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Emergency Plan

Prepared By

Kendall Newman
Emergency Services and Business Continuity Manager
Risk Management & Safety Services

Reviewed By

Tyson Hill
Associate Vice President for Risk Management & Safety Services
Risk Management & Safety Services

Last Update

December 11, 2023

Promulgation Statement

Dear Sonoma State University Community:
As a campus community, we must be prepared for the wide range of emergencies that can arise at any moment, as we experienced with the devastating fires that impacted Sonoma County in October 2017. Sonoma State University's Emergency Operations Plan is developed in accordance with the California State University (CSU) Emergency Management Program guidelines as outlined in Executive Order 1056.

Our plan addresses the challenges and responsiblities the University holds with respect to preparation, response, mitigation and recovery from the hazards associated with emergencies. Our plan conforms to the Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS), the Incident Command System (ICS), and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

I encourage all members of the Sonoma State community to review our Emergency Operations Plan. This plan establishes the emergency management organization, assigns tasks, and specifies policies and general procedures for the coordination of planning efforts.

All University officials/positions named in this plan, and those called upon to act during an emergency, are granted the authority and are expected to act in concert with the spirt of this plan. While this plan provides a framework and guidance for taking actions before, during and after emergencies, it is not to be construed in a manner that limits the use of good judgment. Our plan is reviewed annually, tested periodically, and revised as necessary in respones to changing conditions and needs.

Your well-being and the safety of our campus community are of utmost importance. I urge all faculty, staff and students to particpate in our emerency preparedness efforts. With this plan and a knowledgeable, caring and dedicated Sonoma State community, we will be ready to handle emergencies that may arise. I appreciate your help.

With gratitude,
Ming-Tung "Mike" Lee

Promulgation Date: December 1, 2023

Plan Distribution

A copy of the Sonoma State University Emergency Operations Plan has been distributed to the staff/departments listed below. Any EOC member may receive a printed version upon request. The campus community has access to the Emergency Operations Plan. When made available to the public, sections of the EOP which contain sensitive or personal information may be redacted pursuant to public record laws.

Distribution List

All persons/departments named below receive a copy of the plan, unless otherwise indicated below.  All copies are to be delivered prior to December 31, 2023.  

  • University President
  • Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Vice President for University Advancement
  • Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer
  • Vice President for Strategic Enrollment
  • Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Diversity
  • Executive Director for the Green Music Center
  • Associate Vice President for Risk Management & Safety Services
  • Emergency Services and Business Continuity Manager
  • Chief of Police
  • Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations and Strategic Communications
  • Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • Chair of the Faculty
  • University Legal Counsel
  • President/CEO, Associated Students
  • EOC Section Chiefs – Operations Section
  • EOC Section Chiefs – Logistics Section
  • EOC Section Chiefs – Planning Section
  • EOC Section Chiefs – Finance Section
  • EOC Management - Directors

Record of Changes

The Emergency Operations Plan was fully updated in 2015. The Record of Changes reflects those changes made after that update.

Record of Changes
Subject/Section Made by Date Made Revision #
Addition – Promulgation Document M Brunetta 3/24/2015 I
Addition – Plan Applicability 2.6 M Brunetta 3/24/2015 I
Addition – Plan Management  2.7 M Brunetta 3/24/2015 I
Update – Record of Distribution M Brunetta 3/24/2015 I
Update – Statement of Purpose 2.2 M Brunetta 3/24/2015 I
Addition – Resource Availability 6.6 M Brunetta 4/15/2015 I
Addition – Coordination 3.1.2 M Brunetta 4/15/2015 I
Addition – Operational Area 3.4 M Brunetta 5/6/2015 I
Update – Mutual Aid 3.6 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Appendix 1 – List of Resources M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Uppdate – Considerations 8.1 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Addition – Personal Preparedness 3.3.1 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Addition – International Students 8.1.1 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Update – Authority 2.1 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Update – Emergency Notifications 3.12 M Brunetta 10/29/2015 I
Addition – Campus Closure 3.11 M Brunetta 12/16/2015 I
Deletion – Academic Recovery Council 4.7.2 M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Update – EOC Organization 4.1 M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Update – EOC Management 4.6 M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Addition – Evacuation – Disabled Persons M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Addition – Areas of Refuge 8.3 M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Update – Shelter in Place 9 M Brunetta 3/28/2016 II
Update – Designated Responders 3.11.1 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Promulgation – Dr. Judy K. Sakaki M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Plan Distribution M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Coordination  3.1.2 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – National Incident Management System 3.7 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Campus Closure/Essential Employees 3.11.1 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Emergency Notification 3.12 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Lines of Succession 3.13.3 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Organizational Structure 4.1 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – EOC Management 4.6 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Hazard Specific Plans – Fire 11.4 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Hazard Specific Plans – Utility 11.9 M Brunetta 7/17/2017 III
Update – Distribution M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update – Authority to add EO 1107 M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Emergency Plan Activation to include designees M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update – Positions designated as “Emergency Managers” and addition of Duty Officer role M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Minor Incident M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Preparedness Phase – building and department plans M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Preparedness Phase – file emergency response plans with OES M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Preparedness Phase – use of campus Safety Committee M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Response Phase – equipment/material acquisition M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Campus Closure – clarification for hard and soft closure and suspension M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Emergency Notifications – added EO1107 M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
ENS – General Plan – EO 1107 M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - ENS – General Plan – website info M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Continuity of Operations- Purpose to include EO1014 M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Lines of Succession – include Administrator in Charge protocol M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Preservation of Vital Records to include electronic records M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Preservation of Vital Records to include definition M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update – Location – new primary EOC M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - EOC Organization – updated to new organization and annual review M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Architectural/Infrastructure Analysis – included urban wildland interface and utility infrastructure M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Resource Availability – right to seek assistance directly from state M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update – Evacuation – increased instruction regarding persons with access and functional needs M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Removal - Persons with Disabilities & Functional Needs – content incorporated throughout the plan M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Hazard Specific Plans – threat assessment updated; section is reordered and new content M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Active Shooter – reference video M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Active Shooter – formal endorsement of run, hide, fight response tactic M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Active Shooter – minor procedural update regarding EOC response M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Structure Fire – role of department emergency coordinators M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Addition - Building Flood – New content, was combined with Extreme Weather  and flood sections M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Addition – Wildfire – New hazard/threat and response M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update Initial Recovery Operations – to reflect use of Incident Recovery Team and updates to crisis communications and constituent care M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Update - Long Term Recovery Operations – restructure of long-term recovery teams M Brunetta 8/20/2018 IV
Review M Brunetta 8/1/2019 V
Review M Brunetta 8/1/2020 VI
Review M Brunetta 8/1/2021 VII
Review M Brunetta 8/1/2022 VIII
Review K Newman 12/1/2023 IV

Executive Summary

The Sonoma State University Emergency Operations Plan provides a framework for response to extraordinary emergency situations that could impact normal University operations. The plan describes the emergency response system that directs the immediate response to and recovery from a significant campus event or regional event that impacts the University. The primary goal of the plan is to provide a coordinated response that protects life, property and the environment.

This plan is designed to support the application of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) for Sonoma State University and complies with components of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). It is intended to serve as a guideline to facilitate multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional coordination during emergency operations, particularly between Sonoma State University, the California State University system, the Sonoma County Operational Area and surrounding local governments, including, special districts and other state agencies.

This plan is organized into four sections:

  • Basic Plan – This section the emergency management organization, its roles, responsibilities and operational concepts and reviews the structure and operational basis for the Emergency Operations Center
  • All-Hazard Response Plan – While planning for all possible emergencies is not realistic, this section identifies those emergencies which are most likely to occur and provides basic analysis of the specific risks and response considerations.
  • Recovery Operations – This section reviews general information regarding recovery following a major emergency, including demobilization and deactivation of the EOC and procedures for reimbursement, when applicable.
  • Appendices – This section includes reference material including department/building emergency plans, building marshal program information, checklists and other reference materials. Appendices are dynamic, working documents and will generally therefore, not be attached in published versions of this plan.

Prepared by:

Kendall Newman
Emergency Services and Business Continuity Manager
Risk Management & Safety Services

  • First Issue (2015.1): July 2015

  • Second Issue (2015.2): July 2016

  • Third Issue (2015.3): July 2017

  • Fourth Issue (2015.4): July 2018

  • Review Completed: July 2019

  • Review Completed: July 2020

  • Review Completed: July 2021

  • Review Completed: August 2022

  • Fifth Issue: December 2023

Section A: Basic Plan

2 Purpose

This Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) establishes policies and procedures and assigns responsibilities to ensure the effective management of emergency operations and response for Sonoma State University. It provides information on the University’s emergency management structure and how the emergency management team is activated. The plan provides an overview of operational concepts and a detailed disaster management system in accordance with the Incident Command System (ICS), the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). 

The EOP is designed to insure that disaster response and recovery efforts conducted by Sonoma State University (SSU) remain in full compliance with local, state, and federal laws as outlined in the Authority section of this document. This plan acknowledges that an incident may occur at any time of day or night, in numerous buildings, off-campus sites, or preserves locations.

2.1 Authority

The Emergency Operations Plan has been prepared in compliance with the following statutes and regulations:

  • California State University Executive Order 1056
  • California State University Executive Order 1107
  • California Government Code Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2, Section 8550 (“Emergency Services Act”)
  • Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, including the Jeanne Clery Act
  • California Education Code 66210
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • California Fire Code Section 403 and 404

Copies of applicable sections of the aforementioned regulations can be found in the Appendix (reference only) or are kept in the EOC Legal Resource binder.

2.2 Statement of Purpose

The Emergency Plan provides a legal and conceptual framework for Sonoma State University’s preparedness and response to disasters and major emergencies. The Plan is designed to comply with the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS); it is activated whenever a natural or induced emergency that affects the campus reaches proportions where such a situation cannot be controlled by routine measures.

This plan is organized into four sections:

  • Basic Plan – This section includes the emergency management organization, its roles, responsibilities, operational concepts, and reviews the structure and operational basis for the Emergency Operations Center
  • All-Hazard Response Plan – While planning for all possible emergencies is not realistic, this section identifies those emergencies which are most likely to occur and provides basic analysis of the specific risks and response considerations.
  • Recovery Operations –This section reviews general information regarding recovery following a major emergency, including demobilization and deactivation of the EOC and procedures for reimbursement, when applicable.
  • Appendices: This section includes reference material including department/building emergency plans, building marshal program information, checklists and other reference materials.

2.3 Scope

The Plan serves as a guide for responding to major emergencies and disasters that directly affect the campus of Sonoma State University and/or any off-campus properties, with the goal of protecting lives and property through the effective use of available personnel and resources during emergency operations.

This plan is designed to accomplish the following:

  • To provide contingency plans for major emergencies or disasters that may affect the University
  • To provide a basis for the conduct and coordination of emergency operations and the management of critical resources during emergencies
  • To establish a mutual understanding of the authority, responsibilities, function, and operations of the University management team during emergencies
  • To identify the roles and responsibilities in coordinating emergency operations with outside agencies
  • To establish the proper channels for the dissemination of information

2.3.1 Off-Campus Properties

Sonoma State University owns and operates a number of properties not adjacent to or within the campus boundaries. The off-campus properties lie within the primary jurisdiction of other political subdivisions. While emergencies on these properties may not affect the ability of the University to operate and deliver on the educational mission, Sonoma State University is responsible for providing resources, both human and material, in support of our jurisdictional partners to ensure the preservation of life and property within our Preserves and auxiliaries lands. These properties include:

  • The Fairfield Osborne Preserve (County of Sonoma) located on Lichau Road, Unincorporated Sonoma County, California
  • The Galbreath Wildlands Preserve (County of Mendocino) located at 30720 Elkhorn Road, Yorkville, California
  • 5565 and 5573 Petaluma Hill Road [“North Property”] (County of Sonoma), Unincorporated Sonoma County, California
  • Los Guilicos Preserve (County of Sonoma) located at 171 Pythion Road, Santa Rosa, California

2.4 Objectives

During a major emergency or disaster, the EOP may be activated and University operations will be focused on meeting the following objectives:

  • Effective life safety measures to protect students, employees and guests of the University
  • Protection of University property and the environment
  • Providing a safe and coordinated response to the emergency
  • Ensuring accurate documentation and records required for cost recovery efforts and to ensure public accountability
  • Preservation of the orderly continuity of University functions through campus-wide cooperation
  • Expedition of recovery operations and timely restoration of mission-based academic activities

2.5 Assumptions

While no emergency can be fully anticipated and planned for, the EOP is based on a number of operational assumptions. These considerations act as a commitment to our community and mutual aid partners before, during, and after an emergency.

  • Sonoma State University is responsible for emergency response and will commit all available resources to save lives, minimize injury to persons, protect University assets, and minimize damage to property and the environment.
  • Sonoma State University will utilize the Incident Command System (ICS), Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in emergency response and management operations.
  • The Emergency Manager (see Executive Order 1056, Appendix 13, for definition) will coordinate the University’s disaster response plans in compliance with Executive Order 1056 and will serve as the liaison to local and state agencies in preparation for a major emergency or disaster.
  • The resources of the University will be made available, as appropriate, to local agencies to cope with disasters affecting the surrounding community.
  • The University will commit its resources to a reasonable degree before requesting mutual aid assistance. Mutual aid resources will be managed thoughtfully and returned to the home agency as soon as possible.

2.6 Emergency Plan Applicability

The procedures contained in this plan will be followed by any employee whose position and/or duties are expressly addressed or are implied by this Plan. Campus emergency operations will be conducted within the framework of the policies and procedures of the State Emergency Management System (SEMS), the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the federal National Response Framework (NRF), and all applicable local, state, county, and federal laws, ordinances, and regulations.

2.7 Emergency Plan Management

The Emergency Operations Plan is a dynamic document, which must be updated annually to ensure compliance with local, California State University, state, regional, and federal requirements and guidelines. Additionally, University-specific elements must be updated regularly to ensure relevance and effectiveness during an emergency response.

Although management of the Emergency Operations Plan is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Services (a department of Risk Management & Safety Services), emergency planning and response is a campus-wide obligation. The Emergency Manager is responsible for identifying departments and individuals that have an interest, knowledge, and resources needed for emergency planning and ensuring they are knowledgeable about their responsibilities and are engaged in the emergency planning process. This may take the form of working groups, committees, safety teams, Emergency Operations Center membership, or direct consultation on the Emergency Operations Plan.

The Plan will be updated, republished and distributed annually. The Plan may be modified as a result of post-incident analyses, lessons learned, or critiques, or as changes occur in responsibilities, procedures, laws or regulations pertaining to emergency management and operations. Additionally, those employees who consult throughout the year on issues of emergency planning and/or response and the President’s Cabinet will be advised annually of pending updates and given the opportunity to provide feedback and request or suggest specific changes.

2.7.1 Modifications to the Plan

Any significant changes, additions or exclusions from the approved plan (July 2014) require the expressed approval of the University President. Such written approval shall be attached the plan and detail the change.

Minor changes to procedure, background information, updates to University-specific information, or other non-critical information is delegated to the Emergency Manager. Such changes shall be recorded on the Record of Changes and updated at least annually.

2.8 Emergency Plan Activation

Stipulations of the EOP that alter regular operating conditions of the University may be activated by the Plan Executive (generally the University President) or his/her designee at any time when an event, planned or unplanned, leads to the temporary inability for normal University operations and/or response to an event requires resources from multiple jurisdictions over an extended period of time. Such activation may or may not require the declaration of a local emergency. Full activation of the EOP is not required for readiness, preparation, or mitigation activities, including partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center, as described in Section 4.3.

The President will delegate certain emergency management duties to other University staff through the “Delegation of Authority for Emergency Management” memorandum which will be updated as needed.

Additionally, EOP activation may be driven by the following:

2.8.1 Executive Authority

The University President, his/her designee, or the designated alternate may deem it necessary to declare a campus emergency for the purpose of safeguarding the lives and property of the University community or to maintain the orderly conduct of University business (California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Sections 41302 and 42402).

2.8.2 State Authority

When the Governor proclaims a State of Emergency that affects the University, the Plan Executive or his/her designee, may activate the EOP. The proclamation of a gubernatorial State of Emergency makes national and out/or state mutual aid resources available to affected areas.

Emergencies that affect the jurisdiction of the University but do not have an immediate effect on the ongoing operation of the University may not require the activation of the EOP. In such situations, the Emergency Operations Center and employees responsible for campus emergency operations will remain in a state of “Operational Readiness” as activation may be impending.

2.9 Planning Factors

The University administration is responsible for safeguarding the lives of its faculty, staff, students, and other members of the University community. Specifically, the University is statutorily required to do the following:

2.9.1 Safeguard Campus Community

CSU Executive Order 1056 requires the President to implement and maintain an emergency management program.

2.9.2 Safeguard Employees

Section 3220, California Code of Regulations, requires a written emergency action plan that covers those designated actions that employers and employees must take to assure personal safety from fire and other emergencies. Further, this code requires that the employer review with each employee those parts of the plan that the employee must know, in order to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan will be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review.

2.9.3 Safeguard Residents

California Education Code Section 66210 requires each campus of the University of California and the California State University to establish an emergency evacuation plan for student housing.

2.9.4 Safeguard through Planning & Cooperation

  • California Government Code Section 8607 requires the use of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) to coordinate disaster operations
  • Department of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) – 5, Management of Domestic Incidents, directs the Secretory of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS).

3 Emergency Management

Emergency management is defined as making the best possible use of available resources to cope with extreme conditions that endanger lives and property. Resources include personnel, materials, sites or facilities, and plans.

3.1 Concept of Operations

During any emergency, the primary goal is the protection of faculty, staff, students and visitors to the University. The emergency management organization at Sonoma State University will identify potential threats to life, property and the environment, and then develop plans and procedures to protect those resources.

These plans and procedures will direct emergency response and recovery activities and will be validated through a thorough training and exercise program. The goal is to maintain a robust emergency management organization with strong collaborative ties among University departments, campus stakeholders, public agencies, and the private sector under the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS) structure.

The EOP serves as an administrative guide to ensure effective and efficient communication and decision making is possible before, during and after a major emergency or disaster. To achieve this goal, the Incident Command System (ICS) is utilized and the plan focuses on:

  • Clear lines of authority and channels of communication
  • A simplified functional structure
  • The incorporation and efficient utilization of all available personnel and resources
  • Continuous leadership at the administrative level

3.1.1 Command

The University operates under the guidance of the President, through the functional units (Academic Affairs, Administration & Finance, Student Affairs, Advancement), each of which is directed by a Vice President. During a disaster or major emergency, normal University operations cease to function. In this case, the emergency structure of this plan is implemented. When the Emergency Plan is activated, the organizational structure contained herein shall be used to direct the operations of the University. Working titles, as we know them, cease to exist. Personnel appointed by ICS titles and assignments will manage the operations and of campus until such time as the Plan Executive declares otherwise.

