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Emergency Management Plan


I. Purpose
Events which adversely affect the normal operations of the College are inevitable. The purpose of this document is to clarify the actions, roles, and responsibilities that are to be taken by individuals and departments in the event of a crisis or emergency situation that has a major impact on the Millsaps College community.

I. Crisis Situation Defined

A crisis situation is defined as any situation or event that is identified by the president of the College or the Emergency Management Team (Section III) as having an significant adverse impact on the campus community as a whole. For the purposes of this document, we have identified three types of situations which will be individually discussed:

  • Inclement Weather (Section VI) 
  • Major Emergency Situations (Section VII) 
  • Non-Routine Media Relations Issues (Section VIII)

This document does not deal with routine incidents which are handled by the Millsaps Campus Safety Office or personal issues that might be handled by college counselors (unless the incident has the potential to impact the entire community).

III.   Emergency Management Team Defined

The Millsaps Emergency Management Team (EMT) is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Keith Dunn
  • Director of Communications and Marketing  
  • Campus Safety Senior Lieutenant  
  • Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Brit Katz 
  • Director of Campus Life 
  • Director of the Physical Plant David Wilkinson
  • Director of Information Technology Scott McNamee
  • President Rob Pearigen

Any member of the EMT may initiate a meeting based on information or conditions that develop.

Depending on the situation, the following auxiliary members of the EMT may be consulted or called to action:

  • Vice President for Institutional Advancement Michael Hutchison
  • Vice President for Finance and Campus Facilities Louise Burney
  • College Counselors (Jim Baugh) on-call counselors
  • Assistant Director of Physical Plant Danny Neely
  • Director of Dining Services Patricia Ainsworth
  • Chaplain of the College Rev. Christopher Ross Donald
  • Director of Housing Operations and Campus Activities Matt Binion  
  • Web Manager Lucy Molinaro
  • Web Content Editor Jason Bronson
  • Director of Residence Life Patrick Cooper
  • College Attorney Clifford Ammons

All current members of the EMT will be issued laminated identification cards that contain home  and/or cellular phone numbers of team members. These cards will also be used to gain access to designated restricted area(s) after an emergency incident. Team members should carry their cards at all times.

IV.  Emergency Decision Maker

In all crisis situations, the President of the College makes decisions on appropriate actions to be taken after consulting with the EMT. In the event of the president's absence, the order of succession is as follows: Vice President who chairs the EMT, Senior Vice President and Dean of the College; Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Vice President of Institutional Advancement; Vice President of Finance and Campus Facilities.

Regardless of who ultimately makes the final decision, once a decision has been made, all senior administrators of the College are to be contacted by a representative of the EMT (normally this will be the director of communications and marketing). The first call should be to Director of Communications and Marketing. If unavailable, call Public Relations Coordinator. This will allow each vice president to contact key individuals that report to them.

V.  Campus Spokesperson

In any crisis situation it is important for a consistent and unified message. Accordingly, the Director of Communications and Marketing is designated by the president as the official spokesperson for the college. However, depending on the situation, and after consulting with the EMT, the Director of Communications and Marketing may appoint other spokespersons to speak on specific subjects.

VI.  Inclement Weather

Inclement weather is perhaps the most frequent disruption of normal College operations. Under disruptive circumstances the following steps should occur as quickly as possible so as to provide timely information to faculty, students, and staff:

The Campus Safety supervisor on call contacts local authorities/agencies (as appropriate) to gain an updated travel and weather advisory. The road conditions as reported by those agencies will be the primary indicator used in arriving at a decision to continue normal operations.

The travel and weather advisory will be shared with the Vice President chair of the EMT (in his absence, proceed down the succession line). Based on this information, a recommendation to the president will be made concerning the operations of the College.

Once a decision is made, the individuals below will be responsible for the following:

The director of communications and marketing will:

  • Contact the remaining vice presidents (each VP enacts their own action plan).
  • Contact the Director of Media Relations, who will notify the media.
  • Update the College information line at 601-974-1000.
  • Assure that updates are made to all of the above as the situation changes.
  • Update College website and social media networks as necessary.

The vice president for student affairs and dean of students will:

  • Post an email message to the College community.
  • Contact key residential life and on-campus personnel.
  • Contact physical plant and dining services.
  • Assure that updates are made to all of the above as the situation changes.

