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Old Dominion University

University Policy

1021 Emergency Management Policy

Responsible Oversight Executive: Vice President for Administration and Finance
Date of Current Revision or Creation: March 3, 2022
  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to establish and guide the framework for emergency management (EM) programs at all Old Dominion University facilities.

  2. Authority

    Code of Virginia Section 23.1-1301, as amended, grants authority to the Board of Visitors to make rules and policies concerning the institution. Section 7.01(a)(6) of the Board of Visitors Bylaws grants authority to the President to implement the policies and procedures of the Board relating to University operations.

    Code of Virginia Sections 23.1‐803-805, as amended

    Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Order 41 (2019)

    Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000, as amended

  3. Definitions

    Building Emergency Action Plan (BEAP) - The written framework from which to facilitate emergency response actions at the building level during all-hazards incidents/emergencies/ events.

    Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) - A designated building representative who carries out basic emergency response functions (e.g., evacuation facilitation, floor sweeps, accountability documentation) during a building incident/emergency/event. The BEC also chairs the Building Emergency Preparedness Committee and serves as a conduit with and ambassadors for the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to assist with preparedness planning, training, conducting exercises, outreach activities, communication, and emergency response, as necessary. Each BEC shall have at least one designated alternate.

    Building Emergency Preparedness Committee (BEPC) - A group of building representatives or stakeholders that meet at least once annually to discuss building emergency preparedness activities and review and update the Building Emergency Action Plan. Members of the BEPC are selected by each department head(s) in a building. The BEPC designates a Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC, who serves as BEPC chair) and at least one alternate to facilitate basic emergency response functions and coordinate with the Office of Emergency Management on BEAP updates and building emergency preparedness activities.

    Common Operating Picture - A broad view of the overall situation as reflected by situation reports, aerial photography, and other information or intelligence.

    Continuity of Operations (Continuity) - The effort to ensure an organization can continue its mission essential functions across a wide range of potential events.

    Crisis and Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) - The University's main contingency planning document that provides a strategic-level framework to effectively prevent, mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all-hazards incidents, emergencies, and events.

    Emergency - As defined by Code of Virginia Section 44-146.16, as amended "any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether natural or man-made, which results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property or natural resources."

    Emergency Management (EM) - The coordination of efforts to prepare for and carry out the functions to prevent, minimize, respond to, and recover from incidents caused by natural hazards, human-caused hazards, and acts of terrorism.

    Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) - A voluntary assessment and accreditation process for State and local government emergency management programs. Accreditation is based on compliance with collaboratively developed national standards.

    Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) -The appointed individual (ODU Director of Emergency Management or designee) that serves as the communications liaison between the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security (SPSHS), the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and the University pursuant to Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019).

    Emergency Management Cycle - A system that provides for the management and coordination of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities for all hazards. The system encompasses all organizations, agencies, departments, and individuals having responsibilities for these activities.

    • Prevention - Actions to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring. Prevention involves actions to protect lives and property.
    • Mitigation - Activities designed to reduce or eliminate risks to persons or property or to lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident.
    • Preparedness - As defined in the National Response Framework, preparedness is the range of deliberate, critical tasks and activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the operational capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from incidents. Preparedness is a continuous process requiring a whole community approach to be most effective.
    • Response - Activities that address the short-term, direct effects of an incident. Response includes immediate actions to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs.
    • Recovery - Activities that address the short-term and long-term needs and the resources to assist, restore, strengthen, and rebuild affected individuals, and the University community at large.

    Emergency Notification System (ENS) - Colloquially known as ODU Alerts, the University's combined protocols, training, systems, and equipment used to provide emergency alerts and notifications to the University community.

    Emergency Operations Center (EOC) - The physical or virtual location at which the coordination of information and resources to support on-scene incident/emergency/event management activities takes place.

    Essential/Designated Personnel - Exempt and non-exempt employees who are required to work during an authorized closing because their positions have been designated by the hiring supervisor as essential to University operations during emergencies.

    Exercise - A test of plans, policies, and/or procedures intended to validate the planning and training process as part of a larger preparedness program. Exercises can be discussion-based, including seminars, workshops, and tabletops, and operations-based, including drills, games, and functional and full‐scale exercises.

    Facilities and Grounds - Buildings, structures, parking lots, grounds and space owned or leased by the University.

    Hazard - Something that has the potential to be the primary cause of an incident.