3.1.2 Positions

As defined by CSU Executive Order 1056, the following positions are designated by order of the President.

  • Emergency Executive – The Vice President for Administration and Finance is the designated campus executive with overall responsibility for campus-wide emergency management planning and execution of the campus plan.
  • Emergency Manager – The Emergency Manager and is responsible for campus-wide emergency management activities. EO 1056 requires the designation of a primary, secondary, and tertiary designee. The appointees for the designated emergency managers will be identified and notified of such appointment by way of presidential memorandum.

Additionally, the University will designate at least 5 employees to be designated as “Duty Officers.” A Duty Officer is a single person designated during a specified time period to be the first line of response for an emergency. While that person may not physically respond, they will be the first call (not including first responders) to support the University’s response in support of emergency response operations. The Duty Officer may be asked to:

  • Notify University leadership of emergency
  • Determine need to activate the EOC
  • Determine need to activate the Emergency Notification System
  • Provide advice on the closure of campus
  • Contact outside agencies for assistance

A single phone number is designated for the Duty Officer that will be transferred to the applicable assigned officer for the designated period. The Emergency Services and Business Continuity Manager will generally serve as the Duty Officer and will designate alternates in his/her absence.

3.1.3 Coordination

University Office of Emergency Services - Assigned primary responsibility for the development and management of the Emergency Operations Plan and its primary components. All University departments, however, must consider emergency planning and response to a varying extent.

All Employees - At the most basic level, all employees must consider their at home and office personal preparedness to ensure they are able to care for the needs of themselves and their families during and after an emergency. Doing so ensures that employees may be able to return to the University when called upon as a designated responder or Disaster Service Worker.

The University Emergency Manager will regularly call upon staff from the following departments to participate in the emergency planning process (this list is not intended to be complete, but to represent those departments with the most regular and critical consultation):

  • Financial Services – Processes for procurement of supplies during emergencies must be developed and maintained; funding sources must be identified and maintained in advance of an emergency; contracts with critical vendors and service providers must be maintained to ensure immediate delivery of service after an emergency
  • Human Resources – Procedures for recall of employees after an emergency must be developed and agreed upon by Collective bargaining units; payroll procedures to be used during emergencies must be established; procedures for the reporting of work-related injuries during emergency response must be established and maintained; policies and procedures for the use of temporary hires and volunteers must be established and maintained
  • Facilities Services – Procedures to direct field activities, including building inspection, hazardous material handling, debris removal, and other emergency response needs, must be established and exercised; systems for the assignment, tracking and return of equipment must be established and documented; the condition of buildings must be documented for recovery activities.
  • Housing Services – Plans must be in place for temporary shelters and care for campus residents who are unable or not ordered to evacuate campus during an emergency; plans must be in place for alternate housing in the event that campus housing becomes unavailable or uninhabitable
  • Culinary Services – Plans must be in place for providing food and water to faculty, staff, students and/or visitors who are unable to leave campus due to an emergency for more than 4-8 hours; plans must be in place to coordinate food service to emergency responders
  • Health Services – Plans for the provision of emergency medical care to faculty, staff, students, guests, and/or members of the public must be in place prior to an emergency; plans must be made for the protection of the campus community during a pandemic or other significant outbreak of serious illness
  • Counseling & Psychological Services – Plans must be in place for the provision of mental health services to victims of an emergency and to response workers

Operators of Major Campus Facilities – Employees who manage major facilities must have emergency plans in place to keep occupants safe and protect and recover University assets; these facilities include the Schulz Information Center, Green Music Center, Recreation Center, Student Center and the Housing Community – These facilities generally need specialized emergency plans.

Members of the Emergency Operations Center will be asked to participate in frequent exercises to practice emergency response and to provide planning and expertise to their assigned area to ensure that systems in place are maintained and operationally ready.

3.2 Emergency Definitions

There are a number of situations that may occur, which result in disaster or the disruption of normal operations of the University. The following defines the scope of what an emergency is and what constitutes a disaster.

There are a number of abbreviations and acronyms used in emergency management. A listing of general acronyms can be found in Appendix 25. This section is intended to define “emergencies” as they relate to this EOP.

3.2.1 Minor Incident

Any incident, potential or actual, planned or unplanned that will not seriously disrupt the overall functional capacity of the University. These emergencies may affect only a limited area of campus or may be of short duration. Operational management of minor emergencies generally rests with the Chief of Police or his/her designee and/or the Associate Vice President of Facilities Administration.

3.2.2 Major Incident or Emergency

Any incident, potential or actual, that seriously disrupts the overall functional capacity and operation of the University. Major emergencies will affect all of campus or a large portion of campus and will likely impact educational service delivery. A major emergency may require activation of the EOP. Extensive use of SSU resources for support services as well as outside emergency services may also be required. Major policy considerations and decisions may be required from the Plan Executive with advice from the Policy Group.

A major emergency at SSU may be declared when:

  • The Plan Executive determines that an incident has seriously impaired or halted operations of the University;
  • The Sonoma County Director of Emergency Services determines a local emergency when the safety of persons and property within the County of Sonoma is threatened;
  • The Governor determines a State of Emergency threatens the safety of persons and property within the state, when the governor finds that local authority is inadequate to cope with an emergency, or when the Governor is requested to declare such an emergency by local authorities;
  • A state of war is proclaimed, or if a state of war exists.

3.2.3 Disaster

A disaster is any event or incident that has taken place and has seriously impaired or halted the operations of the University. A disaster may also be classified as a major emergency. In some cases, significant casualties and severe property damage may be sustained. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated, and prudent use of all University resources is required during response and recovery operations.

The standard organizational model is based on an approach called the Incident Command System that was developed by fire departments to establish a common language when requesting assistance from outside agencies. Available outside emergency services may be essential. The Emergency Operations Center staff will guide field operations based on major policy decisions made by the Policy Council.

3.3 Phases of Emergency Planning

Management of a campus disaster is based on four phases (Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation), which work in concert, generally in a cyclical manner.

During each phase, specific actions are taken to reduce and/or eliminate the threat of specific emergency situations. In coordination with the Operations Executive, the Incident Commander will determine the phase and initiate the appropriate level of response from campus emergency service agencies, including the activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as required.

3.3.1 Preparedness Phase

The Plan is considered to be in effect at all times to provide authorization to accomplish essential emergency preparedness activities. The preparedness phase involves activities undertaken in advance of an emergency. These activities will provide operational capabilities and improve effective response to disasters. Preparedness phase actions include:

  • Developing and revising the plan, department plans and hazard analyses.
  • Maintaining mutual aid operational relationships and plans.
  • Training response personnel.
  • Improving public information and communications systems.
  • Conducting exercises to validate the planning process

Those individuals and departments assigned emergency responsibilities will participate in developing and maintaining current Department Emergency Action Plans (DEAP’s) to be used in the event of an emergency. Elements of these plans include:

  • Provisions to support, maintain, staff, direct and control University resources during a major disaster.
  • Current department personnel notification rosters and recall procedures.
  • Communication systems to implement call-out rosters for personnel who may be required to return as disaster workers or staff to the EOC.
  • Response plans for any non-typical activities that the department may engage in that would be impacted during an emergency (field trip activities, travel, minors on campus, possession and/or operation of of critical infrastructure, research activities, etc.)
  • Reference to applicable Facility Emergency Plans that may affect department employees.

The Office of Emergency Services will work with Facilities Services and building occupants to develop and maintain Facility Emergency Plans (FEP’s) which will include:

  • Evacuation, relocation, and shelter in place plans.
  • Specific emergency actions that will be assumed by staff and designated successors during an emergency.
  • Provision for the protection of critical infrastructure and equipment within the area covered by the EAP; this may include mission-critical infrastructure, assets that are difficult or impossible to replace, high risk materials, and/or equipment necessary for continuity of operations

Operators of major campus facilities that frequently host non-campus guests, have significantly large occupancy, or that have other unique operating conditions that may require increased specification or deviation from the campus EOP will develop Emergency Response Plans (ERP’s) to address the care of people in the facility during an emergency or to protect valuable or hazardous materials inside the facility. ERP’s shall be updated annually and filed with the Office of Emergency Services.

Emergency Operation Center staff and the Emergency Manager will work to develop and maintain systems to be utilized in the event of activation of the EOC to ensure operational readiness. These include:

  • Maintenance of contracts and contacts with outside agencies, non-governmental organizations, and vendors who may provide services during an emergency
  • Development and maintenance of documents, resources, and tools to facilitate EOC activation and response
  • Development of communication and information systems between other CSU’s to ensure continuity of operations
  • Maintenance of inventory of emergency supplies and equipment
  • Developing and practicing processes that would be used during EOC activation

Any person with concerns regarding campus readiness, the University Emergency Operations Plan, department and facility plans, emergency response, and overall campus safety may bring their concerns to the campus Safety Committee.

Increased Readiness

The University will take appropriate action to increase readiness as a crisis begins to develop. Actions taken during the buildup of a crisis situation are designed to increase the University’s ability to respond effectively. Departments must consider increasing their readiness for an emergency upon the issuance of a credible, long-term prediction or advisory that could impact the University, Operational Area, or State; an impending or in progress terrorist incident; or a rapidly deteriorating international situation that could lead to a state of war. Actions to be accomplished during this phase include but are not limited to:

  • Inspections of critical facilities
  • Reviewing and updating the Emergency Operations Plan and EAPs
  • Convening key stakeholders to discuss a potential plan of action
  • Briefing President’s Cabinet
  • Updating resource lists
  • Mobilizing resources
  • Testing warning and communications systems.
  • Disseminating accurate, timely, emergency public information
  • Recruiting and training staff as Disaster Service Workers (DSWs)
Personal Preparedness

Although not a direct responsibility of the University, it is important that University employees understand the role that their personal emergency preparedness plays in the University’s successful response to a recovery from an emergency or disaster. The University recognizes that employees will be unable and unwilling to return to work to respond to the emergency if their personal affairs are not in order following an emergency. The Emergency Manager will include in the University training program, information on personal preparedness for employees who are Disaster Service Workers (DSW).

Personal preparedness activities include:

  • Having and maintaining an emergency kit at home and in car
  • Developing and practicing a family disaster plan
  • Having alternate child care plans following an emergency
  • Having alternate housing and/or meeting place plans following an emergency
  • Having plans for pets following an emergency
  • Having an out of area contact for family

Employees will also be encouraged to discuss their DSW responsibilities with their families so that the family is prepared for the employee’s need to return to work following an emergency.

3.3.2 Response Phase

Pre-Emergency Response

When a disaster is inevitable, actions are precautionary and emphasize protection of life. Typical responses might be:

  • Alerting necessary agencies, placing critical resources and personnel on stand-by
  • Reviewing the Emergency Operations Plan
  • Devising and Operations Plan based on known factors and risks
  • Evacuation of threatened populations to safe areas
  • Advising threatened populations of the emergency and apprising them of safety measures to be implemented
  • Identifying the need for mutual aid
Emergency Response

During this phase, emphasis is placed on saving lives and property, attempting to establish and maintain control of the situation and minimizing effects of the disaster. University personnel, including police and facilities services, will provide primary response, in coordination with fire and emergency medical personnel.

Sustained Emergency

In addition to continuing life and property protection operations, mass care, relocation, public information, situation analysis, status and damage assessment operations may also be initiated. Generally, an EOC will be activated to coordinate increased service and resource needs.

3.3.3 Recovery Phase

At the onset of an emergency, actions are taken to enhance the effectiveness of recovery operations. Recovery includes both short-term activities intended to return vital life-support systems to operation, and long-term activities designed to return infrastructure and service delivery systems to pre-disaster conditions. Recovery activities will likely be occurring in conjunction with continuity of operations programs (COOP).

The recovery period has major objectives which may overlap, including:

  • Provision of essential services.
  • Reinstatement of independent residential community
  • Restoration of education service delivery
  • Temporary and permanent restoration of infrastructure
  • Identification of residual hazards.
  • Plans to mitigate future hazards.
  • Recovery of costs associated with response and recovery efforts.
  • Coordination of State and Federal, private and public assistance.

3.3.4 Mitigation Phase

Mitigation refers to activities that are designed to reduce or eliminate risks to persons or property or lessen the actual or potential effects or consequences of an incident. To achieve these goals, the University will:

  • Identify areas of risk and develop and implement improvements to procedures and/or facilities
  • Be aware and vigilant against potential threats to the University due to civil unrest, terrorist or criminal incidents
  • Consider emergency response in the development of campus
  • Maintain a robust emergency preparedness program
  • Comply with and enforce building and fire codes and campus policies that ensure a safe environment
  • Incorporate improvements in the areas identified in prior emergency After Action Reports, as funding and resources allow

3.4 Sonoma County Operational Area

Sonoma State University functions within the greater emergency management structure of the Sonoma County Emergency Operational Area (California Government Code 8559 specifies that all political subdivisions located within a county are part of the Operational Area for that county; this includes federal, state, tribal and special district agencies). Governed by the County of Sonoma and operated by Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services, the Operational Area organization defines the specific roles and responsibilities for all parts of the emergency management organization.

These roles and responsibilities are outlined in the Sonoma County/Operational Area Emergency Operations Plan (Operational Area EOP) . The Emergency Management Organization consists of the Board of Supervisors, a county Director of Emergency Services, the Emergency Management Division of the Sonoma County Fire & Emergency Services Department, the Operational Area Emergency Council, Operational Area Emergency Coordinators Forum and various local response partners and special districts (see figure below). Sonoma State University is a member of the Operational Area Emergency Council and the Operational Area Emergency Coordinators group. These levels are described in detail below.

The County Board of Supervisors is the governing authority acting as the policy group for all emergency management activities in the Sonoma County Op Area. As the governing authority, they have established specific ordinances and agreements to conduct effective emergency management in the Op Area, in both disaster and non-disaster circumstances. The Op Area Emergency Council regularly consults with county Emergency Services personnel on matters affecting the jurisdictions of the Operational Area.

3.4.1 Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Management

County Code Chapter 10 identifies the lead agency for local emergency management efforts, as the Emergency Management Division of the Fire & Emergency Services Department. The Emergency Management Division consists of an Emergency Manager, Emergency Coordinators, an Urban Area Securities Initiative (UASI) Program Manager, a Chief Radio Operator and Auxiliary Communications Service volunteers.

During non-emergency times, Emergency Management personnel maintain the Op Area EOC in a constant state of readiness; coordinate planning and training efforts of the participating members of the emergency management organization, including regional projects through CAL OES and the Bay Area UASI; and ensure County owned emergency management and amateur band emergency communications systems are functioning by regular testing and evaluation. Emergency Management is available to monitor and respond to emergencies on a 24/7 basis through Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dispatch or the County Fire Duty Officer.

3.4.2 Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Council

The purpose of the Sonoma County/Operational Area Emergency Council is to meet state requirements to establish a local disaster council and authorize rules and regulations for dealing with local emergencies. Pursuant to Chapter 10, Sections 10-7 and 10-8 of the Sonoma County Code, the Sonoma County/Operational Area Emergency Council is empowered to study, revise, and recommend to the Board of Supervisors for adoption, the County’s emergency operations plan. The Emergency Council serves as the local Citizen Corps Council, and reviews and recommends action upon all proposed mutual aid agreements for the Operational Area. The Emergency Council may recommend resolutions, rules and regulations necessary to implement the County’s emergency operations plan or any mutual aid agreement entered into pursuant to such plan.

The Emergency Council meets twice a year with membership consisting of: the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, the Associate Vice President for Risk Management and Safety Services, the Sheriff, various Directors of County Departments, a representative from each of the incorporated cities and/or Joint Powers Authority (JPA) jurisdictions, public utilities, public schools, the general public, American Red Cross, the U.S. Coast Guard, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, California Highway Patrol, and the California National Guard (see figure below).

3.4.3 Operational Area Agreements

Due to the potential for a major catastrophe such a an earthquake, flood, fire or other natural or man-made disaster which could cause all governmental entitles with Sonoma County to share resources and information with each other and with the State of California, the incorporated cities and special districts within Sonoma County, including Sonoma State University, have agreed to participate in the Sonoma County Operation Area Emergency Management Organization through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA). In order to ensure an intermediate level of organization, cooperation and planning between public and private entities within the Sonoma County boundaries each participant has agreed to the following:

  • To participate in the Sonoma County Op Area Emergency Coordinator’s Forum
  • To share and disseminate disaster intelligence to the Sonoma County Op Area EOC
  • To train and exercise personnel as needed to apply effective disaster management within their own jurisdiction
  • To exchange resource requests between the cities and the Sonoma County Op Area
  • To designate a representative who is authorized to speak on behalf of the party at the Sonoma County Op Area Emergency Council

In accordance with the Standardized Emergency Management System and the local JPA, when a disaster occurs, the Sonoma County Op Area Emergency Management Organization assumes overall responsibility for coordinating and supporting emergency operations within the County/Op Area. When one of the city or jurisdictional EOCs activate and request Op Area EOC support, or two or more city or jurisdictional EOCs are activated, this would prompt the activation of the Sonoma County Op Area EOC. The Op Area EOC then becomes the focal point for information sharing and support requests by cities within the County. The Op Area EOC administers mutual aid requests for all fire, law, EMS, public works, emergency managers or other mutual aid through OES Mutual Aid Region II.

3.4.4 Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Coordinators Forum

The Sonoma County/Operational Area’s Emergency Coordinators Forum is a working group hosted by Sonoma County Fire & Emergency Services and composed of representatives from each of the cities, various county departments, state agencies, special districts, utilities, and disaster response and recovery related agencies. The group meets quarterly to discuss and coordinate emergency management, preparedness, training and disaster recovery-related issues.

3.5 Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is the system required by Government Code Section 8607(a) for managing response to multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional emergencies in California. SEMS consists of five organizational levels that are activated as necessary:

  • Field Response
  • Local Government (the University)
  • Operational Area (County)
  • Regional
  • State

SEMS incorporates the use of the Incident Command System (ICS), the Master Mutual Aid Agreement and existing mutual aid systems, the Operational Area Concept, the Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS) and multi-agency or inter-agency coordination. Local governments must use SEMS to be eligible for reimbursement of their personnel-related costs under state disaster assistance programs.

SEMS has been established to provide an effective response to multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction emergencies in California. By standardizing key elements of the emergency management system, SEMS is intended to:

  • Facilitate the flow of information within and between levels of the system
  • Facilitate coordination among all responding agencies

Use of SEMS improves the mobilization, deployment, utilization, tracking, and demobilization of needed mutual aid resources. Use of SEMS reduces the incidence of poor coordination and communications, and reduces resource ordering duplication on multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction responses. SEMS is flexible and adaptable to the varied disasters that occur in California and to the needs of all emergency responders.

3.5.1 Organizational Requirements

Coordination and communications will be established between the Sonoma County Operational Area EOC, other CSU system emergency preparedness staff and the university EOC, when activated.

