Emergency Response Procedures for Staff, Students, & Family

During an emergency event on campus (or an off campus event) that necessitates the implementation of the BU Emergency Response Plan, any or all of the procedures listed in this section may be activated.

Information on Evacuation Maps

The purpose of this website is to provide a central point for faculty, staff, and students to easily access the various Medical Campus web pages that detail Medical Campus emergency response/ disaster recovery policies and procedures. Links to external resources and references are also provided. In addition, a guide and templates are provided to assist Departments in preparing departmental disaster response and recovery plans.

An ‘Emergency Response/Disaster Recovery’ Planning Steering Committee was established under the direction of Bill Gasper, Associate Vice President – Business Affairs. The goal of the committee is to ensure that effective Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery Plans are in place to deal with any emergency or disaster that affects the Medical Campus.

It is recognized that not every disaster scenario can be anticipated, so the underlying basis of the Medical Campus emergency response protocol is to enable rapid activation of an emergency Command Center, comprised of senior personnel from key departments, that can effectively monitor a disaster situation, make decisions and communicate with the Medical Campus community.

The Committee also determined that contingency planning is essential to minimizing the consequences of an emergency/disaster, and that contingency (recovery) plans should exist within each department. Each Medical Campus department is strongly advised to develop a departmental disaster recovery plan. The following resources* are available to support this effort.

  1. Guide for Preparation of Departmental Disaster Recovery Plan
  2. Departmental Disaster Recovery Workbook Templates for:
    • Department Organizational chart
    • Staff directory with work, cell and home phone numbers
    • Critical records and functions
    • Computer hardware and software inventory
    • External vendor list
  3. Departmental Narrative Template for a narrative description of a department’s recovery plan to facilitate its functionality

*These resources were developed primarily to support office/administrative operations. As additional templates & guides are developed, which support disaster recovery planning for research, instructional and/or clinical activities/operations, they will be incorporated on this web site.

In general, there are two types of evacuation that you might experience, both are, hopefully, short term. The first is for a localized incident, such as a power outage or a fire. The second may be for a larger incident, like a hurricane or a flood. Whatever the reason, it is better to have thought about what you might need to think about and things to take with you, prior to being ordered to evacuate.

Local government officials, not Boston University, issue evacuation orders when disaster threatens. Listen to local radio and television reports when a disaster is imminent. If local officials ask you to leave, do so immediately; they have a good reason for making this request.

In certain emergencies, students, faculty and staff may need to be temporarily relocated or provided with an assembly area. The following areas should be considered as possible emergency assembly areas:

  • George Sherman Union
  • Track & Tennis Center , 100 Ashford
  • Case Center Gyms
  • Agganis Arena & Recreation Center

Coordinate your evacuation plan in advance when creating your disaster plan. Ensure that you’ve tested the evacuation routes and that you have planned several in the instance of closed roads and routes.

If you have only moments before leaving, grab these things and go!

  • Medical supplies: prescription medications and dentures.
  • Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water
  • Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend’s or relative’s home

Remember these simples tips:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.
  • Take your disaster supplies kit.
  • Take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative’s or friend’s home, or find a “pet-friendly” hotel.
  • Lock your home.
  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities — don’t use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.


6.12 Emergency Critiques and Plan Updates

“Following every declared emergency, regardless of the level or following a campus-wide drill, a written critique will be prepared by Emergency Response Planning personnel based upon the comments and suggestions of the Incident Command Response Team. As necessary, this plan will be modified to incorporate lessons learned from emergencies and drills. Boston University follows the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) model in the evaluation of exercises” (Boston University Emergency Response Plan, 2014).

Overview

Boston University uses exercises to evaluate its emergency response capabilities and to assess progress toward meeting capability targets in a controlled, low-risk setting. After the evaluation phase concludes, and once a consensus is reached regarding the identified strengths and areas for improvement, a set of guidelines is developed that identifies and addresses gaps. This information is recorded in the After Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP). As part of the corrective action program, as stated in the AAR/IP, concrete corrective actions are prioritized, tracked, and implemented. This process constitutes the improvement planning phase and the final step in conducting an exercise.

Corrective Actions

Once exercise data is analyzed, our response team performs an additional qualitative assessment to identify potential corrective actions. Corrective actions are concrete, actionable steps that are intended to resolve capability gaps and shortcomings identified in exercises or real world events. In developing corrective actions, a review and revision of the draft AAR is completed, as needed, prior to the After-Action Meeting (AAM) to confirm that the issues identified are valid and require resolution. Following the AAM, issues are identified and those that are within the University’s jurisdiction are addressed by the University and are tracked by means of an initial list of identified issues and corrective actions for resolution of those issues.

