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Facility Management / Safety

Responsible Office:

Procedure Title:
Emergency Response Plan Requirements

Document Number:

Effective Date:
January 30, 2008

This procedure item applies to:
State-Operated Campuses

Table of Contents

Related Procedures
Other Related Information


The State University of New York (SUNY) requires every campus to develop and maintain an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in this document.  In the event of an emergency, the top priorities of the State University of New York are to (1) Protect life; (2) Protect critical facilities; and (3) Restore campus operations.


Each State-Operated SUNY SUNY campus must have an “All-Hazards” Emergency Response Plan that outlines how the campus intends to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies that occur on campus or affect the campus.  It is the responsibility of each campus to develop and implement a plan that addresses the specific needs of that campus and that also includes the following:

  1. Each ERP must include a signed and dated statement from the Campus President endorsing the plan and supporting its implementation.
  2. Each ERP must use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for preparing for, preventing, responding to, and recovering from incidents. 
  3. Individual units on each campus must develop emergency plans and identify the individuals (by name or by position) responsible for maintaining and evaluating the sufficiency of these unit plans.  Campuses should determine the individual units, as appropriate to their risks and needs.
  4. The ERP must delineate the procedures for reporting all emergencies to campus officials. 
  5. The ERP must include a hazard analysis for the entire campus.  A hazard analysis involves examining the likely hazards that could affect the campus.  This analysis shall form the basis for the entire emergency planning process.
  6. The ERP must identify the individual (by name or position) responsible for updating and maintaining the ERP.  This individual is responsible for ensuring that the ERP is reviewed no less than once every academic year for accuracy, and ensuring that it is available in both hard copy and electronic format.  At the time of this review, the individual must indicate what significant changes, if any, have been made to the ERP, sign and date the ERP, and provide it to the Office of University Police at System Administration, even if there are no changes to the ERP.  A record of significant changes should be recorded in a separate section of the plan.
  7. The ERP must identify the formal method the campus will use to evaluate the ERP for compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
  8. The ERP must identify the members (by name or position) of a standing Emergency Response Planning Team with responsibility for the coordination of all emergency planning, including but not limited to: resource management, personnel qualification, and equipment certification.   
  9. The ERP must describe the procedures for creating and operating an Incident Command Post (ICP) in the event of an emergency. 
  10. The ERP must identify the members of the Command and General Staff of the ICP.  Contact information for all members must be included in the ERP.
  11. The ERP must describe the procedure for the establishment of a Campus Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) in the event of an emergency.  Primary and backup locations must be identified.
  12. The ERP must include specific protocols for violent critical incidents.  Such incidents may include, but are not limited to incidents of: an active shooter, sexual assault, homicide, suicide, and so on.  Protocols must include procedures for timely response, decision making and communication with the campus and local emergency response agencies. 
  13. The ERP must include a description of the communication systems employed by the campus, as well as those of mutual aid agencies.    
  14. TH ERP must provide detailed information regarding the means of communicating the existence of an emergency to the campus.  Every campus must employ at least one means of emergency communication in each of the following categories:
    • Active broadcast (e.g. outdoor siren/speakers, audio/visual devices, and so on);
    • Passive broadcast (for example: email, electronic message boards, TV crawl message, and so on);
    • Individual broadcast (for example: cell phone text messaging).
  15. All agreements, formal or informal, that exist between the campus and non-university entities regarding the use of resources during an emergency must be included in the ERP.
  16. The ERP must include the campus’ pandemic flu plan.
  17. As part of compliance with the NIMS, each plan must include the following incident elements:



All appropriate campus senior staff, managers and emergency responders must receive training in the Incident Command System (ICS) and NIMS that corresponds with their identified roles and responsibilities in an emergency.  A record of this training will be maintained by the campus.

Emergency response drills and exercises using the concepts of NIMS should be conducted annually to enhance the coordination, training, and response capabilities of campus personnel internally, as well as with local emergency response agencies. 



  1. All drills and exercises must include the following elements:
    • Clearly stated goals and objectives for the drill / exercise;
    • Formation/Establishment of ICS structure, including sections such as operations, planning, logistics and finance;
    • Communication and decision-making processes necessary to respond in an effective and timely manner to an emergency.


  1. Drills/exercises may be implemented in any of the following ways:
    • Tabletop:  A facilitator guides discussion.  The purpose is for the group to learn how to solve problems together.  There are no simulations and no attempts to arrange elaborate facilities or communications.
    • Functional:  An exercise that simulates an emergency in the most realistic manner possible, short of moving personnel and equipment to an actual site.  Its goal is to test or evaluate the capability of one or more functions in the context of an emergency event.
    • Full scale exercise:  An exercise that is as close to the ‘real thing’ as possible.  It is a lengthy exercise which takes place on location, using the equipment and personnel that would be called upon in a real event.  Campuses must conduct a full scale drill as soon as practicable, as determined by the campus president or his/her designee.



  1. A copy of the Campus Emergency Response Plan must be kept both on and off-site and at the Office of University Police at System Administration.
  2. The plan will be treated as sensitive and distribution restricted where appropriate. 



Campus Emergency Operation Center (CEOC)
This is the site designated to serve as the response and strategy center throughout the incident and recovery period.  High level coordination among agencies and jurisdictions takes place at the CEOC.  Information and resources to support incident management and policy issues are considered in the CEOC.

Incident Command Post (ICP)
This is the on-site operation center at which the primary command functions are executed.  The Incident Commander (IC) is in charge of the ICP.  The ICP is generally located in close proximity to the incident.

Incident Command System (ICS)
The Incident Command System is a management system that sets forth standardized procedures  for managing personnel, communications, facilities, and resources.

National Incident Management System (NIMS)
The NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management used at all  jurisdictional levels and across all response disciplines.


There are no forms relevant to this procedure.

Related Procedures

SUNY Procedure - Emergency Notification Protocol Requirements

SUNY Policy - Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Reporting (Clery Act - also known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act)

Other Related Information

SUNY Policy - Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order

SUNY Website, Emergency Information, part of the SUNY System Administration Capital Facilities website.

SUNY Website, Emergency Preparedness Resources, part of the SUNY System Administration Capital Facilities website.

SUNY Website, SUNY Health Alerts.


National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5

Executive Order #26.1 issued by Governor Pataki, continued by Executive Order #5, issued by Governor Spitzer, which was continued by Executive Order 7.9 issued by Governor Paterson, and most recently, continued by NYS Executive Order #8.2 issued by Governor Cuomo.


There is no history relevant to this procedure.


There are no appendicies relevant to this procedure.