The purpose of the Dillard University Crisis and Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is to establish policies, procedures, guidelines, and organizational structure for responding to a crisis, major emergency, or disaster that could threaten the health and safety of the university community, disrupt university programs and operations, and destroy university property and assets. The plan addresses many kinds of crises or emergencies, including severe weather events, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, explosions, chemical/toxic spills, extended power outages, floods, terrorism, acts of violence, and crises stemming from university operations and activities.
The Crisis and Emergency Management Plan is an all-encompassing university plan designed to guide the response of Dillard University personnel and resources during a crisis, major emergency, or disaster. It is the official crisis and emergency operations plan of the university and it supersedes any previous plans and precludes individual or unit actions not in concert with the intent of the CEMP or the crisis and emergency management organization created by it. Of course, nothing in this plan should limit the exercise of good judgment and common sense in matters not covered or foreseen by the CEMP. Although the CEMP is established to guide the actions of Dillard University, a private institution, the plan, and its organizational management are subordinated to city, state, and federal plans during an emergency or disaster declaration by those jurisdictions. The Plan will be supplemented with the latest Fact Sheet updates from FEMA on hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.
The purpose of Dillard University’s CEMP structure is to respond to crises and emergency situations in a safe, effective, and timely manner. There are three priorities: (1) protection of life and safety, (2) maintenance of life support and assessment of damages, and (3) restoration of university operations. Dillard University employees and equipment will be utilized to accomplish these priorities. The university’s CEMP structure will transition back to the normal organizational structure as day-to-day operations are resumed.
Once a tropical storm/hurricane reaches the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 1 Hurricane and the directional vector points north the President is advised by the Emergency Response Team (EMT) to declare an emergency and will immediately activate preparation procedures.
Communication updates will be provided via the University website or the University information line at 504.816.4411.
With respect to the magnitude of the crisis or emergency, three color-coded levels of operation have been identified.
YELLOW – LEVEL 1 (Standby Alert): The emergency includes an event or incident that can be managed using normal response operations. The EMT is not activated, but leadership is informed and placed on alert status.
ORANGE –LEVEL 2 (Partial Activation): The emergency can no longer be managed using normal procedures. The EMT is partially activated, i.e., some, but not all, CEMP leadership are activated to coordinate and support the response to the event. One or more Division Action Team (DAT) member may be activated depending on the nature of the incident. Staffing decisions are made by EMT leadership.
RED – LEVEL 3 (Full Activation): This is a major emergency, such as, a hurricane, tornado, major flooding, or terrorist event. The CEMP is fully activated in each campus location, primary or secondary. All CEMP and DAT positions are activated. All emergency personnel report for duty. A campus proclamation of emergency is declared during Code Red.
Major Weather Emergencies
Severe weather conditions may be sudden and unforeseen and occur before or after the National Weather Service Issues Severe Weather Watches and Warnings. Examples of weather-related emergencies are hurricanes, tornadoes, severe tropical storms, and floods. Selected sections of the Dillard University campus are in Level A and B Evacuation areas, which suggest that certain areas are vulnerable to tidal surge and flooding during severe weather.
Category I – 74-95 mph winds, with a tidal surge of 4-5 feet
Category II – 96-110 mph winds, with a tidal surge of 6-8 feet
Category III – 110-130 mph winds, with a tidal surge of 9-12 feet
Category IV – 131-155 mph winds, with a tidal surge of 13-18 feet
Category V – 155+ mph winds, with a tidal surge greater than 18 feet
Unpredictable weather systems that can occur quickly with little notice.
In the case of heavy flooding on campus, the President or executive officer in charge will make a decision regarding the closing and evacuation of campus in a time frame.
Developed under the guidance of the Chief of Police and the Emergency Response Team (EMT), each Building Emergency Plan is a building-specific operational guide outlining emergency operations and responsibilities. Building Emergency Plans go into effect in the event of an emergency, allowing the Building Coordinators to evacuate personnel to their designated evacuation areas. Building Emergency Plans may also recommend the contents of personal and/or departmental emergency kits (i.e., first-aid supplies, flashlight, battery- powered AM/FM radio, etc.).
During a weather emergency and in the event that students must shelter in place, the Professional Sciences Building and the Student Union will serve as the on-campus location of refuge for hurricanes and extreme weather events. (The Student Union and PSB have ample parking, ease of access and is a high point on campus.) Students who are unable to activate their plans will be supported by campus staff including but not limited to Student Success staff who are determined as essential employees. The Chief of Police in collaboration with the Director of Residence Life and the Director of Facilities will serve as the Incident Commander for this event. The decision to shelter in place will be made no later than 48 hours prior to landfall. Following the event, Student Success will work with students to determine next steps dependent on the severity of the aftermath.
The decision to evacuate for an anticipated weather emergency will be determined no later than 60 hours prior to landfall. The notice to evacuate may occur via the use of fire alarms, police order or other recognized authority or signals. When such an order is given, all occupants of the area must comply immediately in an orderly manner. No one will be allowed to re-enter an evacuated area until the all-clear signal is given or when permitted by the proper authorities (e.g., Police, Fire, or Emergency Workers).
