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SEC-001: Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations

Date: 11/30/2023 Status: Final
Last Revised:
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Emergency Management (UVA)
Oversight Executive: Associate Vice President for Safety & Security and Chief of Police
Applies To:

Academic Division.

Reason for Policy:

The occurrence or imminent threat of a disaster or emergency has the potential of causing widespread or severe damage as well as injury or loss of life or property. Whether resulting from natural, technological, or human causes, these incidents can severely disrupt University operations and mission essential functions. University-wide standards for emergency and continuity of operations planning have been established to:

  • Safeguard the welfare of faculty, staff, students, patients, and visitors.
  • Protect University property before, during, and after a disaster or emergency.
  • Preserve the University’s mission of teaching, research, patient care, and public service.
Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Building Emergency Action Plan (BEAP):The written framework from which to facilitate emergency response actions at the building level during all-hazards emergencies.
  • Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP):A functional plan providing procedures to continue operations in the wake of an incident where the normal operations of the University, school, or department are severely disrupted.
  • Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP):The plan used by the University to efficiently and effectively manage, respond to, plan, and recover from an incident or event that might affect the University. The plan and all its contents apply to all the University’s faculty, staff, and students, including UVA Health, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The University of Virginia’s separate campuses and College at Wise maintain their own emergency plans. The CIMP is implemented when it becomes necessary to mobilize resources to save lives and protect property, infrastructure, and the environment. The CIMP is intended to address crisis that are of a finite duration, and not long-term events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020/2021.
  • Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT):Designated senior University leaders and departments who are assembled and directed by the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer to manage the response and recovery from an emergency event that impacts the University. The CIMT is the team identified in the University’s Critical Incident Management Plan.
  • Department Continuity Planner:The designated administrator of a school/department/unit having responsibility for development and execution of a Continuity of Operations Plan pursuant to this Policy.
  • Disaster 2:An occurrence of a natural catastrophe, technological accident, or human-caused event that has resulted in severe property damage, deaths, and/or multiple injuries.
  • Emergency:Any incident, whether natural, technological, or human-caused, that requires responsive action to protect life or property.
  • Mission Essential Function:Department and agency level functions that must be continued throughout or resumed rapidly after a disruption of normal activities. These include but are not limited to services basic to maintaining the safety and well-being of the University’s faculty, staff, students, patients, contractors, and visitors; maintaining health services; preserving critical research; and delivering academic programs to students.
  • University Grounds or Separate Campus (based on Clery Act definition):The areas where administrative functions, teaching, and research facilities of the University that are used by members of the University community are located as well as athletic and recreational facilities. This includes (i) any building or property owned or controlled by the University within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of, or in a manner related to, the institution’s educational purposes, including residence halls; and (ii) any building or property that is within or reasonably contiguous to the area described in clause (i) that is owned by the University but controlled by another person, is frequently used by students, and supports institutional purposes, such as a food or other retail vendor. This also includes Clery Act “separate campus” locations as identified by the assistant vice president for clery compliance.
Policy Statement:

Emergency and continuity of operations planning is a core responsibility of all University schools/departments/units and its separate campuses. The University has established a framework to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against the effects of a wide range of disasters and emergencies that includes University-wide standards for emergency and continuity of operations planning (COOP). This policy applies to all University school/departments/units and its separate campuses.

The University’s Office of Emergency Management (UVAEM) administers the University’s and its separate campuses’ Emergency Management Program. (For more detailed information, refer to the UVAEM website.)

  1. Plans:
    A coordinated, all-hazards planning effort creates the foundation of the University’s preparedness program. UVAEM facilitates, with the assistance of relevant stakeholders, the development and maintenance of incident/emergency/event plans and procedures to further the resiliency of the University community.

    1. University Plans:
      1. Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) - Following the provisions set forth in Code of Virginia Section 23.1-804, as amended, with respect to the maintenance and review of the written Crisis and Emergency Management Plan, the framework for how the University manages incidents/emergencies/events at its facilities is outlined.
      2. University Continuity Plan - As required by Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), the University maintains a current institutional-level Continuity Plan that identifies the University's mission-essential functions and the primary business functions and resources (e.g., facilities, human capital, and IT) needed to perform these functions when normal operations are disrupted.

