University of Vermont

Office of Emergency Management

UVM Emergency Management Plan

Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities

Policy Group
  • President (Convener)
  • Provost (Back-up Convener)
  • Vice President for Finance & Administration
  • Vice President for Student and Campus Life
  • Vice President and General Counsel
  • Other Vice Presidents (as needed or available)


  • Declare “state of campus emergency”
  • Approve temporarily suspending classes or closing the University
  • Approve overall priorities and strategies for response/recovery
  • Approve any temporary policies recommended by EOG
  • Approve financial resource allocations for recovery efforts (per policy)
  • Approve press releases and external communications
  • Execute contracts for restoration services (per policy) 
  • Advise Board of Trustees of incident and provide periodic updates
  • Liaison with Governor, Congressional delegation, alumni, and other stakeholders
  • Approve returning to normal operations at conclusion of emergency
Emergency Operations Group (EOG)
  • Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services (EOG Manager for level 4/5 emergencies) 
  • Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs (EOG Manager for level 3 emergency) 
  • Chief/Director of Police Services (Back-up EOG Manager and Operations Section Member) 
  • Director of Physical Plant (Operations Section) 
  • Director of Risk Management & Safety (EOG Safety and Finance Officer)
  • Director of Residential Life (EOG Planning or Operations Section Member)
  • Director of Student Life (EOG Planning Section Chief)
  • Director of University Communications (EOG Public Information Officer)
  • Director of Center for Health and Wellbeing (EOG Task Force Chief)
  • Chief Information Officer (EOG Logistics Section Member) 
  • Director AFS Auxiliary Services (EOG Logistics Section Chief)


  • Gather, confirm, and evaluate information from on-scene team
  • Identify resource needs and shortfalls 
  • Re-assign/deploy individuals and resources in support of field operations
  • Focus on business continuity and restoration 
  • Disseminate information to campus community
  • Link to City of Burlington EOC
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

In cases of general widespread emergencies (Level 4 or 5), the Emergency Operations Group director will activate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that shall serve as the workspace for the Emergency Operations Group.  Normally, it will be located at a specially equipped conference room, but under certain conditions it can be set-up at a designated back-up location, or anywhere necessary telecommunication, data, and video support facilities exist.  It may operate from a few hours, to a few days, or longer, depending upon the severity of the emergency.

Depending on the nature of the incident, the EOG Director will designate the following functions: 

  • Deputy Incident Commander
  • Public Information Officer
  • Safety Officer
  • Liaison Officer (coordinate agency representatives)
  • Operations Chief
  • Logistics Chief
  • Finance Chief
  • Planning Chief 
  • Crisis Support Center Chief
  • Log/Scribe

Deans, Directors, or content experts from impacted units may be asked to join the Emergency Operations Group by the Emergency Director as the situation dictates. In emergency situations that involve the City of Burlington or surrounding municipalities, representatives from public emergency response agencies (Fire, Police, EMS, Public Works) that serve the campus may be asked to provide Agency Representatives to the UVM Emergency Operations Center. Additionally, an on-scene Incident Commander (Fire, Police or other) may request agency representatives from the University.

Key Roles for University Offices

Various University offices are expected to assume various roles at the request of the Emergency Operations Group in an effort to provide a coordinated response to an emergency. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to request staff to assume temporary roles outside the normal scope of their duties, taking into consideration their ability to carry out those roles. It is understood that if any department does not have specific roles for their personnel to carry out, then those personnel will automatically become part of a "pool" of reserve personnel to assist as assigned by those coordinating the specific emergency. For standard roles, see Emergency Support Functions.

Direction, Control, and Coordination of an Emergency

When an emergency condition exists, it should be reported immediately to UVM Police Services; dial 911.

The Police Services Dispatcher will follow a defined sequence of responses for nearly all emergency situations.

  1. Dispatch police officers and make appropriate fire and/or medical rescue calls.
  2. Notify the Chief of Police Services or designee, who will determine whether or not to initiate the emergency notification telephone call list (located at Police Services Dispatch) or selectively notify individuals.
  3. If the emergency notification list is initiated, the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, (or the Chief of Police Services in their absence), acting as the Incident Commander, will determine the level of emergency response and the need for activation of the Emergency Operations Group and Emergency Operations Center.
Response to Level 1 or 2 Incidents

Level 1 events are reported through normal channels (Service Operations for building issues, Telecommunication operators for telephone problems, etc.) and are handled based upon established departmental practices. A Level 2 incident will be handled in a similar way, but may necessitate several departments being involved in order to re-establish normal operations.

