POL-U5950.03 Preparing for and Responding to University Emergencies

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

February 3, 1994

Revised Date:

June 16, 2013

Approved by:

President Bruce Shepard

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all University faculty, staff, and students.


There is no overview for this policy.



An event or set of circumstances which: (1) requires responsive action to protect life and/or property, or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrences; or (2) reaches such a dimension or degree of destructiveness to warrant the Governor declaring a state of emergency pursuant to RCW 43.06.010.

Supervisory Group

All executive officers, faculty (including chairs), professional and classified staff who supervise one or more permanent faculty, professional or classified staff employees.

Policy Statements

1. University Maintains a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

The University safeguards the welfare of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors and protects the University’s assets and essential functions in order to carry out its strategic mission and objectives to the best of its ability during and after emergencies. A Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan(CEMP) is maintained.

The Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs ensures the CEMP is reviewed at a minimum of every three years, regardless of the occurrence of an emergency, in order to ensure the University’s efforts and technology are compliant and sufficient in accordance with industry standards.

2. University Maintains an Emergency Management Committee

The Emergency Management Committee’s tasks focus on reviewing and providing recommendations that will help strengthen Western’s emergency planning and management efforts.

3. Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs (VPBFA) Ensures Coordination of Emergency Planning and Response Efforts

The VPBFA ensures the coordination of efforts between essential University departments and community partners as described in the CEMP and related memoranda of understanding. The VPBFA delegates the lead coordination for emergency planning to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

The chain of command for responding to an emergency is determined by the type of emergency as outlined in the CEMP.

4. President, Provost, and Vice Presidents Ensure Active Participation in Emergency Management Functions

The President, Provost, and Vice Presidents are responsible for:

  1. Seriously considering budget requests for institutional resources to allow the campus to effectively prepare for and respond to emergencies.
  2. Taking necessary action to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency in a timely manner using the University’s CEMP as a guideline. This includes, but is not limited to, requiring the Supervisory Group in their respective areas to participate in regular internal plan reviews, trainings and exercises, and having recommended supplies on hand to the extent resources are available.
  3. Ensuring that the University’s response is designed to utilize National Incident Management System (NIMS) processes, whenever appropriate, to coordinate and plan responses and integrate with outside agencies. These processes are detailed in the CEMP.

5. University Provides Emergency Preparedness Training and Information

Training and information related to emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions are addressed within the CEMP. The Director of EHS ensures that training and appropriate information are provided to faculty, staff, and students. The CEMP is made available at various accessible locations across campus and such locations are listed on the EHS website.

6. Employees are Responsible for Being Familiar with Resources and Response Guidelines

To assist in increasing personal safety, the safety of others, and the protection of University assets, employees are responsible for ensuring that they:

  1. Are familiar with the resources and recommendations outlined in the CEMP related to employee emergency preparedness and response guidelines.
  2. Participate in University trainings and exercises, as appropriate to individual situations and contingent upon supervisor approval.

Trained University emergency responders and personnel performing essential tasks make diligent effort to respond in emergency situations, balancing individual, personal situations.

7. Members of the University Community Prepare

All members of the University community, including faculty, staff, and students, are urged to maintain a 72-hour (minimum) personal emergency preparedness kit, subscribe to University emergency communications, and be aware of applicable University emergency plans and information.

Policy Information