    Hazard Mitigation - Any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life or property.

    Incident - An occurrence or event, natural or human‐caused, that requires an emergency response to protect life or property.

    Incident Command System (ICS) - A standardized, on-scene emergency management construct specifically designed to provide for the adoption of an integrated organizational structure that reflects the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents. ICS is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. It is designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents.

    Incident Commander (IC) - The individual responsible for all incident activities. The IC has overall authority and responsibility for the management of all incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site.

    Mutual Aid Agreement - A written agreement between agencies, organizations, and/or jurisdictions that they will assist one another on request by furnishing personnel, equipment, and/or expertise in a specified manner.

    National Incident Management System (NIMS) - A system mandated by the Federal Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) #5 that provides a consistent, nationwide approach for governments (Federal, State, and local), voluntary agencies, and the private sector to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. NIMS uses a core set of concepts, principles, and terminology.

    Unified Command (UC) - Shared responsibility for overall incident management as a result of a multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency incident. In the event of conflicting priorities or goals, or where resources are scarce, there must be a clear link of authority for decision-making. Agencies contribute to unified command by determining overall goals and objectives, jointly planning for tactical activities, conducting integrated tactical operations, and maximizing the use of all assigned resources.

    Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC) - A state regulation promulgated by the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development in cooperation with the Virginia Fire Services Board, both Governor-appointed boards, for the purpose of establishing statewide standards to safeguard life and property from the hazards of fire or explosion arising from the improper maintenance of life safety and fire prevention and protection materials, devices, systems, and structures and the unsafe storage, handling, and use of substances, materials, and devices, including fireworks, explosives, and blasting agents, wherever located.

  4. Scope

    This policy applies to all employees, students, volunteers, and visitors. Employees include all staff, administrators, faculty, full- or part-time, and classified or non-classified persons who are paid by the University. Students include all persons admitted to the University who have not completed a program of study for which they were enrolled; student status continues whether or not the University's programs are in session. Visitors include vendors and their employees, parents of students, volunteers, guests, uninvited guests, and all other persons located on property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University.

  5. Policy Statement

    The ODU Office of Emergency Management (OEM), a unit of the ODU Department of Public Safety overseen by the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety/Chief of Police, is established and empowered with the authority to administer the ODU Emergency Management Program, and the Director of Emergency Management or designee is empowered with the authority to execute the program. The ODU Emergency Management Program's authorities and responsibilities are established and executed in accordance with the local/State/Federal statutes, regulations, directives, and/or policies. This includes the University's formal adoption, implementation, and utilization of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS, a NIMS component) as the primary incident management system framework from which University incident/emergency/event management activities are structured. The Director of Emergency Management or designee is responsible for the implementation of NIMS/ICS at ODU. Additionally, the University's emergency management cycle will follow the Emergency Management Accreditation Program's (EMAP) model of prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. To support inclusive emergency planning efforts, minimize duplication of effort, and promote a common operating picture, University departments are required to cooperate with OEM in coordinating and facilitating preparedness programs and initiatives.

    Unit Directors/Department Heads and individuals in supervisory roles are responsible for ensuring that personnel within their departments are aware of emergency management and fire prevention plans, policies, and the procedures for reporting accidents, emergencies, and safety issues. They are also responsible for ensuring that Building Emergency Action Plans (BEAPs) and Departmental/Unit Continuity Plans, as applicable, are developed in accordance with OEM guidelines and communicated to all unit personnel to promote familiarity with and understanding of respective roles and responsibilities during all phases of the emergency management cycle. With guidance and support from OEM, Unit Directors/Department Heads are responsible for coordinating with Building Emergency Coordinators on annual BEAP and Departmental/Unit Continuity Plan (as applicable) review, training, and exercises involving key staff members expected to participate in incident/emergency/event response and recovery activities.

    Further, all individuals to which this policy applies share collective responsibility to maintain an appropriate level of individual preparedness to support overall institutional resiliency. Members of the University community are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves accordingly for incident/emergency/event situations (whether on- or off-campus) by leveraging planning and training resources available through the ODU Emergency Management website, multiple University offices and departments, local and regional partners, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    Roles and Responsibilities of the Office of Emergency Management

    OEM's primary responsibility is to administer and maintain ongoing all-hazards planning, training, and exercise programs at the University, departmental, and individual levels, with the assistance of all relevant stakeholder departments and units.

