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Institutional Emergency Preparedness Plan : B-100

Policy/Guideline Area

Business and Finance Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office


This Emergency Preparedness Plan Guideline outlines procedures to improve the protection of lives and property through the effective use of institutional resources at Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. The guideline’s purpose is to mitigate the potential effects of the various hazards that might impact a TBR institution, to prepare for the implementation of measures which will preserve life and minimize damage, to respond effectively to the needs of the institution’s community during emergencies, and to provide a recovery system to return the institution and its community to a normal status as soon as possible after such emergencies.


The following definitions are provided as guidelines to assist personnel in determining the appropriate response:

  • Minor Emergency - Any potential or actual incident that does not seriously affect the overall functional capacity of the institution. Emergencies in this category will be handled according to the established procedures of those work units responsible for responding to these emergencies. Notifications to senior administrators regarding the incident will be made consistent with the standard protocols of the responding work units.
  • Major Emergency - Any potential or actual incident that substantially disrupts a significant portion of the overall operations of the institution. Outside emergency services, as well as major commitment of campus support services, may be required. The institution’s Police Department or Local Law Enforcement (in the absence of an institutional police department) will take immediate action to meet the emergency and safeguard persons and property. Major policy considerations will be required from higher levels of campus authority. The Emergency Preparedness Plan may be activated at the direction of the Chancellor, President, or designee in the event of a major emergency.
  • Building Emergency - A condition during which a specific building and its occupants are subjected to, or potentially subjected to, special precautions/actions necessary to maintain order and to safeguard institutional personnel and property. Upon determination that conditions exist which could lead to a state of emergency or have the potential of existing in a single building through events restricted to a building (e.g., bomb threat, equipment malfunction, etc.), the designated administrator (e.g., Physical Plant Director) shall be notified immediately. The administrator will immediately inform the President or designee. The appropriate administrators shall implement the necessary procedures and notify appropriate personnel to ensure the safety and protection of the persons and property in the building. The Emergency Management Response Team shall be informed as soon as is possible.
  • Disaster - An event or incident that seriously impairs or halts the operations of the institution. A disaster may result in multiple casualties and severe property damage. A coordinated effort of all campus services will be required. Outside emergency resources will be required. The emergency response plan will be activated by the Chancellor, President, or designee.


