The Texas A&M University at Galveston Campus Emergency Response Plan has been developed to provide guidance during emergency and crises events that call for actions and operations beyond the daily operations of the institution. The plan is composed of four parts providing guidance for campus communications, command center operations, media relations, and campus lock down and security protocols during critical incidents. This plan does not replace other emergency plans and protocols in place for severe weather, campus evacuation, post emergency campus recovery, fire and other safety response plans. This plan should be used to complement other plans and procedures. Activation of this plan will ensure that effective communication in the event of a crisis saves lives, prevents property loss and disseminates information to all campus members in a clear, concise and organized manner so that we are truly “Aggies Taking Care of Aggies.”
No amount of planning can replace the solid leadership and sound judgment that must be exercised at all levels during a crisis or emergency situation. This plan will always be an evolving document and is for guidance only. In addition, all campus community members should become familiar with the E2 Campus system by registering all personal communication devices at:
The individual who encounters the potential crisis or emergency should gather accurate information from the appropriate sources as quickly as possible. After fact gathering, the individual should contact the Campus Police immediately.
Authority and decision to activate the Emergency Preparedness Plan as a result of the emergency will follow the Chain of Command beginning with the President and CEO. If the President and CEO is unavailable, the administrator in charge will activate the plan.
In the event there is an emergency in progress, the Campus Police may take immediate action to safeguard the campus community through established police procedures while taking steps to notify the administration of the crisis or emergency situation.
Chain of Command
After assessing the nature and scope of the situation, the Executive Team member in charge will call together all available members of the Executive Team to execute the following plan:
Designate a spokesperson: In cases of a significant crisis, the President and CEO or administrator in charge will take the lead in conveying the administration's response to the crisis, showing that the campus has control of the situation, calming public concern and providing leadership for the entire campus.
Draft a fact sheet: The fact sheet will contain a summary statement of the situation including all known details to be released to the media. This information will be made available to (and approved by) the President and CEO in addition to copies provided to the Chancellor, President and Provost. This fact sheet should be scrutinized with respect to the public's right to know and concerns for privacy and security in consultation with the Office of General Counsel if necessary.
Notify key constituencies: Determine key constituencies that should be informed of the crisis. It is important to keep administration, faculty, staff, students and parents informed as appropriate of appropriate details and actions taken by the university during an emergency. The President and CEO or administrator in charge will notify the Chancellor, President and Provost in College Station of the crisis as appropriate.
The Campus Emergency Communications Protocols will be followed (See Appendix A)
Alert the media: Determine whether a news conference and or news release is an appropriate means of conveying information beyond the protocols used to notify faculty, staff, students, the news media and the public. The President and CEO or administrator in charge in consultation with the Director of Media Relations and Communications will determine logistics of the news conference including when, where and how the media will be contacted, which media will be contacted, who will supervise the news conference, who will appear, etc. The Campus Emergency Communications Protocols for Media Management will be followed.
Other spokespersons: Identify any other individuals besides those on the Executive Team who may serve as spokespersons or who might be made available to the news media; assign a public information staff person to provide counsel to those individuals.
Ongoing Procedures During Crisis
During the crisis or emergency, the Executive Team in consultation with the Director of Media Relations and Communications will monitor all news media for reports or updates related to the crisis.
Open communications: Over the duration of the crisis, open communications between the Executive Team and those responding to the crisis or emergency will be maintained. Redundant communication systems including the police 800 series radios, campus satellite phones and personal cell phones will be utilized in maintaining effective communication links.
Outside resources: In the event the campus resources and responders are overwhelmed by the crisis or emergency or additional resources are needed, the President and CEO or administrator in charge will contact the local Office of Emergency Management, local law enforcement or Texas A&M University to request assistance.
Following any crisis, appropriate action must take place to ensure that members of the campus community, and others as necessary, receive needed information and assistance to help bring closure to the crisis as well as relief from the effects of the event. Attention also should be placed on identifying and implementing measures to improve the Emergency Preparedness plan used during the crisis.
Communications: If needed, a public forum should be scheduled and coordinated by the Director of Media Relations and Communications to communicate details of the incident and events to all interested members of the campus. The timeliness of this meeting is critical and every effort should be made to see that it occurs within three work days from the close of the crisis. Representatives from the Executive Team, Campus Police, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Employee Assistance Program, as well as the Counseling Office should attend and be prepared to answer questions and share pertinent information. Specific departments and/or individuals also may be requested to attend and participate depending upon the nature of the crisis.
Immediately following a crisis: It is imperative that the campus be sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff and students who may have been personally affected by the crisis. There may be a need to assist a victim or victims with obtaining information and/or a referral to available resources. Human Resources will be the contact for employee assistance and Student Affairs for student assistance.