    Specific plans developed and managed by OEM include the Crisis and Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), University Continuity Plan, and Hazard Mitigation Plan. OEM is also responsible for coordinating the development of Building Emergency Action Plans (BEAP), Departmental/Unit Continuity Plans, and training and exercise programs for all University units. Training and exercise programs coordinated by OEM are outlined in the current Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (MYTEP), maintained by OEM.

    During incident/emergency/event situations, OEM will support coordination of overall management activities virtually or physically at the incident/event site or the University's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In accordance with provisions set forth in the ODU CEMP, OEM is responsible for coordinating the University's Incident Management Team and assisting the ODU Senior Leadership Team as needed. OEM is responsible for maintaining the physical/virtual EOC and staffing it with personnel who are trained on their roles and responsibilities.

    Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019) requires each State Agency to appoint an Emergency Management Coordinator and alternate to develop and maintain plans and facilitate emergency preparedness activities as outlined in the EO. The University's Director of Emergency Management is appointed the primary Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) and the Emergency Planner is appointed the alternate EMC. The EMC will work with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and applicable local jurisdictions on emergency preparedness activities.

    OEM will work with local, regional, State, Federal, and various community partners to promote information and share resources as appropriate. Additional OEM responsibilities include:

    • Assisting with the management of the University's Emergency Notification System (ENS) and associated protocols, training, and system testing;
    • Promoting preparedness initiatives through presentations and other various outreach methods;
    • Providing emergency preparedness subject matter expertise to the University community;
    • Coordinating with University departments that have key roles in incident/emergency/event management activities.

    OEM is also responsible for managing the University's Fire Prevention program through operational oversight by the Fire Prevention Manager serving as University Fire Marshal and the Fire Prevention Inspector serving as Assistant University Fire Marshal. The office of Fire Prevention's responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

    • Facilitating University adherence to all applicable Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC) and associated code requirements;
    • Conducting fire prevention inspections;
    • Coordinating fire drills (excluding the Office of Housing and Residence Life that facilitates residence hall fire drills);
    • Managing the University's automated external defibrillator (AED) program;
    • Collaborating with various stakeholders, including Facilities Management and Construction, the Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO), municipal Fire Marshal's Offices, and external contractors;
    • Facilitating fire prevention and life safety training and educational outreach initiatives;
    • Compiling annual fire safety report data for inclusion in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report;
    • Responding to emergencies at any ODU facility on a 24-hour basis; and
    • Serving as the resident subject matter expert for fire prevention issues/questions/concerns.

    Emergency Management Program Oversight

    Proper whole community oversight of the University's emergency management initiatives allows the program to keep pace with the changing needs of the University community and assists in maintaining an ongoing culture of preparedness. Old Dominion University's emergency management program is overseen by the Safety and Security Policy Committee and the Emergency Management Advisory Committee.

    1. Safety and Security Policy Committee (SSPC)

      The University Safety and Security Policy Committee is a standing operational committee appointed by the Vice President for Administration and Finance to serve as a coordinating and policy body, with responsibility for establishing the framework for an overarching University safety, security, and emergency management program for all ODU facilities.

    2. Emergency Management Advisory Committee (EMAC)

      The Emergency Management Advisory Committee (EMAC) is a chartered, operational committee appointed by the Assistant Vice President of Public Safety/Chief of Police and reporting to the Safety and Security Policy Committee. Chaired by the Director of Emergency Management, the Committee is responsible for providing operational oversight, coordination, and leadership for improving and furthering the University's emergency management programs under the strategic policy direction of the SSPC. The committee will periodically evaluate the preparedness position of the University and aid in developing appropriate planning, training, response, and mitigation strategies designed to reduce risks and to continually enhance the resiliency of the University community.

  6. Procedures

    1. Planning

      A coordinated, all-hazards, whole community planning effort creates the foundation of the University's preparedness program. OEM's primary responsibility for preparedness is to facilitate, with the assistance of all relevant stakeholders, the development and maintenance of incident/emergency/event plans, policies, and procedures to further the resiliency of the University community.

      1. University Plans

        1. Crisis and Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

          ODU is required to follow the provisions set forth in Code of Virginia Section 23.1‐804, as amended, with respect to the development, maintenance, and review of a written Crisis and Emergency Management Plan that outlines the framework for how the University manages incidents/emergencies/events at its facilities.

