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Emergency Response Plan


West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) is a divisional campus of West Virginia University, located in the city of Beckley, West Virginia. Due to the nature of WVU Tech’s campus, in a crisis or disaster situation, WVU Tech will work closely with local emergency authorities to identify and address campus-specific hazards as well as community-wide events.

The purpose of this emergency response plan is to define key roles and responsibilities, lines of authority, personnel responsibilities, and the like. Annexes and appendices provide specific emergency types and appropriate responses, as well as site-specific information.

WVU Tech is committed to the safety of its students, faculty, staff and community. As a partner with the City of Beckley and Raleigh County, WVU Tech will utilize planning, training and resources to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from any crisis-type or disaster event that may occur.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is to describe campus emergency response procedures and applicable involvement with the local emergency authorities to ensure that the campus and community are prepared to act in the event of an emergency. The Emergency Response Plan provides guidelines for response but does not replace sound judgment of staff at the time of the event. Objectives of this ERP include:

  • Ensuring a plan is in place to protect students, faculty, staff, visitors, the community and physical assets.
  • To clearly define the role of each member of the Emergency Response Team, their responsibilities, and create a clear chain of command within the response team.
  • Ensuring each member of the Emergency Response Team is compliant and in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for seamless integration with other response organizations, including Federal, State and local government entities.
  • Emphasize preparedness and safety before, during and after emergencies.
  • Create and maintain effective communication with students, staff, faculty, parents/guardians and the community through the media and other methods.

Response Levels

Emergency events on campus will require differing levels of response based on the severity and scope of the incident and its potential impact to the WVU Tech or surrounding community. The following definitions outline three primary response levels:

Response Level 1

A limited response which can be managed by on-duty personnel. This includes small-scale events, such as small lab fires, assault, medical emergencies, suspicious packages, etc. that are limited to a single location and are resolved quickly with little to no community help required.

Response Level 2

Situations (such as fire, shooting, protest, etc.) in which additional staff and resources are required. This includes major emergencies that can impact large portions of campus, including large residence hall fires, abductions, confirmed meningitis exposure, food-borne illness outbreak, criminal activities with weapons, explosions, etc. These incidents can be handled with local resources (fire, police, EMS, etc.) and may require campus evacuation.

Response Level 3

Situations (such as a terrorist attack or mass-casualty situation) warranting a total mobilization of all ERP personnel and other logistical support. These incidents are ones that pose a major risk to personnel and resources, including plane crashes, terrorist threats, etc. that require resources beyond what the city of Beckley can provide and have the potential for causing major damage and injury. May require closure or evacuation of the campus.

Notification Procedure

Initial notification of a crisis will be sent within an hour of its discovery or sooner, if possible. That notification will primarily be accomplished through the WVU Tech Alert system, operated by the University Police Department and supported by the WVU Tech University Relations team.

WVU Tech Alert

WVU Tech staff will send emergency messages as warranted in coordination with University Police. These alerts are sent by the University Police, in consultation with University Relations when possible. However, if the consultation would result in a significant delay in disseminating the information, UPD will send alerts on its own initiative, using predetermined templates.

Examples include notifications regarding critical incidents that pose an imminent threat to the health or safety of the University or campus community, including criminal activity. Examples of such emergency incidents include, but are not limited to severe weather, hazardous materials incidents and acts of criminal violence that broadly threaten the safety of the University community.

When activated, WVU Tech Alert sends text messages to cell phones and/or emails of students, faculty and staff. (Students are automatically enrolled at the beginning of each semester if they have provided a valid cell phone number. Faculty and staff should sign up for the alert.) The University Relations department places a red alert banner (for emergencies) or a blue alert banner (for weather-related closings or delays) on the WVU Tech homepage.

Assignment of Responsibility

The following is the Emergency Response Team for the WVU Tech campus. This is also the chain of command, in order.

Emergency Response Team

1. Campus President

The WVU Tech Campus President will serve as the first in the chain of command. They are notified of the incident by others who may be aware given the emergency. For instance, University Police, Dean of Students, Chief of Staff, etc. The President or designee will serve as the spokesperson for the incident and will work with others in the Emergency Response Team to address the issues. The President will make final decisions or determinations related to the emergency but can deputize others on the Emergency Response Team as needed. The President may delay or halt work or school activities in the affected area and delay or halt school activities for the WVU Tech campus.

2. Dean of Students

In the case the Campus President is unable to perform duties as incident commander, the Dean of Students will take on this role. Additionally, they will ensure students, parents and families are informed of the incident and help coordinate meetings regarding decisions that need to be made impacting students.

3. Athletic Director

In the case that the Campus President and Dean of Students are unable to perform their duties, the Athletic Director will take on this role. Additionally, the Athletic Director will work with the Dean of Students to provide consistent communication with student-athletes and their families. He will locate/help locate student-athletes and their families, along with coaches and staff associated with this student group.

