I. Purpose: The purpose of these Disaster or Emergency Operations Plan Procedures is to provide clear and effective channels of communication and coordination of university departments responsible for responding to emergency situations occurring on campus. The university will use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System for all emergency responses.
II. Definition of Emergencies: For purposes of these procedures, an emergency is defined as any unexpected situation which affects the safety of persons or property on the buildings and grounds of Texas State, as well as students who are studying at distance or off-campus programs. Examples include fires or explosions in university facilities, emergencies in or adjacent to university facilities, an unscheduled shutdown of campus facilities, accidents with serious personal injury or property damage on campus, natural disasters, civil disturbances, or unauthorized occupancy of campus areas.
III. Disruptive Activities on Campus: The president has reviewed and approved policies for addressing disruptive activities on the university campus involving members of the university community and the public. Attachment III details considerations for dealing with behavior that causes unacceptable disruption or creates potential hazards to property or individual safety. In the event of a campus disturbance or protest, the university will follow the policies in Attachment III.
IV. Weather Extremes and Energy Curtailments: In the event of an energy curtailment or severe weather condition, the university will follow the procedures outlined in UPPS No. 05.04.02, Closing the Campus Because of Weather or Other Emergencies.
V. Reporting and Communication of Emergencies: Whenever an emergency occurs during normal business hours, the University Police Department (UPD) should receive immediate notification. The senior police officer on duty will immediately dispatch and direct the response of police personnel sent to the scene and will immediately notify the following offices:
1. City of San Marcos Police and Fire Departments (753-2108)
2. Facilities Dept., Duty Utility Maintenance Operator – 2148 (After 5:00 PM
and on weekends, call 2108)
3. Vice President, Student Affairs – 2152
Upon notification that the university is activating the Emergency Operations Plan (Attachment I), the director of University Police or the senior police officer on duty will notify the vice president for Student Affairs, who will notify the other appropriate other executive staff. The senior police officer on duty may use discretion to change the order of the calls as the nature of the emergency warrants.
If an emergency occurs on weekends or at times other than normal business hours, UPD should receive immediate notice. After the senior police officer on duty (watch commander) has dispatched officers to the scene, notified the City of San Marcos Police or Fire Department and notified the Facilities Department duty utility maintenance operator, the police watch commander shall contact one of the individuals, in the order indicated, from the offices listed in UPPS No 05.04.03, Section 04.05, and other departments as necessary. The office administrator should receive notice first; if not available the first and then second alternate should receive notice.
Officials from the Vice President for Student Affairs Office or the president's staff must contact the president after receiving contract from UPD.
VI. Leadership and Operational Responsibility: If an emergency occurs during non-business hours, the senior police officer on duty will direct the emergency response. The first vice president to arrive at the emergency will assume an advisory role until otherwise notified by the president or designee. Time is critical in emergencies and emergency responders must follow directions quickly and effectively.
VII. Implementation of Emergency Response Procedures: The president or designee will decide whether to implement these emergency operations procedures, to recall university officials or their alternates to the campus during non-business hours, and to recall other university administrators to assist in the emergency. The senior officer on the scene will determine the establishment of an incident command center (ICC) where the above officials and administrators will convene.
VIII. Notification Responsibilities in the Event of Injuries: The first priority in responding to any emergency occurs where students, faculty, or staff are injured on university property, university-sponsored events (on or off university property), or in university facilities. The university personnel listed below should contact the injured parties or their families to advise them of the university’s concern for their welfare, and to assist them on other matters where possible.
The following offices shall initiate and maintain contact with injured parties or their parents or families, with the advice of the TSUS associate general counsel.
1. For students – dean of Students
2. For faculty – provost
3. For staff – director of Human Resources.
4. For non-university groups on campus for university-hosted events – the head of the department sponsoring the event
The designated official should initiate contact with injured persons or their parents or families as soon as possible. If the UPD learns of the identity of injured persons, it is the responsibility of the department to inform the above-listed offices as soon as practical.
IX. Communication to Students, Faculty, and Staff Concerning Emergencies: If an emergency occurs that requires immediate communication to students, faculty, and staff, the university will convey this information through a variety of means.
In addition to using the local media to communicate this information after normal business and teaching hours, the university may use the following means when making a decision to close down during business hours:
1. Use telephone relay of information from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the provost to colleges and non-academic departments.
2. Immediately notify university switchboard operators, who will respond to incoming inquiries or refer callers to the appropriate offices.
3. University police officer or designee will make public address announcements in the Alkek Library or other locations which have public address systems.
4. Ask the Dean of Students Office and Housing and Residential Life to relay information to students in the residence halls and the Student Center.
5. Post information on the university Web site.
6. Utilization of emergency notification systems (i. e., Thor Guard, classroom sign boards, reverse 911, voicemail system, and text messaging service).
X. Operating University During Close-Downs: If the university is closed and classes canceled because of an emergency or disaster, some essential services must continue (i. e., law enforcement, physical plant operations and patient care).
