This document details the general plan for responding to emergencies at Whitman College. It describes position titles and duties of key personnel. It may also serve as a checklist of duties in the event not all positions are staffed.


This plan is designed to coordinate College and community resources to protect life and property during and after an emergency on the Whitman College campus, to provide for the physical and emotional well-being of community members, and return the College to normal functioning as quickly as possible.

Conditions and Hazards which May Endanger Whitman College

It is impossible to predict each and every incident which might constitute a community crisis. The severity and extent of the crisis will determine the level of response. Major disasters require a significant, immediate life-safety response, followed by on-going College-wide coordination. Other incidents would require a coordinated response with a less extensive life-safety component.


  • Planning is key to effective emergency preparedness and response
  • Training of College personnel in emergency response protocols is essential
  • Rapid response by campus personnel will help alleviate the effects of a community-affecting crisis
  • Emergencies can occur at any time or place on campus, so each member of the campus community – faculty, staff, administrators and students – may be called upon to help as appropriate.

Concepts and Procedures

Emergency Action Levels

Level 1 Emergencies can be handled through normal operating channels. These include incidents such as minor chemical spills, most deaths/suicides, low-level acts of violence, sewer stoppages, power outages, weather-related situations such as floods, and false alarms. Level 1 emergencies may not require the initiation of the Emergency Management Plan.

Level 2 Emergencies require a coordinated response beyond that of normal operating channels, but do not include significant damage to College facilities. These situations are likely to traumatize a significant number of community members (for example, some deaths, violence, or major demonstrations). Level 2 emergencies may require initiation of the Emergency Management Plan to ensure coordinated communication and decision making.

Level 3 Emergencies require a coordinated response beyond that of normal operating channels and include significant damage to College facilities. These situations may include emergencies such as floods, earthquakes, major chemical incidents and major fires. Level 3 emergencies always require initiation of this plan.

Priorities for providing response

  1. Life safety, student and employee welfare
  2. Preservation of property
  3. Restoration of the residential living program
  4. Restoration of the academic program

Any member of the Whitman College community is empowered to initiate an emergency response by calling Emergency Dispatch at 911. Upon notification of an emergency, the Security Officer on duty shall ensure Emergency Dispatch has been notified.

Direction and Control

Whitman's emergency management team consists of two groups responsible for implementing the various aspects of our Emergency Management Plan. The President or their designated representative will determine whether the plan is activated and oversee implementation of the plan when it is. In the absence of the President, the CFO will assume this role, followed in order by the Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, and the Chief Information Officer.

When appropriate, an official declaration of emergency will be made. The declaration will include the nature of the emergency, names of individuals in designated roles, and other changes in decision making structure, authority and process.

Two groups have responsibility for various aspects of emergency management. The Emergency Operations Group (EOG) is responsible for immediate, short-term emergency management functions. The Emergency Policy Group (EPG) is charged with broad oversight of the EOG, as well as with middle-range and long-term policy-making and planning.

Emergency Policy Group

The President or their designee will decide if the EPG shall convene, and which members are appropriate to form the EPG in any particular incident. The Primary responsibilities of the Emergency Policy Group are

  • Establish communications with campus constituents including students, faculty, and staff.
  • Establish communications with College Trustees and Overseers
  • Media communications and community relations
  • Financial and legal direction
  • Assess staffing needs for academic programs and student support
  • Determine academic program capabilities and needs
  • Establish date(s) for resumption of the normal academic schedule

Emergency Operations Group

The EOG is under the direction of the Incident Commander. The CFO is normally the Incident Commander. In the event the CFO is unavailable, the Controller will assume this role. The EOG may be constituted of the following sections/positions

Incident Commander

  • Direct the Emergency Operations Group
  • Assign tasks and provide resources
  • Determine location(s) for the Incident Command Post and staging areas
  • Communicate routine situation updates, emergent issues and logistical needs to the EPG
  • Liaison with emergency response agencies

Incident Command Assistant

  • Facilitate IC communications
  • Schedule meetings and briefings
  • EOG recordkeeping

Operations Officer

  • Communicate IC instructions to sections
  • Facilitate communications between EOG sections
  • Provide the IC with situation updates and relay requests for logistical support from EOG section leaders
  • Liaison to on-site emergency response leaders

Operations Assistant

  • Operations section recordkeeping and correspondence

Public Information Officer

  • Assists the EPG and IC with preparation of statements and other official College communications
  • Coordinates media relations and on-site activities
  • Liaison with PIO counterparts at emergency response other government agencies
  • Provides statements and briefings to media and the public

Medical Director

  • Establish Casualty Collection Points (CCP)
  • Appoint CCP managers for
    • Triage
    • Treatment
    • Transport

Security Director

  • Life Safety
  • Facilitate emergency responder access
  • Building/location security
    • Access control
    • Perimeter security
    • Crowd management

Facilities Director

  • Provide heavy equipment and logistical support to emergency responders
  • Operate and secure utilities: gas, water, electric
    • Coordinate utility service provider support
    • Liaison with city and county public works, streets, and transportation departments
  • Operate building controls
  • Provide sanitation (port-a-potty, garbage containers)
  • Repair/restore utilities/facilities
  • Coordinate construction trades contracting
  • Obtain and operate rental equipment (heavy equipment, vehicles, generators, etc)
  • Arrange transportation services with local bus and taxi companies, as needed

Logistics Officer

  • Monitor and request necessary equipment, resources and supplies
  • Supply equipment and resources as needed
  • Facilitate acquisition of resources from outside college
  • Maintain/restore voice and data communications
  • Operate Staging Area(s)
  • Appoint and supervise
    • Staging Area Manager
      • Oversee operation of assigned Staging Area and distribution of resources as directed by IC through Logistics
    • Equipment Manager
      • Supply volunteers and staff with equipment as directed by Logistics and Staging Area manager
  • Request resources from Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Coordinate acquisition and assignment of volunteers
  • Determine volunteer capabilities and skills
  • Provide information on volunteer resources to Logistics Officer

Support Activities

In addition to normal services, certain departments and activities will be called upon to provide emergency support services as detailed below

Human Resources

Provides support for emergency hiring, personnel cost accounting, Workers’ Compensation, and medical and disability insurance program administration for temporary/emergency hires

Residence Life

Coordinate emergency housing and food service operations for students

Technology Services

Provide emergency wireless data communications and coordinate service provider activities on campus for data and voice systems