Policy Portal

University Policy

Emergency Notification, Response and Evacuation Procedures

Policy Number: 3349‐10‐40
Effective Date: 02/06/2014
Updated: 09/01/2017
Responsible Department: Public Safety
Applies To: All University Owned and Operated Facilities

A. Purpose

  1. To establish a Policy to ensure that the University is in compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, concerning emergency notification, response and evacuation.  These procedures are in addition to and separate from those required for a timely warning required in response to specific crimes under the Clery Act.

B. Scope

  1. This Policy applies to all University owned and operated facilities.

C. Definitions

  1. “Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation” as used in this Policy refers to a situation that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of University faculty, staff, students or visitors. This determination shall be based upon:
    1. Personal observation of the event (sight or sound);
    2. Report from NEOMED Police, faculty, staff, students, administrators, or visitors to the Campus;
    3. Information from an outside reliable source, such as local police or fire, news media, or government entity; or
    4. Other means that might be available.

D.Body of the Policy

  1. NEOMED has adopted an Emergency Management Plan in order to address and respond to Significant Emergencies or Dangerous Situationsthat may threaten the health and safety of anyone on campus. Once NEOMED becomes aware of an emergency, various individuals engage in an information sharing process. This includes, but is not limited to, the NEOMED University Incident Management Team, NEOMED Leadership Team, Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol and/or the Rootstown Fire Department.  During this process, it is determined whether the situation constitutes a Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation based on the following: the type of incident at issue; the risk of death, serious injury or illness to the NEOMED Community; the number of people involved or injured, the location of the incident and the threat it prevents to safety or description of University activities; the potential physical or environmental damage that may result, as well as the threat to NEOMED’s financial well‐being. After assessing the situation, the following people are contacted to determine if an emergency notification is warranted based on the information obtained at that point:
    1. Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing
    2. Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police
    3. Vice President, Administration and Finance
    4. Director, Campus Operations
    5. Assistant Director, Campus Operations
  2. As soon as NEOMED confirms that a Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation exists, it will:
    1. Take into account the safety of the campus community;
    2. Determine what information should be released about the situation; and
    3. Begin the emergency notification process.
  3. The only reason NEOMED would not issue an emergency notification if a Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation exists is if doing so would compromise the University’s efforts to assist the victim, contain or respond to the emergency, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.
  4. If an emergency notification is warranted, the Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police, or designee, will determine the segments of the campus community to receive immediate notification based on the location and nature of the incident.
  5. The Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police, or designee, will work with the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing to determine the content of Emergency Notification. If time is of the essence, an initial notification may be made by the Department of Public Safety or the Office of Public Relations and Marketing with follow up notification as soon as possible containing additional information and instructions. The Emergency Notification will include the following information:
    1. The type of incident;
    2. That Public Safety is issuing the Emergency Notification;
    3. Abbreviated instructions; and
    4. Where additional information may be obtained
      If the initial message is sent as a text message, it may be shorter due to limitations in the number of characters that can be transmitted in a single message. Additionally, if the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Public Relations and Marketing determine that emergency information needs to be disseminated beyond the University population to the community at large, it will do so through radio and/or television alertsto the local community. If appropriate, NEOMED may request the Rootstown Fire Department utilize their emergency notification system for notification to residents in Rootstown Township. The Office of Public Relations and Marketing will work with the Department of Public Safety to develop the content of the message and determine the most effective media outlets for
      communicating the information based on the nature of the Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation.
  6. Method of an Emergency Notification
    1. One or more of the following methods to notify the Campus community will be utilized:
      1. University Mass Emergency Notification System that utilizes a combination of email, voice, text messaging, Facebook and Twitter;
      2. University e‐mail system;
      3. University Web site https://www.neomed.edu; and/or
      4. Cisco phones.
  7. Personnel authorized to Initiate an Emergency Notification to the University Campus include:
    1. Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing or designated backup;
    2. Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police or designated backup;
    3. Vendor who supports NEOMED’s emergency notification system.
  8. Recipients of the Emergency Notification will be instructed as to what to do based on the nature of the Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation. For example, the Emergency Notification may require a recipient to do one of the following:
    1. Shelter‐in‐Place: Regardless of where you are, the basic steps of shelter in place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:
      1. Go to the nearest building.
      2. Close all doors and windows to seal off the building from the exterior.
      3. Shut off air conditioners, furnaces and any other fans that draw outside air into the building.
      4. Conduct an accountability check of students, faculty and staff.
      5. Prevent anyone from leaving the shelter.
      6. Remain in the shelter in place area; do not leave until told to do so.
    2. Initiate ALICE Response: “A.L.I.C.E.” is an acronym for 5 steps that can be utilized in order to increase the chances of surviving a surprise attack by an active shooter/armed intruder.  In this type of incident, perception is the reality and recipients of the Emergency Notification will be deciding what the appropriate action to take is.
      1. Alert – Alert others that a potential Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation exists.
      2. Lockdown – If the recipient decides to not evacuate, he/she must secure the room.
      3. Inform – Using any means necessary to pass on real time information.
      4. Counter – Use simple, proactive techniques when confronted by the Active Shooter.
      5. Evacuate – Exit the danger zone as quickly as possible.
    3. Evacuate: Evacuation routes and evacuation assembly areas may change depending on the nature and location of the emergency. Follow instructions of NEOMED police, or other first responders.
      1. Evacuate the area.
      2. Leave all personal belongings behind, unless instructed otherwise.
      3. Walk without delay, but do not run.
      4. Assist those with temporary or permanent disabilities needing special assistance evacuating.
      5. Evacuate using the primary evacuation route to your designated outside evacuation assembly area, avoiding dangerous areas.
      6. Conduct an accountability check of faculty, staff and students by department or class, as appropriate.
      7. Call 911 to report missing or injured persons.
      8. Remain at the evacuation assembly area.
      9. Do not re‐enter the building until told to do so by emergency responders.
  9. The persons responsible for carrying out this policy include:
    1. President of NEOMED
    2. Chief of Staff
    3. General Counsel
    4. Vice President, Administration and Finance
    5. Dean, College of Pharmacy
    6. Vice President, Research / Dean, College of Graduate Studies
    7. Dean, College of Medicine
    8. Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing
    9. Director, Campus Operations
    10. Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police
  10. Testing of the Emergency Notification System
    1. A test of the NEOMED Mass Emergency Notification System is conducted annually by the Department of Public Safety and/or a designee in the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
  11. Testing of Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures: The University shall conduct at least an annual emergency test. A test is defined as a regularly scheduled drill, exercise and appropriate follow‐through activities, designed for assessment and evaluation of emergency plans and capabilities. The tests are supervised by the Department of Public Safety and require all persons in the building to participate.
  12. Publicizing Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
    1. The University will publish its emergency response and evacuation procedures in conjunction with the annual test.
    2. The University community will be notified via email of the emergency response and evacuation procedures.
  13. Documentation of Tests
    1. The Department of Public Safety will maintain documentation of each test, noting the following:
      1. A description of the test;
      2. The date the test was held;
      3. The time the test started and ended;
      4. Whether the test was announced or unannounced


Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University