Emergency Response and Evacuation

Confirmation of Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situation

Upon receiving the first calls or notifications about the emergency, the Security Office will confirm the existence of the emergency. If appropriate in the circumstances, the security officer on duty and/or the Director of Security will confirm the emergency by observing the location and examining the situation in person. Further methods of confirming the existence of the emergency can be obtaining further reports, contacting local law enforcement, etc.

Determination the Appropriate Segment or Segments of the Community to Receive Notification

Some emergencies could potentially affect a greater portion of the campus than others. The University intends to send out a notification to the segment or segments of the community of who would be directly and indirectly affected by the emergency or dangerous situation. The determination of the affected segment or segments will be carried out in an ongoing manner. The appropriate segment or segment of the community who receives the notification will be determined by the Director of Security, Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer, or Emergency Response Team following its involvement.

We will err on the side of sending out the emergency notification to a wider segment of the community.

The guiding principle will be to accept the possibility that the worst possible situation could develop and to take the necessary precautions to prevent the escalation of the situation.

  • EXAMPLE 1: If there is a suspected fire in a building, the building will be evacuated through the fire alarm system; all occupants will be instructed to go to the assembly area for that building, where a headcount will be conducted.

If the fire is contained and affects only one building and there is no risk of health and safety of occupants in other buildings, the notification will be executed via the fire alarm system and no text or email messages will be sent out.

As long as the circumstances allow, the Safety and Security Department might go through the intact part of the building to be sure that all occupants have been evacuated. The building and the surrounding grounds will be cordoned off, and once the Fire Department and Police arrive, the situation will be turned over to the Fire Chief. If he requests, the building’s electrical and/or gas systems will be shut down.

  • EXAMPLE 2: If there is an emergency which would affect a larger segment or portion of the campus, that portion of the campus will be notified via text or email messages, or via written announcements and will evacuate and moved to the appropriate large assembly building(s) for shelter, while the investigation or repairs are underway.

For example, if there was a major power outage due to extreme storms or other circumstances that is projected to last for days, occupants of the affected buildings will be notified via text, email messages or written announcement posted in their buildings. The occupants will be evacuated primarily into large assembly buildings, and secondly into other usable and available accommodations.

  • EXAMPLE 3: If there is an emergency affecting most individuals on campus such as (1) an explosion at gas dispensing facility, or (2) train derailment or major accident on Highway 1 involving materials such as propane, anhydrous ammonia, or hazardous waste shipments, the emergency notification will be sent out to everyone on campus via text and email messages.

In this case, the emergency procedures will be commanded by state authorities. Police, Ambulance and Fire Department will assume complete control and advise the university administration as to the appropriate action, based on information as to the size and location of the spill; wind direction; the ability of the first responders to have access to the site; any complicating factors such as weather; and staging areas for victim assistance and accommodations for mutual aid responders from other cities and counties. In such an extreme crisis, many of the campus residents would be evacuated to sites off-campus such as public high school and elementary school buildings, fairgrounds, hotels, and possibly to private residences in the city.

Determination of the Content of the Notification and Initiation of the Notification System

The content and the means of notification will be determined based on the potential severity and nature of the emergency. The notifications usually will include a description of emergency or dangerous situations; the time, date, location of its occurrence; instructions about what to do and what not to do, and how to avoid or mitigate the danger. When applicable, the notification will include information on state agencies that took over the command of the emergency response. The content of the notification will be determined by the Director of Security, Vice President of Operations, Legal Counsel and/or Chief Administrative Officer, or Emergency Response Team following its involvement.

In the Rave Mobile, mass notification system templates are available to be sent out immediately upon the confirmation of the threat or emergency. MIU created templates for major foreseeable emergencies. These templates are reviewed and updated periodically. The templates are also reviewed and personalized before sending out.

The decision about the initiation of the notification system is made by the Director of Security, Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer, or Emergency Response Team following its involvement.

  • For example, in case a tornado caused severe damage to some of the campus buildings, text and email messages will be sent out via the RAVE system and Oohlala Campus App by the Security and Safety Office, Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer or the Emergency Response Team. The initial notifications will contain information about in which buildings first aid or medical assistance is available for those who can move; what signs people should use if they are in the company of seriously injured individuals; where residents of demolished buildings can take shelter; how and where people can get food and water, etc.