SEMS will be utilized when the university activates its EOC or when a campus and local emergency has been declared or proclaimed. When the EOC is activated, communications and coordination will be established between the Incident Commander (in the field) and the EOC. Coordination of off campus fire and law enforcement resources will be accomplished through their respective mutual aid systems.

3.5.2 Responsibilities of SEMS Operational Levels

During emergency response, each operational area has specific responsibilities in providing mutual aid, support and coordination.

Field Response

The field response level is where emergency response personnel and resources, under the command of an appropriate authority, carry out tactical decisions and activities in direct response to an incident or threat. SEMS regulations require the use of ICS at the field response level of an incident.

University Response

As part of the Operational Area, the University is responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining a current Emergency Operations Plan that is compatible with the California Emergency Management Plan and the California Maser Mutual Aid Agreement and is compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and SEMS.
  • Participate in the Operational Area management organization.
  • Identifying staging areas to provide rally points for incoming mutual aid.
  • Responding to requests for mutual aid.
  • Dispatching situation reports through the Operational Area EOC as the emergency situation develops and as changes in the emergency situation dictate.
  • Requesting assistance from neighboring jurisdictions and/or the Operational Area, as necessary and feasible.
  • Receiving and deploying resources as may be provided by neighboring jurisdictions and state, federal, and private agencies.
  • Carrying out emergency regulations issued by the Governor.
Operational Area Response

The Sonoma County Operational Area accepts responsibility for:

  • Operating communications and warning systems
  • Providing information and guidance to the public
  • Maintaining information on the status of resources, services, and operations
  • Directing overall emergency management operations
  • Obtaining support for the Sonoma County Op Area from regional, state and federal resources and providing support to other jurisdictions as required
  • Identifying and analyzing potential hazards and recommending appropriate mitigations
  • Collecting, evaluating and sharing damage assessment and other+ essential information
Regional Response

Sonoma State University is located within the Coastal Regional Area (Region II) with offices located in Walnut Creek.

The primary mission of Coastal Region's emergency management organization is to support Operational Area response and recovery operations and to coordinate non-law, non-fire, and non-health Mutual Aid Regional response and recovery operations through the Regional EOC (REOC).

State Response

The Governor has delegated to OES and its Administrative and Mutual Aid Regions, the coordination of statewide emergency management and response operations during disaster and non-disaster periods. The state emergency management response operates out of the State Operations Center (SOC).

The SOC determines emergency management priorities and tasks. They coordinate state resources in response to requests from the regional level and coordinate mutual aid among the mutual aid regions and between the regional level and state level. The SOC serves as the coordination and communication link between the state and the federal emergency response system. They may request assistance from other state governments through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) and similar interstate compacts/agreements and coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when federal assistance is requested.

3.5.3 Critical SEMS Features

Management Functions

SEMS has five essential functions adapted from ICS. Field Response uses the five primary ICS functions: Command, Operations, Planning/Intelligence, Logistics and Finance/Administration. In an Emergency Operations Center at the local government (University), Operational Area, and Regional/State levels, the term Management is used instead of Command. The titles of the other functions remain the same at all levels.

The Management by Objectives feature of ICS as applied to SEMS means that each SEMS level establishes, for a given operational period, measurable and attainable objectives to be achieved. An objective is an aim or end of an action to be performed. Each objective may have one or more strategies and performance actions needed to achieve the objective. The operational period is the length of time set by command at the field level, and by management at other levels to achieve a given set of objectives. The operational period may vary in length from a few hours to days, and will be determined by the situation.

Action Planning

Action planning should be used at all SEMS levels. There are two types of action plans in SEMS:

Incident Action Plans

At the field response level, written or verbal incident action plans contain objectives reflecting the overall incident strategy and specific tactical action and supporting information for the next operational period. Incident action plans are an essential and required element in achieving objectives under ICS.

EOC Action Plans

At local, Operational Area, Regional and State levels, the use of EOC action plans provide designated personnel with knowledge of the objectives to be achieved and the steps required for achievement. Action plans not only provide direction, but they also serve to provide a basis for measuring achievement of objectives and overall system performance.

After Action Reporting

After Action Reports are required by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) any time the Emergency Operations Center is activated. The Director of Emergency Services will ensure that all responsible persons, Section Chiefs and Unit Leaders attend a critique or “Hot Wash”, generally occurring within 3 days of the closing of the operation. As a result of this meeting, individual reports will be submitted no later than 30 days after the closing of the EOC. The reports must include Corrective Actions, including who is responsible for the actions and when they are to be completed. A copy of the After Action Report must be sent to State OES (Regional Office) within 90 days of the EOC deactivation.

Modular Organization

In modular organization, only those elements of the organization required to meet the current objectives become activated, and all organizational elements can be arranged in various ways under SEMS essential functions (Management, Operations, Planning and Intelligence, Logistics, and Finance and Administration). Each activated element must have a person in charge of it. A supervisor may be in charge of more than one element. Those functions that are needed but not staffed will be the responsibility of the next higher element in the organization.

Organizational Unity

Every individual within the organization has a designated supervisor and hierarchy of command or management under the concept of organizational unity. All organizational elements within each activated level are linked together to form a single overall organization with an acceptable supervisor-to-staff ratio (span-of-control).

Span of Control

Maintenance of an acceptable span-of-control (supervisor-to-staff ratio) is the responsibility of every supervisor. The optimum span-of-control is one to five, meaning one supervisor has supervisory authority over five subordinates. The recommended span-of-control at all levels is one to three through one to seven. A larger span-of-control can be acceptable if the supervised positions are all performing a similar function.

Personnel and Expenditure Accountability

The intent of personnel and expenditure accountability is to ensure that there are proper safeguards in place so that all personnel and costs are accounted for at any time. This is accomplished through organizational unity and hierarchy of management using check-in forms, position logs, and other status-keeping systems.

Common Terminology

Common terms are used for all organizational elements, position titles, and facility designations and resources, ensuring consistency and standardization within and between all SEMS levels. It enables multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction organizations, and resources to work together rapidly and effectively. Common terminology will be practiced in radio, written and spoken communications.

Shared Resource Management

In SEMS, there are functional activities related to managing resources at all levels. Resource management describes the ways in which field resources are managed and how status is maintained. The management activity varies from level to level, from directing to controlling, coordination, and inventorying, and the procedures vary accordingly.

Integrated Communications

At the field level, integrated communications are used in any emergency. Throughout Command Centers and among SEMS levels, communications systems must be compatible; and planning and information flow must occur in an effective manner. Integrated communications refers to hardware systems, planning for system selection and linkage, and the procedures and processes for transferring information.

3.5 Mutual Aid System

Depending upon the severity and scope of an emergency, the University has a number of options in the acquisition of or provision of mutual aid. Mutual aid associated with major, regional emergencies is coordinated by the Operational Area and managed using SEMS to ensure that resources are managed in the most efficient and legally compliant manner. Mutual aid for smaller emergencies can be managed using University contracts and MOU, direct contact with local agencies, and/or mutual aid from within the CSU.

3.5.1 Statewide Mutual Aid

For management of mutual aid for major and/or regional emergencies, the statewide mutual aid system is codified in the California Disaster and Civil Defense Master Mutual Aid Agreement. All counties, incorporated cities, and the State of California have adopted the Agreement, which was developed in 1950. The Master Mutual Aid Agreement creates a formal structure wherein each local jurisdiction retains control of its own facilities, personnel, and resources, but may also receive or render assistance to other jurisdictions within the State. Written policies and procedures have been developed for several disciplines that function on a statewide basis.

Due to size and geography, the State is divided into six Mutual Aid Regions. During an emergency, these regions coordinate and share resources in the area of fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, public health, coroner, emergency managers, hazardous materials, public utilities, engineers, building inspectors and search and rescue. The Office of Emergency Services provides administrative oversight for the mutual aid regions through three Administrative Region Offices.

For resources (personnel or equipment/supplies) that do not have discipline specific mutual aid systems, requests should be made through the University EOC to the County Operational Area EOC. Requests should specify, at a minimum:

  • Number and type of personnel needed
  • Type and amount of equipment needed
  • Reporting time and location
  • To whom forces should report
  • Access routes
  • Estimated duration of operations
  • Risks and hazards

The Operations and Logistics Sections of the Sonoma County Op Area EOC will be responsible for tracking requests for equipment, resources and personnel under existing mutual aid and CAL OES procedures.

3.5.2 Local Incident Mutual Aid

The University may request mutual aid from any public agency during an emergency. Aid may be provided by a neighboring community based on their ability and willingness to provide personnel and/or resources. Contracts with providing agencies will generally be required, but these may be authorized after the emergency condition has passed and services have been rendered.

The California State University consists of 23 campuses in the state which operate under the same authority, granted by the CSU Board of Trustees, and managed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office. While each campus is administered independently by the campus President, all CSU campuses share common authority, legal and administrative requirements, employee collective bargaining agreements, and other conditions which make the provision of mutual aid easier to request, manage and reconcile. Additionally, most CSU campuses include similar administrative departments such as procurement, human resources, payroll, and facilities management, which provides for a significantly large and trained workforce.

When local resources are not available and/or when assistance is not needed within hours, assistance from other CSU’s should be considered. Specific mutual aid requests that should be considered include:

  • Police
  • Mental Health
  • Medical
  • Facilities/Trades
  • Human Resources
  • Payroll
  • Residential
  • Emergency Management
  • Parking/Traffic
  • Library
  • Information Technology/CMS
  • Procurement/Accounting
  • Environmental Health & Safety

When making requests to other campuses, it is important to understand that campuses must ensure their operational needs are met before freeing resources (physical or human) for mutual aid. Smaller campuses may not be able to provide large number of employees or send employees for significant periods of time if such a commitment would impact their home campus significantly.

3.5.3 Requests for Mutual Aid

The Sonoma County Operational Area EOC is managed by the County of Sonoma and serves as the coordinator for the regional area and manages local mutual aid agreements. For current agreements, refer to the Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Operations Plan.

Requests not being managed or coordinated by the Operational Area should be made in writing, when possible. While initiating or confirming the request in person or by phone may be appropriate, it is important to document the request and any conditions placed on the request by either agency. Requests for equipment or personnel should include the specific need, length of time needed, reimbursement conditions (if known), and conditions for travel and lodging, if applicable. Specific needs may include:

  • Classification/type of employee
  • Number of employees
  • Specialized training or skills, if applicable
  • Equipment that employees should bring (for example: vehicle, laptop, mobile phone, tools)

3.5.4 Provision of Mutual Aid

Sonoma State University will provide mutual aid, based on availability, upon:

  • Request from other CSU campuses for emergency assistance and support. When SSU is not affected, the Emergency Services and Business Continuity Manager or designee will function as the university liaison to other CSU campus
  • Request from another Emergency Operations Center during an emergency to coordinate local response efforts

Sonoma State University may provide mutual aid, based on availability, upon:

  • Request from local governments that have declared a Local Emergency.
  • Direction from the Office of Emergency Services (OES) to render emergency assistance.
  • Gubernatorial declaration of a state of emergency in an area including the University
  • The proclamation of a state of war emergency as defined in California Emergency
  • Services Act (Chapter 7, Division 1, Title 2, California Government Code).
  • A Federal declaration of a national emergency.

3.6 National Incident Management System (NIMS)

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a modular emergency management system designed for all hazards and levels of emergency response. This system creates a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communication operating within a standardized organizational structure. The system is used by the Department of Homeland Security and throughout the United States as the basis for emergency response management.

NIMS includes the following components:

  • Command and Management, including the Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Communications and Information Management
  • Preparedness
  • Resource Management
  • Supporting Technologies
  • Joint Information System (JIS)
  • NIMS Management and Maintenance

The California SEMS system was used a model for the federal government to develop NIMS. While the SEMS system requirements generally meet and/or exceed the requirements of NIMS, the University will be aware of and ensure compliance with NIMS at all times.

3.7 National Response Framework

The National Response Framework (NRF) is the core operational plan for national incident management, and establishes national-level coordinating structures, processes, and protocols that will be incorporated into certain existing Federal interagency incident- or hazard-specific plans. The NRF facilitates coordination among tribal, local, State, and Federal governments and the private sector without impinging on any group’s jurisdiction or restricting the ability of those entities to do their job. The NRP does not alter or impede the ability of first responders to carry out their specific authorities or perform their responsibilities.

The NRF and National Incident Management System (NIMS) are companion documents designed to improve the Nation’s incident management capabilities and overall efficiency. Use of SEMS/NIMS enables Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and private-sector and non-governmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from actual or potential domestic incidents regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Together, the NRF, EOP, and SEMS/NIMS integrate the capabilities and resources of various governmental jurisdictions, incident management and emergency response disciplines, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector into a cohesive, coordinated, and seamless national framework for domestic incident management.

3.8 Organizational Considerations

The five essential ICS functions in SEMS/NIMS are identified as 'sections' in the EOC. All other functions are organized as branches, groups or units within these sections. The types of functions and their relationship to one another will depend upon jurisdictional and agency responsibilities and the size and nature of the incident. Only functional elements that are required to meet current objectives will be activated. Those functions that are needed but not staffed will be the responsibility of the next higher element in the organization.

3.9 Emergency Declarations

The declaration of a state of emergency has a number of effects, including the activation of the emergency plan, possible suspension of Collective Bargaining Agreements and a multitude of state and federal regulations and eligibility for certain mutual aid and cost recovery. An emergency affecting the University may be declared by any combination of the following means.

3.9.1 University Emergency

The University President, or highest ranking available administrator, may declare a “Campus Emergency” when conditions exist that threatens the ability of the University, operating under normal conditions, to safeguard the lives and property of the University community or when necessary to maintain the orderly conduct of University business (California Administrative Code, Title 5, Sections 41302 and 42402). Whenever possible, this will be done in coordination with the Office of the Chancellor.

Declaration of a Campus Emergency by the President has the following effects:

  • It activates the Emergency Operations Plan
  • It facilitates campus participation in mutual assistance in the event of declaration of local emergency and/or State of Emergency
  • It ensures that supervisors are acting under Presidential delegation in directing activities outside the regular scope of employees’ duties and helps ensure appropriate payment of workers’ compensation, reimbursement for extraordinary expenses, and federal disaster relief, where applicable

3.9.2 Local/Operational Emergency

At the county level, a Local Emergency may be proclaimed by the Director of Emergency Services (County Administrator) or designee in accordance with the ordinance adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors must ratify a Local Emergency proclaimed by the Director of Emergency Services within seven days. The governing body must review the need to continue the proclamation at least every thirty days until the Local Emergency is terminated. The Local Emergency must be terminated by resolution as soon as conditions warrant.

The proclamation of a Local Emergency provides the governing body with the legal authority to:

  • If necessary, request that the Governor proclaim a State of Emergency
  • Promulgate or suspend orders and regulations necessary to provide for the protection of life and property, including issuing orders or regulations imposing a curfew within designated boundaries
  • Exercise full power to provide mutual aid to any affected area in accordance with local ordinances, resolutions, emergency plans, or agreements
  • Request state agencies and other jurisdictions to provide mutual aid
  • Require the emergency services of any local official or employee
  • Requisition necessary personnel and materials from any local department or agency
  • Obtain vital supplies and equipment and, if required, immediately commandeer the same for public use
  • Impose isolation or quarantine orders or otherwise restrict public activities, as well as control or destroy objects that pose imminent menace to the public health
  • Impose penalties for violation of lawful orders
  • Conduct emergency operations without incurring legal liability for performance, or failure of performance. (Note: Article 17 of the Emergency Services Act provides for certain privileges and immunities.)

3.9.3 State of Emergency

The Governor may proclaim a State of Emergency when:

  • Conditions of disaster or extreme peril exist which threaten the safety of persons and property within the state caused by natural or man-made incidents.
  • The Governor is requested to do so by local authorities
  • The Governor finds that local authority is inadequate to cope with the emergency

Whenever the Governor proclaims a State of Emergency:

  • Mutual aid shall be rendered in accordance with approved emergency plans when the need arises in any county, city and county, or city for outside assistance
  • The Governor shall, to the extent he deems necessary, have the right to exercise all police power vested in the state by the Constitution and the laws of the State of California within the designated area
  • jurisdictions may command the aid of citizens as deemed necessary to cope with an emergency
  • The Governor may suspend the provisions of orders, rules or regulations of any state agency; and any regulatory statute or statute prescribing the procedure for conducting state business
  • The Governor may commandeer or make use of any private property or personnel (other than the media) in carrying out the responsibilities of his office
  • The Governor may promulgate, issue and enforce orders and regulations deemed necessary
  • The Governor can request additional assistance by asking for a Presidential declaration

3.9.4 State of War Emergency

If the Governor was to proclaim a State of War Emergency, or if a State of War Emergency exists, all provisions associated with a State of Emergency apply, plus:

  • All state agencies and political subdivisions are required to comply with the lawful orders and regulations of the Governor which are made or given within the limits of his authority as provided for in the Emergency Services Act.

3.9.5 Presidential Declaration

At the Federal level, an Emergency Declaration may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. Declarations are normally made when there is a large regional incident or threat of disaster, or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property caused by natural or man-made situations. The President may Declare an Emergency when:

  • Conditions of disaster or extreme peril exist which threaten the safety of persons and property within the Country caused by natural or man-made incidents.
  • The President is requested to do so by the California Governor
  • The President finds that State authority is inadequate to cope with the emergency

Whenever the President Declares an Emergency:

  • The President may authorize Federal essential assistance
  • The President may authorize public assistance
  • The President may authorize individual assistance
  • The President may authorize Federal mutual aid
  • The President may authorize mitigation funds

3.10 Campus Closure

Depending upon current and/or forecast conditions, the University President may order a closure of campus. Campus closures may amount to a suspension of non-essential campus activities or a full campus closure. The suspension of non-essential activities includes suspension/cancellation of academic classes and non-essential administrative and operational duties. During a suspension, campus may remain open, although people are cautioned against coming to campus due to hazardous conditions. Suspensions may be due to power outage, hazardous weather, or other conditions that affect the ability of campus to function normally.

A campus closure may also intend to order the closure of campus roadways and buildings due to more significant or disruptive hazards, such as dangerous weather conditions, ongoing utility outages, or other conditions that pose a direct hazard to persons on campus. During a campus closure, only those personnel who have been instructed to return to campus to perform essential duties are authorized to be on campus.

Closures will be referred to as “Hard Closures,” “Soft Closures,” or “Suspensions.” The process for assessing campus closure and level of closure is found in Appendix III.

Communications regarding campus closures should clarify, to the extent possible, the scope and intention of the closure.

University Police, Emergency Services, and Facilities Services will consult regarding the best mechanism to effect and/or enforce the closure order.

3.10.1 Designated Response Employees

Designated Responders are those employees who perform services that must continue during emergencies when the University has closed or suspended/cancelled routine operations. Positions that are designated typically meet one or more of the following criteria on a regular and ongoing basis or for defined time periods. Critical needs may vary based upon the nature of the emergency.

