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Public Safety
Public Safety

Emergency Response Plan

Policy Statement

Butler University organizes, coordinates and directs available resources toward an effective response to, and recovery from, emergencies. The effectiveness of this effort is dependent on the development of individual unit plans. The University, therefore, expects colleges, divisions and individual departments to develop detailed emergency plans as outlined in this manual. This policy includes a chain of command establishing the authority and responsibilities of campus officials and staff members, and requires that colleges, divisions, and individual departments designate emergency coordinators with the authority to make modifications in emergency procedures and to commit resources for emergency preparedness, as necessary. This plan is composed of two specific components: The Butler University Emergency Response Plan and The Butler University Operational Unit Emergency Response Plans.

The Butler University Emergency Response Plan establishes and outlines the University's response to an emergency and sets minimum standards for the creation of Operational Unit Emergency Response Plans.

Operational Unit Emergency Response Plans outline department-specific responses to an emergency and should exist for each unit of the University. These plans must be designed to promulgate strategies for protecting people and programs and for coordinating recovery efforts to allow for continued operation of the University.


The emergency response procedures outlined in this manual are to enhance the protection of lives and property through effective use of University resources. Whenever an emergency affecting the campus reaches proportions that cannot be handled by routine measures, the President, or his/her designee(s) may declare a state of emergency, and these contingency guidelines may be implemented. There are two types of emergencies that may result in the implementation of this plan. These are:

  • A large-scale disorder, and
  • A large scale natural/man-made disaster


These procedures apply to all Butler University personnel and buildings and grounds owned and operated by the University, and include those peripheral areas surrounding the University.


Category One Emergency—A Category One event affects only one department or division of the University and does not require a response beyond the capability of that operational unit or division working with the University Police.

Category Two Emergency—A Category Two event requires a coordinated response by multiple operational units or divisions of the University. The Emergency Operations Center may be opened.

Category Three Emergency—A Category Three event is catastrophic in scale, affects the community surrounding the University and requires a response beyond the University's internal capabilities. The entire Emergency Management Team mobilizes at the Emergency Operations Center.

Campus Response Units—University divisions that may be required to provide direct assistance during an emergency. These divisions must develop emergency response plans specific to the areas under their control including the potential request for direct assistance. They are: Operations, Finance, Student Affairs, University Advancement, and Information Technology (Unit Emergency Recovery Team and Business Continuity Team)

Emergency Operations Center—A physical location at which the Emergency Management Team convenes to establish and carry out strategies and tactics, deploy resources, and initiate the recovery process.

Emergency Operations Team—A group of individuals who assess the scope of a potential emergency incident or situation.

Emergency Operations Team Director—Butler University Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police or designee.

Emergency Preparedness Policy Group—Individuals responsible for policy development, implementation and review and training of University personnel on emergency response planning and implementation.

Evacuation—The process of moving horizontally or vertically in a facility for the purpose of exiting and relocating to a predetermined rally point.

First Responder—Emergency response personnel who are trained to provide initial medical and safety needs during an emergency.

Incident Command—A specific method for coordinating and managing both simple and complex emergency responses by utilizing a top down command structure.

Lock Down—The process of securing all entrance locations of all campus controlled facilities for the purpose of preventing entry.

Operational Unit—A college, department, administrative service center or operational entity.

Operational Unit Emergency Response Plan—A document that outlines unit specific responses to an emergency including direct assistance to other units and business continuity.

Rally Point—A predetermined location outside of a facility for individuals to meet and be accounted for after being evacuated from a facility.

Shelter in Place—The process of moving horizontally or vertically in a facility for the purpose of relocating to the safest location within the facility based on the type of emergency encountered.

Unit Emergency Response Coordinator (Unit Coordinator)—Individual assigned to serve as coordinator of operational unit response plan.

Unit Emergency Response Team Member—Trained individuals within specific department, division or college who have designated responsibilities to carry out in an emergency situation.