Rumor control: It is not unreasonable to expect that rumors would follow a crisis, further creating an atmosphere of anxiety. As a preventative measure, the campus Website will continuously be updated following the crisis to address rumors and provide additional information as it becomes available. All inquiries to the crisis will be directed to the Director of Media Relations and Communications.
Ten day follow up: The Executive Team shall meet within 10 days following a crisis and review all actions taken as a result of the crisis to determine effectiveness and efficiency of operations and make any needed changes to the Emergency Preparedness Plan and Emergency Communications Plan and Protocols.
Emergencies can occur at any time and without warning. Careful application of the Campus Emergency Communication Plan and Protocols will assist the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus community in responding appropriately to crises and emergencies and effectively manage the media. Continued evaluation and refinement of this plan is necessary and should be initiated on an annual basis.
The Incident Command Center will function as the primary physical location for campus coordination and management of the crisis or emergency situation. The authority and decision to activate the Emergency Preparedness Plan resulting in the opening of the Incident Command Center will follow the Chain of Command beginning with the President and CEO. If the President and CEO is unavailable, the administrator in charge will activate the plan:
Chain of Command
The Incident Command Center will be located in the President’s Suite of the Classroom-Laboratory Building (Building 3007, Room 225) and will serve as:
In the event the President’s Suite is inoperable, the Incident Command Center will be relocated to the Powell Marine Engineering Complex (PMEC) Room 226.
The Incident Command Center will remain operational until the President and CEO or administrator in charge declares the crisis or emergency incident to no longer be a threat to the campus and the campus is returned to normal operations.
Coordination of center set up and operational support will be managed by the Assistant Vice President for Administration. Once established, management of the center will revert to the Incident Command Center Coordinator.
If the Incident Command Center is relocated to TAMU, operations will commence in the General Services Complex, 750 Agronomy Road, College Station, Texas in a room designated by the office of Facilities and Planning in College Station. Should campus operations relocate to TAMU, the TAMUG Emergency Preparedness Business Continuity Plan will be activated.
Incident Command Center Coordinator
To better facilitate the operations of the Incident Command Center, the campus Executive Secretary to the President will serve as the Incident Command Center Coordinator whose duties will include but are not limited to:
The Incident Command Center Coordinator will also coordinate the acquisition and delivery of center equipment needs which includes but is not limited to:
Incident Command Center Operations
The Incident Command Center operations will be under the leadership and direction of the President and CEO or the administrator in charge. Access to the center will be controlled by the Campus Police. Access is restricted to members of the Executive Team, their designated alternates and campus community members essential to the operations of the center.
Executive/Strategic Operations Team Members Initial Activities
Once convened, the available Executive Team members will:
All members of the Executive/Strategic Operations Team will designate a backup who will be available to respond to a crisis situation at all times. All backup members will remain on standby/alert for the duration of the crisis.
The Director of Media Relations and Communications will remain in the Incident Command Center when not in the media center and will collect and coordinate the information provided by members of the Executive/Strategic Operations Team and others across campus who are engaged in managing or resolving the crisis. The Incident Command Center Coordinator will document all information provided along with the time and person reporting.
All members of the Executive/Strategic OperationsTeam will assess staffing and resources needs associated with responding to the crisis and recovery.
Should the Incident Command Center relocate to TAMU, the Incident Command Center Coordinator will collaborate with the Assistant Vice President for Administration in activating the TAMU site, providing information to TAMUG campus community members who are relocating to College Station and securing housing for those relocating.
If external agencies (i.e. local police, fire and EMS) are integrated into the Incident Command Center operations, space within or adjacent to the Incident Command Center will be provided to such agencies for required logistical and communication support.
Roles and Responsibilities
After assessing the nature and scope of the situation, the available Executive Team members will function under the following roles with additional responsibilities:
If at anytime a member of the Executive Team is unable to perform his/her duties with the Incident Command Center operations, his/her backup will assume the duties and responsibilities of the vacated member.
In the event of a serious emergency or accident involving TAMUG students, faculty and/or staff, the campus will immediately enact the following procedures for managing the media:
Office of the President and CEO
Computing Information Services
The President and CEO or administrator in charge will serve as the chief spokesperson for the campus.
If employees or students are called by outsiders or members of the media, they should refrain from comment and refer the individual to the Incident Command Center.
As soon as reasonably possible, the Director of Media Relations and Communications will provide the media with a statement. The statement will be constructed based on the best available information.
The media will be notified of the next update. Updates will be given by either the President and CEO or administrator in charge.
Employees should be mindful of potential video cameras and cell phone photography and their coverage of the incident at the scene.