  1. Introduction
    1. An emergency management plan addresses all types of emergency functions at a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.
    2. A state of emergency may be declared at any time an emergency reaches such proportions that it cannot be handled by routine measures.Such emergencies may include, but not be limited to:
      1. tornados
      2. earthquakes
      3. winter storms
      4. fires
      5. infectious diseases
      6. hazardous chemical spills
      7. transportation accidents
      8. explosions
      9. utility outages
      10. civil disturbances
      11. bombs
      12. hostage situations
      13. terrorist activities
      14. active threats
      15. technological hazards
    3. Since emergencies normally occur without warning, plans and procedures should be designed to provide sufficient flexibility to accommodate contingencies of assorted types and magnitudes.
    4. The institutional emergency management plan must be reviewed and revised, as necessary, on at least an annual basis by senior administrators in conjunction with the institutional emergency response management team.
    5. Additionally, aspects of the plan must be tested in training exercises and drills consistent with Federal and State law.
    6. Units that are not responsible for maintaining an independent emergency management plan are still responsible for developing and maintaining local building emergency procedures to address the safety of occupants with the assistance of and oversight by campus safety officers.
    7. Campuses will have a system in place that assigns and trains people within campus units as necessary to develop department/building specific responses to general emergencies, helps communicate campus requirements, provides information during emergencies and coordinates department/building specific drills.
  2. Minimum Procedures of an Institutional Emergency Response Plan
    1. Pursuant to this guideline, Policy 4:01:05:70, all TBR institutions are required to have a written institutional Emergency Management Plan that is developed and implemented consistent with the concepts and principles of the National Incident Management System, incorporating elements of the Incident Command System.
    2. In developing the plan, the institution should utilize the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education found at 
    3. Institutions should undertake emergency operations planning within the context of local or regional, state and federal emergency planning. In order to promote coordination among these entities, the Institution should include a local or regional emergency planning representative to assist it in developing its emergency management plan.
    4. An institution’s Emergency Management Plan should be developed along the following outline:
      Basic Plan
      1. Introductory Material
      1.1. Cover Page
      1.2. Promulgation Document and Signatures Page
      1.3. Approval and Implementation
      1.4. Record of Changes
      1.5. Record of Distribution
      1.6. Table of Contents
      2. Purpose, Scope, Situation Overview, and Assumptions
      2.1. Purpose
      2.2. Situation Overview
      2.3. Planning Assumptions
      3. Concept of Operations
      4. Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities
      5. Direction, Control, and Coordination
      6. Information Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination
      7. Training and Exercises
      8. Administration, Finance, and Logistics
      9. Plan Development and Maintenance
      10. Authorities and References
      Functional Annexes
      NOTE: This is not a complete list, but it is recommended that all emergency management plans include at least the following functional annexes:
      1. Evacuation
      2. Deny Entry or Closing (Lockdown)
      3. Shelter-in-Place or Secure-In-Place
      4. Accounting for All Persons
      5. Communications and Notifications
      6. Continuity of Operations (COOP)
      7. Recovery
      8. Public Health, Medical and Mental Health
      9. Security
      10. Rapid Assessment
      Threat- or Hazard-Specific Annexes
      NOTE: This is not a complete list. Each institution’s annexes will vary based on its threats and hazard analysis.
      1. Hurricane or Severe Storm
      2. Earthquake
      3. Tornado
      4. Hazardous Materials Incident
      5. Mass Casualty Incident
      6. Active Shooter
      7. Pandemic or Disease Outbreak
      8. Bomb Threat or Explosion 
    5. The Exhibits are included as template or guidance documents only. Institutional administrators may elect to customize the attached documents for inclusion in its emergency management plan or they may draft new documents outlining their institutional plan to address the emergency situations presented in the appendices.
    6. Emergency Response Management Team - The institutional emergency management plan should designate appropriate administrators to an Institutional Emergency Response Management Team (ERMT).
      1. The institutional emergency management plan may designate that the Chancellor or President is the highest institutional authority in any emergency situation. The plan must establish a clear chain of command outlining institutional employees with authority to act in response to the emergency.
      2. The Emergency Response Management Team should serve in a support role to the President during an emergency.
      3. Institutions have the discretion to determine which administrators to appoint to the ERMT and it is advisable that institutions give serious consideration to the inclusion of the personnel listed in Exhibit 1.
      4. Exhibit 1: EMRT Administrators Specific Responsibilities outlines the potential responsibilities of each administrator during a crisis. 
            1. President
            2. Chief Academic Affairs Officer
            3. Chief Business/Finance and Administration Office
            4. Chief Student Affairs Officer
            5. Chief Public Relations Officer
            6. Chief of Institutional Police Department or Director of Security Department
            7. Director of the Institutional Health Clinic
            8. Chief Information Officer
            9. Physical Plant/Facilities Director
    7. Declaration of Emergency– The institutional emergency management plan shall designate an employee (or group of employees) authorized to Declare an Emergency.
      1. The plan may provide that the Chancellor, President, or designee with or without consultation from the ERMT, will make a determination of whether declaration of an emergency is appropriate.
      2. If an emergency is declared, the employee(s) authorizing the declaration will cause ERMT members (as well as others as directed by the Chancellor, President) to be contacted, advise them that an emergency has been declared, and direct them to respond to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
      3. A systematic calling plan must be established to ensure that all ERMT members receive timely notification of the official declaration of emergency.
    8. Emergency Operations Center - The institutional emergency management plan should designate a campus location that will serve as an Emergency Operations Center. An alternative location should be designated in the event that the primary location is not available.