Emergency Response Team (ERT)

Core Members of the Emergency Response Team:

Vice President of Operations Thomas Brooks
Chief Administrative Officer David Todt
Vice President of Academic Affairs Craig Pearson
Vice-President of Enrollment and Student Affairs Rod Eason
Assistant Dean of Student Life Selin Ozbudak
Provost Scott Herriott
Dean of Faculty Vicky Alexander Herriott
General Counsel Bill Goldstein
Director of Security Rig Gelfand
HR Director Carol Passos
Director of Regulatory Compliance Beata Nacsa


Calling-in and Function of the Emergency Response Team

Emergency Response Team will be called in, once there is confirmation of an emergency, and the nature and scope of that emergency have been determined.  The Security and Safety Office will contact the members of the ERT. If the Security and Safety Office is unable to call in the ERT, any member of the ERT may call the rest of the members. If the news about a serious emergency reaches any member of the ERT, they may convene the team and put the MIU Emergency Plan into action.

Response to a serious emergency or dangerous situation will be coordinated by ERT. Any or all of the members of the ERT may be actively involved in the response, depending upon the needs of the situation.

The President of MIU must be notified about the emergency and the response at the earliest convenience, usually by the Vice President of Operations or General Counsel.

Media inquiries will be referred to the General Counsel

Contacts for ERT:

  • Jefferson County Sheriff
  • Fairfield Police Department
  • Fairfield Fire Department
  • If appropriate, Homeland Security Emergency Response Coordinator
  • If appropriate, the Iowa Department of Public Health and/or Jefferson County Public Health

Emergency Response Center

The emergency operations plan includes the activation of the Information Center, Foster Hall 3rd floor. Foster Hall 3rd floor will be the Command and Coordination Center for first responders, inspection and assessment teams for damage, and planning and coordination for shelter, hygiene, and meals for campus residents.

Buildings Assigned for Emergency Conversion Use

Certain buildings on campus are selected for emergency conversion use. Except for full evacuation of the campus, these buildings will serve as open barracks sleeping facilities (gender-specific); makeshift dining facilities and classrooms; staging area for medical evaluation and evacuation; quarantining facilities during pandemics; supply depot for materials used in emergencies (as collected from county-wide sources); and for processing and coordinating information and emergency volunteer personnel. These facilities can also be used by the city and county for the same purposes if an emergency evacuation is necessary for Fairfield or other cities within the county.

Testing of Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures

The Security and Safety Department will be conducting in-house testing of emergency evacuation procedures and, whenever it can be coordinated, the university will participate in the county-wide and/or state-wide review of emergency response drills.  The university is in contact with the Emergency Response Coordinator for the county as sanctioned by Homeland Security, and the Security and Safety Department’s participation in these drills will consist of following instructions and coordinating equipment and supplies and other orders as directed by the Emergency Response Coordinator.  When county and state-wide drills are announced, the university academic and administrative departments will be advised of the university’s role in the drills.

University In-house Testing of Evacuation Procedures

Periodically the Director of Security will generate an emergency drill (mock crisis).  This test situation will be announced to appropriate academic and administrative personnel and student groups. Those who are participating in the drill will be told of the situation and queried on the steps they would take in response to the assessed danger.

For the time being, the University does not plan unannounced emergency drills.

Security personnel will notify all the occupants of any affected building of the situation and the course of action (as appropriate to the type of test).

The exercises on campus will be tabletop and/or location-oriented, or both.

After each drill, the involved departments will convene to assess weaknesses in the procedure, unforeseen difficulties that may have arisen.

Records will be kept of every drill (participants, outcome). Results will be shared with the Administration of MIU and recommendations will be developed on procedures, equipment, training, and other relevant factors.

MIU publicizes at least once in every academic year the availability of MIU emergency and evacuation plans. This notification is sent out via email or an electronic system to students, staff, and faculty. This notification also contains the main outcome of the emergency drill, desktop exercise or other methods of testing the emergency systems of the University.



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