Emergency Preparedness: University Preparedness

Emergency Action Plan

The Emergency Action Plan has been developed to ensure the safety of Westfield State University Students, Faculty, Staff, and Guests in the event of an emergency.  The plan provides a written document that details the actions and procedures in an emergency and assigns responsibility for certain actions to designated individuals.

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Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The Emergency Operations Center provides a central clearing/control point to assess the emergency situation, set priorities, and coordinate the disaster response operations. Westfield State University has identified the Horace Mann Center Garden Level Conference Rooms to function as the campus Emergency Operations Center. Backup locations include Scanlon Living Room as an alternate site. Depending upon the scope of the crisis, alternate locations may be sought at the President’s Office, or from another location to be determined.

Emergency Management Teams

The Emergency Management Teams are separated into 3 critical groups and as an integrated management team are responsible for ensuring that the Campus is properly prepared to respond to an emergency. Those teams are: Emergency Response Team (ERT), Incident Support Team (IST), and the Policy Team.

As needed, the Emergency Management Teams provide support to the Incident Commander during the University’s response to an emergency. This support role may require the entirety of Westfield State University’s Emergency Management Teams or only portions of it.

Emergency Response Team (ERT)

The primary functions of the Emergency Response Team (ERT):

  • Provide oversight and direction to the University emergency preparedness activities.
  • Develop emergency response policies and programs.
  • Provide support to the Incident Commander during an emergency.
  •  Assist with the staffing and management of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Incident Response Team (IRT)

The Incident Support Team (IST) is a group of subject matter experts that have been activated to bring skills and knowledge required by a specific incident. Each member will augment the ERT for a specific task in order to manage a specific type of event. This specialization allows a team to expand and contract as necessary to accommodate any initial or evolving tactical or strategic needs of the incident.

The main role of the team is support and to assist in strategic decisions in order to advance the response and provide guidance to the ERT and the rest of the organization during emergency operations.

Policy Team

The Policy Team is the executive level oversight and strategic decision-making body for Westfield State University. The Policy Team has the authority to make strategic, financial, operational, and policy decisions in response to the issue or event.

If the implications of a crisis require executive decision-making, have potential long-term implications on the viability and reputation of the campus, or require significant changes in existing policies, the Policy Team will be activated and will meet in a central location separate from the Emergency Operations Center.