Emergency Operations Overview

St. Olaf College has adopted an “All Hazards” approach to emergency response and recovery. When warranted by the severity of the incident, the College will utilize the Incident Command System (ICS) outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as directed by Homeland Security Presidential Directive #5 to respond to the emergency and on-campus critical incidents.

Incident definitions

Community incident
“A health, safety, or criminal incident that requires the assistance of public safety or other internal college resources to resolve.” (SOCPS)

“A health, safety or criminal incident that is larger and more serious in scope which requires the response of Public Safety and ‘external agencies’ (i.e. police, fire or EMS) to resolve.” (SOCPS)

Critical incident
“An extraordinary event that places lives and property in danger and requires the commitment and coordination of numerous resources to bring about a successful resolution.” (USDOJ)

“A violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any segment thereof, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives.” (USDOJ)

Goals of emergency operations

  • Work to ensure the safety and security of students, faculty, staff and visitors
  • Protect college property
  • Maintain college operations and essential services
  • Assist the community in disaster recovery

Emergency procedures vs. emergency operations

Emergency procedures

Are actions taken by students, faculty, staff and visitors in the event of an emergency to immediately remove themselves from harms’ way. These procedures include:

  • Evacuation
    A directive for community members to leave the building you are currently in and move to a safer location outside or to another building.
  • Shelter-in-place
    A directive to the community to remain indoors and seek shelter in an inner office/room away from windows.
    – Office/room doors and windows should be locked.
    – Remain in the secure area until the all clear is given by the College or by emergency response personnel.
  • Lockdown
    A directive for community members to shelter in place (close/lock windows and doors) while the College begins the process to secure the exterior doors to campus buildings to prevent access.

Emergency operations

Are actions taken by the College to prepare for emergencies, mitigate the threat, stabilize the situation and begin recovery efforts.

  • Planning and Orientation
  • Situational Assessment
  • Notification and Communication
  • Organization and Mobilization
  • Recovery & Continuity of Operations

Critical Event Response Team (CERT)
CERT is a group of experienced college personnel who have significant responsibility for student life, housing, campus safety, facilities management, and communication.

CERT Operational objectives

  • Provide an initial response to the incident
  • Meet with Public Safety for an incident briefing
  • Assess the current situation and develop a short term response plan
  • Assemble available on-campus resources
  • As appropriate, compose and send notifications
  • Determine if access to the campus should be restricted or the campus closed
  • Determine if the Emergency Operations Center should be activated

Emergency operations center

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the designated physical location where incident command personnel will report to begin the process of responding to the emergency. The EOC location shall be determined by the Incident Commander.