UTS 172 Emergency Management

Sec. 1 Policy Statement. 

It is the policy of The University of Texas System that each institution develops and maintains a multihazard emergency management program that is approved by the president of the institution. Each institution's emergency management program will incorporate the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and make use of the Incident Command System (ICS). For those institutions with on-campus hospitals, those hospital emergency management programs will also incorporate NIMS and may make use of the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). For institutions with on-campus hospitals, the senior leadership will appoint an individual to intervene whenever environmental conditions immediately threaten life or health or threaten to damage equipment or buildings. Members of the incident command team must be trained. The senior leadership of the institution should participate in planning, training, and exercises.

Sec. 2 State and Federal Requirements. 

State law requires that U. T. System institutions develop multihazard emergency operations plans, implement a safety and security audit program, and submit audit results to the U. T. System Board of Regents and the Texas Division of Emergency Management every three years. The Department of Education (34 CFR 668.46) requires that higher education institutions maintain emergency, evacuation, and notification plans. Health institutions with hospitals are required to maintain emergency management programs by accrediting and licensure agencies as well as by federal grant requirements.

Sec. 3 Policy Implementation.

3.1 The U. T. System Office of Risk Management (ORM) will assist institutions in coordinating efforts and in compiling reports to the U. T. System Board of Regents and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Operational control for emergency management will continue to reside at the institutions.

3.2 The following are the basic steps in implementing this policy.

(a) U. T. System and the institutions will design and form a U. T. System Emergency Management Committee and any necessary subcommittees needed to implement this policy.

(b) The U.T. System Emergency Management Committee will hold two (2) meetings each calendar year.

(c) Each institution will appoint an individual responsible for emergency management.

(d) Each institution shall identify at least one representative to serve on the U. T. system Emergency Management Committee. Multiple representatives may be identified, however, the primary representative must be the individual responsible for emergency management at each institution.

(e) Each institution will develop and implement an emergency management program.

(f) The U. T. System Emergency Management Committee will develop audit tools and services and schedule audits at the request of institutions to assist those institutions in complying with audit mandated by State law.

(g) In accordance with State law, each institution will conduct an annual review of its emergency management program. the institution may request support from the other institutions in conducting this review. The institution will decide on the mechanism of this review.

(h) As required by State law, at least once every three years an audit will be conducted by each institution. The institution is responsible for designing the mechanism of the audit. The institution may make use of standards, best practices, and review mechanisms (to include peer reviews) developed by the U. T. System Emergency Management Committee.

(i) Results of the three-year audit will be submitted to ORM for consolidation and reporting to the U. T. System Board of Regents and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

(j) The U. T. System Emergency Management Committee will conduct at least one U. T. Systemwide emergency management exercise. Exercises may be in the form of a drill, tabletop (discussion board), function, or full-scale (operations based). The annual U. T. Systemwide exercise will not replace a required U. T. System Emergency Management Committee meeting. However, an exercise can be completed at a committee meeting. The committee may choose to maximize the benefits of this exercise by, for example, conducting training sessions, encouraging certification in emergency management, and evaluating performance on exercises or real events through the development of After Action Reports and Corrective Action Plans.

(k) The U. T. System Emergency Management Committee will develop mechanisms to coordinate and manage incidents with regional or U. T. Systemwide effects and develop contingency plans to support continuity operations (e.g., academic continuity) that could be deployed after a major event.

(l) U. T. System Administration and institutions will coordinate prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery activities with local, State, and federal agencies.

Sec. 4 Emergency Management Programs.

4.1 Institutions must develop, implement, and maintain an emergency management program to address prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. The program must provide for the following:

(a) employee training in responding to an emergency;

(b) mandatory drills to prepare students, faculty, and employees for responding to an emergency;

(c)  measures to ensure coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services and other relative state agencies, local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, health departments, and fire departments in the event of an emergency;

(d) the implementation of a safety and security audit;

(e) completion of a hazard vulnerability analysis or risk assessment; and

(f)  development and maintenance of an all-hazards, NIMS Compliant, emergency management plan to address areas such as potential hazards, lines of succession, department resources, and key facilities.