Designated responders are in positions that are necessary to support or maintain:

  • Human health, welfare, and/or safety
  • Information technology services or security
  • Building or property security, safety, and integrity
  • Research animals, specimens, or equipment
  • Critical infrastructure (power, water, heat, roads, etc.)
  • Critical business, contractual, or legal obligations, including employee payroll

Appropriate administrators are responsible for ensuring that their employees know if they are designated responders and providing them applicable instructions for recall and response.

Any personnel who are authorized to return to campus to work during any campus closure should not be provided assurances of pay status or other employment conditions at the time of authorization or order to work. Human Resources will review and evaluate all authorized work assignments and communicate such conditions to employees directly.

3.11 Emergency Notifications

As required by the Jeanne Clery Act (34 CFR 668.46(e)), it is the University’s practice that, once the scope of an emergency, critical incident, disaster or situation that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community has been professionally assessed, emergency notification will be made using the campus emergency notification system (ENS) and any other means available to communicate critical information to members of the campus community.

Emergency notification is directed by California State University Executive Order 1107. The information below relates to SSU’s operational procedures for the ENS. Please refer to the Executive Order for the systemwide policy for activation of the ENS.

3.11.1 Objectives

The overall objectives of the Emergency Notification function are to:

  • Provide a process where the campus community is advised of potential or existing hazards.
  • Protect lives by issuing alerts that may lessen potential risks.
  • Provide emergency notifications as soon as is reasonably feasible based on the nature of the emergency.

3.11.2 Concept of Operations

The campus Emergency Notification function will be coordinated by Police Services and/or the Public Information Officer (PIO). Performance of this function shall be in accordance with established procedures and will involve two distinct stages.

  • Stage One - During the first few hours of the emergency, University Police & Safety Services staff will provide emergency notifications to the campus community. When possible, the Public Information Officer will be consulted.
  • Stage Two - Once the EOC has been activated Emergency Notifications will be managed by the Public Information Officer in coordination with the Incident Commander and Management Team.

3.11.3 General Plan

The University ENS is an integrated system that allows for simultaneous notification to subscribers using text message, email, and/or voice mail. All campus employees and students are opted-in to the program using campus email and, for employees, campus telephones. Students and employees who have entered a mobile phone number in the campus-wide online services system will automatically be subscribed to text messages and mobile telephone calls. Employees and students are encouraged to enter their mobile phone numbers to ensure that they receive ENS messages.

Note: Because the ENS is an opt-out system and users have not agreed to a “clear and conspicuous disclosure” to authorize the use of text message for contact, Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) regulations limit the use of the ENS only during emergencies, or for communication directly related to the emergency (i.e., to cancel the emergency or clarify). Once the emergency is stable, other means must be used for communication. (See the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA – 47 U.S.C. 227))

All emergencies should be reported to University Police, without delay. The responding officer will determine, based on the department Major Incident Notification procedure if the Chief of Police, University Emergency Manager, or other University executive should be notified. The first person to receive notification is responsible for ensuring that the process for evaluation for activation of the ENS is initiated by the appropriate parties.

Incidents will be assessed by Police Services responders, the Chief of Police, the University Emergency Manager, the Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Vice President of Administration and Finance, the and/or University President or his or her designee. Depending upon the nature of the emergency, other personnel that are specific to the type of incident, such as a fire Official in the event of a fire, or an Environmental Health and Safety official in the event of a chemical spill, may also be consulted. The evaluation of an emergency should not be delayed due to the absence or unavailability of any of these persons.

To confirm if the situation may be considered an “emergency” for activation of the ENS, the following will be evaluated:

  1. The incident is occurring or threat/hazard is on campus or has created a condition that directly affects the campus
  2. The situation is a legitimate emergency or dangerous situation
  3. The emergency or dangerous situation poses an immediate threat to members of the campus community

If the emergency is confirmed, the Chief of Police, Emergency Manager, and other campus authorities will, without delay, take into account the safety of the community, determine the content and audience of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless the notification will, in the professional judgment of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist victims, jeopardize a criminal investigation, or jeopardize efforts to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. Those composing the message(s) and making response recommendations will consider the needs of specific community groups when providing instructions. For example, the ability or preference to recommend evacuation or sheltering in place may vary for campus residents, commuter students, employees, or minor children on campus.

The ENS allows for notification to all persons subscribed on campus or select persons based on classification (student versus employee, for example) or other predefined groups. Notifications using the ENS will be sent to all subscribers unless specific circumstances are present that justify the inclusion of only a specific group.

In addition to the ENS, emergency notification may be made using public address systems on emergency vehicles, bullhorns, University-wide e-mails, the University website, and through the Sonoma State University Emergency Information Hotline. If an emergency affects only a portion of campus or a sub-set of the community, communications can be targeted using other means, including campus email, telephone calls, public address, and/or bullhorns. The location and scope of the incident, severity of the incident, anticipated length of the emergency and/or the population on campus at the time are all considerations that will be taken when evaluating the target audience for the notification.

Even when targeted notifications are made, general community notifications will be considered as it is in the interest of the entire community to be aware of even localized emergencies. Emergency information will be communicated to the greater community using local and regional media, social media (Facebook, Twitter), the University web page, and the University Emergency Hotline. Communication using these means is coordinated by the Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications or her/his designee.

In order to protect the health and safety of all community members, the University is committed to providing prompt emergency notification(s) including, as the emergency allows, instructions to evacuate, shelter in-place, initiate lockdown, or the relocation of members of the campus community from high-risk areas to low-risk assembly areas.

Emergency information transmitted to the campus community will generally include:

  • Type/kind of emergency
  • Life-saving instructions (shelter in-place, lock-down, active shooter)
  • Class and/or building closures
  • Road and/or area closures
  • Evacuation instructions, routes of egress

All members of campus must understand that emergencies are dynamic and progress rapidly. Therefore, some information may not be communicated when it is unknown, rapidly changing, or may pose a threat to others.

Following an emergency, information will be made available as soon as possible at the Campus Emergency Information Line at 888-533-5388. Additionally, the campus website will be updated to include information about the incident that is accessible from the homepage.

3.11.4 ENS Testing

The Emergency Notification System will be tested at least once per year to all subscribers. This test is intended to ensure that all subscribers are being reached by the notification and to validate the delivery time for the message.

Additionally, those persons authorized to send out messages will participate in a closed group test at least quarterly. During these tests, each participant will login to either the mobile or desktop application, select participants (from the closed test group), compose and send a message. This test is intended to ensure that each person who sends messages knows their user name and password and is familiar with both the mobile and desktop applications.

3.12 Continuity of Operations

Despite the need to respond to critical conditions associated with an emergency or disaster, it is necessary that the governing functions of the University continue during the response.

3.12.1 Purpose

The California Government Code, the State Constitution and the Emergency Services Act provide legal authority for the continuity and preservation of government in the event the individuals appointed to key positions are unable to serve. The concept of continuity of government is comprised of three elements:

  • Standby officers for the governing body
  • Alternate seat of government
  • Preservation of vital records

To ensure the orderly continued operations of the university, the President may delegate functions to other administrators. However, this delegation does not remove final authority and responsibility from the President. This plan does not specifically identify the University’s continuity operations, which are outlined in the campus Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). Departmental Plans cover the recovery process in detail, describing roles and responsibilities for each area.

3.12.2 Lines of Succession

The University President is responsible for declaring the line of succession in the event that he/she is unable to assume administrative responsibility and authority over campus during an emergency. This will be done through the “Administrator in Charge” presidential memorandum. If the “Administrator in Charge” memorandum is exhausted or cannot otherwise be observed, the Office of the Chancellor is responsible for the appointment of the alternate Acting President.

The designee will conduct response and recovery operations until the President returns to campus. The President, or in his/her absence, his/her designee, has the authority to:

  • Declare a campus emergency
  • Issue a closure of campus or suspension of operations order
  • Activate the EOC and direct emergency operations
  • Assume any other duties required by the Plan Executive during an emergency
  • Assume any other duties delegated to the President through existing statute, regulation, or official order
  • Approve policies associated with the emergency

The line of succession for department heads, chairs, deans, or administrators is established according to individual department operations procedures and is documented in Department Emergency Plans.

3.12.3 Preservation of Vital Records

There are instances where extra protection and security of vital records will be necessary, such as in the case of fire or flood. Other examples are a serious emergency, such as an earthquake or another major emergency where evacuation, sheltering or the closure of campus is the recommended protective action. It is essential that procedures be implemented to provide not only emergency response but proactive measures as well. Without steps to protect records and a plan for recovery, the University will not be able to meet its legal and ethical obligations following an emergency or disaster.

When possible, records that may be retained electronically should be identified and transferred to electronic storage to ensure redundancy and preservation after an emergency. Records that require original signature or lose legal or cultural relevance in an electronic format should be protected to the extent possible.

Vital records are defined as those records that are essential to:

  • Protect the rights and interests of individuals – Examples include student transcripts, business records, personnel records, student patient records, Hazardous Material Management Plan(s) and criminal record information
  • Conduct emergency response and recovery operations – Records of this type include personnel rosters, Emergency Action Plans, utility system maps, building diagrams and blueprints, and locations of emergency supplies and equipment
  • Reestablish normal administrative functions – Included in this group are financial records, payroll records and purchase orders
  • Educational – Faculty and staff research, journal articles, grant materials, exams and grades.

Each department is responsible for designating a custodian for vital records and ensuring that vital record storage and preservation is accomplished. Vital records storage methods that might be utilized include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Duplication (either hard copy at alternate location or electronic on network or removable storage device)
  • Dispersal to alternate locations
  • Fireproof containers
  • Vault Storage (on or off campus)

The custodians of records in all departments on campus are responsible for ensuring that vital records are protected and recoverable following an emergency. Information Technology, as part of the Disaster Recovery Plan, develops systems for the safe storage and recovery of electronic records using off-site storage facilities. Extraordinary electronic storage needs should be discussed with the Chief Information Officer as part of a department’s business continuity planning.

4 Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a facility for centralized direction and control of the emergency organization and the campus community. During a declared emergency, the EOC will be activated and staffed to the extent required.

An EOC provides a central location of authority and information, and allows for face-to-face coordination among personnel who must make emergency decisions. The following functions may be performed in the University EOC:

  • Managing and coordinating emergency operations
  • Receiving and disseminating emergency information
  • Developing emergency policies and procedures
  • Collecting intelligence from and disseminating information to the various EOC representatives, and, as appropriate, to County, City, special district and State agencies, military, and federal agencies.
  • Preparing intelligence/information summaries, situation reports, operational reports, and other reports as required.
  • Maintaining general and specific maps, information display boards, and other data pertaining to emergency operations.
  • Continuing analysis and evaluation of all data pertaining to emergency operations
  • Directing, controlling and coordinating, within established policy, the operational and logistical support of Op Area resources committed to the emergency.
  • Maintaining contact and coordination with other local government EOCs, the County Operational Area EOC and the Coastal Region REOC.
  • Providing emergency information and instructions to the public, making official releases to the news media and the scheduling of press conferences as necessary.

4.1 Organizational Structure

The organizational chart shows the organizational structure of the University’s full EOC. Depending on the incident, only some of the sections and branches may be activated. Additional branches and units may also be activated as well.

4.2 Location

The primary facility is located in the Schulz Information Center, Room 2016. This location does not have emergency power and may only be used when electricity is available.

In the event of an EOC activation is necessary during a power outage or in the event that the Schulz Information Center is otherwise unavailable, the EOC will be activated in secondary location at the University Police building. The designated EOC includes emergency power and adequate data and telephone lines for full activation. View the EOC Roster. 

4.2.1 Alternate Locations

Alternate sites include the Student Center, Cooperage, Schulz 1121 and PE 15. These sites, however, do not include emergency infrastructure for power and data connections.

4.3 EOC Activation/Deactivation

The role of the EOC is to provide coordination and institutional direction to support field operations. Field operations retain control over tactical decisions and direction of field personnel. Field personnel or University management may recommend the activation of the EOC when field personnel can no longer support field operations without additional staffing, logistics, intelligence, or funding.

When an emergency occurs, it may not be possible or appropriate to delay activating the EOC until such time as an emergency declaration has been made. While emergency field response is the highest priority, mobilization of EOC members and set up of the facility is time consuming and should commence as soon as it is known that activation is appropriate.

Emergency responders should follow the normal department chain of command for notification of major incidents. Activation of the EOC may be requested to the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, Patrol Commander, or EOC Director.

Upon activation of the EOC, the Operations Chief, in coordination with the EOC Director and the Incident Commander/Plan Executive, will determine which sections will be activated. Sections Chiefs will be notified. Each Chief will be briefed and then will determine which branches will be activated from his/her section.

Deactivation of the EOC will be made by the Incident Commander. Generally, deactivation orders should be made in consultation with the EOC Director or other police personnel trained in emergency response as an active EOC provides the structure necessary for mutual aid assistance and cost recovery efforts.

4.3.1 Activation Levels

Three levels of operation have been identified, relative to the magnitude of the emergency.

  • Level 1: The emergency can be managed using normal response operations but the possibility for escalating emergency is present; represents a heightened state of readiness
  • Level 2: The emergency requires a multi-unit response in which the EOC may be partially activated. Selected EOC staff will be notified and asked to mobilize.
  • Level 3: The emergency cannot be managed using normal campus resources. The Plan Executive ensures that the EOC is fully activated with response of necessary EOC staff. A campus state of emergency is likely to be declared during a Level 3 emergency.

4.4 EOC Equipment/Supplies

The EOC Director is responsible the inventory and maintenance of the EOC Equipment and Supplies. A quarterly check for all supplies, including the operational readiness of electronic and network equipment, will be conducted and documented. See appendix for EOC supply checklists.

During training, exercises and planning, Section Chiefs are encouraged to review section inventory and request to the EOC Director any supplies and equipment that the Chief believes would benefit their operation in the event of an emergency.

4.4.1 Emergency-Specific Information & Equipment

Before, during and after an emergency or disaster, there is specific information, equipment and/or supplies that will be necessary for the successful development and implementation of action plans and other response activities. It is the responsibility of the Emergency Manager to develop sources for such materials during the planning phase and to assist EOC members in the identification and acquisition of such materials before, during, and after an emergency.

Specific information regarding suggested references for emergency-specific information and equipment will be included on all hazard-specific checklists and/or action plans. Contact information for support agencies can be found in the emergency directory in the EOC.

Information that may be needed includes:

  • Weather Reports
  • Law Enforcement/Intelligence Information
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Reports
  • Crime Statistics/Crime Logs/Local Crime Reports
  • Emergency regulations/laws
  • Operational Area Action Plans
  • CalFire/Local Fire Reports

Equipment/Supplies include:

  • Special medical equipment
  • Food/Water
  • Sandbags
  • Communication devices
  • Sanitation supplies

4.5 Communications

EOC communications with the campus community and the public following a disaster will be coordinated by the Public Information Officer. The EOC has several methods of communication with the campus community and the public. Depending on the scope of the disaster and the type of information to be disseminated, the EOC can use one or a combination of the following methods to provide information.

  • The campus Emergency Notification System and website.
  • Electronic and voice mail, telephone trees, and dedicated telephone lines.
  • The campus emergency information line at (888) 533-5388.
  • The emergency call center (when activated)
  • Social media
  • The County emergency alert system.
  • Public announcement through electronic (television and radio) and print media.

4.6 EOC Organization

The organization of the EOC will be evaluated and renewed annually. The evaluation will include both a review of the position titles, functions, placements, and appointments. EOC organization and membership should be approved by the Emergency Executive as defined by Executive Order 1056.

4.7 EOC Position Descriptions and Responsibilities

The Incident Command System and the structure of the EOC is designed to ensure segregation of duties and unity of command. Successful management of an emergency is reliant upon these principles and a command structure that emphasizes these concepts.

The following sections describe the responsibilities of the designated sections of the EOC and the role they play in the management of the University in the event of an emergency. Detailed position guides for each branch or unit can be found in the EOC Manual Annex.

4.7.1 Policy Group

The Policy Group provides leadership to both the EOC and to campus during critical incidents and emergencies. The Policy Group is responsible for providing policy and setting incident response priorities. The Policy Group is charged with making decisions regarding short and long term campus operations based on information provided by the Emergency Operations Center staff.

The University President, or designee in his/her absence, leads the Policy Group. All other members serve as advisors unless otherwise delegated expressed authority by the President.

4.7.2 EOC Management and General Staff

The EOC General Staff is responsible for overall management and coordination of the incident response and recovery. The General Staff provide guidance and leadership to all sections of the EOC. They will regularly consult with the Policy Group, all Section Chiefs, the Continuity Response Team, and the Chancellor’s Office. The EOC Director serves as the direct contact for the Policy Group.

EOC Director

The Vice President for Administration & Finance serves as the head of the EOC General Staff and commands all EOC personnel. Conflict between sections or between desired goals and functional limitations should be mitigated to the extent possible by the EOC Director with the goal of fulfillment of the University Emergency Operations Plan and priorities set by the Policy Group. The EOC Director assumes functional responsibility for any section not staffed by a section Chief during a Level I or II activation.

EOC Deputy Director

The EOC Deputy Director provides support and counsel to the EOC Director and serves as the overall coordinator of all EOC sections and provides functional instruction and consultation to each Section and the Management Team to ensure that emergency operations are conducted within the proper operational, state and federal framework.

The EOC Director may delegate responsibility for unstaffed sections to the EOC Deputy Director. The Deputy Director will also serve as the primary contact with the Sonoma County Operational Area EOC, CalOES, FEMA, and other emergency relief agencies during response and recovery.

4.7.3 Operations

The Operations Section is under the supervision of the Operations Section Chief who is in charge of all functions within the Operations Section. The Operations Section directs all operational resources and coordinates mutual aid resources. The Operations Section is responsible for coordinating with the field incident Commanders.

The specific responsibilities of the Operation Section include:

  • Providing services to ensure the life safety of the campus community, including law enforcement, fire protection and suppression, emergency medical services and facilities protection
  • Managing public health emergency related issues including treatment of contagious populations, management of the deceased, and pandemic/epidemic infected populations
  • Initial assessment of campus facilities
  • Emergency communications
  • Evacuation, movement, assembly and/or registration of residential and non-residential survivors
  • Medical, fire and rescue responses
  • Mutual aid coordination
  • Safety and shelter in place orders
  • Mitigation of immediate threats

4.7.4 Planning / Intelligence

The Planning/Intelligence Section is under the supervision of the Planning/Intelligence Section Chief. The duties and responsibilities of the Planning/Intelligence Section include the gathering and analysis of all data regarding the incident and establishing the short and long term goals for the response, in consultation with EOC and field personnel. The Planning/Intelligence Section maintains the incident log, EOC display maps, and charts. The Planning/Intelligence Section is also responsible for preparing situation reports, assessing damage, conducting planning meetings, documenting all EOC activities, and assisting in the preparation of the Action Plan.