University Emergency Response Plan


The University Emergency Response Plan is predicated on a realistic approach to problems likely to occur on campus during a major emergency or disaster. The following are general guidelines:

  1. An emergency or a disaster may occur at any time of the day, night, weekend, or holiday, and with little or no warning.
  2. The succession of events in an emergency is not predictable, and therefore, published support and operational plans will serve only as a guide and checklist, and may require field modification in order to meet the requirements of the emergency.
  3. Disasters may affect residents within geographical proximity to Butler University, and therefore, City of Indianapolis, Marion County Disaster & Emergency Services, State and Federal emergency services may not be immediately available. A delay in off-campus emergency services may be expected (up to 48 - 72 hours).
  4. A major emergency may be declared by the Butler University President or designee if information indicates that such a condition is developing or is probable.
  5. Any incident which has the potential for adverse publicity concerning campus resources, and/or instrumentalities of the University should be promptly reported to the Executive Director of University Relations at extension 9351 and the Butler University President at extension 9900. During non-business hours report these incidents to the University Police at extension 9396.

Types of Emergencies

Response plans shall be developed by the necessary departments/divisions for the following emergencies:

  1. Tornado
  2. Severe Weather/Snow
  3. Fire
  4. Medical Emergency
  5. Utility Failure
  6. Gas Leak
  7. Violent Criminal Behavior
  8. Civil Disturbance or Demonstration
  9. Flood
  10. Bomb Threat
  11. Chemical Spill or Radiation Release
  12. Water Contamination
  13. Earthquake
  14. Explosion on Campus
  15. Active Shooter

Declaration of Campus State of Emergency

The authority to declare a campus state of emergency rests with the Butler University President or designee as follows: When conditions are present that meet the definition of a campus major emergency or disaster, the University Police Department, as required, shall place into immediate effect the appropriate procedures necessary in order to meet the emergency, to safeguard persons and property, and to maintain educational facilities. Declaration of a campus state of emergency should be made in consultation with the Coordinator of the Marion County Emergency Management Division. The Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator can provide Butler University with assistance in obtaining outside resources, which will be required to successfully mitigate the human and financial impact of disasters and emergencies.

The University Police Department shall immediately consult with the Emergency Operations Team Director regarding the emergency and follow all directions as set forth in this response plan. Only those faculty and staff members who have been assigned emergency resource team duties, or issued an emergency pass by the University Police Department, will be allowed to enter the immediate disaster site.

When declaration of a campus State of Emergency (Category Two or Three Emergency) is made, the University reserves the right to allow only registered students, faculty, staff and affiliates (i.e., persons required by employment) authorized to be present on campus. Those who cannot present proper identification (registration, employee identification card, or other I.D.) showing their legitimate business on campus will be asked to leave the campus. Unauthorized persons remaining on campus may be subject to arrest in accordance with applicable Indiana Criminal codes.

Emergency Contact List

Butler University’s Crisis Communication Plan should contain updated emergency contact numbers from every Operational Unit Emergency Response Plan.

Incident Command Posts

When a major emergency occurs, or is imminent, it shall be the responsibility of the University Police Department to set up and staff an appropriate incident command post. The incident command post will be established in accordance with the guidelines listed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The incident command post can be either a Field Incident Command Post or a General Incident Command Post:

  • Field Incident Command Post: If the emergency involves only one building or a small part of the campus a Field Incident Command Post will be established as near to the emergency as reasonably possible.
  • General Incident Command Post: If the emergency involves a large part of the campus, the Command Post is to be established in the President's Conference Room, JH 101. If that site is unavailable, then the Command Post will be established in the Donor Room, Clowes Memorial Hall.

Incident Command Structure

Emergency Operations Center

Upon activation by the Emergency Operations Team Director or his designee, the Operation Team will meet in the Office of the Vice President for Operations, located in Jordan Hall 116. The Donor Room located in Clowes Memorial Hall, is designated as the secondary Emergency Operations Center.