4. Facilities MAnagement Director

The Facilities Management Director will serve as the facilities and logistical support in the event of an emergency or crisis. They will also oversee incident command, should the previous three personnel be unable to perform those duties. This person will also inform where (if any) events on campus are taking place to evacuate or communicate with those groups, provide keys and access to buildings or areas as needed and mobilize facilities personnel as needed.

5. Chief, University Police - Incident Commander; lead contact for emergency responders

The Chief of University Police will serve as the lead contact for any outside emergency responders who may be assisting in the campus response, as well as coordinating the Campus Police force. Should the previous four personnel be unable to perform their duty as incident commander, they will oversee that role as well. In the instance the Chief needs a backup officer, the Department Sergeant or on-scene officer would take over until they are relieved of command duties.

6. Chief of Staff/Executive Director of University Engagement

The Chief of Staff/Executive Director of University Engagement will provide support as the communications lead and. Should any press conference be held, or any media outlet reach out to campus, the Chief of Staff/Executive Director of University Engagement will coordinate with the University Relations team to help disseminate information to the public/media outlets. If the Chief of Staff is not available, they may deputize the Assistant Director of University Relations to serve in this role.

Additional Support

The following campus personnel will be called upon for various duties in the event of a Response Level 2 or 3 incident.

  • University Police (UPD Officers)
  • UPD officers will be responding to the emergency and coordinating with other emergency responders.
  • WVU School of Nursing Chair
  • Will oversee and support the student wellness center staff on medical/counseling support. Will also work with the Counseling Center to help provide that support after the incident.
  • Dean of Enrollment and Associate Dean of Student Life (Housing)
  • The Dean of Enrollment and Associate Dean of Student Life will be responsible for staging a family support area and responding to families’ needs/concerns.
  • Academic deans – employee/academic support
  • Each academic leader of WVU Tech’s colleges will provide support to the employees in their academic college, as well as academic support to the students in their respective areas.
  • Facilities Management (FM) support staff
  • The Facilities Management (FM) staff will assist the FM Director. In the instance the FM Director is acting as the Incident Commander in the chain of command, FM staff will be the FM lead.
  • University Relations team
  • The University Relations team will handle communication response. This includes information going to faculty, students, staff and the community via media outlets. They are also responsible for updating the website, assisting with WVU Alert messaging and any media requests.
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will provide financial support, including tracking of expenditures in case of emergency reimbursements if available. Their team would also help identify support, as needed.
  • ITS Leads
  • The ITS lead will provide phone and data support for an emergency hotline, internet access, website support, etc. ITS may need to support establishing a secure location with adequate power and web connectivity to maintain updates to the WVU Tech website, the Tech Alert site and the emergency website.
  • Dining services lead
  • The dining services lead will ensure dining needs for campus, including emergency water and food supply, etc., preparation and implementation needs are met during an emergency.
  • President’s Executive Assistant/support staff and Dean of Students Assistant
  • Will provide any administrative support needed.

Emergency Operating Center

The Emergency Operating Center will be at the University Police Department, located at 313 S. Kanawha Street. The alternate EOC location will be the Facilities Management House, located at 605 S. Kanawha Street.

The designated Crisis Communication Center will be at 410 Neville Street for any Response Level 2 or 3 incident. For any Response Level 1 incident, communications operations will be at the University Relations house, 510 S. Kanawha Street.

Plan Development, Maintenance and Testing

  • Review of this Emergency Response Plan will occur biannually. The University Relations staff and University Police will coordinate this effort with the input from the ERT Team.
  • It is expected that members of the ERT complete NIMS training through the FEMA website. The Dean of Students’ assistant will maintain those records to ensure every member of the ERT Team has completed training and keep those certifications on file.
    • All online courses require a FEMA SID ID to take final exams and have access to training records. If you do not have an SID, sign up at
    • At a minimum, members of the ERT should complete the following:
      • ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System
      • ICS-200: ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
      • ICS-700: NIMS, An Introduction
      • ICS-800.B: National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • Additional recommended courses include:
    • G367: Emergency Planning for Campus Executives
    • IS-363: Introduction to Emergency Management for Higher Education
  • Tabletop exercises will occur at least once every year. These exercises will be led by the UPD Chief. Training will be completed by the Emergency Response Team and extra personnel support.
  • Each unit or department is responsible for communicating information from this ERP to its staff.

Document Maintenance

This document was created in March of 2023 and is to be updated regularly with a suggested update schedule of four months or at least once per semester. This version was updated on October 3, 2023

Last edit: October, 2023

Next edit: January, 2024

Emergency Response Plan - Beckley Campus (PDF)