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Public Safety
Public Safety

Emergency Response Plan

Emergency preparedness is an important part of our daily campus routine, knowing how to respond to critical incidents is important to sustain Butler University and mitigate injury or loss of life. How we respond to any crisis, large or small, will have a lasting image for our institution.

Please take the time to consult this document and participate in training that the Department of Public Safety will be offering each summer to ensure our preparedness and response.

Campus Emergency Response Plan (PDF)

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 three specific components: The Crisis Management team, Emergency Operations Team, and the Response Teams.

The Butler University Emergency Response Plan establishes and outlines the University's response to an emergency and sets standards for the coordination and management of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations.

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 Butler University Emergency Operations Plan describes how the University responds to emergencies, addresses all types of hazards, and establishes policies, methodology, and responsibilities designed to effectively and efficiently address the needs of Butler University during an incident or event. It is intended to be a “living” document that will reflect the continually evolving environment with each update. The primary objectives of the plan are to:

• Contribute to the protection of life, property, and the environment

• Contribute to the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors

• Minimize disruption of University operations and activities

• Effectively manage the response operations to an emergency affecting the University

• Effectively work with internal resources and external partners during emergency operations

• Restore the University to normal operations


This plan applies to all Butler University divisions, departments, and offices. This plan addresses coordination and management of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations.


After Action Report– A report used for the review of incidents, events, actions and operations that occur as a result as an emergency, documenting the lessons learned from the emergency.

Crisis Communications Team—A team responsible for all external and internal communication to stakeholders.

Crisis Management Team—The executive level oversight and strategic decision-making body for Butler during a potential or actual crisis situation.

Emergency Operations Team—The team responsible for tactical decision making, coordinating and implementing the University’s response within its members’ respective divisions, departments or offices. The group collects and disseminates information regarding the incident, provides advice to the Crisis Management Group and ensures the continuity of each member’s areas of responsibility. Members of the Emergency Operations Team optimize the overall University response by understanding each other’s intentions and coordinating actions.

Emergency—An occurrence, whether natural or human-caused, intentional or accidental, that threatens the life, property, and environment of the Butler community, disrupts normal University operations and warrants immediate action. A “large-scale emergency” (sometimes termed a “disaster”) is caused by an incident that requires aid beyond the local resource capability. See “Incident.”

Event—A planned function, possibly involving several University stakeholders, community members and external partners.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—The location where members of the Crisis Management Group, and the Emergency Response Group convene and manage the incident.

Emergency Function (EF)—A systematic approach for coordinating incident response and recovery efforts across the University’s divisions, departments and offices. University units identified in this plan are organized to support critical functions.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—At the federal level of government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is involved in mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with state government, provides planning assistance, training events, exercise programs, and research on the latest mitigation measures. Additional information may be found at

Incident—An occurrence that may be planned or unplanned that may affect University operations or escalate to an emergency by threatening the life, property or environment of the Butler community. See “Emergency.” 

Incident Commander (IC)—The leader of the emergency response field operations. Many times the IC position will be filled by a Butler University Police Department representative during initial response.

Incident Command System (ICS)—A standardized, on-scene emergency management construct specifically designed to provide for the adoption of an integrated organizational structure that reflects the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by organizational or jurisdictional boundaries.

Mitigation—Actions taken to prepare for and prevent the possible effects of an emergency to the University.

National Incident Management System (NIMS)—The national standard used for the management of emergencies. The system is applicable and adaptable to all levels of incidents and responding agencies, organizations and jurisdictions. Additional information may be found at

University Emergency Response Plan Overview


University divisions, departments, and offices respond to emergencies by using preestablished standard operating procedures. When incidents increase in magnitude, additional resources and coordination may be required to support emergency response and recovery efforts. Butler’s operations are guided by the National Incident Management System (NIMS), as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NIMS provides a nationwide template enabling federal, state, local, and private sector non-governmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents regardless of cause, size, or complexity.

Two components of NIMS are the Incident Command System (ICS) and Emergency Functions (EF). Consistent with NIMS, Butler’s operations incorporate the basic structure of the ICS, while making necessary adjustments and incorporating emergency support functions to meet the unique needs of the University. ICS is the model tool for command, control, and coordination of a response, and it provides a means to coordinate the efforts of the University and external partners as they work toward the common goal of stabilizing an incident and protecting life, property, and the environment. EFs organize University capabilities to coordinate internal emergency response and recovery operations.

Types of Emergencies

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

• Severe or Extreme Weather

• Medical Emergencies

• Fire

• Special Events

• Government Activities

• Public Health Emergencies

• Utility Failures

• Chemical Spills

• Suspicious/Unusual Packages

• Violence/Active Shooter

• Cyber Attacks

Emergency Management Structure

The University’s Crisis Management Team and Emergency Response Team are responsible for overseeing the University’s strategic and tactical-level activities during emergency response and recovery efforts. Each member represents his or her division, department, or office and may task his or her respective unit emergency support functions and designated employees to assist in emergency response and recovery efforts. These groups may request assistance from external partners, service providers, and suppliers for additional support.


Roles and Responsibilities


The University has identified various divisions, departments, offices, and individuals that have a role in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery operations and that have specific responsibilities to meet the needs of an incident. Responsible parties are listed below, along with a brief description of their respective roles and responsibilities for the University, and will coordinate emergency efforts through the established organizational structure. As needed, the Crisis Management Team and Emergency Response Team will be activated and become responsible for overseeing the University’s strategic- and tactical-level activities during emergency response and recovery efforts. Butler’s divisions, departments, offices, and individuals not listed in this plan may be requested to participate in these efforts as needed.

1. Office of the Provost: The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for the operations of the 10 colleges and schools. The deans of the colleges and schools report directly to the provost.

2. Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration: The Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration has primary responsibility for the management of Butler’s financial, physical, information technology, and human resources. This office includes the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Safety and Security, Information Technology, Operations, and Compliance.

3. Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs: The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the management of a comprehensive portfolio of cocurricular programs and services that support student learning and well-being outside of the classroom. 

4. Office of Public Safety / BUPD: The Office of Public Safety is a fully state-certified police department that works to ensure that the Butler University community works together to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards. This includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement; overseeing the University Emergency Operations Center; developing and implementing preparedness outreach programs; maintaining the Emergency Operations Plan; managing emergency communication systems, such as Dawg Alerts and Timely Warnings; participating in and conducting exercises; examining emergency and special event plans; and developing and managing internal resources and external partnerships. They also oversee fire and life safety, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program.

5. Office of Environmental Management: The Office of Environmental Management oversees hazardous materials management and industrial hygiene.

6. Office of Human Resources: University Human Resources will provide guidance and assistance to divisions, departments and offices with hiring, onboarding training, worker’s comp issues and claims, and any benefit items that are impacted or needed. They can direct us to health service providers for these issues.

7. Office of Health Services: Office of Health Services will coordinate with local, state, and federal health agencies when situations are deemed necessary. They will keep the Crisis Management Team updated on medical and health risks as well as any governmental requirements to address these issues. 

8. Emergency Functions (EF): Butler has organized University capabilities into 10 EFs that coordinate University emergency response and recovery operations. Each EF identifies primary and support divisions, departments, and offices that are responsible for ensuring operational capabilities. The Office of Public Safety will activate appropriate EFs to support incident needs.

9. Risk Manager: The Office of Risk Management is responsible for identifying, evaluating, training, and monitoring risks across the institution. This is accomplished through departmental collaboration, managing the portfolio of insurance and other means of assessment and risk transfer.