      1. Members of the Emergency Response Management Team and others as designated by the President should be present in the EOC during emergencies, to the extent practicable.
      2. Institutions should consider having all activities, such as requests for personnel, equipment, and supplies monitored and coordinated from the EOC to ensure a coordinated effort and to ensure the best use of the resources needed to handle the emergency situation.
      3. A log should be maintained in the EOC which reflects all significant events and actions taken in the EOC.
      4. A communications log should also be maintained which reflects the time and date of every significant communication to/from the EOC, whom the communication was received from/sent by, to whom the communication was directed, the nature of the communication, and any EOC action resulting from the communication.
    9. Command Post - The institutional emergency management plan should authorize the establishment of a Command Post on campus that is near the scene of the emergency.
      1. The plan should designate an employee, such as the Chief of the Institutional Police Department, Director of Public Safety, or Facilities Director, depending on the type of emergency, to establish and manage a command post near the scene of the emergency.
      2. Upper level managers and directors from the institution whose personnel are directly involved in the emergency response will report to the command post, as will commanders from responding agencies external to the institution.
      3. Operational decisions relative to the emergency response will be coordinated from the command post.
      4. The command post will maintain contact with the EOC for purposes of instruction, status reports, and requests for support.
    10. Evacuations and Relocations - The institutional emergency management plan should authorize an appropriate administrator to determine that an evacuation is necessary and issue an evacuation order.
    11. Shelters - Institutions should designate appropriate locations as “Shelter Locations” at each campus/facility.
      1. Suggested Procedures for a “Shelter in Place” or “Lock Down” are in Exhibit 3: Shelter-in-Place/Lock-down Procedures.
    12. News Media - Institutions should have a procedure to manage media inquiries during an emergency situation.
      1. The Emergency Preparedness Plan must include a news media procedure to direct the management of media inquiries during emergencies. If none exists, the institution’s Public Relations/Media Office should be responsible for coordinating the institution’s response to news media inquiries at all times, including emergency situations.
      2. At the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, the President, or a direct designee, is the only authorized administrator to respond to news media inquiries.
      3. No institutional employee, other than employees of institution’s Public Relations Office or the designated administrator, should release information to news media representatives, unless instructed to do so.
      4. All news media requests should be directed to Public Relations/Media Office, the designated administrator, or the EOC.
      5. The news media procedures must designate a location for press conferences during emergency incidents.
      6. The procedure must include provisions regarding a process through which the institution’s Public Relations/Media Office will notify the TBR Public Relations Office of published press releases related to the emergency situation.
      7. News media personnel should not be allowed into secure areas without an appropriate escort.
      8. Exhibit 4: Crisis Media Relations lists institutional / local media contacts and information regarding the release of student and employee records.
    13. Volunteer Management – Institutions should have a procedure to manage volunteers who respond to an emergency situation.
      1. Volunteers should be directed to the EOC or a central location for registration and assignment. During the registration process volunteers will be required to provide some form of reliable identification.
      2. A volunteer log should be maintained which will reflect the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license or social security number, any particular skill of each volunteer, the name of the supervisor to whom they are assigned, and the number of the identification card issued to the volunteer.
      3. If practical, each volunteer will sign a standard Volunteer Release Form and be issued an identification card that will be affixed to their outer clothing.
      4. Volunteers will be assigned to a supervisor involved in the emergency response.
      5. Exhibit 5: Volunteer Registration Form is a model Volunteer Statement/Understanding of Agreement (e.g., Volunteer Registration Form) that may be executed by institutions to register volunteers during an emergency response period.
    14. Purchasing Guidelines - Institutions should have a procedure to manage purchases during an emergency situation.
      1. All emergency purchases will be handled in the shortest possible time frames.
      2. To the greatest extent possible, institutional employees will make purchases using procurement cards.
      3. For those purchases which cannot be made by use of procurement cards, Business Affairs personnel will facilitate the timely acquisition of needed resources in a manner consistent with emergency situations.
      4. A record of all emergency related expenditures will be maintained by the work unit making those expenditures.
        1. A copy of those records will be forwarded to the EOC and the original purchase documents will be handled consistent with institutional purchasing guidelines.
    15. Transportation Services - Institutions should have a plan to transport persons and/or equipment during an emergency.
      1. An appropriate institutional department should be designated to be responsible for providing vehicles for evacuations and other emergency related activities.
      2. Distribution of vehicles should be made in such a manner as to maintain accountability while being responsive to the emergency needs of the institution.
      3. The Physical Plant or appropriate personnel should be prepared to experience an increase in emergency maintenance to institutional vehicles, to include minor off-site repairs related to such problems as flat tires, dead batteries, etc.
      4. Exhibit 6: Institutional Vehicles is a template to outline the type and number of institutional vehicles on campus.
    16. Lines of Communication – Institutions should establish a plan for alternate communication options for use during an emergency response period.
      1. Generally, the primary means of communications during an emergency are telephones, cell phones, satellite phones, and two-way radios.
      2. If the institutional phone system has been rendered inoperable or if the emergency incident is a bomb threat, then the EOC, EMRT, and other necessary personnel will use cell phones and radios.
      3. Radios will be the primary communications medium if landline phones, satellite phones, and cell phones are inoperable.