Specifically, the Planning Section is responsible for:

  • Developing an action plan for the established operational period
  • Evaluating the extent of damage to University infrastructure and the impact on University operations
  • Developing recovery projections
  • Coordinating restoration of academic and instructional activity
  • Coordinating the deployment of transportation and equipment

Depending on the nature of the emergency, the Planning Section may be responsible for the acquisition and deployment of Technical Specialists in an emergency. Technical Specialists are individuals with a specific knowledge base or skill set in an area of expertise unique to an incident. This may include experts in utility systems, weather prediction and forecasting, building inspection, communications, hazardous materials or public health.

4.7.4 Logistics

The Logistics Section is under the supervision of the Logistics Section Chief and provides all emergency support needs. The Logistics Section orders all resources, manages staff and volunteer personnel, and provides communications, facilities, personnel, transportation, supplies, equipment, fuel, food, and shelter as required. Coordination of private sector and technical resources will be the responsibility of the Logistics Chief and his/her section in the EOC.

The specific duties of the Logistics Section include:

  • Providing food, care, counseling, and shelter to residential and non-residential populations
  • Distribution of acquired resources
  • Securing communications between the University and off-campus mutual aid agencies
  • Securing and coordinating communication systems and ensuring that the University information technology infrastructure is available and prioritized for use
  • Identifying and recalling University staff for duty
  • Managing community volunteers

4.7.5 Finance

The Finance Section provides for the tracking of the time worked by all emergency personnel involved in the incident, manages the procurement of resources, approves contracts, provides cost analysis and projections, and records any and all injury and property claims for compensation.

The Finance Section must carefully oversee the administration of emergency operations and expenditures to ensure that activities are properly documented and in compliance with University, state and federal requirements. Improper financial record keeping places potential cost recovery associated with emergency declaration at risk.

Additionally, the Finance Section works closely with Operations, Planning, and Logistics to:

  • Establish contracts
  • Provide for purchasing of equipment, materials and supplies
  • Maintaining documentation
  • Prepare cost estimates

5 Training & Exercises

The objective of the Emergency Management Organization is effective and timely response during emergencies. A good plan is a first step toward that objective, but planning alone will not guarantee preparedness. Training is a vital element of the campus Emergency Management Plan.

The goals of the training plan include the following:

  • Test and evaluate plans, policies, and procedures
  • Identify plan weaknesses
  • Identify gaps in resources
  • Improve interagency coordination
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Train personnel in roles and responsibilities
  • Improve individual performance
  • Establish campus community confidence and support
  • Adhere to regulations and requirements

An essential element of the training program is emergency simulation exercises that allow personnel to become thoroughly familiar with the procedures, facilities, and systems that will actually be used in emergencies. These exercises are carried out in several formats.

Drill - A drill is a coordinated, supervised activity to test a single specific operation or function. The drill is used to provide training with equipment, develop new policies or procedures, or practice and maintain current skills.

Exercise - An exercise is a single practice activity and is a rehearsal of a simulated emergency. Members of the campus perform tasks that would be expected of them in a real emergency. There are three basic types of exercises:

  • Tabletop - A tabletop exercise simulates an emergency in an informal, stress-free environment. It is designed to elicit constructive discussion as participants examine and resolve problems based on the existing Emergency Operations Plan. There is minimal attempt at simulation, use of equipment, or deployment of resources.
  • Functional - A functional exercise is a fully simulated exercise, which tests the capability of the campus to respond to a simulated emergency by testing one or more functions of the campus Emergency Management Plan.
  • Full Scale - The full-scale exercise is as close to a real disaster as possible. It is a field exercise designed to evaluate the operational capability of emergency management systems in a highly stressful environment, which simulates actual response conditions.

5.1.1 Training Plan

Sonoma State University is committed to providing the following emergency exercises (per Executive Order 1056) and trainings:

  • Marshal Trainings: Marshal trainings will be scheduled biennially and will focus on evacuation and lockdown procedures, emergency training for area employees, how to report emergencies and campus emergency response.
  • Tabletop Trainings: EOC personnel will do tabletop exercises annually to practice their roles in the EOC.
  • Drill: A drill will be held on campus at least once per year.
  • Functional Exercise: A functional exercise, including EOC activation, will be held biennially.
  • Full Scale Exercise: A full scale exercise will be held once every five years

Activation of the EOC in response to an actual emergency or disaster will count as training in meeting the requirements of this section provided such emergency is well documented and discussed with the campus emergency management team.

5.1.2 Documentation

At the completion of each exercise or simulated emergency incident, full documentation of test results and lessons learned shall be documented in the form of an After Action Report, reviewed with the campus emergency management team, and maintained by the emergency manager or emergency coordinator consistent with guidelines found in EO 1031 (Systemwide Records/Information Retention and Dispositions). Such reports will be made available to the System wide Office of Risk Management upon request.

Section B
All-Hazard Response Plan

6 Situational Overview

Sonoma State University recognizes that the planning process must address each hazard that could possibly threaten the campus. The regional area is vulnerable to a wide range of threats. The University has a both a number of unique features that make planning for emergencies especially critical and challenging and others that are beneficial in response to a major emergency. These characterizations are very important in planning the response for each type of hazard and in the development of the EOP.

The University is comprised of the main campus property in Rohnert Park, California and a number of additional sites that are used for scientific research and other academic ventures (see Section 2.3.1). Due to the small and transient occupancy of the other sites, the situational analysis and hazard assessment of campus covers only the Rohnert Park campus, unless specifically stated.

6.1 Architectural/Infrastructure Analysis

Sonoma State University’s main campus is 269 acres in Rohnert Park, California. There are undeveloped rural lands directly to the north and east, with developed suburban neighborhoods to the south and west. The land directly to the north is planned for residential development between 2016 and 2020.

There are major roads to the east (Petaluma Hill Road), south (East Cotati Avenue) and the north (Rohnert Park Expressway). There are entrances to campus accessible from all of these roadways. Although the main campus road, Redwood Circle, is highly accessible from off-campus, consideration must be made for access to the center of campus, where only walkways and sidewalks are available for emergency response.

Campus occupancy varies greatly due to the cycles of the academic calendar and daily class schedules, which influence employee schedules and residential and commuter student presence on campus.

Special care must be taken in a number of areas on campus where a large number of hazardous materials used in scientific experimentation and facilities maintenance are stored and used. The campus, however, has a robust Environmental Health & Safety program and information regarding hazardous materials on campus is readily available.

The campus uses water from two domestic water wells on campus and reclaimed water from municipal systems. The electric and gas systems are managed by the University.

6.2 Geographic/Environmental Analysis

The campus is located on relatively level terrain. The campus property located south of Copeland Creek is developed with existing University-related facilities, infrastructure and landscaping, including buildings, outdoor athletic fields, campus roadways and parking lots, and two man-made ponds (which serve as holding tanks for the campus fire suppression system). The property north of the creek includes large parking lots and a concert hall and outdoor performance venue. Campus wide, the numerous large, flat, areas, comprised of parking lots and large fields, can serve as evacuation, assembly, staging, and alternate facility locations during and after an emergency.

The main campus of the University is located within range of three major earthquake faults, including the San Andreas, Hayward and Rogers Creek faults. The Rogers Creek fault runs less than two miles to the east of campus.

There is a seasonal creek that traverses campus east to west, Copeland Creek. While the creek is not a high risk location for flood or other emergencies, it does significantly impact the connectivity of campus between the north and the south, with only one two-lane bridge crossing available. Petaluma Hill Road to the east provides connectivity off-campus over Copeland Creek.

The campus sits outside of the Tsunami Inundation Zone, although is within 10-20 miles of the zone. Major supply arteries, including Highway 101 in Marin County, are within the zone, however. A significant tsunami, while not directly affecting campus, may have an impact on the ability of staff and supplies to get and from campus.

6.3 Population Analysis

Sonoma State University has over 9,000 full and part time students and over 1,100 full and part time employees. The population is highly transient in nature, due to variations in class scheduling, which directly impact employee and student time on campus. When considering employees, students and guests, as many as 10,000 persons could be on campus at any time, or as few as less than one hundred, when housing is vacant and classes are not in session.

The University has a minimal impact of high risk populations, including minor children, elderly and infirmed. Although there are programs and facilities on campus that accommodate these populations, the impact and need for mitigation for them is highly diminished due to relatively small size. During the summer months, the need for planning for mitigating the needs of children is increased as summer camps are hosted on campus by the Recreation Center, Athletics and the School of Extended Education. These departments, and the year-round Children’s School, are required to develop and exercise emergency plans.

The University has a larger number of residential students than other campuses of comparable size. These residents generally reside on campus between the months of August and May. Most residence halls on campus are apartment style living quarters with 1-4 bedrooms per unit and 1-2 persons per bedroom. These residents are less likely than average citizens to make recommended preparations for 72-hour self-sustaining care, increasing the need for planning by Housing and Residential Life departments. Additionally, the families of these residential students will require regular communication and are likely to spontaneously travel to campus in the event of a major emergency or disaster.

Although many employees work on campus for decades, student turnover is generally every 2-6 years, which increases the need for training of new staff and students on a regular basis. The University has a number of means by which to capture new employees and students. For employees, new employee orientations provide a means to meet with new employees and/or develop a roster of new employees for the purpose of distribution of training materials. New student orientations are required of all new students and provide an opportunity for the distribution of information.

Employee schedules are highly variable. Most employees work somewhere between the traditional business hours of 0800 hours and 1700 hours. However, there are also academic and non-academic employees that support academic activities until 2200 hours. Additionally, support service employees, including Police, Facilities, Residential Life, and food service employees may be on campus 24 hours a day.

These variant schedules underscore the importance of the development and maintenance of a strong Building Marshal plan. The Plan places increased responsibility on the employees in specific work areas to be familiar with the people, work schedules and other unique considerations of their work area, which may not be otherwise known to emergency responders.

The University hosts residential and non-residential conferences, meetings and camps throughout the year, primarily in the non-academic summer months (June-July). These groups vary from a few participants to hundreds. Planning must be in place to ensure these transient guests receive information regarding evacuations and basic safety information during their stay on campus.

The University has a number of indoor and outdoor venues that can host events with attendance up to 6,500 persons. Due to the unique needs of the venues and the risk associated with the special events that may be held there, organizations managing events at these venues must develop emergency plans. These include:

  • Commencement Lawns – Traditionally used for the campus’s annual Commencement exercises. Each ceremony typically draws up to 6,000 people per ceremony.
  • Weill Lawn – Performing arts venue associated with the Green Music Center; lawn is generally used in conjunction with the Hall; lawn is traditionally used in the summer; attendance on lawn is 4,000 – 5,000
  • Weill Hall – Performing arts venue associated with the Green Music Center; the hall is operational 12 months per year; during summer months, limited events utilize both the lawn and hall spaces; the Hall’s maximum capacity is 1,406.
  • Student Center – The third floor of the center houses the venue ballrooms which are available for rental by outside groups; the largest space can hold up to 1,600 persons.
  • Soccer Stadium – Fenced outdoor soccer stadium can hold 2,000 – 2,500 persons.
  • Baseball Field – With improvements planned for 2014-2015, the baseball complex can hold over 1,000 persons for a game.
  • Gym – Traditional athletic gym with capacity of up to 2,000 persons

6.4 Transportation

A significantly large portion of the non-residential campus community accesses campus using privately owned passenger vehicles. The public transportation system in Sonoma County, which is based heavily on public bus transit, is generally considered to be limited in terms of capacity and function. The SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) train system covers a north-south route from San Rafael (Marin County) to north Santa Rosa.

The significant reliance on vehicle-based transportation could provide a significant challenge for the University following a major emergency. The inaccessibility and/or unavailability of the primary north/south highway (California Highway 101) following an emergency could strand a large residential and non-residential population on campus for an extended period of time.

6.5 Public Safety

Sonoma State University Police provides 24 hour sworn law enforcement services to the main campus of the University. Police Officers are trained in and familiar with SEMS, NIMS and ICS. An assigned Terrorism Liaison Officer receives and shares information relevant to the prevention and mitigation of acts of foreign and domestic terrorism and civil disturbance to the members of the department.

Immediately adjacent to the campus, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety provide primary mutual aid, along with the City of Cotati Police Department.

Fire and emergency medical services are dispatched by the Redwood Empire Dispatch Communications Authority (REDCOM) and are generally provided by the Rancho Adobe Fire District, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, and American Medical Response (AMR).

6.6 Resource Availability

While the University has immediate access to a number of critical resources, the need for specialized personnel, equipment and supplies immediately after a major emergency will quickly exceed the availability of resources. The Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Operations Center is responsible for requesting and allocating resources to local governments (including the University) during an emergency, including resources provided by other governments, non-profit organizations, businesses and other sources. Please refer to Section 3.6, Mutual Aid, for more information on mutual aid.

As a state agency, the University also reserves the right to request resources directly from the State Operations Center (SOC) directly or through the Chancellor’s Office.

To address the need for mutual support during an emergency response, the University participates in a number of organizations and activities to support the mutual aid system, including:

  • Sonoma County Disaster Council – This organization meets bi-annually to support the Operational Area leadership in the development of plans, budget and grant acquisition for the operational area.
  • Sonoma County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Coordinators Group – This group meets quarterly to plan exercises and training, discuss EOC issues at each jurisdiction, discuss available resources, and share other critical information.
  • North Coast College Mutual Aid Group – This group is a formal mutual aid group consisting of community colleges and CSU’s along the north coast of California. The group meets at least biannually to share information regarding planning, training, exercises and resources.
  • American Red Cross – Sonoma State University is renewing our relationship with the American Red Cross as an emergency shelter for both the University community and the surrounding community, when possible.

7 Incident Management Priorities

While every incident will have dramatically different conditions to manage, there are specific tenants that guide the priorities of incident management. First and foremost is always the protection of life safety. Protection of state property and private property and the restoration of mission-centered services will follow as the incident stabilizes and immediate threats to human life are managed.

7.1 Priority I

  • Life Safety Evacuation – Evaluate the need to evacuate people, including those needing physical assistance, from hazardous or high risk areas (e.g. Residential Life, Darwin and Stevenson Halls, the Art Building, etc.) to safe zones
  • Medical Aid - Evaluate available medical services and advise rescue teams regarding the location of treatment facilities for the injured
  • Fire Suppression – Evaluate fires or fire hazards and use resources to control and evacuate
  • Hazardous Substance Control – Survey critical areas and secure or clean up as needed (biological, chemical and radioactive)
  • Dissemination of Information – Establish a communications system with the campus community and media and advise all regarding availability of basic service–include neighborhood associations, local school, fire, and police districts
  • Search and Rescue – Dispatch search and rescue teams and initiate light and heavy rescue operations
  • Communications Network – Establish a communications network using staff, materials and equipment
  • Utilities Survey – Evaluate condition of utilities and shut down or restore as necessary (gas, electric, steam, water, sewer)

7.2 Priority II

  • Facility – Evaluate facilities for occupancy or use – Seal off and/or secure condemned areas
  • Criminal Activity Control – Establish a law enforcement system to protect property and control criminal activity
  • Shelter – Identify usable structures to house resident students and organize relocation of personnel as needed
  • Food/Drinking Water – Identify supplies on hand and establish a distribution system for food and water
  • Psychological Assistance – Establish a system to assist persons to cope with the crisis
  • Animal Control – Provide control and containment for all experimental and domestic (service, therapy) animals on campus
  • Sewer System – Evaluate condition of sewer system and identify sites for portable toilets if needed
  • Traffic Control – Provide for the safe and timely evacuation of vehicles from campus.

7.3 Priority III

  • Valuable Materials Survey – Identify, survey and secure valuable materials on campus (e.g. I.T., Library, Art, Natural Sciences, etc.)
  • Record Survey –Identify, survey and secure all critical SSU records (Human Resources and Compensation, Budget and Finance, Student Affairs and Student Academic Records, Computing Services)
  • Academic Survey – Survey academic departments and determine requirements to restore academic programs
  • Supplies and Equipment – Develop a system to renew flow of supplies and equipment from outside sources

8 Evacuation

When evacuation is deemed necessary, occupants will leave buildings immediately and orderly, via the nearest designated exit. The University Area Emergency Action Plans (EAP) generally provide for a trained staff member to be available to direct students, staff, faculty and visitors to the designated evacuation areas and safety zones. However, faculty, staff, students, and guests must be prepared for the possibility that designed staff members are unavailable during an emergency and must be familiar with the evacuation route nearest their location at all times.

Evacuation of all or part of campus facilities may be deemed necessary due to an earthquake, significant power outage, fire, hazardous material incident, criminal incident or civil unrest, explosion, or similar type of event.

Students who are in class during an evacuation should be evacuated with the class. Depending upon the nature of the emergency, the faculty member should attempt to keep the students together. In a major emergency, students should be kept in the safe zone until instructions from emergency responders. The faculty member should attempt to document the name and student identification number of any student who leaves the safe zone so that they may be accounted for at a later time.

Safety marshals who are aware of students in their area who were not in class during an evacuation but have evacuated a building should attempt to have those students stay in a safe zone and follow the same procedures as faculty would above.

Students, faculty and staff with access and functional needs who may be unable to self-evacuate are encouraged to report their needs to any of the resources below or to their supervisor or instructor. Persons unable to self-evacuate should take one of the following actions during an emergency evacuation:

  • Request assistance from someone in the area
  • If the person is not on the ground floor and is physically able to get him/herself to the stair landing, do so and seek assistance. If none is available, call 911 and report your location and the nature of the functional need.
  • If the person is unable to get to the stairwell, call 911 and report the location and the nature of the functional need.

Any person who is aware of the location of a person who is unable to self-evacuate should report that information to a first responder immediately upon evacuation.

If total evacuation from the campus is necessary, EOC personnel will consult with parking and traffic authorities and surrounding jurisdictions to ensure that campus evacuation can be achieved in a safe and orderly manner.

Detailed information regarding evacuation, accounting for all persons and reunification can be found in the Evacuation Annex.

8.1 Considerations

In the event of a major emergency your safety will be SSU’s primary concern. The University does not expect any member of the campus community to jeopardize his/her safety to perform duties associated with evacuation and/or other persons or other emergency response duties or by attempting to travel to the University in the event of an incident or disaster that affects the SSU campus and surrounding areas.

If on campus during an emergency, employees and students must understand that emergency responders may not be available to render aid at their location immediately. Everyone must take responsibility for their own safety and be knowledgeable about the safety procedures in their area. Phone calls to Police Services should be limited to immediate life safety matters. Do not call 911 or Police Services unless you have to report information relevant to the emergency (requests for emergency medical aid, information regarding criminal activity, trapped occupants, active fire, missing children or elderly, etc.).

Emergencies can occur at any time of day, during any day of the week, and during any time of the year. Campus occupancy, availability of employees, and the ability to respond is very different at night, during darkness, than it is in the middle of the day. This is also true when comparing the middle of an academic semester to winter or summer break and of response on a Sunday compared to a Tuesday. When planning for response to an emergency, it is important that employees consider the different challenges of response to an emergency during different times of day and that response plans account for such challenges.