Response to a Level 3 Situation

When a Level 3 emergency occurs, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs shall determine whether to assemble the Emergency Operations Group and activate the Emergency Operations Center, while assuming the role of EOG Director. In the absence of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services or the Chief of Police will automatically assume that role.

Response to a Level 4 or 5 Emergency

When Level 4 or 5 emergencies have been declared, the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services, or Chief of Police Services, shall immediately assemble the Emergency Operations Group and activate the Emergency Operations Center, assuming the role of EOG Manager. In the absence of the Associate Vice President, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, or the Chief of Police Services will take charge.

Direction and Coordination of a Potential Emergency

When conditions permit and the impending emergency situation (example: anticipated major snow or ice storm, large campus gathering, etc.) provides ample time, the appropriate EOG Director will assemble the Emergency Operations Group to formulate an incident action plan for recommendation to the Policy Group, or, if time is of the essence, to the most Senior Executive Officer available on campus.

Declaration of an Emergency Condition

The President or Provost (or their successors - see Executive Authority) shall declare a state of University emergency when, upon recommendation of the EOG Director, he/she deems it necessary to place into immediate effect emergency procedures and/or to close all or part of the University.  The President or Provost or their designees shall declare an end to the state of emergency when appropriate.


Timely and accurate communication with the entire campus population and the local community during a level 3, 4, or 5 emergency is very important. Such communication may occur in several ways:

  1. Cat Alert System: The University has licensed a multi-modal alerting system (e-mail, text messaging, phone calls, paging) to be used to notify the campus community of pending or current emergency situations, and to provide direction (i.e., evacuation or shelter-in-place).  
  2. Emergency Operations Information Line:  A special Emergency Operations Information Line with a recorded message has been established (802-656-0000) and can be used to help keep faculty, staff, students, parents, and the community at large updated regarding an emergency. 
  3. Voice Mail and E-Mail Broadcast Capabilities:  As an alternative to the Cat Alert System, broadcast voice mail (using Nortel Meridian) or broadcast e-mail (using UVM E-mail System) may be sent to everyone on campus with hardwired phones and/or computer access. 
  4. Incoming Call Center:  During a Level 5 emergency, or when the nature of the emergency suggests there will be an influx of telephone inquiries concerning the well-being of faculty, staff, and students, a special incoming 800 number exists which will be announced through the UVM website, national media, and other appropriate means.
  5. In-Person Notification:  Should both the phone and data networks be unavailable, staff will be dispatched by the Emergency Operations Center to alert key leaders in each building, who will be expected to alert others in their building. At the direction of the Chief, UVM police officers can also make announcements through the speakers on their patrol cars. 
  6. Use of Local Media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.):  When appropriate, a media briefing center will be established by Communications Services and the local media will be advised and regularly updated. Written emergency communications, both on and off-campus, will be coordinated by the Public Information Officer (Director of University Communications or his/her designee). 
Crisis Support Center

Upon the request of the EOG Director, the Director of the Center for Health & Wellbeing (or designee) will open a Crisis Support Center staffed by professional staff from the Vice Provost for Student Affairs Office, the Center for Health & Wellbeing Counseling Services, and Human Resource Services for the purpose of coordinating services for the victims of an emergency. Such services may include: securing and managing staging areas for families of the victims; establishing a Call-In Center, coordinating mental health services for victims; families, first responders and employees; securing non-English speaking support; and working with the Logistics Chief to arrange accommodations for families. Since the Crisis Support Center role supports several sections, it will function as it owns section and report to the EOG Director.

Plan Development and Maintenance

Responsibility for revisions to this plan rests primarily with the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services, in consultation with the Emergency Operations Group. Any content that changes significantly the authority of the Emergency Operations Group must be approved by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  Any content that limits the authority of, or options available to the Policy Group, must be approved by the President.

Last revised: September 24, 2013

Last modified January 24 2014 03:40 PM