Emergency Response and Evacuation
Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
The MIU Emergency Response and Evacuation Policy describes our response to emergencies. Individuals, offices, and departments should familiarize themselves with the information in these procedures. While these procedures do not cover every conceivable contingency, it does provide the basic administrative guidelines necessary to cope with campus emergencies.
Confirmation of Significant Emergency or Dangerous Situations
Upon receiving the first calls or notifications about the emergency, the Security Office will confirm the existence of the emergency generally in conjunction with University Administrators, local first responders, Public Health Officials, and/or the National Weather Service.
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, by obtaining further reports, conducting a prompt investigation, and contacting local law enforcement.
Determination the Appropriate Segments of the Community to Receive Notification
The segments of the community who will receive the notification will be determined by the Director of Security, Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer, or the Emergency Response Team. The decision-makers will rely on the information collected through the confirmation of the emergency and will determine which segment or segments of the campus might be directly or indirectly impacted by the situation and need to get the emergency notification. For example, in case of a major gas leak, the inhabitants of that building and the neighboring buildings will receive the emergency notification. A tornado warning will be sent out to the entire campus community. If it is uncertain which segment(s) of the campus is impacted by the emergency, the emergency notification will be sent out to the entire campus community.
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 the 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 of state agencies that have taken command of the emergency response. The content of the notification will be determined by the Director of Security, Vice President of Operations, General Counsel and/or Chief Administrative Officer, and/or Emergency Response Team following its involvement. The Director of Security, the Vice President of Operations, or the Director of Regulatory Compliance will send out the emergency notification via RAVE Mobile Safety or other appropriate means.
In the Rave Mobile, mass notification system templates are available to be sent out immediately upon the confirmation of the threat or emergency. MIU has created templates for major foreseeable emergencies, which are reviewed and updated periodically. Upon deciding on issuing a mass notification, the template will be reviewed, updated, and personalized, and following a review, it will be sent out electronically to the determined segment(s) of or the entire campus.
For example, in case of a tornado causing severe damage text and email messages will be sent out via the RAVE Mobile and/or MIU Apps 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 concerning which building’s first aid or medical assistance is available; what notifications 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.
Notification of and Cooperation with the Local Authorities
Depending on the nature of the emergency, the Police Department, Fire Department, and Ambulance services will be advised by the Director of Security and/or Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer on the nature and scope of the emergency. Notification will be conducted via phone if the phone system is available. If not, the notification will be conducted in person.
Periodically, in anticipation of a possible emergency, the current campus layout will be supplied to all emergency responders, giving notice of new buildings, their type, and location.
In addition to maps, all non-resident emergency services personnel are encouraged to drive through campus periodically to maintain a personal familiarity with the campus functioning.
Occasionally meetings are held with the county-wide Homeland Security emergency group, who might be called in for extreme situations.
Procedures for Disseminating Information to the Larger Community
The Office of the President will create the text of the message describing the emergency to the larger Fairfield community if appropriate. The text will be sent by email and/or personal contact to the newspaper, Police and Fire Departments, and the Mayor’s Office.
Information will also be conveyed via phone by the Administration of the University to reach the Fairfield community and other communities, as appropriate, within the shortest period of time.
Description of the Emergency Response and Evacuation Process
In the event of an emergency, the Campus Community will be given instructions concerning how to respond to the crises. 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.
In most cases, the campus community will be asked to evacuate or shelter-in-place. You will be asked to evacuate, for example, in case of fire or fire alarm, and to shelter-in-place, if there is a chemical spill outside, or in case of tornado warning was issued.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
At the sound of a fire alarm or if you are instructed to evacuate (or run), please leave your area immediately and proceed to the nearest exit, and leave the building. Proceed to the direction you were instructed if there are such instructions, away from the threat.
In case of fire, if you are the first to recognize a fire situation, activate the alarm, evacuate to a safe location using the nearest exit, call 911 and notify Campus Security by calling 641-472-1115 or ext. 1115. During an evacuation, if you can, assist the physically impaired or wounded. If they are unable to leave the building, immediately inform Campus Security and/or the Fire Department of the individuals’ location. Proceed to a clear area at least 150 feet from the building or other designated assembly area you were told during the fire drill. Keep all walkways clear for emergency vehicles. Do not re-enter the building until all-clear signals are given by the Fire Department or Campus Security.
“Shelter-in-place” means to stay inside the building that you are in, and with a few adjustments, this location can be made even safer and more comfortable until it is safe to go outside. Shelter-in-place is used if it is safe or safer to stay inside than evacuating. For example, if a tornado hits your location and the buildings or areas around you become unstable, or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors.
Shelter-in-place means that you stay in the building, wait in the location until given an “all clear” or are told to evacuate. Usually, the best for shelter-in-place is an interior room without windows or with the least possible windows. Windows and doors should be kept closed, AC, heaters, fans turned off, vents closed (if it is possible). The specific rules of shelter-in-place are dependent upon the danger. For example, if there is a chemical spill outside, it is best to stay above ground level, while in case of a tornado, it is the safest to go to a floor under the ground.
The request to shelter-in-place may come from the RAVE Mobile notification, Fairfield Police Department, or another Public Safety authority.
