Purpose

To receive and communicate timely warnings to appropriate university officials and to members of the campus community concerning actual or potential severe weather, flooding, radiological or hazardous materials releases and other situations so that appropriate preparedness or response actions may be taken.

Situation

  1. Severe weather, flood, and hazardous material warnings are disseminated from National Weather Service, Buena Vista County Emergency Management Department, and Buena Vista County Communications Center.
  2. The university EMC and/or his/her designee disseminates warnings to the affected areas of the university using established procedures.
  3. At the present time an audible outdoor warning system is being considered that could simultaneously notify university residents, and residents in the immediate vicinity.

Assumptions and Planning Factors 

Warning needs and methods for the general public differ according to the type of hazard and the barriers that exist for the population such as mobility and language. The predictability and speed of onset of hazards vary and may allow for ample warning or none at all.

Organization / Responsibilities

  1. The legal responsibility for ensuring effective warning to the campus community is under the authority of the Presidents Council of the University. Responsibility for direction and coordination of the warning function is under the EOC.
  2. Specific responsibilities and tasks in warning are contained in the Emergency Response Checklist, and are divided into Preparedness, Response and Recovery phases.

Concept of Operations

Upon receipt of warning, the EMC and/or his designee will refer to and automatically implement established procedures on receipt of a warning, and will activate appropriate warning systems:

  1. Systems Tests -- Will do systems tests as required and scheduled by university procedure
  2. Exercises -- The university shall provide warning for exercises as necessary
  3. Line of Succession -- Per university procedure
  4. Special instructions -- in any emergency not covered by this plan and when the university the Emergency Management Coordinator or other responsible official cannot be contacted, take all Necessary actions consistent with sound judgment and common sense

Communications and Warning Emergency Response Checklist

Preparedness Phase

EMC

  • Write/review/update Communications procedures
  • Insure testing and maintenance of communications equipment
  • Insure testing and maintenance of auxiliary power and alternate communications; inventory/replace fuel supply, batteries, etc.
  • Instruct staff on contents and use of message handling system
  • Insure availability of message forms

Response Phase

EMC

  • Alert Communications and Warning personnel
  • Advise Executive Staff of communications status
  • Implement message handling system
  • Activate EOC/communications center
  • Assign personnel to each communication capability
  • Maintain log of communication activity

Recovery Phase

EMC

  • Maintain communications with state government and adjacent communities
  • Maintain log of communication activity
  • Prepare report of communication activities during disaster situation