Emergency Response Plan

Summary of the Emergency Response Plan

The University’s Emergency Operations Manual includes information about operation teams; University operating status parameters; incident priorities and performance expectations; shelter-in-place and evacuation guidelines; and local contingency and continuity planning requirements. University departments are responsible for developing contingency plans and continuity of operations plans for their staff and areas of responsibility. The University conducts emergency response exercises each year, such as table top exercises, field exercises, and tests of the emergency notification systems on campus. These tests are designed to assess and evaluate the emergency plans and capabilities of the institution.

UNH police officers (UNHPD), Durham Fire Department (DFD) Members, McGregor EMS (MEMS), Durham Police officers (DPD) and supervisors have received training in Incident Command and Responding to Critical Incidents on Campus. When a serious incident occurs that causes an immediate threat to the campus, these first responders typically respond and work together to manage the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, other UNH departments and other local or federal agencies could also be involved in responding to the incident.

University of New Hampshire Emergency Operations Plan

Summary of Emergency Evacuation Procedures

An evacuation drill is coordinated by Durham FD each fall semester (and sometimes during the spring semester) for all residential facilities on the UNH-Durham campus. Thus, the emergency response and evacuation procedures are tested at least once a year. Students learn the locations of the emergency exits in buildings and guidance about exiting the building for a short-term building evacuation.  Long-term evacuation decisions are affected by time of day, location of the building being evacuated, the availability of various designated emergency gathering locations on campus, and other factors such as the location and nature of the threat. In both cases, on scene UNH Police, Durham FD, and Housing & Residential Life staff will communicate information to students regarding the developing situation or any evacuation status changes.

The purpose of evacuation drills is to prepare building occupants for an organized evacuation in case of a fire or other emergency. At UNH, 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.  In addition to educating the occupants of each building about the evacuation procedures during the drills, the process also provides the University an opportunity to test the operation of fire alarm system components.

Evacuation drills are monitored by UNH Police and Durham FD to evaluate egress and behavioral patterns. Reports are prepared by participating departments to identify areas of concern. Recommendations for improvements are submitted to the appropriate departments/offices for consideration and action.

Students receive information about evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures during their first floor meetings and during other educational sessions that they can participate in throughout the year. The House Staff members are trained in these procedures as well and act as an on-going resource for the students living in residential facilities.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures –

What it means to “Shelter-in-Place”

If an incident occurs and the buildings or areas around you becomes unstable, or if the air outdoors becomes dangerous due to toxic or irritating substances, it is usually safer to stay indoors. Leaving the building or area may expose you to danger. Thus, to “shelter-in-place” means to make a shelter of the building 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.

Basic “Shelter-in-Place” Guidance

If an incident occurs and the building you are in is not damaged, stay inside interior rooms until you are told it is safe to come out. If your building is damaged, take your personal belongings (purse, wallet, UNH ID card, etc.) and follow the evacuation procedures for your building (close your door, proceed to the nearest exit, and use the stairs instead of the elevators). Once you have evacuated, seek shelter at the nearest campus building quickly. If police or fire department personnel are on the scene, follow their directions.

How You Will Know to “Shelter-in-Place”

A shelter-in-place notification may come from several sources, including UNH Police, Housing and Residential Life Staff members, other University employees, Durham FD, or other authorities utilizing the University’s emergency communications tools.

How to “Shelter–in-Place”

No matter where you are, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should the need ever arise, follow these steps, unless instructed otherwise by local emergency personnel:

1. If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any emergency shelter-in-place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of emergency. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.

2. Locate a room to shelter inside. It should be:

-An interior room;

-Above ground level; and

-Without windows or with the least number of windows. If there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms maybe necessary.

3. Shut and lock all windows (tighter seal) and close exterior doors.

4. If applicable, turn off air conditioners, heaters, and fans.

5. Close vents to ventilation systems as you are able. (University facilities staff will turn off the ventilation as quickly as possible.)

6. Make a list of the people with you and ask someone like (Housing & Residential Life staff, faculty member, or other staff member) to call the list in to UNH Police at (603-862-1212) so they know where you are sheltering in place. If only students are present, one of the students should call in the list.

7. Turn on any available radio or TV and listen for further instructions.

8. Make yourself comfortable and recognize it could be awhile before the shelter-in-place is lifted.