XI. Immediate Response of University Police Department to Emergencies: Immediately upon notification that an emergency, as defined in Section II, has occurred, the senior police officer on duty shall perform the following in cooperation and communication with local police and fire department personnel:
1. Implement NIMS for management response and resource utilization;
2. Immediately dispatch University Police Department personnel and notify the City of San Marcos Police and Fire Department personnel, including emergency medical technicians, if required;
3. Notify the University officials indicated in UPPS No. 05.04.03 of these procedures, as necessary for conditions;
4. Activate an emergency medical alert to local hospitals, if necessary;
5. Assist in the removal and rescue of injured persons from the scene of the emergency;
6. Notify and seek assistance from Facilities personnel on duty if a threat or damage has occurred to university property;
7. Evacuate the site of the emergency, if required;
8. Secure the area of the emergency;
9. Assist in crowd control and traffic control at the scene; and
10. Designate an area for media response.
The senior police officer at the scene of an emergency shall direct UPD personnel and coordinate their activities with those of the City of San Marcos Police, Fire Departments, and any other responding mutual aid.
XII. Establishment and Staffing of Incident Command Centers: If an emergency, as defined in Section II, occurs that requires coordinating personnel from several different offices, the president or designee shall convene at a site designated by the director of Emergency Operations, Emergency Management coordinator, or the senior police officer. The emergency’s nature may require selected administrators and department heads or their alternates from divisions responding to the emergency to be present at the site UPD has designated to advise the president, facilitate communications between departments and mutual aid responders, and direct university personnel’s response to the emergency.
If the emergency occurs at a time other than during normal business hours, these selected individuals who are called to the campus shall report to the site designated by the UPD.
XIII. Incident Command Center Communication System: The incident command center (ICC) and the site of the emergency shall communicate by two-way radio on a frequency assigned to the UPD. When the ICC is established, the UPD shall deliver a transceiver to the command center and provide to key university personnel at the site of the emergency (i. e., associate vice president for Facilities) two-way radios in order to facilitate direct and instant communication between the incident command center and the site.
The ICC and university offices shall communicate by cellular or land line telephone under the general guidelines for offices responding to an emergency or for those who have a representative assigned to the emergency responders’ room. They must keep one line open at all times. TelCom will provide satellite phones if other telephone lines are not available or accessible. If telephone communication is impossible because of a failure, UPD will provide two-way radios. All radios will be operated as defined by NIMS.
XIV. Information Retrieval During an Emergency: To retrieve information about facilities, students, faculty, or staff necessary to assist in emergency response, the following departments are the official sources for the most current information about personnel or facilities:
1. Facilities Department – for floor plans indicating the locations and identification of rooms and offices in university facilities.
2. Registrar's Office – for students' addresses; class schedules; parents' names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. for the ICC in accordance with FERPA.
3. Human Resources Office – faculty and staff records; for addresses, phone numbers, office locations, etc.
4. Technology Resources – for supplying computer-based information as in Sections 2 or 3 above.
The administrator in charge of each area or the ICC will approve information released from these sources.
XV. Access to Emergency Site: The ICC shall control access to the emergency site. To ensure that only authorized personnel are admitted to the site, the ICC may issue identification tags to individuals authorized by the ICC, the president, or the vice president for Student Affairs. If issued, the individual must wear the tag on the outer garment, clearly visible to security personnel.
XVI. Media Relations: A vice president or a designee must approve and the University News Service (UNS) must clear all news releases, communication, interviews, or other information about an emergency requested by or released to the news media. All ongoing media relations concerning an emergency are the responsibility of the UNS.
In order to respond effectively to media requests, the senior police officer on scene will designate a public information center.
Because the media may also seek information at the site of an emergency, UNS should send an information specialist to the site to answer questions. This person should remain in contact with the ICC or the public information center for guidance and approval of statements for release.
XVII. Relations and Communication with Family Members of Faculty, Staff, or Students: To respond to telephone inquiries from family members of faculty, staff, or students, the university may establish a central inquiry answering center and publicize a designated telephone number. University operators will transfer telephone inquiries to the inquiry answering center.
The UNS or a designee will staff the center, responding to inquiries and supervising the activities and the personnel answering the calls. The UNS or designee shall determine which information to release, as approved by the ICC.
XVIII. Texas State University System (TSUS) Associate General Counsel: The Office of the TSUS Associate General Counsel shall have responsibility for reviewing and clearing all information or reports concerning the possible cause of accidents or emergencies, potential liability for accidents or injuries, and all other legal concerns or problems. No one other than the president, vice president for Student Affairs or their designees is authorized to speak for the university about these matters.
XIX. Technology Resources: If technology resources are affected to the degree warranted, the Technology Resources Disaster Response Incident Management Team will assemble at their designated emergency management center and notify the ICC of that location.
XX. Personal and Property Insurance Claims: The processing of all personal and property insurance claims arising from an emergency resulting in injury to persons or damage to property is the responsibility of the Finance and Support Services Division with advice from the TSUS associate general counsel.
It is the responsibility of the University Police Department to collect personal property left at the site of an emergency and to make every reasonable effort to identify and return such property to the rightful owners.
XXI. Investigation and Reports on Emergencies: The UPD, Facilities Department or Technology Resources shall conduct an investigation when appropriate, and prepare reports on an emergency’s probable cause as defined in Section II.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATORS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS TO ENSURE THAT PERSONNEL ARE AWARE OF THESE PROCEDURES. IN ADDITION, THOSE DEPARTMENT HEADS THAT MAY RESPOND TO AN EMERGENCY SHOULD ESTABLISH APPROPRIATE ANNEXES IN ACCORDANCE WITH NIMS.