If/when a media representative arrives on the campus, anyone encountering the media should contact the Director of Media Relations and Communications at extension 4830 or cell phone 409-795-4113. If the Director of Media Relations and Communications is unavailable, then contact campus administration. An authorized administrator in charge will then act as necessary.
The Director of Media Relations and Communications will report to the established media center and activate assistance from one or all of the following groups: Financial Management Services, Human Resources, Admissions and Records, Naval Science or the Texas Maritime Academy.
Campus community members affected should be discouraged from agreeing to provide media with an interview. If they do, assistance will be provided by the Director of Media Relations and Communications. A designated member of the Executive Team should be present during interviews to ensure that ground rules are followed and inappropriate questions are not addressed.
The Director of Media Relations and Communications will notify the following people in College Station and request assistance as appropriate:
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Associate V.P. for Communications
Chief Communications Officer
Information concerning the emergency will be communicated as appropriate via E2 Campus, the TAMUG website and local media sources as information becomes available.
Media updates will be provided at least every four hours or as deemed necessary by the President and CEO or administrator in charge.
All external local government agencies (City Mayor, County Judge, etc.) will be notified of any developments with the crisis or emergency situation as soon as possible.
When a crisis or emergency situation on campus warrants immediate lockdown of the campus, the safest method to protect campus occupants will be to take shelter inside a campus building and await further instructions.
The order to lockdown the campus or campuses will be given by the Office of the President and CEO. In the event there is an emergency in progress, the Campus Police may take immediate action to safeguard the campus community by calling for the lockdown of campus(es) through E2 Campus and established police procedures while taking steps to notify the administration of the crisis or emergency situation. If the order to lock down the campus is given the following protocols will be implemented:
Campus Lockdown Protocols
All campus community members will move to the nearest room, take cover and stay low.
Doors and windows will be locked and opened only to students and staff seeking safety or to the police.
Campus community members will remain quiet and shut off all audio-visual equipment.
Faculty will be responsible for providing leadership and maintaining calmness in the classrooms.
The campus will remain in the lockdown mode until an all-clear signal is given by the Campus Police or TAMUG administration.
Once the all-clear signal has been communicated via E2 Campus, verbally and by other means across campus, the Office of Student Affairs will commence notifying students’ parents as appropriate. The Director of Media Relations and Communications will provide a scripted message approved by the President and CEO or next highest ranking Executive Team member that will be communicated to the parents and family of the students.
All campus resources necessary will be made available to the Campus Police, TAMUG administrators and responding emergency personnel to resolve the crisis.
Hazardous Materials Spill (refer to Chemical/Radiation Spill)
In the event hazardous materials are involved:
Active Shooter on Campus (refer to Campus/Workplace Violence)
In the event that one or more gunmen come on campus with intent to harm a campus community member(s) for any reason:
Campus Closure Protocols
Authority and decision to close the TAMUG campus will follow the Chain of Command beginning with the President and CEO. The President and CEO or administrator in charge will approve the message and use of E-2 Campus and www.SchoolClosing.us whenever possible. If the President and CEO is unavailable, the administrator in charge will initiate the campus closure and notification protocols.
However, if time is of the essence, any administrator in the Chain of Action is permitted to send an E-2 Campus and/or www.SchoolClosing.us message without prior consent should the situation warrant immediate notification.
The Chain of Action for sending E-2 Campus is as follows:
Campus closures will be based on the following:
Notification Process – Chain of Action
Authority to Re-Open Campus
The authority and decision to re-open the TAMUG campus will follow the campus Emergency Response Plan Chain of Command protocols as initiated by the President and CEO. If the President and CEO is unavailable, the administrator in charge will initiate the campus re-opening notification procedures.
All campus members will be notified to return to campus via the E-2 Campus system as well as by postings on the campus website.
All campus employees will be advised to contact their supervisors for specific information about reporting to work.
Information updates to the Campus Website will be provided every four hours or as determined by the President and CEO or administrator in charge.
All external local government agencies (City Mayor, County Judge, etc.) will be notified of any developments with the crisis or emergency situation as soon as possible.
E-2 Campus Protocols
Authority and decision to issue an E-2 Campus message will follow the Chain of Command beginning with the President and CEO. The President and CEO or administrator in charge will approve the message and use of E-2 Campus and www.SchoolClosing.us whenever possible. If the President and CEO is unavailable, the administrator in charge will initiate the campus closure and notification protocols by contacting the Assistant Vice President for Administration or the next administrator in the Chain of Action.
If time is of the essence, any administrator in the Chain of Action is permitted to send an E-2 Campus and/or www.SchoolClosing.us message without prior consent should the situation warrant immediate notification.
Discretion should be exercised when issuing E-2 Campus messages. Certain dangerous or extreme situations may warrant the issuing of a message immediately
E-2 Campus messages will not be issued based on the following:
Revised July 2011
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