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Emergency Management Plan

Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by  Vice-Chancellor at VCAG on 4 October 2010
Date Policy Took Effect
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer
Review Date

Policy Content

NB: The Appendices are not attached but are listed as a reference of the documents available.

Introduction

This Emergency Management Plan sets out the arrangements for a co-ordinated action by the University in response to an emergency on campus.

The authority for this plan is provided by the University’s Emergency Management Policy.

The University’s main objectives in its initial response to all emergencies are:

  • To protect human life and alleviate suffering, and, as far as possible, protect property and reputation; and
  • To support the continuity of everyday activity and the restoration of disrupted services at the earliest possible time.

The Emergency Management Plan supports these objectives by providing a clear and organised response strategy supported by pre-defined response procedures.

The Emergency Management Plan provides basic actions to be performed by two key groups - the Incident Management Team and the Strategic Emergency Management Group during an incident to:

  • assess the nature and severity of the incident,
  • decide an appropriate response; and
  • initiate appropriate actions by senior management and staff.

Procedures and roles in this plan align with the Coordinated Incident Management System currently in use by all emergency organisations across New Zealand and many other countries internationally.

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Definitions

Coordinated Incident Management System. A system adopted by all emergency organisations in New Zealand and internationally for implementation at times of emergencies.

Emergency. An event that can cause death or significant injuries to staff, students, or the public; or that can suspend business, disrupt operations, create significant physical or environmental damage, or threaten the University’s financial standing or public image.

Emergency Communications Plan. A Plan that provides the framework for the delivery of public information to students, staff, the media and the public during an emergency or natural disaster. This plan is a compilation of duties, assignments, instructions and delegations of authority for the use of various communications tools available on the campus. The plan is not intended to change the way emergencies are initially reported. All emergencies on campus should be reported immediately to Campus Watch 479 5005.

Emergency Communications Team (ECT). Is a team that comprises staff from the Communications Section from the Division of Marketing & Communications and is managed by the Head of Communications. The ECT is formed when the Vice-Chancellor declares a State of Campus Emergency.

Emergency Management Plan. A Plan that outlines how the Coordinated Incident Management System will apply in the University. The Emergency Management Plan allocates responsibilities to certain staff and requires them to undertake specified training. The Plan will be tested annually to ensure staff associated with the Plan know how to respond effectively in an Emergency.

Emergency Operations Centre. A dedicated facility located in the St David II Building. It is the base for the Incident Management Team and houses all the physical and information resources, and the tools to manage an effective response to an Emergency.

Incident Controller leads the Incident Management Team during a State of Emergency to ensure the team reacts effectively during a State of Emergency on campus. Where the Emergency is a pandemic/epidemic situation, the Incident Controller is the Pro-Vice Chancellor Health Sciences or delegate. In all other situations, the Incident Controller is the Proctor unless this authority is delegated.

For campuses in Christchurch and Wellington the Incident Controller is the Dean and in Southland the Director.

Incident Management Team. A group led by an Incident Controller whose members have been assembled from throughout the University and who have the training, skills and knowledge required to act effectively during a State of Campus Emergency. The Incident Management Team is responsible for the operational management of the Emergency in line with the Emergency Management Plan with the immediate focus on saving life and property.

State of Campus Emergency. A period following a declaration by the Vice-Chancellor that an Emergency cannot be managed by day-to-day operational management. The Emergency Management plan is activated at this point and continues throughout the State of Campus Emergency.

Strategic Emergency Management Group. The Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group with additional support from the Service Divisions and others as necessary. It is responsible for making and acting on decisions requiring the highest authority within the University, managing the business continuity, and longer term strategic implications of an Emergency.

The Strategic Emergency Management Group will consist of any senior staff or advisers who the Chair (the Vice-Chancellor or delegate) deems are required, given the nature of the incident.