      3. Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) - The HVA assesses and ranks the hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities inherent to the University. All hazard types (natural, human-caused, and technological) are considered in the HVA development process. The hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities identified in the HVA are used as the foundation to design and develop various University planning, training, and exercise programs. The HVA is updated annually with stakeholder input.

    2. Building and School/Department/Unit Planning and Preparedness Requirements:
      1. BEAP - All buildings are required to establish and maintain a Building Emergency Action Plan and to update the BEAP annually. BEAPs are maintained at the building level by a Building Emergency Action Coordination Team led by a building emergency action coordinator. In conjunction with UVAEM, building emergency action coordinators develop BEAPs, identify alternate building emergency action coordinators and Building Safety Committee members, and develop ways to share the BEAP with building occupants and visitors. If a building is occupied by multiple departments, all departments should be involved in the development of the BEAP. If departments are in multiple buildings, each building needs to have its own BEAP and Building Emergency Action Coordination Team.
      2. COOP - All schools/departments/units that are designated as fulfilling or supporting a mission essential function and/or business process analysis within the University’s COOP are required to develop and maintain a current COOP. COOPs shall be updated annually and submitted to UVAEM by the last day of August each year, in a format provided by UVAEM. School/department/unit heads designate a department continuity planner to work with UVAEM to complete/update their COOP annually. As a best practice, all other University school/departments/units are encouraged to develop a Departmental/Unit COOP with UVAEM support.

  2. Training:
    UVAEM coordinates the University’s preparedness training program. Per Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), all University employees are required to successfully complete the Emergency Management for State Employees training module annually. Based on their roles and responsibilities in event/incident management and recovery, identified personnel may be subject to participation in training programs (e.g., Critical Incident Management Team, Special Event Command Post, Virtual Emergency Operations Center on the Internet, and other training to be developed and offered as needed). Training is delivered in accordance with the current Integrated Preparedness Plan (IPP) maintained by UVAEM.

  3. Exercises:
    A coordinated and structured exercise program tests, validates, and identifies areas to sustain and for improvement in existing plans, procedures, and trainings. UVAEM coordinates the University Grounds and separate campuses exercise program. Per Code of Virginia Section 23.1-804 and Governor's Executive Order 41 (2019), at least one test or exercise of the CIMP and University COOP must be conducted annually. All exercises for members of the CIMT, Incident Assessment Group, Severe Weather Assessment Team, and separate campuses are delivered in accordance with the current IPP.

  4. Roles and Responsibilities:
    The employee is responsible for:

    • Understanding University emergency event notification communications protocols.
    • Completing the required state training module annually.

    The school/department/unit head is responsible for:

    • Determining the critical operations of the school/department/unit.
    • Developing Building Emergency Action Plans and Continuity Plans in accordance with UVAEM guidelines.
    • Communicating BEAPs and COOPs to all school/department/unit personnel to promote familiarity with and understanding of respective roles and responsibilities during an emergency/disaster.
    • Designating and training the appropriate staff to respond and recover from an emergency event.

    The supervisor is responsible for:

    • Conveying to each designated employee the role they are to perform in each type of emergency event as well as logistical arrangements such as parking, and whether meals, lodging, and the like will be provided.
    • Explaining to each employee about University modified schedule announcements and where and when to find them as well as school/department/unit directives to follow.
    • Identifying and notifying employees who have the capability and type of work to work remotely during an emergency event.

    The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for:

    • Working with administrative/academic units to include announcements about changes in services and events on the University’s Operations Status Board as appropriate.
    • Supporting University senior leadership’s decision-making through information gathering and coordination with key operating units and the CIMT.
    • Assisting schools/departments/units and separate campuses with developing building level emergency and continuity planning.
    • Providing training and exercises in accordance with applicable VA code and the current IPP.
  5. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Emergency Management (UVA).

Major Category:
Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Policy Review Committee, 11/30/2023
Supersedes (previous policy):

XV.K.1 Unified Emergency Response Plan.