8.1.1 International Students

Most SSU students (98%) are from California and a very small number, less than 100, are classified as international students. The Center for International Education in International Hall is the support center for all international students on campus, including English language students, exchange students, and degree-seeking students. International students studying at SSU when an emergency happens will require additional support, including translation services, housing, communication with family, and mental health support. The Center for International Education understands these challenges and will work with Emergency Services following an emergency to ensure international students are located and adequately supported.

University students who are traveling abroad may also need support in the case of emergencies or disasters when out of the country. The University must ensure that students are accounted for and provided services while under the supervision of the Center for International Education. The Center for International Education has developed a procedure on how to manage a foreign emergency or disaster that affects a region where SSU students are known to be studying. The Emergency Manager will be notified should such an emergency occur.

8.2 Areas of Refuge – Emergency Evacuation Areas

Safe Zones that are external to facilities have been designated as staging areas for evacuations on campus.

The following areas are designated as Safe Zones; however, in an emergency, these areas may not be safe. Emergency response personnel may designate additional or substitute areas for evacuations:

  • Athletic Field – South of Tennis Courts
  • Campus Quadrangle – South of Student Union and Commons
  • Commencement Lawn – North of Student Union and Commons
  • Carson Lawn – South of Art and east of Rachel Carson
  • Person Lawn – West of Ives Hall (away from large trees)
  • Juniper Lawn – Southeast of Physical Education Building
  • Schulz Lawn – West of Schulz Information Center
  • Sauvignon Field – north of Sauvignon Village
  • Laura Gale Field – west of Child Care Center, South of Technology Center

Parking lots may be used for evacuation, depending on the nature and location of the emergency. They should generally, however, be considered secondary locations to ensure that campus roadways and points of ingress and egress remain clear and that vehicles may be evacuated if necessary.

Emergency Evacuation Centers

Evacuation Centers are interior spaces that have been designated as safe spaces for the assembly of persons on campus during an emergency. Evacuation Centers will be used when safe zones are either not safe due to hazardous or undesirable conditions, during inclement weather, or during prolonged evacuations. Evacuation Centers are not intended to serve as shelters.

The following spaces are designated as Areas of Refuge; however, in an emergency, these areas may not be safe. Emergency response personnel may designate additional or substitute areas for assembly:

  • Student Center Ballrooms/ Meeting
  • Student Center Kitchens
  • Student Center Lounge
  • Student Center W & B’s/Lobo’s
  • Recreation Center Mt. Everest Gym
  • Recreation Center Mt. McKinley Gym
  • PE Building Main Gym/Field House
  • Person Theater
  • Cooperage
  • Schulz Information Center North (Library)

The Evacuation Annex covers the sheltering of evacuees at areas in refuge and includes additional details, including the maximum capacities of each space.

8.4 Elevator Evacuation

During an active alarm or emergency evacuation, do not use elevators.

If an elevator becomes inoperable and occupants are trapped inside, telephones and instructions to request aid are inside each elevator car. The contracted elevator vendor is required to respond when occupants are trapped in an elevator car. Additionally, the fire department will respond to rescue any person who is trapped and experiencing a medical or other emergency that makes remaining in the elevator car a life safety issue.

The University response to a call regarding an inoperable elevator is as follows:

  • University Police will respond as soon as practical upon receipt of a call of an inoperable elevator in which occupants are trapped.
  • University Police will assess the incident to determine if an emergency exists and if it is necessary to contact additional agency support for emergency evacuation, such as the Rancho Adobe Fire District.
  • University Police will notify Facilities Services who will coordinate notification and response time with the elevator company.
  • University Police will place a notice on the elevator doors and attempt to comfort and reassure any occupants.
  • If the elevator is unoccupied, the procedures described in Significant Power Outage Hazard Specific Checklist will be followed.

Occupants should not evacuate from an inoperative elevator unless supervised by the fire department, qualified elevator repair engineer, or individuals trained in critical response.

8.5 All Clear Signals

During evacuation, unauthorized persons are to enter the evacuated space without the expressed consent of an emergency responder or until the “all clear” signal has been given.

If an EOC is activated, the authorization to give the “all clear” signal should only be made after consultation with the EOC Management Team. The Operations Chief will direct the announcement of the “all clear” signal to the field incident commander. On site personnel, vehicle loudspeakers and any available means will be used to sound the “all clear” signal.

If the EOC is not activated, the scene Incident Commander is responsible, in consultation with fire command, hazardous material responders, as applicable.

9 Lockdown & Shelter in Place

During some incidents, evacuation may not be appropriate due to ongoing threat to the safety of occupants due to hazardous materials, ongoing criminal activity or other ongoing threats. During such incidents, emergency responders may decide to order a shelter in place until evacuations can be safely executed or until normal business may resume.

There are two types of shelter in place orders that may be issued on campus:

  • A lockdown is a sheltering technique used to limit access to a facility, generally due to an ongoing criminal activity (shooting, riot, etc.). Building occupants would generally be alerted to an incident using the University’s various notification systems. During a lockdown, occupants should close doors, lock (if possible) and/or barricade doors, turn off all lights, and silence all electronic devices. If there is any line of sight into the room that is locked down, occupants should attempt to hide in addition to the measures taken above. Any notice to campus to lockdown is advisory in nature only; there is no legal requirement for adults to comply and may choose to take other actions at their own risk.
  • Shelter in place is an order requiring building occupants to take refuge inside a building, generally due to a hazardous materials incident. Occupants should close all windows and wait for instructions from emergency responders.
  • Note: During active shooting incidents, lockdown is generally not ordered; rather “Run, Hide, Fight” should be employed, with lockdown representing the “Hide” part of the response tactic. (Refer to Hazard-Specific Plans, Section 11, for more information.)

9.1.1 Considerations

Areas designated for secure shelter in place should generally have limited line of sight from both inside and outside. Lights should be turned off. Doors that do not lock should be barricaded using anything in the room heavy enough to prohibit opening the door. Cell phones and electronic devices should be placed on silent mode. After there is no further threat, law enforcement and rescue personnel will check buildings room by room to ensure that all occupants are evacuated.

During an environmental shelter in place, especially one due to hazardous materials, it is critical that windows be shut and secured. Facilities Services may choose to restrict all ventilation into the building. Generally, teaching and other work can continue during an environmental shelter in place.

The Office of Emergency Services will work with departments to develop department and building emergency plans. It is important that, during the planning process, employees consider their workspaces and select areas that meet the basic requirements and that those locations remain accessible in the event of an emergency. For example, a conference room may make a good location for a lockdown. However, if that room is converted to storage, even short term, an alternate location should be identified that are large enough to accommodate all of the area staff, students and guests.

10 Reunification & Identification

Identification of survivors and reunification of families is a major operation in the response to a major emergency. This could be especially critical following a large emergency that significantly impacts the residential community and/or requires evacuation of Technology High School. Although many residents could evacuate using vehicles, the unavailability of major thoroughfares, damage to vehicles and students without vehicles could leave a large population of students without means to leave campus independently. Concerned family members are likely to come to campus following a major emergency and Technology High School may require assistance in the reunification of families to students.

It is necessary to have a location and system for the staging of family members and a location for the reunification of families. Having a system and single location for reunification also allows for organizing a system for accounting for persons leaving campus following an emergency, ensuring that all students, faculty and staff can eventually be accounted for.

During emergency response, it is critical that an off-site location or a location that is not in direct proximity to the emergency be identified as a waiting/reunification area for families that spontaneously travel to campus. While communications should emphasize that families should not come to campus during the emergency response, history has shown that such response will happen and a plan must be developed. When possible, reunification should be conducted at a central, controlled location where students and employees can be tracked and efficiently checked out.

Once a situation is stabilized, reunification plans will be coordinated by the Planning Section based on the circumstances and population affected. Plans will be communicated using the media, emergency notification program, email, emergency hotline and any other appropriate means. Reunification will be managed by the Operations Section based on the plan developed by Planning.

Programs that deal with minor children should develop specific reunification programs, as the conditions surrounding the release of minors bring additional challenges.

11 Hazard-Specific Plans

While almost any disaster or emergency can strike at any time, there are certain disasters and emergencies that are most likely to occur, based on the landscape, topography, geography, weather patterns, functional responsibilities and demographics of the jurisdiction. A threat assessment was updated in May 2018 to identify those emergencies that are considered the most likely to occur and cause damage and/or disruption to operation. The following incidents received the top 12 scores and are, therefore, specifically addressed:

The information contained in this analysis is not intended to provide specific procedures for the preparation and response to emergencies. Hazard-specific checklists to be used by personnel for that purpose are to be developed, utilized, and updated after each incident. Checklists can be found in the Hazard Specific Checklist Annex.

11.1 Active Shooter

An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in fatally wounding and/or injuring people in a populated area; in most cases active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims.

11.1.1 Analysis

Active shooter incidents can happen at any time, although most incidents nationally have occurred during times when campuses are heavily populated. Shooters may target any area of campus, including administrative offices, classrooms, residential communities or outdoor areas of campus.

11.1.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Training with faculty, staff, students and police are the first line of defense against active shooter incidents. The CSU has produced a video entitled “CSU Active Shooter Safety Training” that encourages people to be mentally prepared for an active shooter incident and reviews the options available during an incident. Viewers are encouraged to evacuate, if possible, hide, or if necessary, take action against the shooter. The video can be found in both English and Spanish languages on the University’s Active Shooter Response.

Police personnel receive regular training on how to respond to and neutralize active shooter incidents. These trainings involve officers from multiple jurisdictions, as responses will eventually involve officers from many agencies.

Emergency notification is a critical piece of the response to an active shooter incident. Currently, the campus utilizes text messaging, email, web site messages, emergency hotline and public address systems to notify campus constituents about emergencies on campus. As buildings are constructed and improved, consideration for centralized public address systems and other security measures should be considered.

11.1.3 Response Considerations

Upon report of an active shooter on campus, specific directions will generally not be immediately available from police. Campus occupants will need to decide what action to take on their own. Occupants can evacuate or secure shelter in place, depending on their proximity to the shooter and their own comfort level. The University recommends the “Run, Hide, Fight” response tactic that is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security and will train that approach to all adults.

Police will respond to reports of active shooters based on their training. An EOC will be activated in the event of any active shooter incident on campus. The EOC will not be activated and members not to report until the incident is resolved and stable.

Active shooter incidents on campus present different challenges for campus facilities that house minor children, including Technology High School, the Children’s School and any other children’s camps. The high school and other programs must have systems in place for response and reunification of minors and parents. Emergency Services will work with these departments on these specific plans to ensure the safety of minor program participants in the event of an active shooter incident.

11.2 Building Flood

Inundation of water into a building can occur for a host of reasons and will usually have a significant impact on the operations of that building. Generally, building floods are caused by mechanical failures of domestic, recycled, or wastewater systems, activation of fire suppression systems, or by intrusion of water from outside the building into the building. Water may accumulate outside buildings due to failure of exterior water systems or due to extreme weather or flooding events. Floods from weather related events are covered in “Floods and Extreme Weather.”

11.2.1 Analysis

While most flooding is caused by high amounts of rain causing failure in the storm drain system, flooding caused by conditions not related to weather could be attributed to domestic, recycled, or wastewater system failures. Since all buildings have at least two of these systems, all buildings could realize the effects of system failures leading to flooding. All water systems possess the potential to significantly damage buildings and contents. However, recycled and wastewater present additional challenges due to the hazardous materials present in the water. While regular maintenance and inspection of these lines should mitigate most risk of system failure, uncontrollable circumstances, including earthquakes, could cause failure.

Most buildings at SSU have fire sprinkler systems that aim to stop fire by inundating the affected area with water. These systems may be fueled by recycled or domestic water. While these system are generally very successful in reducing the impact of fire on the building, water damage is inevitable.

11.2.2 Preparedness and Mitigation

Maintenance and monitoring of water systems is the first and most effective way to mitigate the possibility of equipment failure. Facilities should also take reasonable steps to safeguard the physical systems to reduce the risk of failure and consider alarm systems that alert University personnel to a suspected water equipment failure so that a failing system can be turned off and the impact of flooding can be mitigated as much as possible.

Departments should consider materials in spaces that are protected with fire sprinkler systems and take reasonable steps to protect them from water damage.

The California State University maintains a contract with a company that specializes in water damage restoration.

11.2.3 Response Considerations

Once water begins to breach a building, evacuation should be ordered until the cause of the breach, the flow rate, and condition of the water can be assessed. If the conditions allow for safe occupancy, limited staff may be permitted back into a building to safeguard critical equipment, materials, and systems.

If building flood is occurring after business hours and department personnel who generally control that space are not present, the department leadership or the Department Emergency Coordinator should be contacted by University Police, Facilities Services, or Emergency Services, depending upon how the incident is being managed. The Department Emergency Coordinator is then responsible for department notifications, identification of critical department materials that should be considered for removal, identification of hazardous materials in the space, and notification to the department COOP coordinator.

Efforts will be made to remove any standing water from buildings as soon as possible. Departments with materials that are sensitive to water should have plans in place to identify books that warrant restoration and preservation and how that will be accomplished.

Buildings that have had significant water damage will not be reopened to the public until they have been fully inspected to ensure structural integrity, electrical safety, and are free from hazardous materials. Facilities Services and Environmental Health & Safety are responsible for ensuring inspection and certification of spaces by qualified individuals.

11.3 Earthquake

Historical and geological data substantiate the fact that the North Bay is within an area of potential major damage in the event of an earthquake of major magnitude. A major earthquake occurring near Sonoma State University, within Sonoma County, or the greater Bay Area may result in high casualties, extensive property damage, fires, flooding, hazardous materials incidents, and other hazards. The exact time and place that an earthquake may strike cannot be anticipated; therefore, disaster planning is the only successful means of preventing or minimizing the danger to life and destruction to property.

Sonoma State University is located within miles from the Rogers Creek fault, which is capable of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Due to the proximity, any significant earthquake on the Rogers fault would have a high likelihood of causing major damage to University facilities.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities reassessed the potential of large quakes striking in this region and predict a 70% (+or-10%) for one or more magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquakes from 2000 to 2030. Sonoma County Emergency Operations personnel estimate that there is an 80% likelihood. The 1994 Northridge earthquake, only a 6.7 magnitude, caused more than $20 billion in damages and killed 57 people.

Safeguarding the lives of employees and students is particularly important during an earthquake, since all employees and students are affected at the same instant. Extensive search and rescue operations may be required to locate and assist trapped or injured persons. Emergency medical care, food, and temporary shelter would be required for injured and displaced persons. Identification and storage of the deceased would pose significant problems; public health would also be a major concern. A system to identify, locate and reunite survivors would be essential.

11.3.1 Analysis

In the event of a major earthquake, mutual aid resources will not be available, as the event will affect all surrounding communities. Sonoma State University must be prepared to manage the incident using our own resources for 24-72 hours, or longer, until out of area resources can be acquired and deployed from the Operational Area EOC. Mutual aid may be requested from out of area CSU’s as well.

Area hospitals will likely be affected as well and may have sustained significant damage. Additionally, ambulance services will be overextended and response time will be slow with limited service. University Student Health Center staff should be recalled to campus immediately to assist in triage and treatment of the injured.

Buildings on campus could experience significant structure damage, fire, and utility damage. All buildings will require inspection after the initial response is completed. Relocation of offices and classrooms may be necessary for long periods of time following a major earthquake.

Minor to moderate earthquakes are not likely to cause significant structural damage to campus facilities or cause major injuries. Minor injuries, associated with broken glass and falling items are most likely. Building inspections may be necessary.

11.3.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Because the effects of an earthquake are difficult to predict, it is critical that supplies necessary for the preservation of life safety are kept in supply. This includes, but is not limited to, water, emergency food, first aid supplies, search and rescue equipment, flashlights, blankets, etc. While Emergency Services acquires and stores these items, individual departments are also asked to keep such supplies on hand in the event that evacuation from a work site is not possible immediately following an incident.

Knowing how to protect oneself during an earthquake is critically important during a major earthquake. The University will have one earthquake-specific drill annually, emphasizing “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” procedures. At this time, the emergency notification systems are also tested as information dissemination following an earthquake is vital. Individual department response procedures may also be tested as part of this campuswide exercise.

11.3.3 Response Considerations

Aftershocks are normal and must be anticipated during response. Emergency information issued after an emergency should advise people on campus of the risks of aftershocks and include reminders of the correct procedure during shaking (Drop, Cover, and Hold On).

Following a moderate to major earthquake where building damage or other hazards are likely, the Emergency Evacuation Plan will be immediately implemented. A cursory inspection by University Police Services and Facilities Services personnel will be completed to determine what buildings should remain evacuated, what hazardous areas should be avoided, and what safe routes of egress from the buildings and facilities may be available. Any decision to evacuate will be made as soon as possible and activated by the use of the emergency notification system, loud speakers, telephones, direct contacts, fire alarms, and other methods available to emergency response personnel.

Employees and students should be instructed to remain in one of the designated assembly areas until it is deemed safe to do otherwise. Information about road conditions and the overall campus situation in general may be provided at the assembly areas and using the emergency notification systems. Of equal importance is the announcement of safe conditions of facilities and the extent of damage to areas outside the University. University Police, responding fire personnel, and/or Emergency Services will determine if evacuees should be moved to one or more designated Evacuation Centers during this process.

The Emergency Operations Center is generally activated to coordinate the establishment of essential services, such as medical aid, shelter operations, rescue and recovery operations, and survivor registration and reunification. If the primary and the secondary EOC is not safe or has not been certified for occupancy, the EOC Director will identify an alternate facility on or off campus.

Once the safety and welfare of personnel and students is assured, and the danger to property and equipment is reduced, recovery and repair operations will receive primary consideration. Completion of restoration efforts by Facilities Services may involve restoration of utilities, electrical and machinery areas, specialized areas such as medical services, information technology, offices and other support facilities. These restoration efforts are essential steps to ensure continuity of operations. The Continuity Response Team will likely have activated after the earthquake and will be working in tandem with the EOC to resume critical functions as soon as possible.

Operations during this time will include but not be limited to:

  • an increase in staff
  • emergency food and housing services
  • emergency procurement of supplies and equipment
  • provisions for an emergency expenditure of funds

11.4 Hazardous Materials

A release of hazardous materials has thetential for adverse impacts upon human health, the environment and property, depending upon the type, location, and quantity of material released.

11.4.1 Analysis

All chemical, biological, and radioactive materials normally stored and properly handled pose little threat to the University community. During times of natural or unnatural disasters, these materials are a concern to the University community and emergency personnel who may respond to the affected area.

Life Safety and containment of the substance are first priority in this type of hazard and immediate action taken may determine the outcome of the entire situation. Decisions to choose the right plan of action may be based on other circumstances that may have caused the spill, such as: earthquakes, fire, explosion, aircraft accident, flood, sabotage or vehicular accident. Therefore, the course of action may have to concurrently consider another incident that initially caused the spill.