In most cases, inclement weather conditions will affect the College for less than 48 hours. However, if the National Weather Service or other agency indicates that poor weather conditions may be prolonged, the additional steps in the "Major Emergencies" (Section VII) should be followed.

VII.  Major Emergencies

Definition of Major Emergency

A major emergency is a situation of such scope and magnitude as to pose the potential for adverse consequences to life, property, or both. A major emergency could very well cause prolonged interruption of academic and other programs of the College. For planning purposes, it must be assumed that most major emergencies will arrive with little warning, develop rapidly, and be capable of causing substantial disruption of our normal operating procedures. Examples of possible causes of major emergency situations would include:

Natural Causes

  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Lightning
  • Epidemic or contagious medical conditions
  • Ice storms

Accidental Causes

  • Fires
  • Hazardous chemical accidents or spills
  • Transportation accidents
  • Explosions
  • Prolonged utility outages

Societal Causes

  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Armed robbery
  • Suicide
  • Substance/drug overdose
  • Murder
  • Serious on-campus domestic confrontation or injury
  • On-campus civil disturbance
  • Off-campus civil disturbance
  • Hostage situation
  • Adverse employee termination
  • Mentally ill person on campus
  • Bomb threats or explosions
  • Terrorist action or declaration of war

Initial Emergency Procedures

The initial and primary source for all emergency information is the Department of Campus Safety (601-974-1234). While Campus Safety may not be the first to detect an emergency situation, as soon as they are notified, the following initial steps would occur: (Note:  In order to assure that campus safety will receive an early alert, the Office of Communications will assist in the development and maintenance of an awareness campaign that instructs faculty, staff, and students to call "1234" in any emergency situation.)

Regardless of major emergency type, the following actions should be taken:

1. Upon notification or observation of an emergency situation, campus safety personnel will:

Contact Campus Safety supervisor on call.

Maintain communication and other information with internal and external parties as directed by the Campus Safety supervisor on call.

2. The Campus Safety supervisor on call will take the immediate steps necessary to intervene in the emergency.
3. The Campus Safety supervisor on call notifies the Vice President Life and Dean of Students and the Director of Communications and Marketing. These Emergency

Management Team members make an initial assessment of key staff members to be notified/assembled.

Further, each individual takes the following actions:

1. The Campus Safety supervisor on call continues addressing the emergency situation by setting up an emergency operations center and coordinating available information.
2. The Vice President Life and Dean of Students communicates the situation to the president (or the appropriate senior administrative officer as outlined in Section IV). In the case of epidemic or contagious medical conditions, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students s will also consult with the college nurse and the college counselors and contact local public health officials to aid in determining the required response.
3. The Vice President Life and Dean of Students accesses and prepares a report on the implications for the student body.
4. The Director of Communications and Marketing contacts the Director of Media Relations and develops a plan to notify the media once an announcement is available. All external communication and requests for information will flow through the Office of Communications (601-974-1033). All external communication and media releases will be reviewed by the Director of Communications and Marketing.  The Director of Communications and Marketing also keeps the remaining vice presidents and the College information line (974-1000), College website (http://www.millsaps.edu), and College social media networks posted as information is available.
5. The President assembles the remainder of the Emergency Management Team as well as any auxiliary Emergency Management Team members for briefing, consultations, and the development of an action plan. The EMT will advise the president as to whether a state of emergency should be called. If it is deemed that it is not necessary to declare a state of emergency, EMT members will work with the vice presidents of the College to assure that the College returns to normal operations.

State of Emergency: Implementation of the Emergency Operations Plan

The Emergency Operations Plan is brought into action by declaration of a state of emergency by the president of the College or, in the president's absence, by the highest ranking executive-level senior administrator that is currently available to the Emergency Management Team. A guideline for the declaration of an emergency is found in Appendix A. Once a declaration of a state of emergency has been invoked, the primary members of the Emergency Management Team, and certain affected adjunct members are, for the duration of the emergency, relieved of normal, but non-emergency related duties (so as to concentrate more fully on the tasks at hand). Other prior and non-emergency commitments assume the lowest priority.

The President of the College maintains executive control of the Emergency Operations Plan. Ground-level operational implementation and direction of the plan is responsibility of the Campus Safety supervisor on call and the other members of the Emergency Management Team. College personnel and equipment will be utilized to provide priority protection for life, preservation of property, and restoration of the academic and other programs of the College. The manner in which College personnel and equipment are utilized will be determined by the relevant members of the Emergency Management Team.