4.2 Institutions shall comply with the U.S. Department of Education regulations concerning emergency response, evacuation, early warning, and emergency notification. These elements must be included in the emergency management program.

4.3 Health institutions with hospitals or clinics shall develop and maintain emergency management programs that meet the requirements set out by their accreditation and licensing organizations, and by grant obligations.

4.4 If a hospital is part of an institution, the appropriate administrators should be regularly briefed on the hospital’s emergency preparedness activities. These efforts should be integrated with the institution's emergency management program and, when possible, these efforts should be standardized to ensure a seamless institutional response when necessary.

4.5 The hazard vulnerability analysis or risk assessment and the emergency management program must be reviewed and updated at least annually. At least once every three years, an institution shall conduct a safety and security audit of institution facilities. Institutions will follow to the degree feasible safety and security audit procedures developed by a U. T. System Emergency Management Committee in consultation with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The institution audit reports will be consolidated by the U. T. System Administration ORM and reported to the U. T. System Board of Regents and to the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

4.6 Institutions will follow to the degree feasible safety and security audit procedures developed by a U. T. System Emergency Management Committee in consultation with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The institution audit reports will be consolidated by the U. T. System Administration ORM and reported to the U. T. System Board of Regents and to the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

4.7 ORM will update and maintain the Interagency Resource Guidebook to facilitate mutual aid efforts across the system.

Sec. 5 Training, Education, and Exercises. 

ORM will facilitate the acquisition of training so as to foster consistency across institutions and leverage purchasing power. The U. T. System Emergency Management Committee will suggest specific training opportunities that would add to the effectiveness of emergency management programs. Training and exercises should be well integrated. Additionally, institutions are encouraged to coordinate with local, regional, and state entities for training and exercise opportunities.

Definitions. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides the following definitions.

Emergency Management - The coordination and integration of all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capabilities to prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate against threatened or actual disasters or emergencies, regardless of cause.

The ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient   domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management. A basic premise of ICS is that it is widely applicable. It is used to organize both near-term and long-term field-level operations for a broad spectrum of emergencies, from small to complex incidents, both natural and manmade. ICS is used by all levels of government—Federal, State, local, and tribal—as well as by many private-sector and nongovernmental organizations. ICS is also applicable across disciplines.

The Incident Command System:

  • Is a standardized management tool for meeting the demands of small or large emergency or nonemergency situations. 
  • Represents "best practices" and has become the standard for emergency management across the country. 
  • May be used for planned events, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism.
  • Is a key feature of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Mitigation – sustained actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects. The purpose of is to protect people and structures and to minimize the costs of disaster response and recovery.

Mutual Aid/Assistance Agreement - written or oral agreement between and among agencies/organizations and/or jurisdictions that provides a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services. The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during, and/or after an incident.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) – NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines.

The intent of NIMS is to:

  • Be applicable across a full spectrum of potential incidents and hazard scenarios, regardless of size or complexity.
  • Improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities in a variety of domestic incident management activities.

Preparedness – Preparedness is critical to emergency management. Preparedness involves all of the actions required to establish and sustain the level of capability necessary to execute a wide range of incident management operations. Preparedness is implemented through a continual cycle of planning, training and equipping, exercising and evaluating, and taking action to correct and mitigate.

Prevention – actions taken to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. The term “prevention” refers to preventing imminent threats.

Recovery - the development, coordination, and execution of service- and site-restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public-assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; post-incident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents.

Response - immediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency plans and actions to support short-term recovery.

U. T. System Administration - the central administrative offices that lead and serve the U. T. System institutions by undertaking certain central responsibilities that result in greater efficiency or higher quality than could be achieved by individual institutions or that fulfill legal requirements.

U. T. System Institution - the nine academic institutions and the six health institutions of the U. T. System.

Policy Details

Responsible Office(s)

Risk Management

Date Approved

Dates Amended or Reviewed