An accidental release of hazardous materials on campus could pose a threat to individuals on campus and others in the immediate vicinity. Petroleum fuel used for campus vehicles and heating and propane tanks outside of the Boiler Plant and Health Center are the most critical types of substance in large quantities of hazardous material on or transported through the campus.

The report of any suspected spill, reaction, release or condition involving hazardous chemicals or biological agents will be considered factual, by responding personnel, rather than a possibility.

11.4.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Environmental Health & Safety manages the campus Hazardous Materials management and emergency response plan. EH&S oversees proper employee training, care and maintenance of hazardous materials and emergency response procedures with the goal of preventing hazardous materials incidents and mitigating the impact of any incidents.

Locations of all known hazardous materials should be compiled in manner that is accessible to University Police, Facilities Services, Emergency Services, and the Emergency Operations Center.

11.4.3 Response Considerations

Initial Notification of HazMat Incident

A HazMat incident should be reported to University Police and Environmental Health and Safety immediately. The following information will be obtained to effectively respond:

  • Location of the incident
  • Type of incident (spill, leak, fire, explosion, etc.)
  • General description of the hazardous material (caustic, poison, flammable liquid or gas, biological agent, etc.; if unknown, the DOT label number or NFPA number)
  • Best direction of approach by emergency response units taking into account wind direction, blocked streets, and access (if known by the caller)
  • Estimate of immediate needs for ambulances and fire services
Police Dispatcher

Upon receiving the report of a hazardous material incident the Dispatcher will immediately notify:

  • University Police personnel
  • Environmental Health and Safety personnel
  • University Police will be responsible for establishing an initial safe perimeter to the incident and will remain in control of the scene until relieved by fire and/or County of Sonoma Hazardous Materials response personnel.
Operational Response

University Police shall respond, facilitate evacuation, if appropriate, and establish a safe perimeter.

Rancho Adobe Fire and the County of Sonoma will generally act as the primary response unit to reports of major hazardous materials incidents on the SSU campus.

11.5 IT Systems Outage or Failure

Electronic communication and network access has become a vital utility service over the past decade. The failure of network connectivity would impact the ability to send and receive electronic communications, some telephonic communications, use networked hardware and software, access cloud storage, and utilize countless other contemporary business tools.

11.5.1 Analysis

Sonoma State University uses a multitude of network dependent systems for voice communication, document storage, system administration, data security, and electronic communication. The University endeavors to address the most critical documents and systems with duplication, redundancy, or other means to ensure availability in the event of an emergency or failure of the network. These efforts, and the plan to restore systems, is outlined in the Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan.

The loss of network and communication systems can be caused by other emergencies or can constitute an emergency due to the loss of critical systems that present life safety issues, threaten the continuity of critical services, or constitute potential lapses in mission-based service delivery. This may include all systems that require LDAP sign in, functionality of the campus fire and intrusion alarm systems, ability to use voice communications systems and 911 emergency communication.

Communication failures can also be caused by malice based actions, including ransomware or significant infection of computer systems that corrupts or interferes with communication or access.

11.5.2 Preparation and Mitigation

While Information Technology (IT) is responsible for the management of the Disaster Recovery Plan, all campus departments are responsible for ensuring access to documents that allow them to implement their continuity plan and to provide emergency response and recovery capabilities.

IT and Facilities Services are charged with the protection of any infrastructure, equipment, or systems that service the campus network and ability to communicate using electronic means. Whenever possible, systems should be set up with tools that address vulnerability. For example, systems that require electricity should be serviced with generators or uninterruptable power supplies (UPS). Critical systems should have redundancy in the event of single points of failure or warning systems that alert staff to potential issues.

Employees should be aware of any critical documents or systems that can only be access through campus servers or through systems that use single sign-on (LDAP). A failure of the authentication system could significantly disrupt campus operations unless such documents or systems can be accessed through other means or have alternate business processes to accommodate for the lack of access.

11.5.3 Response Considerations

In the event of a failure to a communication system that leads to a campus emergency, it will be critical to identify the impacted systems and functions to understand the extent of the emergency and which business functions are impacted.

Systems that impact the following should be considered in the order below:

  • Life Safety – Fire alarms, law enforcement communications, Student Health Center systems
  • Emergency Response – Systems that support information needed to facilitate the emergency response
  • Data Security – Systems that hold Level I Data (Visit the Information Security webpage more information on Level I Data)
  • Student Care – Systems or information that supports the direct provision of care to students
  • Facility Protection – Systems or information that allows for the protection or restoration of buildings
  • Academic and Instruction – Systems that are necessary for the delivery of academic and instructional activities

If the failure is caused by malicious intent, law enforcement (local or federal) should be engaged as soon as the cause is known so that a coordinated investigation and response can be made.

Upon any significant failure of communication systems, the activation of the University and department Continuity of Operations Plans should be evaluated.

11.6 Pandemic/Epidemic/Outbreak

Although the exact cause and origin of an epidemic or pandemic may not be anticipated or even able to be traced, planning for such an event is important in the response and attempt to control communicable disease. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 2500, Reportable Diseases and Conditions, currently identifies 85 communicable diseases that every health care provider must report to the Health Officer at the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. In addition, there are 3 non-communicable diseases or conditions and several locally reportable diseases that health care providers are required to report.

The severity of a pandemic cannot be predicted, but modeling suggests that the impact on the United States could be substantial. In the absence of any control measures (vaccines or anti-viral drug therapies), it is estimated that a “medium level” pandemic in the U.S. could cause 89,000 – 207,000 deaths, 314,000-734,000 hospitalizations, 1-42 million outpatient visits, and another 20-47 million people being sick. Between 15% and 35% of the U.S. population could be effected by influenza pandemic. The economic impact could range between $71 and $167 billion.

11.6.1 Analysis

The Sonoma County Health Department and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have indicated that the population that may be hardest hit by the pandemic would be young children, young adults and the elderly. This would greatly impact our student population as well as the Children’s School and Technology High School.

The Children’s School serves approximately 65 children a day ranging in age from 9 months to 5 years. The hours of operation are 7:30am to 5:30pm, 215 days a year (academic calendar plus January, June, and July). Technology High serves approximately 350 high school students.

Some of the assumptions outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that relate to our campus are:

  • Absenteeism may reach 40% during the peak of the outbreak. Other public health measures like closing schools and quarantining household contacts will likely increase rates of absenteeism.
  • On average, infected persons will transmit the infection to two other people.
  • In an infected community, a pandemic outbreak will last about 6-8 weeks.

Considering the impact of a major flu pandemic, a study from the University Risk Management Insurance Association (URMIA) predicted that a medium sized college or university of 10,000 students and employees would have between 2000 and 4000 persons infected and 150 deaths.

11.6.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Once Student Health Center or other doctors and nurses who provide health care services to students are aware of any case, or suspected case, of the diseases or conditions on the list must report such information to the local health officer. The Director of the Student Health Center is required by Title 17, Section 2500(c) to follow responsible administrative procedures to assure that reports are made to the County Health Officer as described in guidelines.

Reporting procedures include:

  • Reporting immediately by telephone specific communicable diseases listed by regulations, including: rabies, meningococcal infections, and Hantavirus infections.
  • Reporting immediately by telephone when two or more cases of food-borne disease from separate households are suspected to have the same source of illness
  • Reporting by FAX, telephone, or mail within one working day of identification of reportable communicable diseases listed, including tuberculosis, trichinosis, water-associated disease, hepatitis A, and meningitis.

The University should keep a significant supply of face shields and antibacterial hand sanitizer on supply, as a significant pandemic or epidemic are likely to affect the surrounding area and make the acquisition of those supplies challenging.

11.6.3 Response Considerations

The County Health Officer will provide University health care providers with specific guidelines to respond to reportable diseases, including response required by campus administration. The Health Officer may also issue legal orders for vaccination, restriction of movement and/or travel, sanitation measures and other requirements, which must be followed.

The Office of Emergency Services, University Police, and additional health care and emergency response personnel will assist students and employees in responding to such an emergency including providing measures to prevent the spread of the disease, quarantine, or restricted use of part or all of University facilities during the emergency.

Requests for aid from State, municipal or private emergency services may be required through the Sonoma County Operational Area Emergency Operations Center, in accordance with established procedures and requirements of SEMS. If an epidemic is reported throughout the County, our requests for assistance may be of a low priority to the external agencies, and University emergency capabilities must be maximized. It is the practice of the County to prioritize higher risk facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and child care facilities.

Operations at this time will include but not be limited to:

  • an increase in staff, particularly those with medical training
  • additional sanitation measures
  • emergency food, care and shelter services
  • emergency medical supplies and equipment
  • emergency procurement
  • provisions for an emergency expenditure of funds

Based on information from the County Health Officer, the EOC Policy Group may be required to make decisions regarding University operations and all or part of the EOC may be activated.

11.7 Severe Weather and Environmental Flood

Sonoma County has notably mild weather. That condition, however, leaves the surrounding area and the University especially vulnerable to extreme weather when it does occur since there are inadequate infrastructure and community preparedness to overcome significant events.

Winter storms in California can be intense and long lasting. Flash floods, mudslides, high coastal surf, coastal erosion, stream and creek flooding, lightning storms, snowstorms, and avalanches have all occurred in the state.

11.7.1 Analysis

The most common and likely type of extreme weather is strong winter storms. Storms can bring heavy amounts of rain over the short and long term and cause severe standing water, small stream and creek flash flooding, river flooding, damage associated with high winds, landslides, road damage and closures, and utility outages. Winter storms may cause extended power outages and road closures throughout the County, which may affect the ability of students, faculty and staff to get to campus.

The campus has a number of locations on campus, both inside and outside buildings, which have experienced flooding in the past. Areas that are located on downslopes or below ground are especially vulnerable. Areas that have previously flooded, loading docks, rooms below ground and areas adjacent to Copeland Creek should be carefully monitored.

Flood in this area is usually caused by saturation of the ground following sustained periods of heavy rain. Copeland Creek runs through the campus from the east to the west. During times of ground saturation, it is not uncommon for the water level to exceed the depth of culverts that direct storm drain water from around campus into the creek. When that occurs, the water is pushed backwards towards the storm drains, which prohibits surface water from draining and pushes creek water onto streets, walkways, and parking lots. Minor failures of this system can cause nuisance flooding that does not restrict movement on campus roadways and parking lots. More significant failures require the closure of campus roads and may flood parking lots. This more significant condition has occurred three times in the past 15 years.

The National Weather Service has developed common terminology to be used to define specific weather conditions and terminology to define the potential effect that weather may have. Key personnel should be familiar with these terms and be prepared to respond to those which represent the greatest risk to the University.

Flood Terminology
  • Flash Flood
  • A flood caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through river beds, urban streets, or mountain canyons sweeping everything before them. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. They can also occur even if no rain has fallen, for instance after a levee or dam has failed, or after a sudden release of water by a debris or ice jam.
  • Flash Flood Watch
  • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
  • Flash Flood Warning
  • A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
  • Urban and Small Stream Advisory
  • Flooding of small streams, streets and low-lying areas, such as railroad underpasses and urban storm drains is occurring.
Rain Level Terminology
  • Light Rain
  • Less than 0.10 inches rain per hour
  • Moderate Rain
  • .10 to .30 inches rain per hour
  • Heavy Rain
  • More than .3 inches rain per hour
Wind Terminology
  • Light Winds
  • 1 – 12 miles per hour
  • Moderate Winds
  • 13 – 31 miles per hour
  • Strong Winds
  • 32 – 54 miles per hour
  • Severe Winds
  • More than 55 miles per hour

11.7.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Emergency Services and Facilities Services regularly monitor weather conditions so that preparations can be made in advance of large storms. Both issues surrounding flooding and wind events must be considered.

Despite frequent “Flash Flood Warnings” on campus, “flash” floods come with warning in this region. A “Flash Flood” is defined as a “sudden local flood, typically due to heavy rain.” Heavy rain is reliably forecast in this climate and can be monitored. The Flood/Severe Weather Hazard-Specific Checklist should be reviewed prior to each flood season and prior to any forecast major rain event by those departments with direct responsibility over flood response to ensure their preparations are in place and they are prepared to respond. Consideration of those conditions that can accompany floods should also be considered, most specifically utility outages.

Upon report of forecasted storms, Facilities Services staff will inspect and clear storm drains, prepare and place sandbags and perform any other maintenance tasks that could mitigate the effect of a major storm.

There are a number of large trees on campus that could be felled during a significant wind event. Throughout the year, Facilities Services should be aware of trees that are more likely to sustain damage during wind storms. Trees that are in poor condition should be removed and large trees should be properly maintained to reduce the risk of injury or property damage.

Due to frequency of weather-related floods and the ability to directly mitigate some effects, preparedness for the flood season, which is generally considered to be December to April, is critical. The campus participates in regional flood planning efforts to the extent possible and holds an annual meeting of stakeholders annually to review the flood response plan and make preparations for potential flood. These stakeholders include employees in Facilities Services, Housing, the University Library (due to its specific flood risk), Academic Affairs, Human Resources, University Police, and Transportation & Parking Services (TAPS). Preparations include identification of high risk areas, potential mitigating clean up (drains, gutters, and creek), campus communication, response protocols, and contingency plans for campus closure.

Facilities Services, University Police, and Emergency Services work together to identify spaces on campus that have been most prone to weather-related flooding in prior incidents and make plans to mitigate flooding, both short and long term. Short term measures may include sandbags and proactive drain and gutter cleaning. Areas that suffer repeated flooding or those that house sensitive University materials or are critical to University operations should be considered for long-term mitigation. The University will consider FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding as appropriate and available.

11.7.3 Response Considerations

For flood conditions where there is not an immediate life safety threat, the Hazard-Specific Checklist will be followed to the extent possible to ensure campus occupants and facilities are protected and flood-related issues are identified and mitigated.

If campus roads, parking lots, or buildings become flooded or inaccessible due to flood waters or wind damage, they may be closed. Police Services and Facilities Services will work with Academic Affairs if closures are necessary in instructional areas.

Conditions on campus may be hazardous and may lead to a campus closure of varying degrees (see Campus Closure). Employees are required to comply with campus closures due to hazardous conditions. Except for law enforcement and authorized administrators, employees should not self-respond to campus during campus closures to respond to the flood conditions.

If class cancellations or employee evacuations are necessary, the University President will be notified and the EOC may be activated. Human Resources will be contacted prior to any non-life safety communication about building or campus closures affecting employees.

Extended utility outages may require campus closure. Refer to the section on Significant Utility Outages for more information on evacuation of campus due to power outage.

Although rare, lightning storms are possible in the region. If lightning storms are predicted or actively occurring, the campus community, including guests attending events, should be advised to seek cover until the threat is over. Lightening sparked fires are possible during and following lightning storms and appropriate precautions should be taken to mitigate the risk of injury and property damage from fire. Athletics will maintain separate procedures in compliance with NCAA lightening procedures.

While it is a priority to keep the residential community open and allow residents to remain on campus, that will be done only when it is safe to do so and when future evacuation can be facilitated in a manner that protects residential students, staff, and first responders.

When conditions do not permit University staff to respond during floods, University Police will consider use of outside agency trained personnel only when necessary to respond to life safety or critical facility protection issues on campus. Otherwise, if campus is vacant, University Police will take reasonable actions to protect campus facilities and restrict access to campus until the hazardous condition is resolved.

Flood conditions require additional considerations for persons with disabilities and access and functional needs since mobility devices, elevators, and accessible transportation may be unavailable or may not function as needed during heavy flooding. Departments that work with individuals that may need additional assistance or accommodation, especially in student housing, should consider such contingencies in advance and work with students, faculty, and staff prior to emergencies.

11.8 Significant Utility Outage

A utility outage can occur at any time and at any location and will significantly affect the University’s ability to function normally. Utility outages that would significantly disrupt campus operations may include:

  • Electricity
  • Domestic Water
  • Recycled Water
  • Natural Gas
  • Telecommunications/Network

While these systems individually may not create an emergency condition, they may be interdependencies of other systems which do support critical functions and life safety equipment.

11.8.1 Analysis

SSU is on the main grid for power, supplied by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), but maintained by campus based equipment and personnel. There are a number of facilities, including Facilities Services, Police Services, Schulz Information Center, the School of Science and Technology and Information Technology that have emergency generators that allow for at least partial function during outages. All buildings require electricity to power fire alarm systems. While there may be minimum battery support for these systems, electric outages lasting one hour require assessment of life safety systems to assess functionality.

The campus receives water from two sources, domestic wells and recycled water from the City of Santa Rosa. The wells on campus are considered to be healthy but could face future depletion as part of a larger drought event. More immediately, the well water supply could be temporarily unavailable due to issues surrounding water quality. While domestic water is most notably used for drinking, cooking, and hand washing, some buildings also use domestic water for fire suppression and toilets. Loss of water due to supply or delivery issues would impact of all of these functions while quality issues would only affect cooking, handwashing, and drinking water supplies.

Natural gas is used on campus to heat water used in boilers, which are in turn used to heat buildings, to provide direct heating in others, and to heat water. Due to the mild climate in the area, loss of natural gas service may not constitute an immediate emergency. However, times of colder than normal weather or sustained outages may warrant additional mitigation or consideration of the safety of the facility for students, faculty, and staff.

Telecommunications systems provide access to telephonic communications and network access. While interruption of these services would create significant disruptions of operations campuswide, there are also some serious safety issues associated with such disruptions. Specifically, some fire alarm systems are connected to the central receiver using the University network. Failure of that system would remove the ability to remotely monitor those systems. Loss of telecommunications would also impact the ability of employees and students to call 911 or reach University Police during emergencies using landlines. Due to limited mobile communications in some parts of campus, this could create a safety issue.

11.8.2 Preparation and Mitigation

Departments that have functions or equipment that cannot be stopped during a short or long term electrical interruption should consider emergency generators, in consultation with Facilities Services. Any equipment or material on campus that would be unstable and pose a public safety threat must be protected using emergency generators.

Faculty members with sensitive research items should plan ahead for such power outages. For example, set up extra power supplies for refrigeration units or have an approved plan to move specimens or research off campus for the short term.

Facilities Services and Information Technology should consider the impacts of other utility outages and how to mitigate the impacts.

11.8.3 Response Considerations

During an electrical outage, Facilities Services will work closely with PG&E to determine the cause of the outage and develop a plan to restore power.

Due to the highly varied impact of other outages, the action plan for each will be determined on a case by case basis.

A decision to evacuate or to cancel classes should be made by the Plan Executive. Evacuations for utility outages may commence when confirmation is received that the outage will continue for an extended period of time or if other conditions exist that pose a threat to safety. Generally, the State Fire Marshal will require a fire watch after one hour of power outage that impacts the fire alarm systems. Fire watch conditions should be considered in this decision as watches require significant staff attention and the University assumes some liability for continued operation without fire alarm system support.

Notification of this decision should be made by whatever notification systems are available, including email, text message, telephone emergency hotline, telephone, personal contact, and the University web page.

