The following principles are key to developing a comprehensive higher ed emergency operations plan (EOP) that addresses a range of threats and hazards:
Planning must be supported by IHE senior leadership
The IHE president, chancellor,
or provost initiates and supports planning efforts to help ensure engagement from
the entire campus community. Since budgetary realities may force campus administrators
to make decisions within select fiscal parameters, it is important to have high-level
support to provide both political and financial backing to the effort.
Planning uses assessment to customize plans to the individual institution
Effective planning is built around comprehensive, ongoing assessment of the IHE’s
unique physical, social, and environmental characteristics, including the academic
programs offered, size and geographic location of the campus, the number and types
of buildings and facilities (including athletic, health, and research facilities),
the availability of campus and community resources, student demographics, campus
law enforcement officers and security personnel, and pertinent physical security
Planning considers all threats and hazards
The planning process must take
into account a wide range of possible threats and hazards that may impact the IHE.
Comprehensive IHE emergency management planning considers all threats and hazards
throughout the planning process, addressing safety needs before, during, and after
Planning provides for the access and functional needs of the whole IHE community
The “whole IHE community” includes students, staff and visitors, including those
with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, those from religiously,
racially, and ethnically diverse backgrounds, and people with limited English proficiency.
Planning considers all settings and all times
Higher ed EOPs must account
for incidents that may occur at any hour of the day or night, in numerous buildings
and off-campus sites or satellite locations, including, but not limited to, laboratories
and other facilities that house potentially dangerous materials.
Planning considers the individual preparedness of students, faculty, and staff
The planning team should raise awareness of the importance of individual preparedness.
Students should be informed of the possibility of a prolonged shelter-in-place condition
and should understand that they will be responsible for ensuring that they have
the necessary supplies, such as access to sufficient medication.
Planning meets the requirements of all applicable laws
A number of laws
at all levels of government may apply to IHEs. For example, the Clery Act includes
requirements for emergency response and evacuation procedures, as well as timely
warning and emergency notifications.
Creating and revising a model emergency operations plan is done by following a collaborative
The recommended process, plan format,
and content guidance provided here are flexible enough for use by all IHE emergency planning teams. If a planning team also uses
templates, it must first evaluate their usefulness to ensure the tools do not undermine
the collaborative initiative and collectively shared plan. There are some jurisdictions
that provide templates to IHEs, and these will reflect state and local mandates,
Access and Functional Needs
All Settings and Times