        2. University Continuity Plan

          As required by Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), the University will maintain a current institutional-level Continuity Plan, using the current template provided by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The University Continuity Plan identifies the University's mission-essential function and details the primary business functions and resources (e.g., facilities, human capital, and IT) needed to perform these functions when normal operations are disrupted.

        3. Hazard Mitigation Plan

          A complementary document to the CEMP, the Hazard Mitigation Plan assesses and ranks the hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities inherent to the University. All hazard types (natural, human-caused, and technological) are considered in the plan development process. The hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities identified in the Hazard Mitigation Plan are used as the foundation from which to design and develop various University planning, training, and exercise programs. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated periodically by OEM with University community input.

      2. Building/Departmental/Unit Planning and Preparedness Requirements

        1. Establishment of Building Emergency Preparedness Committee; Appointment of Building Emergency Coordinator and Alternate

          All buildings are required to establish and maintain a Building Emergency Preparedness Committee (BEPC) that meets at least once annually to discuss building emergency preparedness activities and review/update the Building Emergency Action Plan.

          The BEPC is required to select a Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) and alternate to serve as a liaison with OEM for coordination of annual BEAP maintenance, as well as training and other preparedness activities. The BEC serves as BEPC chair.

        2. Building Emergency Action Plans

          All University buildings are required to maintain a current, all-hazards Building Emergency Action Plan (EAP). The BEAP serves as the written framework for facilitating individual or departmental emergency response actions during all-hazards incidents/emergencies/events.

        3. Departmental/Unit Continuity Plans

          University units with essential program functions (i.e., those units designated as fulfilling the Mission Essential Function and/or Primary Business Functions within the University Continuity Plan) are required to maintain a current Departmental/Unit Continuity Plan. The Continuity Plan identifies departmental mission-essential functions and details the primary business functions and resources (e.g., facilities, human capital, and IT) needed to perform these functions when normal operations are disrupted. Department heads will designate a point of contact to work with OEM to annually complete/update their Continuity Plan. As a best practice, all other University departments/units are encouraged to develop a Departmental/Unit Continuity Plan with OEM support.

    2. Training

      A comprehensive training curriculum is an essential component in furthering the preparedness goals of the University's emergency management program. Per Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), all University employees are annually required to take the Emergency Management for State Employees training module. Based on their roles and responsibilities in University incident response/recovery, select essential/designated personnel may be subject to participation in any or all of the following curricula: National Incident Management System (NIMS), Incident Command System (ICS), continuity planning, Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) training, and/or other training to be developed and offered as needed. OEM, with assistance from other key departments, coordinates the University's preparedness training program. All training will be delivered in accordance with the current Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (MYTEP), maintained by OEM.

    3. Exercises

      A tiered exercise program tests, validates, and identifies areas for sustainability and improvement in existing plans, procedures, protocol, and training. OEM coordinates the University and departmental exercise program. Per Code of Virginia Section 23.1-804 and Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), at least one test or exercise of the CEMP and University Continuity Plan must be conducted annually. Per the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, University emergency response and evacuation procedures must be tested annually. All exercises will be delivered in accordance with the current Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (MYTEP) maintained by OEM. OEM is responsible for developing after-action documentation and overseeing the implementation of associated corrective actions as identified.

  7. Records Retention

    Applicable records must be retained and then destroyed in accordance with the Commonwealth's Records Retention Schedules.

  8. Responsible Officer

    Assistant Vice President for Public Safety/Chief of Police

  9. Related Information

    Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC §1092(f))

    FEMA National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF)

    Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) #5

    Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) #8

    The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93‐288, as amended

    Emergency Management Accreditation Program 2019 Emergency Management Standard

    National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management

    and Business Continuity Programs

    Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, September 2019

    University Policy 1010 - Absence of the President

    University Policy 1020 - Closure of the University Due to Inclement Weather and Emergencies

    University Policy 3012 - Safety and Security Policy

Policy History

Policy Formulation Committee (PFC) & Responsible Officer Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Rhonda Harris
Responsible Officer
March 1, 2022

Policy Review Committee (PRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Chair, Policy Review Committee (PRC)
January 25, 2022

Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Todd K. Johnson
Responsible Oversight Executive
March 1, 2022

University Counsel Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Allen T. Wilson
University Counsel
March 2, 2022

Presidential Approval:

/s/ Brian O. Hemphill
March 3, 2022

Previous Revisions

December 14, 2015; March 3, 2022

Scheduled Review Date

March 3, 2027

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