Emergency Response Planning (ERP) uses the following questions to guide the discussion when developing corrective actions to improve emergency response performance in exercises and real world events:

  • What changes need to be made to plans and procedures to improve performance?
  • What changes need to be made to organizational structures to improve performance?
  • What changes need to be made to management processes to improve performance?
  • What changes to equipment or resources are needed to improve performance?
  • What training is needed to improve performance?
  • What are the lessons learned for approaching similar problems in the future?

After-Action Meeting

Once ERP has approved the draft areas for improvement and identified initial corrective actions, a draft Improvement Plan is developed and distributed for review at an AAM. The AAMs serve as forums to review the revised AAR including strengths and areas for improvement and the draft Improvement Plan. Distributing these documents to participants, evaluators, and controllers for review prior to the meeting helps to ensure that all attendees are familiar with the content and are prepared to discuss exercise or event results, identified areas for improvement, and corrective actions.

During the AAM, participants should seek to reach a final consensus on the event strengths and areas for improvement as well as on the revised corrective actions. Additionally, as appropriate, AAM participants should develop concrete deadlines for implementation of corrective actions and identify specific corrective action owners/assignees. Participants are responsible for developing implementation processes and timelines as well as keeping their managers and supervisors informed of the implementation status.

After-Action Report/Improvement Plan Finalization

Once all corrective actions have been consolidated in the final IP, the IP may be included as an appendix to the AAR. The AAR/IP is then considered final and may be distributed. Boston University exercises and actual event AARs/IPs will be published on this page.

Corrective Action Tracking and Implementation

Corrective actions captured in the AAR/IP should be tracked and continually reported on until completion. ERP will assign points of contact responsible for tracking and reporting on their progress in implementing corrective actions. By tracking corrective actions to completion, preparedness stakeholders are able to demonstrate that exercises have yielded tangible improvements in emergency preparedness. Stakeholders should also ensure there is a system in place to validate previous corrective actions that have been successfully implemented. Over time, exercises should yield observable improvements in emergency preparedness for future exercises and real-world events.

 Documents

In certain emergencies, students, faculty, and staff may need to be temporarily relocated or provided with an assembly area. The following areas should be considered as possible emergency assembly areas:

Charles River Campus
  • George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Track & Tennis Center, 100 Ashford Street
  • Case Center Gyms, 285 Babcock Street
  • Agganis Arena & Recreation Center, 925 Commonwealth Avenue
Medical Campus
  • Hiebert Lounge, Instructional Building
  • 670 Albany Street Auditorium
  • Keefer Auditorium

These Emergency Response procedures span the length of the emergency event from notification to post event critique or after action report.

For Students:

As a student, you take classes all over campus and your response to an emergency will be affected by your location. Carry your BU Terrier card with you at all times for identification and access to streets and buildings.

At the beginning of each semester, make sure to familiarize yourself with:

  • Your classroom;
  • The location of the closest emergency equipment (fire extinguishers, AEDs, first aid kits, etc.);
  • Two emergency exit routes out of the building;
  • Evacuation Routes and Emergency Plans;
  • RACES; and
  • What “Shelter in Place” Means and BU Shelter in Place Procedures

For Faculty:

At the beginning of each semester, familiarize yourself with:

  • Your classroom;
  • The location of the closest emergency equipment (fire extinguishers, AEDs, first aid kits, etc.);
  • Two emergency exit routes out of the building;
  • Evacuation Routes and Emergency Plans;
  • RACES; and
  • What “Shelter in Place” Means and BU Shelter in Place Procedures

For Staff:

Make sure to familiarize yourself with:

  • Your office or workspace;
  • The location of the closest emergency equipment (fire extinguishers, AEDs, first aid kits, etc.);
  • Two emergency exit routes out of the building;
  • RACES; and
  • What “Shelter in Place” Means and BU Shelter in Place Procedures
  • Your department’s Continuity of Operations plans.

For Parents:

General Emergency Preparedness

We recognize that parents play an important role in the BU community, and Boston University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for all members of the University community. This mission is achieved by active participation by all University members, campus resources, and our community partners.  We do recommend that you take this time as an opportunity to protect your family with a Communications plan.

For More Resources in Planning and Preparing