The Public Information Officer will notify media of evacuation or cancellation of classes and provide updates based on periodic reports from the Operations Chief (with EOC activation) or from the applicable Facilities Services Manager. With exception to life threatening situations, the cancellation of classes during normal university business hours will also be communicated through the respective Dean’s office.

In all cases where employees and/or students are allowed to remain in buildings, periodic situation checks will be made. If a power outage should occur during the hours of darkness and there are occupants in the building who are unable to self-evacuate, the occupant(s) should await assistance from police officers or emergency response personnel.

Once the safety and welfare of personnel is ensured, and the danger to property and equipment is reduced, recovery and repair operations will receive primary consideration. Refer to the Emergency Evacuation Plan for guidelines pertaining to building and elevator evacuations.

Continuity of Operations plans will address the restoration of critical functions when utility outages to campus or specific buildings are expected to last longer than 24-48 hours and impact essential functions.

11.9 Structure Fire

Any incident of a fire occurring on the Sonoma State University campus will involve, at minimum, University Police, Facilities Services, and one or more local Fire Departments. A fire in any University building or facility may result in the loss of life or injuries, damage to physical structures, release of chemicals or biological hazards, and damage or loss of personal property, University records, or research. Therefore, any suspected fire, smell of smoke, or visible manifestation of a fire must be considered as a working fire and treated by responding personnel as factual circumstance rather than as a possibility.

11.9.1 Analysis

All campus buildings could be affected by a building fire since the cause of building fire can vary greatly. Fires can be caused by electric malfunction, human error, malicious intent, maintenance or construction accidents, lightening, or a host of other causes. The most common causes are human error and equipment or system malfunctions.

11.9.2 Preparation and Mitigation

While fire suppression is the responsibility of the fire department, the University has a number of responsibilities to prepare for and mitigate the impact of a fire.

At SSU, building engineers are responsible for the care and maintenance of systems designed to identify potential fires, alert building occupants of fire, and to suppress fire in buildings. All systems are maintained and tested in compliance with the California Fire Code.

Facilities Services is responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations for fire control systems including fire extinguishers, fire alarms, fire hydrants, and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Environmental Health & Safety follows requirements for the safe storage and maintenance of hazardous materials.

The University maintains and enforces additional regulations to help reduce the risk of fire. Open flame, including candles and incense, are prohibited in all campus buildings without expressed consent of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and with appropriate mitigation measures in place. Maintenance workers who work with equipment and materials that are more likely to cause accidental fire are trained in the use of fire extinguishers and fire safety. Despite these efforts, fire is considered one of the most likely emergencies for the University to experience.

All University employees have a responsibility to ensure that escape routes, including stairwells, emergency exit doors, and corridors remain clear so that building occupants can evacuate quickly in the event of a fire. Minor obstructions should be cleared immediately. Significant obstructions should be reported to Facilities Services immediately for removal and/or mitigation.

Building Safety Marshals and Department Emergency Coordinators are responsible for encouraging employees who may have disabilities or access and functional needs to work with the department, Disabled Student Services or Employee ADA Services, and/or the Office of Emergency Services on individual plans to facilitate evacuation during fires. Employees and students are encouraged to self-report and request assistance since such needs cannot be identified visually.

11.9.3 Response Considerations

In any situation where a fire is known to exist or if a fire is suspected, the following steps must be taken:

  • If an employee, student or guest discovers a fire and a fire extinguisher is available, the extinguisher can be used if someone in the area is comfortable and willing to attempt. All other persons should immediately evacuate the area. (Please note: Even if the fire can be put out using an extinguisher, all fires must be reported to University Police.)
  • From on campus phones, dial 9-1-1 and report the situation directly to University Police and state the following:
    • Your name, location, and the reason you suspect (or know) a fire to exist
    • Whether or not you know of people injured or trapped in the building or people who need assistance evacuating
    • Whether or not you know of chemical, biological, or radioactive hazards in the building
Police Dispatcher
  • Upon report of a Fire, the dispatcher immediately:
    • Notifies University Police and Facilities Services field units
    • Contacts REDCOM to dispatch fire and/or medical response personnel
    • Follow Major Incident Notification procedures of University Police
Operational Response

Once a fire is known to be occurring, or once a fire alarm is sounding in a building, assigned Safety Marshals will:

  • here is known fire and no alarm sounding, activate pull stations immediately
  • Call out and request all persons in the area to evacuate the building
  • If possible, take the emergency equipment assigned to the area
  • Assist other persons in evacuation, as appropriate
  • Once evacuated, do not let non-emergency responders back into the building until the “All Clear” is given by an authorized emergency responder
  • Assist persons not assigned to a marshal area, as appropriate

In addition to building Safety Marshals, department emergency coordinators will:

  • • Take role of assigned employees
  • Communicate with department leadership about the emergency and impact on department operations
  • Communicate with EOC or Emergency Services about critical department activities that may be impacted by the emergency.

Upon report of a fire, University Police and Facilities Services personnel will:

Direct trained staff members in the building who will guide the evacuation process and provide information at the safe zone as to missing and injured persons or specific information about the incident

Environmental Health and Safety will provide advice and direction regarding response to potential chemical, biological, or radioactive hazards

  • Immediately respond to the reported site, perform an analysis of the hazard and communicate any vital information through the dispatcher to the Fire Department.
  • Assist in evacuation of the facility
  • Facilities Services personnel will provide information about the mechanical structure of the building, the fire alarm system, and any available University resources that may be useful

The specific information about the incident will determine the necessity for activation of the Emergency Operations Center by the Emergency Executive or his/her designee or the Emergency Manager.

11.10 Wildfire

The California Wildfires of 2017, specifically the fires in the North Bay Area, were a tragic wake up call to residents of the state that our wildfire season is longer than ever and the effects reach far beyond those landscapes traditionally considered to be “wildland.” As the climate continues to exhibit extreme conditions, wildfires are believed to more likely, more intense, and more invasive than ever before.

11.10.1 Analysis

Wildfire is defined as “an unplanned fire that burns in a natural areas such as a forest, grassland, or prairie.” Wildfires can be caused by:

  • Human error or accident
  • Lightening
  • Malicious intent
  • Electrical equipment, often due to extreme weather, including high winds

Developed land adjacent to areas considered as wildland are especially prone to damage caused from wildfire. This area is referred to as the “Wildland Urban Interface” (WUI). That space is considered the spaces where homes and wildlands meet or intermingle and the land within one-half mile of wildland spaces. Sonoma State University is considered to rest within the WUI.

The risk for extreme fire in wildlands is attributed to increases in flammable vegetation due to factors including climate change, growth in insect pest populations, and diseases of vegetation.

The wildfires in the North Bay Area, specifically the Nuns Fire, came within one mile of campus and are believed to have been caused by overgrown and dry vegetation caused by years of drought followed by years of heavy rain, extreme winds, and failure of electrical equipment on Sonoma Mountain on the night of October 8, 2017. While the University did not sustain any damage due to direct fire, the effects of wildfire include employee absenteeism, disruption of regional services, unsafe air quality, and ash and smoke inundation into buildings and through ventilation systems.

11.10.2 Preparedness and Mitigation

Although the University did not have plans for wildfire preparedness and mitigation prior to the North Bay Fires, the lessons learned through the nine day campus closure and emergency response provided valuable insight into future response operations.

While the University cannot control what is done with the wildlands to the east of campus, the University can take steps to mitigate the likelihood of fire impacts to campus, including reduction of highly flammable vegetation and increasing defensible space around campus facilities. The University will pursue FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants when available and as appropriate to consider wildfire mitigation projects.

To further protect campus occupants, the University will have thorough and well developed plans for campus evacuation in the event that a wildfire impacts campus, which can happen suddenly with little or no notice. In addition to evacuation, the campus will continue to refine plans for the care of campus residents when conditions in the area warrant a soft closure of the campus. Since these plans will likely require support from outside agencies, the Office of Emergency Services will continue to develop relationships with the County of Sonoma Office of Emergency Services, other regional agencies, other Universities of the CSU, and any other agency that could provide support to campus during an emergency.

11.10.3 Response Considerations

When there is a wildfire in the area that may impact campus, the following should be prioritized:

  1. Life safety
  2. Protection of campus facilities
  3. Support and continuity of housing operations
  4. Communications
  5. Continuity of essential functions
  6. Continuity of instructional activates when safe to do so
  7. Support of impacted student, faculty, and staff

Since wildfires can impact communities for weeks, it is important that the campus address and/or mitigate immediate safety threats and impacts to campus facilities so that activates can continue or resume as soon as it is safe to do so. When ash and smoke are likely to impact the air quality in the area, Facilities Services should check all buildings for open doors and windows. Depending upon the air quality, air returns should be closed and HVAC systems should be turned off to reduce the impact of ash and smoke in air filtration systems. Buildings without air service cannot be occupied except by those staff performing essential functions that cannot be conducted elsewhere.

It is a priority, when safe to do so, to maintain occupancy in the residential community. Wildfires with large evacuation zones cause high demand in hotels and temporary housing outside of public shelters is generally difficult to acquire. Additionally, students in the housing community will receive additional support, including medical, mental health, and counseling support. When it is not possible to maintain occupancy in the housing community, it will be the University’s preference to house small groups of students in hotels or in University only shelters.

Any hard or soft closure of campus due to risk from wildfire should include the monitoring of roadway access points to ensure only authorized persons are on campus. The Emergency Operations Center will activate to a minimum level II for all closures associated with wildfire risk.

Because wildfires are often dynamic, large scale incidents affecting large portions of the region, communication is critically important. The University will emphasize frequent and detailed communication with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders.

While the wildfire may not directly affect campus, the University recognizes that wildfire in neighboring communities may have a significant impact on our students, faculty, and staff. In an effort to support our community and ensure the ability of students to continue their education, the University is committed to providing ongoing support to all affected members of the community after a wildfire or other emergency. This may include fund raising, increased counseling and mental health services, medical services, material support, housing support, and/or assistance with admissions or employment conditions. Generally, these efforts will be organized under the “Noma Cares” or associated crisis recovery campaigns.

Section C:
Recovery Operations

12 Emergency Recovery

Recovery following an emergency is significantly tied to, but separate from continuity of operations planning. In this context, recovery operations refer to the transition from emergency operations to returning the University to normal operations. Continuity of Operations is the planning and operations that ensure that the University can deliver specific services during and after an emergency, while recovery is an ongoing part of emergency response.

12.1 Stages of Recovery

Recovery occurs in three stages:

  • Stage I - Planning and Mitigation
  • Stage II - Initial Recovery
  • Stage III - Long-term Recovery
12.1.1 Planning and Mitigation

The Continuity of Operations program is tasked with developing plans for the ongoing operation of critical functions during and after an emergency response. Those plans are focused on identifying alternate means to conduct such activities. Recovery is focused, however, on returning the University to its pre-emergency condition or operation. The alternates identified in the Continuity planning process, however, may also be tools that can be used in recovery so continuity and recovery planning are very closely tied and a number of recovery-related objectives are included in the CSU Executive Order on Continuity Planning, EO 1014.

In addition to Continuity planning, all departments must consider how they could perform their work if their facility was lost or damaged, if the population they serve was not able to come to campus for an extended time period, or other disruptions to campus impacted their service delivery.

Since emergency-related damage is generally facility-based, Facilities Services will bear a large responsibility for recovery operations following an emergency. While it is difficult to plan because we could not know what types of damage could occur where, it is critical that current infrastructure and need is adequately documented and understood.

12.1.2 Initial Recovery Operations

Initial recovery operations will begin during the response phase of the emergency. The major objectives of initial recovery operations include damage assessment, rapid debris removal and clean-up, orderly and coordinated restoration of essential services (electricity, water, and sanitary systems), and repopulation (in the event of campus evacuation).

Communication to each constituency group is a critical function of initial recovery operations. The Crisis Communications Teams includes representatives from each constituency with the goal of prioritizing targeted and focused communication to each group. These groups will include students, both residential and non-residential, faculty, staff, public and business partners, and other community affiliates.

When possible and appropriate, initial recovery operations will also include efforts to support students, faculty, and staff who may have experienced a direct loss as a result of the emergency or disaster. This may include fund raising, social service provision, mental health services, academic and employment accommodations, and other recovery efforts.

Initial recovery operations may be supported following full EOC operations through the Incident Recovery Team (IRT). The EOC will remain at a Level I activation at any time that the IRT is active. The IRT will meet on a periodic basis as determined by the EOC Director(s) and/or the Emergency Manager until such time that all EOC action items are pending and that key constituents or campus facilities have needs that impact daily operations. IRT activities will be documented in a manner consistent with EOC operations. IRT activities are generally restricted to the first 30 days after campus reopens. Subsequent operations will be managed through the Long-Term Recovery Operations as described in 12.1.3.

12.1.3 Long Term Recovery Operations

The timeline to resume normal operations will be greatly dependent on the extent of damage to campus (structural) and to University facilities (systems, communications, and non-structural), impact to and availability of students, faculty, and staff, and lost vital records. In a major disaster, the recovery efforts may take several weeks or months or even years to complete.

In the first weeks after a major emergency event, the principal objectives will be to ensure the restoration of the pre-identified business functions on campus considered to be critical to normal business operations.

Once critical threats to persons and property have been addressed, the departments normally responsible for performing the critical business functions after a disaster will generally be performing the duties necessary to bring the department to a functional state. Business continuity teams must be identified in each department’s plans to recover critical business functions after a disaster.

During the Long-Term Recovery Stage, the principal objective is to restore facilities and populations to pre-incident conditions. More than likely, it will be during this stage of recovery that the EOC will be fully deactivated and the stated objectives will be accomplished using the normal organizational structure and roles.

A Long-Term Recovery Team (LRT) may be established, if warranted, to consider and coordinate strategic plan objectives and long-term recovery efforts. Based on the size and nature of the disaster, the timeline to resume normal operations may be dependent on the extent of disrupted critical services on campus. Telephone and power service shortages, disruption of water supplies, damage to major transportation routes and transportation providers, and ongoing government emergency operations may hamper recovery activities.

As with EOC and IRT activities, the focus for LRT activities will be protection of life and property and the delivery of instructional activities in a manner consistent with the University mission.

12.2 Long Term Recovery Team

In events where federal disaster cost recovery may be available, it may be necessary to keep a limited EOC activation in place for the term of the recovery, to ensure that proper documents are filed and that FEMA filing requirements are being met. The EOC is primarily responsible for continuing to ensure that costs associated with the recovery of campus are property documented, tracked and compliant with federal guidelines. The LRT may be staffed by members of the incident EOC or with members of departments that are directly involved in the recovery activities. The EOC leadership team, to include response and recovery leadership, the EOC Directors, and the Emergency Manager will determine the membership of the LRT.

12.2.1 Responsiblities

Not accounting for the responsibilities of employees in the University Business Continuity Plan, the following individuals are responsible for the EOC Recovery function:

  • LRT Director: One member will assume leadership for the LRT responsibilities to include ensuring that objectives are established and achieved in a measurable manner.
  • Academic Activities: One member will be responsible for monitoring the impact of recovery operations on instructional activities and on faculty.
  • Student Services: One member will be responsible for monitoring the impact of recovery operations on students, student learning environment, curricular activities and student life, and residential operations.
  • Facilities Services: One member will be responsible for managing all aspects of facility recovery. While specific tasks may be assigned within the Facilities unit, one leader should be appointed to ensure accountability and consistent communications.
  • Procurement: With the exception of labor and overtime costs, one member shall be responsible for maintaining accurate records of expended equipment and supplies during the activation of the EOC and recovery, including ensuring that procurement follows University regulations.
  • Personnel: One member will receive overtime and labor information from the EOC and recovery units and is then responsible for documenting overtime, additional labor costs, and forwarding such information to the proper Federal and State authorities and to insurance companies as needed.
  • Claims: One member will receive claims against the University resulting from the emergency and prepare documentation necessary for claims to be reviewed, investigated, managed and settled.
  • Documentation: One member will coordinate the collection and accuracy of all documentation associated with the recovery and ensure that such documentation is consistent with requirements for any organization from which the University may seek restitution, to include insurance, FEMA, CalOES, or through civil litigation.

Additional members and/or functions may be appointed depending upon the long-term recovery needs of the specific incident.

12.2.2 Debris Removal

Debris removal efforts should be managed in a manner consistent with current FEMA requirements and that consider environmental impact, removal of toxic materials, and relocation of debris. Generally, debris removal for regional emergencies will be done in cooperation with the Operational Area and/or region. Failure to follow FEMA requirements for debris removal will prohibit FEMA from providing cost recovery for such efforts.

12.2.3 Building Codes

Rebuilding or significant construction activities required as a result of damage from a disaster will require the building to be constructed to the building and fire code(s) that are current at the time of construction. The cost of compliance with building codes for new construction, repair, and restoration will also be budged and documented as part of the recovery operation. The cost of improving facilities may be included under federal and insurance reimbursement programs.

Documentation is key to recovering expenditures related to emergency response and recovery operations. Documentation must begin at the field response level and continue throughout the operation of their Emergency Operations Center as the disaster unfolds and recovery continues.

12.3.4 After-Action Reporting

Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) guidelines require any city, city and county, or county declaring a local emergency for which the governor proclaims a state of emergency to complete and transmit an after-action report to OES within (90) days of the close of the incident period. In addition to the CalOES template and requirements, the University may use the FEMA format, based on HSEEP (Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program) standards or any other format that achieves the stated objectives of the after action reporting process.

The after-action report will provide, at a minimum, response actions taken, application of SEMS, suggested modifications to SEMS, necessary modifications to plans and procedures, identified training needs, and recovery activities to date.

The after-action report will serve as a source for documenting University emergency response activities and in identifying areas of concern and successes. It will also be utilized to develop and describe a work plan for implementing improvements.

An after-action report will be a composite document for all SEMS levels, providing a broad perspective of the incident, referencing more detailed documents, and addressing all areas specified in regulations. It will include an overview of the incident, including enclosures, and addressing specific areas if necessary.

It will be coordinated with, but not encompass, hazard mitigation. Hazard mitigation efforts may be included in the “recovery actions to date” portion of the after-action report.

The EOC Director, in consultation with Section Chiefs and the Plan Executive, will be responsible for the completion and distribution of the after-action report, including sending it to the Governor’s Regional Office of Emergency Services within the required 90 day period. The University may coordinate with the Operational Area in the completion of the after-action report, incorporating information from them for the report.

The after-action report’s primary audience will be University administration and employees. As a public document, it is accessible to anyone who requests a copy and may be made available through the City’s website. Sections may be redacted consistent with the Public Records Act to protect sensitive information about individuals or about University facilities.

The after-action reports will be written in simple language, well-structured, brief and well-presented, and geared to multiple audiences.

Section D:

References – Authorities, Statutes, Regulations, Etc.

These documents are held at Sonoma State University Police Services. References can be found in the hard copy version.