- Our response will be swift, nimble and compassionate.
- We will attend to the needs of all constituents.
- We will coordinate our efforts well, with minimal confusion and overlap.
- We will regularly train our responders and practice our plans.
We have adapted the industry standard Incident Command System (ICS) to meet our particular needs (see EmergencyOrgChart). One person (the Incident Manager) will direct the response and will work with the following key people:
- Safety Officer (ensure we don’t compound the problem with injuries)
- Public Information Officer (craft messages to the public)
- Liaison Officer (assist in communications with outside agencies)
- Legal Officer (keep us alert to compliance implications)
- Planning (coordinate the Westmont Operations Center)
- Operations (oversee the provision of services to our constituents)
- Logistics (ensure resources are available where needed)
- Administration & Finance (provide payment, payroll and accounting services)
- A Section may have one or more functions operating, with designated leaders for each
- The Executive Team will be apprised of significant developments and will provide strategic and policy input (see Policy Group Functions)
Each function has a mission-based Job Action Sheet designed to help quickly orient responders to the main tasks that should occupy their attention in the immediate aftermath.
Supplementing campus personnel, the college has cultivated close working ties with, and conducted joint exercises involving, numerous local response agencies, including but not limited to: Montecito Fire; County Sheriff; County Office of Emergency Management; City Office of Emergency Services; UCSB; SBCC; Red Cross.
- Our notification system will provide early alerts via various channels (email, text, phone, etc), using a set of pre-crafted scripts to accelerate output. We will post regular updates about our situation to affected constituents.
- We use multiple redundant methods for on campus communication and for communication with responder agencies, including radio, satellite, ham, and others.
The following groups (comprising over 100 individuals) have designated roles to assist in the college’s response. The college conducts more than 50 training, education and practice activities each year, including but not limited to those indicated below.
- SRT (Situation Readiness & Response Team)
- Seven positions tracking the ICS basics; meets about 15 times per year
- Each of the college’s 20+ major buildings has two people appointed and coached to assist in emergencies. The ART meets four times each year for training and practice.
- 14 workers in Physical Plant have been certified for wildland fire defense and are trained and equipped to use the college’s fire truck and water tender as needed.
- About four people for each of 25 functions are trained and equipped to respond as needed in case of earthquake or other large-scale disruption.
- Specialists in interpersonal support (medical, counseling, disability, academics and residence life; plus legal) attend to behavioral threat concerns, meeting weekly to monitor our population.
- Resident Directors/Resident Assistants
- The Residence Life staff has a key role in attending to the students residing in our halls, and participate in training and drills several times per year for multiple hazards.
Information and materiel resources are stored in the following locations
- All electronic content—including procedures, policies, protocols, guidelines, inventories and other documents—is securely stored in or referenced from our ReadyTracker web-based system, with log-in access for designated individuals.
- The EOP is based on the Ten Steps to Ready©, which addresses the entire continuum of issues involved in the college’s resilience planning: Foundation; Obligations; Impacts; Strategies; Implementation; Competence; Communication; Resources; Evaluation; Enhancement.
- MERC (Mobile Emergency Response Container)
- Kits for each responder function, plus basic materials suitable to establishing an outdoor Westmont Operations Center and an initial evacuation center; contains over 15,000 items of over 500 kinds
- SERC (Stationary Emergency Response Container)
- Bulk materials for a three-day outdoor shelter for 1,000 people
- Wildfire response supplies, plus Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)
- Camping gear used by Residence Life is stored in Page
- Blankets used by Conference Services are stored in Page
- Tables and chairs managed by Event Services are stored at Physical Plant
- Sanitation supplies managed by Custodial are stored in closets around campus
Our detailed plans (found in the EOP, plus certain info linked below) provide extensive guidance on how to respond to our primary known threats.
- We are prepared to host about 1300 people for up to three days on Lovik Field, providing food, water, basic medical and mental health services, and other survival necessities.
- If time allows for an orderly evacuation of campus we will do that. If not, Murchison Gymnasium can be mobilized within minutes to safely shelter people.
- Notification to the campus will be issued ASAP.
- Various additional prevention, communication, response and followup measures have been implemented and continue to be enhanced.
- Plans are in place to remind students and employees how to minimize the spread of disease. As this threat becomes more imminent scores of pre-identified steps will be activated.
- Evacuation drills are performed biannually in the residence halls and on a rotating basis in other buildings. Our ART team members have instructions and practice in evacuating and accounting for occupants.
We take into account the following phases of emergency management, with the stated target results.
- When possible, prevent disruptive events in the first place
- Minimize property damage from foreseeable events (eg, berms to guard against flooding or tethers to limit furniture toppling)
- Sustain the materials, methods and mindset that will enable us to meet basic human needs
- Remain practiced and poised for swift and appropriate operations when a threat arises
- Promptly move to keep losses from getting worse after an event has compromised people or things
- Evaluate options in advance so that we can maintain crucial functions throughout a disruption, or restore them rapidly
- Immediately commence the task of resuming fulfillment of our mission
- Ensure that our processes and documentation will substantiate claims we may proffer for qualified insurance or government funding
© Westmont College 2017 (may be cloned with attribution; and notice to us).