The president will determine when it is appropriate to deactivate the plan, after consultation with the Emergency Management Team. (Note: In the event of a major emergency situation posing eminent peril to life or property, the Campus Safety supervisor on call is authorized to begin immediate implementation of appropriate Priority 1 tasks, as described below, even though the actual official declaration of a state of emergency or the notification of the persons on the alert list may not yet have taken place.)

Establishment of the Emergency Operations Center

The Department of Campus Safety, located in New South Hall, will serve as the Emergency Operations Center. The building is equipped with an emergency response status board which will assist the Campus Safety supervisors in managing on campus emergency response efforts and observing the overall flow of emergency events to the point of completion.

The emergency radio network is also located in the Emergency Operations Center. Should the campus telephone system fail, the Emergency Operations Center is the location to which runners should be sent with information and requests for assistance. The Emergency Management Team meeting place will be the President’s Conference room (unless adverse conditions dictate meeting in the New South Hall campus safety office.) 

Emergency Operations Plan: Priority Tasks

In any major emergency there are certain general tasks that must be performed. These are listed below in three priority categories: (Note: Emergency Management Team members will determine who will complete these tasks if necessary.)

Priority 1

  • Determination of nature and severity of situation.
  • Shutdown of dangerous utilities.
  • Notification of persons on emergency alert list.
  • Provision of emergency power for Emergency Operations Center.
  • Establishment of communications, both radio,  telephone, and web.
  • Provision of medical aid.
  • Application of fire suppression measures.
  • Initiation of search and rescue operations.
  • Control of hazardous substances.
  • Establish liaison for needed assistance from off campus:
  • Local/state/federal law enforcement
  • Local fire/rescue units
  • Local hospitals/paramedic units
  • County/state health departments
  • Local political jurisdiction offices: mayor, supervisors, governor
  • County EOC and FEMA
  • Red Cross and Salvation Army

Priority 2

  • Survey of facilities/utilities and recertification for use as appropriate.
  • Notification of the City of Jackson-Hinds County Emergency Management Department of any suspension or curtailment of activity.
  • Notification of local media of any suspension or curtailment of activity.
  • Establishment and maintenance of media relations.
  • Provision of shelter for campus residents
  • Provision of food, drinking water, supplies, cooking, and distribution.
  • Provision of sanitary sewer system.
  • Dissemination of information on campus.
  • Control of criminal activity.
  • Provision of psychological assistance to trauma victims.

Priority 3

  • Survey of valuable materials and equipment (library, laboratories).
  • Survey of records, documents, and data.
  • Survey of academic and other departmental requirements.
  • Determination and consideration of financial concern.
  • Determination and consideration of legal and liability concerns.
  • Acquisition of necessary supplies and equipment and renewal of flows from outside sources.
  • Resumption of full or limited academic and other programs and schedules.
  • Notification of the City of Jackson-Hinds County Emergency Management Department and local media of resumption of activity.

Emergency Operations Plan: Specific Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities of the executive committee and the members of the Crisis Management Team during any major emergency are as follows:

Senior Administrative Officers (VPs)

Assist the members of the EMT in carrying out their responsibilities by aiding in the following:

  • Acquisition of resources from outside the College
  • Planning for displacement housing and food services
  • Formulation of general public information
  • Prioritization of salvage operations
  • Decide if academic and other programs should be suspended temporarily
  • Set date for resumption of full or limited academic and other programs
  • Determine and consider financial, legal, and liability concerns
  • Plan for short-term building replacement

Supervisors of Campus Safety

  • Assess nature and severity of situation
  • Activate notification of persons on the emergency alert list
  • Implement Priority 1 tasks as needed
  • Convene members of EMT
  • Direct (in cooperation with the EMT) implementation of Emergency Operations Plan, if major emergency is declared
  • Direct Campus Safety department personnel and resources
  • Coordinate search and rescue operations
  • Coordinate with off-campus emergency agencies for needed services
  • Maintain communications with EMT and executive committee

Office of Communications

  • Gather, process, and disseminate all College-related media information for off-campus consumption
  • Coordinate information for college website and social media networks
  • Establish a campus media headquarters where all off-campus media persons would go for inquiries
  • Function as official media contact for the College
  • Provide media relations advice to the President and other members of the executive committee
  • Maintain communications with the campus Emergency Operations Center and other members of the EMT