If there are individuals with physical handicaps/challenges and other disabilities in the evacuated area, emergency officials (Police, Fire, etc.) must be promptly notified by the Department of Campus Police of the probable locations and the type(s) of disability. Evacuation routes are included in EOP Departmental Plans and posted in conspicuous locations. When notified to evacuate, immediately leave the area.
When the President and/or local authorities declare a mandatory evacuation, staying on campus is NOT an option. The university has made plans to evacuate students who are unable to activate their evacuation plan in the case of a weather emergency. Two locations have been selected; one to the west of campus (Shreveport) and one east of campus in (Montgomery.) Bus service will be provided for students who cannot activate their evacuation plan; however, space is limited. For this reason, it is important that all students have an emergency evacuation plan that includes contingencies. The decision will be made to evacuate (and to which location) no later than 60 hours before the storm. Current COVID protocols will be followed for transportation usage. Additionally, students and employees will be required to adhere to COVID protocols at evacuation locations.
All students are required to submit a Primary Evacuation Plan to the Office of Residential Life prior to taking occupancy within the housing unit. Residential Life keeps all Primary Evacuation Plans on file. When a state of emergency has been declared that requires residential students to evacuate from campus, residential students are required to activate their Primary Evacuation Plan and begin checking out of the residence halls. The university recognizes that not all residential students may not be able to evacuate on their own. The university will provide limited transportation to a limited number of residential students. Students who are unable to evacuate on their own are required to alert the Office of Residential Life.
Student Emergency Kit
Protect Your Appliances and Electronic Equipment
a. Purchase equipment with built-in surge protection or a battery-powered back-up system.
b. Use electrical surge suppressors or arresters on your electronic equipment on properly grounded circuits. Most are designed to be plugged into a wall outlet.
c. Plug your computers and other sensitive equipment into a separate, grounded circuit to isolate them from fluctuations caused by major appliance restarts.
Clear your floor of items, especially if you live on the first floor
Should it become necessary to evacuate the entire campus, one area, or just one building, the campus has procedures in place. The following information outlines these procedures. Please also refer to campus policy on the evacuation of disabled persons. Persons with disabilities use the “buddy system” for assistance to the most appropriate exit route or nearest area of rescue.
In a campus-wide emergency, the decision to implement evacuation procedures rests with the President in consultation with Campus Police then the EMT is activated. In situations requiring immediate action, Campus Police responders, police, fire, the governor, mayor, public health director, or the Environmental Protection Agency can also order a local area evacuation. When evaluating the need for evacuation, consideration will be given to the specific threat (bomb, fire, storm, hurricane, tornado, explosion, hazardous materials incident, etc.), its context (time of day, likelihood, etc.), and the recommendation of Campus Police officials. In the event of a major hurricane, the Professional Schools Building and the Student Union will serve as the Emergency Assembly Areas (EAAs).
The procedures for a campus-wide evacuation will vary, depending on the nature of the event. In all cases when the decision has been made to evacuate, the campus will likely be evacuated in stages, beginning with the areas that are in the immediate vicinity of the threat. Other areas may then be evacuated, depending on the nature of the threat. This graduated evacuation is preferable to a total, immediate evacuation, as it triages the populations most in danger, minimizes likelihood of gridlock and congestion, and provides for ingress of emergency vehicles and personnel. In all cases, evacuees would be directed away from the vicinity of the threat.
Building Evacuations These emergencies may include a building fire or fire drill, localized hazardous materials spill, or bomb threat. In a building-specific incident, follow these evacuation guidelines: When a fire alarm sounds, everyone must evacuate, in accordance with Louisiana state regulations. In the event of a bomb threat, the Dillard Police Department has sole authority to assess the credibility of the threat and to determine whether to evacuate the site. For incidents involving hazardous materials, established department protocols for notification and response should be followed.
Division Safety Coordinators will ensure that all members of their Divisions and Departments, as well as any students or visitors, proceed to the Emergency Assembly Area (EAAs) for their building. The Division Safety Coordinator serves as liaison with the Building Coordinator to assure that the building is appropriately secured and that all personnel are accounted.
The line of communication is as follows:
All faculty and staff within the Division of Academic Affairs will be registered for the University’s Emergency Alert System. Employees must ensure that their updated contact information is on file with Human Resources.
The implementation of the AEPP is dependent on continuous instruction from off-campus locations.
Considering that the academic calendar is operated during seasons of natural disaster in this geographical area, all personnel and students must understand the importance of responsible action. Adherence to specific guidelines is imperative. To that end, every course syllabus will include the following statement, bolded, and found at the bottom of the first page: “In the event of disaster, the Dillard University Preparedness Plan will take priority over the timeline in this syllabus. The summary of key points for the plan is available on the university website”.