      4. In the event that phones, cell phones, and radios, become inoperable, consideration should be given to the use of “runners” to transmit messages.
      5. Exhibit 7: Log of Campus Radios/Communication Devices is a template to outline the type and location of one-way and two-way radios at the institution.
    17. Documentation of Activities – Institutions should have a procedure to document activities in response to an emergency.
      1. Each department/office should be instructed to maintain a record of all emergency-related activities performed by the personnel of that work unit. The record will reflect the personnel worker hours (for non-exempt staff), as well the assignments of personnel, and the work performed by each work unit, and other resources expended in response to the emergency.
    18. Campus Maps and Building Prints - Institutions should ensure that copies of campus maps, site maps and building prints / records are in a central location.
      1. To the extent that doing so does not compromise security of the institution, the institutional Emergency Preparedness Plan shall ensure that accurate copies of main and satellite campus maps/site plans, prints of buildings and record plans of buildings are attached to the plan.
      2. If the determination is made that security concerns outweigh the inclusion of such material in the Emergency Preparedness Plan, then the institution must ensure that accurate copies of campus maps and building prints are maintained in a secure location that is readily accessible by law enforcement personnel, the President and the ERMT.
    19. Student Assistance Coordinating Committee (Threat Assessment Team) – Institutions should have a Student Assistance Coordinating Committee/Threat Assessment Team that meets regularly to discuss the needs of distressed, disturbed, disruptive, or dangerous students.
      1. Institutions must establish a Student Assistance Coordinating Committee that will meet regularly to evaluate the needs and provide necessary assistance to students who are identified as distressed, disturbed, disruptive, and/or dangerous.
      2. Institutions have the sole discretion to determine which administrators to appoint to the Committee; however, it is advisable that institutions give serious consideration to the inclusion of personnel from the following institutional departments, if applicable:
        1. Judicial Affairs
        2. Disabled Student Services
        3. Student Health
        4. Counseling Services
        5. Academic Support Services
        6. Police Department.
      3. Exhibit 8: Model Student Behavior Information is a model document that addresses institutional management of student behavior matters, including release of student records via the Partners in Education Program; student misconduct reports/methods to report students of concern; and student civility codes.
    20. Faculty and Staff Training Regarding Student Behavior Management - Institutions should require all faculty and designated staff to complete training regarding the identification and management of distressed, disturbed, disruptive or dangerous students.
      1. Institutions must establish a method to maintain records certifying that all faculty, including adjunct faculty, and designated staff complete annual training regarding the identification and management of distressed students.
      2. Institutions have the sole discretion to determine which staff members must participate in the training; however, it is advisable for institutions to include all personnel who have direct contact with students (e.g., student affairs, financial aid, residence life, etc.)
    21. Maintenance of Emergency Management Plan - Institutions must properly maintain the Emergency Management Plan and review it at least on an annual basis.
      1. Electronic and hard copies of the Emergency Management Plan will be maintained by all members of the Emergency Response Management Team and department/office heads who will have significant roles in responding to emergencies.
      2. The plan should also be maintained in the Institutional Police Department or Department of Public Safety, if one exists.
      3. Institutions are advised to put a copy of the plan in the library and to post it on the internet.
      4. An electronic copy of the plan must be maintained in a manner that will permit access during an emergency (e.g., Acrobat Adobe copy on diskette or memory stick, internet posting, etc.).
      5. Department/office heads should establish appropriate procedures within their work units to facilitate plan implementation.
      6. On an annual basis the President or designee, in consultation with the ERMT will review the plan and update/modify the plan as necessary.
    22. Emergency Response Plan Training - Institutions shall conduct appropriate training for all personnel regarding the Emergency Preparedness Plan and the Plan shall be publicly posted.
      1. Members of the ERMT and department/office heads should ensure that they and members of their staff are knowledgeable concerning the contents of the Emergency Preparedness Plan.
      2. All employees must have knowledge of the contents and procedures of the institution’s plan. On a periodic basis different aspects of the plan should be tested, either through simulated exercises or in-service training, as appropriate.
      3. A Safety Committee/Risk Management Committee may be established to assist in these training exercises as necessary.
      4. The Emergency Response Management Team Members should receive training in the (NIMS) National Incident Management System method of handling emergency situations.
      5. The Safety Committee / Risk Management Committee or appropriate personnel may consult the Tennessee Emergency Management Association (TEMA) Training and Education Office to request information regarding special training seminars.
  3. Exhibits to Guideline B-100
    1. Exhibit 1: EMRT Administrators Specific Responsibilities
    2. Exhibit 3: Shelter-in-Place/Lock-down Procedures
    3. Exhibit 4: Crisis Media Relations
    4. Exhibit 5: Volunteer Registration Form
    5. Exhibit 6: Institutional Vehicles
    6. Exhibit 7: Log of Campus Radios/Communication Devices
    7. Exhibit 8: Student Behavior Information
    8. Exhibit 9: Fire Drills
    9. Exhibit 10: Bomb Threats
    10. Exhibit 11: Tornado Procedures
    11. Exhibit 12: Earthquake Procedures
    12. Exhibit 13: Biological Hazards
    13. Exhibit 14: Hostile Intruder/Violent Person
    14. Exhibit 15: Terrorist Attack
    15. Exhibit 16: Flood, Snow, and Ice
    16. Exhibit 17: Hostage
    17. Exhibit 18: Protests/Demonstrations
    18. Exhibit 19: Explosion/Train or Aircraft Crash
    19. Exhibit 20: State and Local Emergency Telephone Numbers
    20. Exhibit 21: Building Contact Telephone Numbers
    21. Exhibit 22: Local Utility Company Telephone Numbers
    22. Exhibit 23: Emergency Response Campus Resources
  4. Resources
    1. The following resources should be beneficial in developing and implementing the institutional emergency management plans:




T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All Federal and state regulations on Emergency Management.


February 12, 2008 Presidents Meeting (New); November 11, 2014 Presidents Meeting.