Vice President and Dean of Students

  • Direct residence life staff in emergency tasks for shelter and welfare of residents of campus housing and other students
  • Coordinate temporary relocation and shelter of displaced students
  • Answer and further handle inquires of parents and other relatives
  • Coordinate inquiries concerning missing persons
  • Direct college nurse and infirmary tasks
  • Arrange for counseling services for those suffering from psychological trauma
  • Organize and direct student volunteers
  • Function as official organ of information for students on campus
  • Maintain communications with the campus Emergency Operations Center and other members of the EMT

Director of Physical Plant/Vice President for Finance and Campus Facilities

  • Direct maintenance, housekeeping, and grounds personnel
  • Coordinate restoration of all utilities
  • Coordinate damage assessment, repair, and recertification for use of facilities, buildings, machinery, and other equipment
  • Coordinate and manage standby systems for power generation, lights, heating, sanitation, and clean-up
  • Maintain communications with the campus Emergency Operations Center and other members of the EMT

Director of Food Services

  • Maintain an inventory of food and beverages suitable for a major emergency situation, conserve, and allocate
  • Prepare and serve food as needed
  • Arrange for recovery of portable water from campus sources or importation of water, or both, for kitchen and cooking uses
  • Maintain communications with the campus Emergency Operations Center and other members of the EMT

VIII. Non-Routine Media Relations Issues

Certain events can have significant negative effects on the College without adversely affecting the health and/or safety of the Millsaps College community. Nevertheless, these events can create media relations crises and are thus fit subjects for assessment, planning, and response on the part of the EMT members. Under such media relations crises, the EMT may be convened by any member that detects a potential issue. Once an issue is uncovered, the EMT will rely heavily upon the expertise of the Director of Communications and Marketing and the Media Relations Director. Other Emergency Management Team members will assist as needed. Examples of media relations risks include:

  • Adverse litigation
  • Public corruption of College official
  • Felony arrest of College official/faculty/staff/student
  • Public pranks or acts of vandalism by students
  • Race or gender bias-related publicity
  • Free-speech, student publications issues
  • Public figure
  • Potentially controversial speaker/group

IX.   Anticipated Risk and Crisis Assessment

It is the responsibility of the EMT to identify, assess, plan for, and possibly conduct pre-emptive intervention strategies against risks that have the potential of adversely affecting the college and its inhabitants. Such risks include the presence of controversial or high-profile presenters or visitors to campus, societal unrest in the community, major increases in local crime, city-wide health risks, or major utilities or communications failures.

X.  Periodic Evaluation, Planning, and Training

The members of the EMT and designated auxiliary members should meet at least once in the fall and spring semester to:

  • Review and revise this document.
  • Discuss crisis situations that may have occurred at other educational institutions and consider actions that we would have taken.
  • Participate in crisis scenarios and "mock cases" that will sharpen the skills of the participants.
  • The EMT should also meet immediately following any crisis situation to debrief, review its performance, and consider strategies for improvement.
  • This Emergency Management Plan is to become part of the Campus Safety Standard Operations Procedures Manual. All security officers are to be trained in its usage.

Each member of the president's cabinet is to retain a copy of the plan and should familiarize his or her staff with the contents.

Appendix A: Declaration of an Emergency

By the use of the following statement guideline, and at the recommendation of the EMT, the College president may declare a state of emergency:

Because of _________________________ I am declaring a state of emergency for Millsaps College. I am also invoking the Campus Emergency Operations Plan, and pressing into service the Emergency Management Team to start appropriate procedures necessary to meet the emergency, safeguard persons and property, and maintain the integrity of our campus facilities.

All persons are reminded that Millsaps College is private property. Thus during this emergency, only registered students, faculty, staff, and affiliates (i.e., persons required by employment) are authorized to be present on campus. Those who cannot present proper identification (Millsaps College ID or employee registration) showing their legitimate business on campus will be escorted from the campus, or be subject to arrest. In the event of an on campus disaster site, only those faculty and staff members who have been assigned specific emergency duties will be allowed to enter the immediate disaster site.

All media access and communications to the public will be through our Office of Communications. Any media desiring access to the campus will report to _______________.

Information flow to our Millsaps College constituents will be through _______________. You are encouraged to go to http://www.millsaps.edu and listen to local media for

Millsaps updates regarding class scheduling and the re-opening of the College.

This declaration will last until further notice by the Office of the President.

Revised January 2011