If an emergency occurs (e.g. tornado) and the building you are in is not damaged, stay inside in an interior room until you are told it is safe to come out. If your building is damaged, take your personal belongings (purse, wallet, phones, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building (close your door, proceed calmly to the nearest exit).
Follow closely the instructions given through the emergency notification system, or by police or fire department personnel on the scene.
Active shooter: Run-Hide-Fight
In an active shooter situation, the MIU campus community will follow the FBI recommended tactics of a run, hide, fight which are found on the FBI website and https://www.ready.gov/active-shooter.
Getting away from the shooter or shooters is our priority.
How to run? Run if the shooter is in your building, but far enough so escape is still possible. Run in the opposite direction from where you hear the gunshots. Leave your belongings behind and leave quickly and quietly.
Hide if the shooter is in your building, and you have no window, door which would allow you to run away from the shooter, but the shooter is still not in your room, Hide only if escape is not possible.
How to hide? Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights. Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate. Try to communicate with the police silently. Use text messages or social media to tag your location or put a sign in a window. Spread in the room, far away from each other along the walls. Stay low. Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and protect if shots are fired in your direction. Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all-clear.
The fight is the very last resort if the shooter enters your room, and your life is in imminent danger.
How to fight? Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc. Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as you can. As you aim to incapacitate the shooter, be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury.
What to do and not to do when law enforcement arrives:
Remain calm and follow instructions. Drop items in your hands. (e.g., bags, jackets). Raise hands and spread fingers and keep hands visible all the time. Avoid quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety. Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling. Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from unless otherwise instructed.
What information to provide to 911 operators:
Location and physical description of the active shooter(s), number of shooters, what weapons they have, and the number of potential victims at your location.
For more information about the response to an active shooter situation: https://www.ready.gov/active-shooter
Calling-in and Function of the Emergency Response Team (ERT)
The 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.
The emergency operations plan includes the activation of the Emergency Command and Coordination Center which organizes first responders, directs the inspection and assessment of damages, plans and coordinates shelter, hygiene, and meals for campus residents, etc.
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 sleeping facilities (in case of open barracks, 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; 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
Emergency plans are practiced and reviewed annually. The Security and Safety Department will organize in-house testing of emergency response and evacuation procedures and, whenever it can be coordinated, the university will participate in the county-wide and/or state-wide emergency response drills.
The emergency operations drills and exercises might be tabletop exercises, field exercises, and/or tests of the emergency notification systems. Drills and/or exercises are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution. All field exercises will be announced. For the time being, the University does not plan unannounced emergency field exercises.
Each drill, exercise, and/or test is documented which includes a description, the date and time of the exercise, a list of participants, the outcome, and if needed, recommendations will be developed on procedures, equipment, training, and other relevant factors.
MIU publicizes at least once every academic year the availability of MIU emergency and evacuation plans in conjunction with distributing the information about the emergency drill, exercise, or test. This notification is sent out via email and/or an electronic system to students, staff, and faculty.
Emergency Evacuation Drills
The emergency evacuation procedures are tested at least twice each year.
The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in the case of a fire or other emergency. Evacuation drills are used as a way to educate and train occupants on fire safety issues specific to their building. During the drill, occupants practice drill procedures and familiarize themselves with the location of exits and the sound of the fire alarm.
Emergency Procedures for Noncampus Courses, Base Camp, and Other Overnight Trips
In the context of a noncampus overnight trip, the meaning of “emergency” is wider than in the context of a course held on campus. Circumstances that otherwise would be handled routinely by a designated department of MIU (mostly Security or Student Life), must be addressed by the course leader on the spot, ideally with the support of the abovementioned or other departments of MIU.
In the event of an emergency, on-site faculty and staff use their best professional judgment to act quickly to protect the health and safety of students and other participants in the group.
The actions of on-site faculty and staff are based on MIU emergency and security policies. Specific policies tailored to the most common emergencies which might occur during off-campus courses or trip are listed in the specific policies.
The leader of operations is the course leader until that role is taken over by the Vice President of Operations or by the Emergency Response Team (ERT). Response steps:
- Course leader takes immediate emergency measures, following MIU general and/or specific emergency procedures. Specific emergency procedures for off-campus courses and trips are discussed further in the specific policies.
- Course leader contacts Vice President of Operations, a Chief Administrative Officer, Director of Security, Vice President of Academic Affairs, General Counsel, and/or Vice-President of Enrollment and Student Affairs. If there is no response, the course leader or designee keeps calling until the call is received. If no response, the course leader or designee calls any other members of the ERT.
- Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer and/or Director of Security and/or Vice President of Academic Affairs and/or Vice-President of Enrollment and Student Affairs and/or other members of ERT calls in further members of ERT if needed. If legal liability might be an issue, General Counsel must be involved.
- Vice President of Operations and/or Chief Administrative Officer and/or Director of Security and/or Vice President of Academic Affairs and/or Vice-President of Enrollment and Student Affairs or the ERT determines next steps, including whether consulate/insurer/local lawyer, etc. must be directly or indirectly involved.
- Event logs, memos of meetings should be prepared as soon as possible and sent to the Director of Regulatory Compliance, who organizes and compiles them.