Vice-Chancellors Executive Group and Director – Marketing and Communications

  • Vice-Chancellor
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise)
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Secretary to the Council, and Registrar
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities)
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences)
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director – Marketing and Communications

Heads of Service Divisions, Directors and Risk Manager

  • Director – Academic Services
  • Director – Accommodation Services
  • Director – Financial Services
  • Director Information Technology Services
  • Director – Property Services
  • Director – Student Services
  • Risk Manager

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Accountability

Accountability for this plan is with the Vice-Chancellor.

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Authority

The Vice-Chancellor will declare a State of Campus Emergency when an event occurs which cannot be handled by day-to-day University operations and management. In the event that the Vice-Chancellor is not available this authority is delegated to the Acting Vice-Chancellor.

The Incident Controller, decides operational priorities and allocates resources during the initial Emergency response. The immediate focus is on saving life and property. The Incident Controller is the Proctor unless this authority is delegated.

For campuses in Christchurch and Wellington the Incident Controller is the Business and Operations Manager, unless otherwise directed by the Dean of the campus, and in Southland the Director.

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Activation of the Emergency Management Plan

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Recognising an Emergency that is sufficient to declare a State of Campus Emergency

A State of Campus Emergency is declared whenever an Emergency occurs which cannot be handled by day-to-day operations and management. Among the key factors for the Vice-Chancellor to consider in making the declaration are:

  • Whether it is a high impact event
  • Whether life and/or property are at risk
  • Whether a large area is affected (entire campus/city/region)
  • Whether outside emergency services are involved
  • Whether the emergency is longer term (longer than one day)
  • Whether it is a serious health incident which could cause major disruption to University teaching and services.

The principle of ‘prudent over-reaction and rapid de-escalation’ applies when making the decision to declare a State of Campus Emergency. It is easier and usually more effective to scale down an over-reaction than it is to escalate an under-reaction.

When a State of Campus Emergency is declared, this Plan and the Emergency Communications Plan are activated.

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Emergency Management Plan activation process

The Incident Controller advises the Vice-Chancellor to declare a State of Campus Emergency.

The Vice-Chancellor formally declares a State of Campus Emergency.

The Incident Controller assembles the Incident Management Team and activates the Emergency Operations Centre.

The Vice-Chancellor assembles the Strategic Emergency Management Group (SEMG) in the Council Chamber in the Clocktower, or an alternate location if this is not available.

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The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

The EOC serves as the centralised facility in which the Incident Management Team will gather, check in, and assume their emergency response roles. Tactical and short-term response activities and work assignments in support of the on-scene field command will be planned, coordinated, and delegated from the EOC. When requested, designated EOC staff should report directly to the EOC. If an EOC member is unsure whether to report, he or she should first contact the Campus Watch on 479 5005 to determine when and where to report.

The EOC team is comprised of a broad cross section of staff, selected for their expertise and the needs of the EOC. The Incident Controller determines the appropriate level of activation and calls out the designated Incident Management Team members.

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Emergency Communications – the Notification Process

The Incident Controller is responsible for notifying the Emergency Communications Team that the Vice-Chancellor has declared a State of Campus Emergency.

Once the Incident Controller has advised the ECT of the declaration;

  • the ECT will take all necessary steps to notify staff, students, the campus community and the general public that a State of Campus Emergency exists;
  • the Emergency Communications Plan will be activated; and
  • Select Communications staff will report to the EOC

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Risk Management

The Emergency Management Plan forms part of a framework that provides for appropriate risk management of serious incidents that may disrupt the operations of the University. The Emergency Management Plan is supported by the University Emergency Procedures (Flip Charts) issued to staff and departments.

After the initial response phase of an Emergency, the University’s Business Continuity Policy and related procedures will ensure that essential functions continue during and after a state of Emergency.

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Roles and Responsibilities

All individuals and groups that might have to respond to an Emergency should be properly prepared, including having clear roles and responsibilities. The table below provides an outline of the keygroups who may become active during an Emergency and an overview of their responsibilities. Role descriptions are documented separately in “Coordinated Incident Management System - Positions & Responsibilities at Otago University”.

Strategic Emergency Management Group

The Strategic Emergency Management Group consists of members of the Vice – Chancellor’s Executive Group chaired by the Vice-Chancellor with support from additional staff from key areas within the University as required.

