Niagara University coordinates its efforts with the emergency response community at large and utilizes an “all-hazards” approach to address the full range of hazards that threaten, or may threaten the campus. Dealing with emergencies is an ongoing and complex undertaking. Implementation of preparedness measures before an emergency or disaster occurs ensures timely and effective response during an actual occurrence, coupled with provisions for both short- and long-term recovery assistance after the occurrence of an emergency and/or disaster, lives can be saved and property damage minimized.
Preparedness and Response
Two committees provide the comprehensive emergency management required to mitigate campus emergencies:
- The Committee on Crisis Management (CCM) is responsible for the overall development and maintenance of the ERP, and assures that all divisions and functional units have plans and training to efficiently and effectively respond to crisis related events. The CRT will meet at least annually to review and adopt proposed changes associated with Niagara University’s Emergency Response Plan prior to being forwarded to the President and the President’s Cabinet for final approval. The CCM will be chaired by Niagara University’s Executive Vice President.
- The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is composed of staff who have the responsibility and authority of determining and implementing all appropriate measures to respond to any emergency or disaster that may affect the university. When convened in response to an actual or perceived crisis, the CRT will have decision-making power regarding the university response.
The university utilizes the Incident Command System to respond to all emergencies on campus. The Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance serves as the overall emergency director during any major emergency or disaster, and has the authority to declare a campus state of emergency. The Facility Services Director is the primary emergency coordinator overseeing coordination of the emergency response, mitigation and recovery operations. The Campus Safety Director is alternate emergency coordinator.
Additionally, the university’s Building Safety Team (BST) assists in the execution of the plan as requested and within training guidelines coordinated through CRT. The BST personnel serve as liaisons between the university and building occupants assisting distribution of campus notifications, evacuating a building, and assisting individuals in the event of an emergency.
Once immediate lifesaving activities are complete, the focus shifts to assisting individuals, critical infrastructure and business in meeting basic needs and returning to self-sufficiency. Recovery from an incident is unique, depending on personal impact, amount and kind of damage caused and resources available.
The Niagara University Emergency Response Plan (ERP), except for the appendices that contain information considered confidential and therefore not available to the general public, is available to the campus community and to the public online.