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EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN

Introduction

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is committed to protecting the welfare of its community members as well as its intellectual property and facilities. The emergency response plan (ERP) has been developed to minimize the impact of emergencies and maximize the effectiveness of the campus community's response to those incidents.

We can best prepare to meet the challenges presented during emergencies by working together, both within the university and through the emergency response and support agencies in Douglas County and the City of Omaha. The ERP includes a chain of command that establishes the authority and responsibilities of campus officials and staff members.

Scope

The emergency response plan is initiated whenever a crisis, man-made or natural, disrupts operations, threatens life or creates major damage to the university. The ERP is considered an "all hazards" document, but specific action steps have also been documented for the following incidents:

  • Anthrax or Suspicious Packages
  • Bomb Threat/Bio-Terrorism
  • Fire
  • Hazardous Materials Spill
  • Medical Emergency
  • Pandemic / Communicable Disease
  • Utility failure
  • Violent or Criminal Behaviour
  • Weather Extremes

The University of Nebraska at Omaha emergency response plan is designed to provide framework and guidance for coordinated response to campus emergencies. The plan does not replace procedures for safety, hazardous materials response or other emergency measures that exist within a department. This plan supplements those procedures with a temporary crisis management structure, which provides a managerial focus on response operations and an early transition to recovery operations.

Authority / Implementation

The responsibility for the safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff and visitors of the university rests with the Chancellor. To fulfill this responsibility, the Chancellor will grant the Incident Commander the authority and resources to accomplish incident management objectives.

The Incident Commander, through the Public Information Officer, will contact the Executive Group when a potential crisis arises. The Executive Group at UNO includes the Chancellor, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.

Incident Command Organisation Lead Team

The Incident Command Organization (ICO) Lead Team is the core to the UNO emergency operations organization. The ICO Lead Team coordinates, plans and organizes drills and exercises with local emergency response teams to maximize effectiveness when the need arises. Most emergencies can be handled through the Lead Team, Omaha fire and police and Campus Security. Additional members of the ICO will be contacted depending on the magnitude of the event. The ICO Lead Team includes:

  • Incident Commanders: S. Schleifer, J. Amend, D. Shipp
  • Safety Officers: P. Kosel, P. Wheeler, T. Davis
  • Public Information Officers: E. Owen, C. Reed, G. Baker

Incident command Organization

The Emergency Response Plan is based on the Incident Command System(ICS), an emergency management system structure adopted throughout the U.S.. It also stems from the National Incident Management System and various directives from the Department of Homeland Security. The ICS helps with coordination between different agencies by reducing duplication of effort, using common terminology, integrating communication and establishing a unified command during an emergency event. In the event of a large scale emergency, UNO staff from each of the following sections will be contacted to assist with the response effort: Operations, Logistics, Planning, Liaison, Finance and Administrative Support.

Communication

The university has a number of methods to communicate emergency messages or update the university on campus closings or emergency status. They include:

  • Overhead paging system to student housing and university buildings
  • Text messaging system (e2campus)
  • Computer scroll message
  • UNO website
  • KVNO and other media outlets
  • UNO emergency information line: 402 554-2255

Depending on the circumstances and urgency, the messages will be generated through Campus Security or University Communications.

Preparedness

The university will continually review, train and exercise the emergency response plan and will collaborate with local emergency response agencies to foster relationships and coordinate responsibilities. These preparedness and response plans will help provide a smooth transition to restoring normal services and implementing recovery programs.