Higher ed Emergency Management Planning Higher Ed Emergency Management Planning

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Communications and Notification Annex

This function includes communication and coordination during emergencies and disasters (both internal communication and communication with external stakeholders), as well as the communication of emergency protocols before an emergency and communication after an emergency.

The planning team should consider the following when developing its goals, objectives, and courses of action:

  • How the IHE’s communications system integrates into the local disaster response communications network (e.g., fire department, law enforcement agency)
  • How the IHE will communicate with community partners in accordance with pre-established agreements (e.g., memoranda of understanding)
  • How to ensure relevant staff members can operate communications equipment
  • How the IHE will communicate with students, families and the broader community before, during, and after an emergency, including by using alert and notification systems
  • How to account for technology barriers faced by students, faculty, staff, and families
  • How to effectively address language access barriers faced by students, faculty, staff, and guardians
  • How impacts will be communicated to the broader community, including off-campus student activities or events on IHE grounds not sponsored by the IHE (i.e., third-party use of campus grounds, athletic events)
  • How the IHE will ensure effective communication with individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs (e.g., coordinating with local emergency management staff to provide sign language interpreters for use during press conferences, publishing only accessible documents, ensuring information on websites is accessible)
  • How to obtain and update emergency contact information for students, faculty, and staff
  • How to reach out to emergency contacts, including international contacts, during or following an emergency
  • How to track students, faculty, staff, or visitors transported to another location for care or shelter, including hospitals
  • How to coordinate information sharing among hospitals, families, and the IHE
  • Whether goals, objectives, and courses of action are consistent with the requirements in the Clery Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and civil rights laws.
  • How to communicate with students, staff, or members of the public who refuse to comply with safety instructions.
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