Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Organization and Components
The University has a number of policies and procedures in place to respond to specific situations that occur regularly. Examples include procedures to respond to reports of crime in the Department of Public Safety, procedures for responding to students in emotional distress in Counseling and Life Development, and plans for responding to events in residence halls by the Housing and Residential Life staff. While most of these plans outline procedures for immediate responses to events, they should be viewed as part of a larger, coordinated University response to a crisis.
Generally, responsibility for a crisis or emergency response function may initially migrate toward an individual from the appropriate department who possesses the most appropriate knowledge and skills. Other university personnel may be assigned support responsibilities for specific emergency functions.
The individual having primary responsibility for an emergency function is normally responsible for coordinating preparation of and maintaining that portion of the emergency plan that addresses that function.
Webster ERP Components
For most major crises and emergencies, successful operations require a coordinated effort from a number of personnel. To facilitate a coordinated and clear effort, Webster University's Emergency Response Plan (ERP) consists of 7 major elements:
- Crisis Management Team
- Crisis Planning Team
- Crisis Response Team
- Incident Command Team
- Faculty and Staff
- Department Emergency Plans
- Building Emergency Plans
- Incident Action Plans
1) Crisis Management Team (Administrative Council)
The Crisis Management Team role is that of policy and major decisions and center on planning and preparation prior to and the recovery from an incident, the long term effects on the university and the need to restore the university back to normal operations.
The CMT would be directly involved in stabilizing the incident only if major expenditures or policy decisions were needed to complete the stabilization. The Crisis Management Team will be called into operation by the President of the University as soon as practical and all members shall report to the President's Conference Room 3rd Floor Loretto Hall after a crisis incident occurs that requires a coordinated institutional response. Membership in this team will be comprised of the President of the University, the Administrative Council and any additional members deemed necessary on an as needed basis. It will always include a member of the Office of Public Affairs to coordinate public information issues.
Responsibilities of this team include:
1. Responsible for final plan approval and for final major policy decisions.
2. Allocate and direct distribution of resources required to reduce identified vulnerabilities.
3. Allocate and direct distribution of resources required to accomplish the purposes of this EMP.
4. Request needed resources from outside resources that are unavailable internally.
5. Delegate necessary authorities for incident stabilization and protection of life and property.
6. Identify critical business functions that must quickly be restored and maintained.
7. Review needs and allocate resources required in the 24-96 hour range too complete stabilization and commence the recovery process for a 30-day period.
8. Determine long-term (greater than 30 days) effects the incident may have on the University and how these can be managed.
9. Monitor the recovery process to ensure the recovery is proceeding according to plan and to provide guidance/assistance as needed.
10. Ensure the Incident Commander is functioning in a responsible manner. This process should be undertaken through joint briefings between the CMT and the Incident Commander. Many incidents require a multi-agency and/or multi-jurisdictional response. Members of the CMT must be aware of how Incident Command System and interagency (regional) Multi-agency Coordination Systems functions to ensure cooperative response efforts.
2) Crisis Management Planning Team
The Crisis Management Planning Team (CMPT) is the essence of the emergency operations organization. They are appointed by the University President to develop the emergency operations plan for Webster University. This team will be responsible for developing plans to prevent, respond to, mitigate and recover from crisis situations covered in this document. Their goal will be to maintain a state of readiness in the event of a disaster by having plans in place to have the ability to respond appropriately and to recover so as to assure an efficient and orderly transition from daily routine to activities to those with crisis/emergency situations. They also coordinate with other university personnel and local emergency services to develop functional annexes as well as annexes for specific hazards, coordinates planning activities, makes recommendation for mitigation effort, coordinates and implements training, drills and exercises and its members are on call to respond if necessary to manage a crisis incident. Crisis Planning Team members may also be members of the Crisis Management Response Team.
3) Crisis Management Response Team
If the emergency condition is either long term, catastrophic or severe enough to cause an institutional response on a 24 hour a day/multi-day process, the Crisis Management Response Team (CMRT) will call for the activation of the Emergency Operations Center. The Crisis Response Team will man the EOC and utilize the Incident Command System under the Incident Commander.
The group is responsible for executing the crisis management plan. This group will comprise representatives of senior management personnel of the university that represent functional areas of the university that have critical response responsibilities. These members are responsible for ensuring that their area has a crisis response plan for the necessary resources to execute those plans.
The CMRT is composed of primary and alternate members. All primary and alternate members must be knowledgeable about their plans and this overall Crisis Response Plan.
It should be noted that, for any given incident, it might not be necessary for all members of the CMRT to be part of the incident stabilization and recovery effort.
The Incident Commander will be responsible for notifying members of the CMRT when their services are needed. The team members are responsible for evaluation of information from various sources during an actual event and providing advisement to the Incident Commander and the President (via the Incident Commander) and the CMRT on appropriate actions requiring their decision.
The Crisis Management Response Team may include:
- Director of Facilities
- Director of Student Health Services
- Director of Human Resources
- Director of Public Safety
- Dean of Students
- Associate Dean of Students and Director of Housing and Residential Life
- Representative from Office of Public Affairs
- Director of Counseling and Life Development
- Vice President for Information Technology
- Representative from Finance and Administration
- 1-2 full-time Faculty members
- Director of the Loretto Hilton Center
- Dean of the Library
- General Manager, Dining Services
4) Incident Command Team
The Incident Command Team may be comprised of local/state/federal public safety/police command level officers, local/state/ federal/ fire/EMS/hazmat teams, local/state/federal environmental/public health resources or any other operational group deemed necessary based on the emergency characteristics and requirements.
This team will be stationed close to the incident at the Incident Command Post (ICP) and will be responsible for containing and working the incident.
The staging area for deployment to work the incident will vary depending upon the location of the threat.
5) Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff members are seen as leaders by students and should be prepared to direct their students to assembly areas in the event of an emergency. Every member of the university faculty and staff should be familiar with applicable emergency plans and familiarize themselves with emergency procedures and evacuation routes.
Faculty and staff must be prepared to assess situations quickly; but thoroughly, and use common sense in determining a course of action. All faculty and staff are responsible for emergency preparedness planning for their own work areas and securing their work areas in the event of an emergency.
6) Department Emergency Plans
These areas are identified to have critical responsibilities on a University wide basis during a crisis situation. Members of the university designated as Crisis Response Team members are required to develop an Emergency Operations Plan for areas under their control. As necessary, these plans will be augmented by Response Annexes to address specific situations.
These areas include facilities, facilities planning, health services, public safety, and office of public affairs, residence life, counseling, finance, maintenance, human resources, dining services and information technology.
7) Building Plans
Building Action Plans are those plans created and maintained by the directors, deans or managers of each building on campus that enables that particular building or area to enact specific steps to be taken in the earliest phases of an emergency or crisis situation.
8) Incident Action Plans
The Crisis Management Planning Team in conjunction with other members of the university and in conjunction with industry standards, will develop Incident Action Plans which are general procedures to handle a specific type of incident, as well as guides to upgrading the incident to possibly a large emergency or disaster where additional procedures, resources, internal and external notifications need to be enacted.