Emergency Operations Team

The Emergency Operations Team shall be directed by the Chief of Public Safety or designee. The team shall consist of the following individuals:

  1. President
  2. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
  3. Vice President for Student Affairs
  4. Vice President for Finance
  5. Vice President for Operations
  6. Vice President for Enrollment Management
  7. Vice President for University Advancement
  8. Chief of Public Safety
  9. Executive Director for Clowes Memorial Hall
  10. Executive Director for Information and Technology
  11. Director of Athletics
  12. Executive Director of University Relations
  13. Executive Director of Human Resources Management and Development

Campus Response Units

Some divisions and units shall develop emergency response plans that promulgate the procedures for protecting life and property. These plans must be in response to the types of emergencies identified in the University Emergency Response Plan. These plans shall include sections on preparedness, implementation, and recovery. A copy of the plans shall be kept at the Emergency Operations Center. Those divisions and units are as follows:

  1. University Relations
  2. Student Affairs Division
  3. Purchasing Services
  4. Butler University Police Department
  5. Maintenance Services Department
  6. Building Services Department
  7. Environmental Programs
  8. Information Technology
  9. Human Resources Management & Development

Emergency Response Plan Coordinators

As directed by the Butler University Emergency Response Plan, each building will have a designated emergency response plan coordinator, who should be a full-time member of the University, and who is familiar with the colleges and divisions in the building, and the physical layout of the facility. For notification purposes, a primary and secondary person should be identified. The specific duties are as follows:

  1. Coordinate emergency training for all operational Unit Coordinators.
  2. Maintain copies of Operational Unit Emergency Response Plans and ensure periodic updates.
  3. Collect necessary paperwork from Unit Coordinators.
  4. Maintain emergency equipment for their designated area.

Operational Unit Coordinators

As directed by the Butler University Emergency Response Plan, each department will have a designated operational unit coordinator, who should be a full-time member of the University, and who is familiar with his/her specific department, and the physical layout of the department. For notification purposes, a primary and secondary person should be identified. The specific duties are as follows:

  1. Coordinate departmental efforts in drafting the operational unit plan.
  2. Coordinate emergency training and communications for all department members.
  3. Maintain copies of Operational Unit Emergency Response Plan and ensure periodic updates.
  4. Maintain emergency equipment for their department.

Crisis Communications

A critical aspect of an organization's strength is its ability to communicate effectively in an emergency. This requires thoughtful proactive planning, which lays out the fundamental structure and systems for external and internal response to a wide variety of events and conditions. Since all possible scenarios cannot be planned for in detail, a well-developed plan requires detailing of responsibilities, procedures, and action plans that address general categories of emergencies and crises.

The responsibility of the Executive Director of University Relations is to ensure all departments and appropriate staffs are informed of media procedures. This will be critical to successful implementation of the plan in the event of an emergency. Effective response will also depend on the following:

  1. Timely response to media requests
  2. Effective utilization of available resources, both internal and external
  3. Clear definition of roles and responsibilities of individual staff members and departments
  4. Carefully planned communications with all interested parties
  5. A relationship with media organizations that fosters their playing a supportive role in our communication efforts
  6. Periodic re-evaluation and update of this plan to incorporate administrative and organizational changes, as well as other changes which need to be considered in the plan, such as new buildings systems, new types of labs, etc.

Operational Unit Emergency Response Plan

Individual deans and directors are responsible for ensuring their colleges and areas have current emergency plans in place, and that all individuals within their respective area, including faculty, staff and students, are familiar with emergency procedures and contacts. As directed by the President, as part of their plans, deans and directors are responsible for assigning emergency preparedness and response duties to the appropriate faculty or staff member. All Operational Unit Emergency Response Plans must be kept current and must be updated as faculty, staff, and programs change. Plans should be available in both hard copy and electronic formats. Members of the Emergency Preparedness Policy Group will assist in developing and training those assigned emergency preparedness and response duties. The Operational Unit Emergency Response Plan will include:

  • Listing of individual Emergency Response Team Members, including contact information
  • Location of individual rally points
  • Evacuation procedures and routes
  • Area checklists and reporting instructions
  • Evacuation plans for students with disabilities
  • Phone tree information for contacting key individuals within an Operational Unit
  • Listing of mission critical resources
  • Listing of hazardous materials
  • Listing of specific duties and responsibilities of Emergency Response Team Members:
    • Assist in evacuation/shelter-in-place procedures
    • Conduct cursory search of area of responsibility
    • Complete required paper work associated with an emergency