In the training / preparation stage During an Emergency
  • Ensure familiarity with the strategic role in an Emergency.
  • Participate in training on the Emergency Management Plan content.
  • Participate in Emergency Management Plan tests/exercises.
  • Ensure operational staff are trained in their roles as per the Emergency Management Plan and participate in regular testing of it.
  • Make and act on decisions requiring the highest authority within the University.
  • Support the immediate actions of the Incident Management Team.
  • Manage the public relations issues and oversee communications with staff, students, the media and public
  • Focus on the major strategic issues.
  • Chief Operating Officer oversees business recovery and continuity.

Incident Management Team

The Incident Management Team is led by the Incident Controller. The members have the necessary training, skills and knowledge required to react effectively during an Emergency.

In the planning stage During an emergency/critical incident

Ensure familiarity with the tactical role in an Emergency response

  • Participate in training, tests and exercises of the Emergency Management Plan.
  • Coordinate and manage the response to an Emergency with the immediate focus on saving life and property
  • Take immediate steps to prevent any further injury
  • Take immediate steps to prevent further damage to property
  • Provide accurate and timely information to the Strategic Emergency Management Group.
  • Provide support for any emergency service agency on campus, including provision of information or resources.
  • Set up, staff and operate a welfare centre for staff and students as necessary. The welfare centre is to be a source of information, personal services, counselling and support both during and after the event, depending on its duration.
  • Provide accurate and information to the staff, students, the media and the public about the Emergency situation, via the Emergency Management Team.

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Training

Training is a key component to the effectiveness of the Emergency Management Plan and will be provided to all members of the Strategic Emergency Management Group and the Incident Management Team along with other key staff likely to be involved in the response to an Emergency.

The Proctor’s Office will run training at least once a year. Training will cover:

  • the contents of the Emergency Management Plan.
  • the role of people managing the response to an Emergency.
  • the key skills and knowledge required to manage an emergency response.
  • simulation exercises.

New staff with roles indentified in the Emergency Management Plan will be individually trained during their induction into the University.

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Testing the Emergency Management Plan

The Emergency Management Plan will be tested at least once a year to ensure:

  • that procedures work effectively;
  • that staff are aware of their duties and are prepared for an Emergency, and
  • that systems are resilient and function correctly.

The Proctor’s Office is responsible for:

  • ensuring the Emergency Management Plan is tested,
  • agreeing the exercise objectives and selecting an appropriate exercise format (University level simulations are to be done in full consultation with the Risk Manager);
  • recording attendance; and
  • overseeing the post-exercise improvement plan.

When testing the Emergency Management Plan the exercise scenarios will be based on, though not limited to, the risks included in the University Emergency Procedures (Flip Charts). The exercises will aim to simulate emergencies occurring at different times of the day, on different days of the week, and during various months of the year.

The following crucial elements will be tested:

  • The contact list
  • The activation process
  • The communications equipment
  • Setting up procedures
  • Information management

The Emergency Management Plan will be reviewed yearly by the Risk Manager with input from the Proctor’s Office and the Head of Health and Safety. A report will be prepared and presented to the Chief Operating Officer.

Contact information will be reviewed and updated at least every six months by the Director of Student Services. Current contact lists of key staff and including after hours contacts of all staff will be available via either the Director of Student Services or the Proctor.

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Related Policies Procedures and Forms

  • Disaster Recovery Plan (ITS)
  • Business Continuity Policy
  • Emergency Communications Plan
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Injury/Incident Reporting Policy
  • Risk Management Framework
  • University Emergency Procedures (Flip Charts) (completed July 2010 and available to all through Divisional health and Safety Officers)

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Appendices

  • Emergency Operations Centre Plan (Proctor’s Office)
  • Coordinated Incident Management System - Positions & Responsibilities at Otago University. (Completed July 2010)
  • Contact information- (Maintained by Proctors Office & Director Student Services)

Documents and related information available via the Emergency Management Website http://www.otago.ac.nz/proctor/Emergency_Management.html