Campus Emergency Preparation Continues

Individual NMU departments are being asked to develop a crisis manual specific to departmental needs as part of the next phase of university-wide emergency planning.

NMU’s emergency response team (ERT) coordinators have presented at recent President’s Council and Academic Affairs dean’s, department heads and directors meetings, requesting that all departments complete the following as part of this semester’s emergency planning:

  • develop a departmental order of authority, and where possible, have  it be three persons deep
  • file a brief plan outlining the department’s commitment to emergency planning for the upcoming year.  For instance, some departments may choose to appoint a committee, while others may begin to work emergency planning into regular staff meetings.
  • develop a communication mechanism to confirm all departmental faculty and staff have received the university-wide emergency messages during a crisis, as well as address any other communication needs that are departmental specific
  • discuss the NMU emergency text alert program with all department faculty and staff members, and where appropriate, students. The text alerts are the university’s fastest method of communicating a crisis situation.

“Our goal is to have departments begin discussing emergency planning that is specific to their area and that would not be covered under the general university emergency procedures,” said Mike Bath (Public Safety), NMU’s emergency response coordinator.  “The order of authority is particularly important so that the emergency response team and the members of each unit know precisely who has the authority to make decisions in a crisis situation regarding their department when the unit leader is not available.”

Bath said that Public Safety and ERT members will be working with departments during the year to also help them develop plans that will include departmental procedures for both evacuation and shelter-in-place types of emergencies.

The ERT has designated levels of responders for team members. The core unit consists of those who will be expected to respond regardless of the type of crisis situation. Core members are Bath, President Les Wong, the two vice presidents, Paul Lang (Academic Affairs) and Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration), and Cindy Paavola (Communications and Marketing). 

The secondary ERT unit members are those who will be called upon to work with the core unit depending on the type of crisis.  The secondary unit consists of Bill Bernard and Terry Seethoff (Academic Affairs), Cathy Dehlin (General Counsel), Art Gischia (Business and Auxiliary Services), Dave Maki (Information Technology Services), Theresa Nease (President’s Office and secretary, NMU Board of Trustees), Kathy Richards (Facilities) and Ann Sherman (Human Resources).

The third level of responders are the designated backup staff for the core and secondary unit members.   There is also a designated resource group identified to assist with specific tasks that might need to performed in the different types of crisis situations.

Bath said all three levels of responders, the resource designees, as well as department heads and their designated second and third points of authority, will udergo emergency response training during the year.



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Updated: September 30, 2011

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