Emergency Management Principles

While the Emergency Management program follows  emergency management principles and best practices developed before and after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The federal government created the Department of Homeland Security and the President issued two presidential Directives that created national standards in emergency management for federal, state and local governments.

The Incident Command System (ICS) provides a commonly accepted management structure that results in better decisions and more effective use of available resources. Both government and private organizations are moving toward this management system with common terminology and a standard module structure. Boston University has adopted guidelines based on the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which can be adapted to its environment, or as necessary, when coordinating with external agencies.

The fundamental principles of emergency management is are based on four phases – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Emergency Management
During the Mitigation phase, we conduct an annual hazard mitigation risk assessment that identifies those hazards we judge to be most critical and need our efforts to focus on in the upcoming year. By concentrating our efforts in these areas,we reduce the risk to the University’s students, faculty and staff.

Building and maintaining our incident command and crisis action teams is the focus of our Preparedness activities. Training these staff members in emergency management procedures, developing emergency response and Continuity of Operations plans, conducting table-top and full-scale exercises, as well as participating in the Storm Ready Program while maintaining our BU Alert emergency notification system are a few of the things we do to better prepare the University for a response to an emergency when it occurs.

You can also be part of our Preparedness efforts by taking the BU Managing Emergencies course on Blackboard. The better prepared you are for an emergency, the better prepared the University is to respond. So Get Rhetty!

Our initial Response is comprised of the men and women of our Facilities Management and Planning, Environmental Health and Safety and Public Safety Departments. Boston University has a great working relationship with public emergency response organizations in Boston and Brookline if and when they’re needed.

The objective of the Recovery phase is to get the campus back to normal (the way things were before the emergency) as soon as possible. Time and time again, whether it’s snow storms, floods or fires, the incident command and response teams have met this objective. Working with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and the Massachusetts and Federal Emergency Management Agencies, we feel confident that if additional resources are needed to address large scale emergencies or disasters, that assistance will be on the way quickly.