Policy: Policy 11-2-1: Emergency Preparedness, Operations, and Recovery Date Adopted: Aug 27, 2008
Department: Environmental Health & Safety Contact: Environmental Health & Safety Coordinator
Statement: Western Nevada College shall maintain essential services and operations during any incident or emergency situation while providing for the protection of life, health, and safety for all students, faculty, visitors, and employees. Essential business services include providing support and administrative services for the restoration of normal teaching and learning.

Table of Contents:

  1. Definitions
  2. Procedures

Section 1: Definitions

  1. Incident: An occurrence requiring actions to prevent or minimize loss of life or damage to property and/or the environment.
  2. College Emergency Operations Plan: The plan outlining staff responsibilities during an incident and providing guidelines for transition from normal to emergency operations. The plan is activated when a significant event threatens normal operations to allow employees to respond to an incident or disruption of services while providing for the safety of our faculty, employees, students, and visitors.
  3. College Continuity Plan: A plan which outlines procedures and instructions the college must follow to maintain core business functions or quickly resume them after a major incident or emergency. The plan is activated at the recovery phase of an emergency and guides the restoration to normal educational service provided by the College.
  4. Department Response Plan: A plan that describes how a specific department will respond to incidents that may suddenly and significantly impact the operations of the organization. Each department plan should include specific procedures outlining how the department will respond to, mitigate, and recover from emergencies; the chain of command within the department; communication protocol to ensure that accurate information is provided to employees on a timely basis; defined roles and responsibilities of employees.
  5. Presidents Emergency Policy Team: The team of personnel who, through their key responsibilities or skills, are essential in determining and implementing campus policy during an emergency. The Presidents Emergency Policy Team provides direction in strategic policy decisions for any incident that may have a major impact upon the college. The College President, or designee, chairs the team which convenes to respond, assure proper interface with other agencies, and direct recovery efforts.

Section 2: Procedures

  1. College Plan Maintenance
    1. The Western Nevada College Emergency Operations Plan and College Continuity Plan require that all departments/units maintain up-to-date response plans for their area. These plans contain information relative to location-specific incidents as well as plans to maintain essential services during an incident or emergency situation.
    2. Response plans should identify employees, resources, and supplies needed to maintain essential business services during varying types of emergencies. Emergency situations may arise from severe weather or natural disaster, mass casualty, fire, bomb threats, acts of terrorism, pandemic or other events.
  2. College Plan Activation
    1. The college may use various established methods of communication to alert employees that the college has activated the Emergency Operations Plan. Employee notification may include phone calls or mass messaging via telephone or e-mail systems, text messaging, intercom and/or siren systems, and/or media outlets such as broadcast television and radio.
    2. Attendance of employees is critical to the colleges ability to provide services and maintain operations. Therefore, each employee is responsible for having a Family Disaster Plan in place ahead of time in order to respond to the needs of the College and our communities.
  3. Maintaining Department Operations and Response Plans
    1. Each department is responsible for determining its most critical functionality and the appropriate staffing levels for business continuity during activation of the Emergency Operations Plan. Expectations and responsibilities for employees during such plan activation must be communicated to them in advance. Upon receiving notification that emergency actions are necessary, impacted departments are expected to respond in accordance with their established Departmental Response Plan.
    2. Departments are expected to maintain a current call tree list including the names, position titles, contact numbers (e.g., home phone, pagers, and cell numbers), emergency contact names and phone numbers for each employee. Departmental Emergency Response Plans should be updated annually.
    3. During a period in which an Emergency Operations Plan is activated, it is conceivable that members of the leadership team (Supervisors, Managers, Directors, Executives, etc.) may not be able to fulfill the duties of their positions. It is imperative that departmental response plans include lines of succession to assume decision making responsibilities in the absence of employees in leadership roles. In order to adequately prepare for the potential absence of leaders, departments should establish written standard operating procedures.
    4. Departments shall notify the Presidents Emergency Policy Team upon any modifications not reflected in their departmental response plan.
    5. Each departmental emergency response plan should include expectations for reporting to work when an Emergency Operations Plan is activated. Employees may be required to report to work in their home department or be reassigned to perform work in other areas based on the needs of the organization.
    6. It is possible that traditional methods of communication may not be readily available due to interruption of services. Departments should consider and implement alternative methods (e.g. text messaging, email) for employees to communicate.
  4. Incident Command System and Organizational Structure
    1. Departments/Units may suspend services or close with approval from the Presidents Emergency Policy Team. Employees may be assigned to the Emergency Recovery Labor Pool as needed.
    2. In an emergent situation, it may become necessary to temporarily change an employees job duties, work assignments, and the location in which the duties are performed. The department management will use their discretion to determine what work each employee will perform during the period.
    3. Alternative work arrangements may be created in order to maintain business operations during Emergency Operations Plan activation. Departments should contact the Presidents Emergency Policy Team for review and determination as to whether flexible work schedules or telecommuting are appropriate. The department should have prior knowledge as to what duties can be performed off-site, a mechanism for tracking the work and productivity measures in place.

Date(s) Revised March 4, 2019; September 2, 2008; Date(s) Reviewed