Emergency Response Team

This Team consists of representatives who have the authority to allocate resources in their respective departments to appropriately respond to an emergency at the University. The Team is responsible for the development of this plan and its implementation.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS):

EHS is responsible for incidents that involve fire, oil, chemical, biological, radiation or other hazardous releases. EHS will provide guidance and expertise to appropriately respond to the event and ensure proper cleanup and disposal. EHS is also responsible for general safety in all emergency situations and will notify any environmental agencies as necessary including EPA, DEP and OSHA. EHS coordinates the emergency response planning process and maintains the up-to-date Emergency Response Plan.

Emergency Management Division (EMD):

EMD will provide to Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Management and Planning, the Police Department and members of the Emergency Response Team recommendations related to emergency management planning, training, and response coordination. In addition, the EMD will participate in the development and implementation, of disaster response plans, risk reduction initiatives and risk prevention measures; and, serve as a liaison to local, state, and federal emergency management agencies.

Dean of Students:

The Office of the Dean of Students will be alerted to any event that requires the Command Center to be activated. The Dean of Student Affair will coordinate all activities relating to student life, including preparing a script based on information obtained through the Command Center to relay to concerned students and parents.

Residence Life (RL):

RL staff is responsible for conducting orderly and efficient evacuations of the Boston University residence halls. Each residence hall has a written emergency evacuation plan and Resident Assistant staff are trained to implement this plan. As part of this training, RL conducts evacuation drills each fall in all large residence halls. Additionally, RL will ensure that evacuated students (and their parents) receive information concerning the cause and duration of the evacuation and that they receive appropriate and necessary resources during the crisis, such as alternate accommodations and counseling services, if necessary. RL has access to a Crisis Intervention Counselor and other mental health professionals to assist students.


Housing is responsible for providing alternate accommodations during incidents that require the evacuation and relocation of students residing in University Housing.  Housing staff work in concert with the staffs of the  Residence Life, the  Facilities Management and Planning and Dining Services in meeting the needs of all of our residence students during disasters and interruptions of services and utilities (water, electricity, etc.). Residential Safety staff will assist all departments in access control of the larger residences during emergency.

Facilities Management and Planning:

Facilities Management and Planning is responsible for the management of all Charles River Campus properties.  FMP provides routine maintenance and custodial services as well as project management for construction projects. The staff responds on a 24-hour-day basis to various requests for emergency service. The staff is trained to provide mechanical, electrical, and plumbing solutions to failures of University systems as well as interim contingencies for utility company failures or disasters. The FMP staff is available through the Maintenance Control Desk at all times. Emergency management teams are convened based on the situation in order to assess the most appropriate response.

Risk Management (RM):

Risk Management is notified immediately of any incident involving heavy property damage, an environmental spill, or in the case of serious bodily injury to employees, students, or outside parties.  RM is responsible for notification to the applicable insurance carrier or Third Party Administrator. RM coordinates the investigation between the University and the claim adjuster, ensures that important evidence is preserved in its early stages in order to maximize the amount of the University’s insurance recovery, and sees that injured parties are properly contacted.

Information Systems and Technology:

Acts as a clearinghouse for computer security information and coordinator for computer security incidents. A Security Team made up of IST programming, support and network staff works on security related issues at the campus level. In the event of an emergency situation, the team works with the local system administrator to identify the problem, assess the risks and the impact on the user community. The team determines the scope of isolation necessary to contain and repair the damage, install preventive measures and bring the system(s) back on-line and reconnected to the network.  Information Systems and Technology is also responsible for the promulgation of announcements regarding University policies and special procedures on the Internet. University Information Systems has specific IT emergency procedures.

Student Health Services:

In the event of an emergency situation, the Student Health Services clinic and infirmary areas at 881 Commonwealth Avenue could be used as a triage area. Sick or injured patients could be evaluated, managed and transferred. Health Services medical personnel may be directed to go to the disaster site and help take care of injured or sick patients.

Occupational Health Center:

In the event of an emergency situation, the Student Health Services clinic and infirmary areas at 881 Commonwealth Avenue could be used as a triage area. Sick or injured patients could be evaluated, managed and transferred. Health Services medical personnel may be directed to go to the disaster site and help take care of injured or sick patients.

General Counsel: Is responsible for providing legal advice and representation to appropriate University officials. In the event of a disaster, GC can advise the Incident Commander and other University officials on compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. The GC also represents the University before regulatory agencies and other governmental entities.


Telecommunications (Telecom) a unit of Information Technology is responsible for the provision of telephone and related communications services, support systems, and facilities. This includes the campus telephone system, access to 911, voice mail services, operator/directory assistance services, cellular and paging services, Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) services, cable plant and wire facilities and management of Verizon Communications support staff.

Telecom is also responsible for the readiness of the primary disaster recovery Command Center. Telecom provides 24/7 telephone repair services and, in a disaster, would manage and coordinate maintenance and restoration of telecommunications systems and services with internal engineering teams, Verizon Communications, wireless carriers, the Network Systems Group, Physical Plant and the BU Police. Telecom would also be responsible for the promulgation of announcements to the University community via the voice mail system.

Public Relations:

Public Relations serves as the primary source of information to the news media in the event of an incident that attracts inquiries or the presence of reporters and camera crews on campus. Since outside agencies such as the Fire Department usually provide information to the media directly, OPR will work with the On-scene Commander and the BUPD to identify outside agency spokespersons and coordinate information dissemination with them.

Human Resources:

Human Resources is responsible for notifying University departments and employees of a decision to close the University, to delay the opening of the University, or to close the University early, consistent with the University Emergency Closing Procedures.  Human Resources advises departments as to pay procedures resulting from the decision. Human Resources is responsible for communications with Unions when represented employees are affected.