts remotely from the Webster Groves campus.
- Webster University's main campus location (geographically) exposes it to unique and potentially significant disasters - such as an earthquake, flood or severe weather. Such disasters may devastate the entire region, forcing Webster University to become self sufficient for several days.