Emergency Response Plans

Level 3: Evacuation

Annex: Campus Evacuation Plan

Department: All Campus Departments

Departmental Emergency Contact: Winthrop University Police Department

A. Purpose:

The purpose of this plan is to provide an effective and expedient plan to evacuate the campus should an incident occur and evacuation is necessary for safety reasons. This plan will not include evacuation for an accident at the Catawba Nuclear Station. The evacuation plan for a nuclear accident is covered in a separate Nuclear Accident Emergency Plan.

B. Priorities:

In the event an evacuation is required, the Winthrop University Police Department will work with University Administration and Residence Life to coordinate a safe evacuation.

C. Expectations for Employees and Students:

In the event of an evacuation situation, the Winthrop University Police Department will work with University Administration to identify the need for an on-campus evacuation and university closure. Depending upon local events, the Winthrop University Police Department could be notified by the Emergency Operations Center or other Emergency Personnel and directed to evacuate the campus. Following this notification, the Winthrop University Police Department will notify faculty, staff, and students through the ALERTUS Emergency Notification System (mounted beacons and pop-up messages on computer monitors). The information provided will give direction on how to respond to the emergency.

D. Communications:

Faculty, staff, and students should respond to the information provided by first responders and any of the emergency notification systems.

Winthrop University may communicate with the campus community by any of the following means:

  1. ALERTUS Notification System — Beacons within campus buildings, also includes instant messaging system for the campus' networked computers
  2. WU Alert  Blackboard Connect text/SMS and voice messages for all subscribers
  3. E-mail — Messages to faculty/staff/student distribution lists
  4. Web — Updates on www.winthrop.edu and detailed information on www.winthrop.edu/emergency
  5. Campus Alert Line — Recorded message on 803/323-2222 with detailed information, primarily for individuals without access to a mobile device, computer, etc.
  6. Face to Face — Direct contact by emergency responders
  7. Runner — Group contact by individuals moving from area to area
  8. Media  Communication via local radio and television stations

The "all clear" signal may not come following the initial earthquake. Aftershocks can occur for sometime, but will diminish over a period of time.

E. Responsibility and Control:

Emergency responders will have total control of the scene. If the situation dictates, the Incident Command System will be used as directed by the National Incident Management System.

The university also will assemble the Critical Incident Management Team to make university-related decisions.

The Winthrop University Police Department will operate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in the Facilities Management Operations Center. If the incident requires York County to open the Emergency Operations Center, the Vice President of Student Life or a designee will be represented in the York County EOC and/or will be in continuous communications with the Winthrop EOC.

If the reason for evacuation is not related to an event in the city or county, Winthrop University Police Department will contact the York County Office of Emergency Management and request assistance with the evacuation process.

F. Emergency and Training Plans:

Evacuation Procedures

University Closing

The university president or designee will determine whether or not to close the university and evacuate campus. It is anticipated that sufficient time will be provided in the alert and evacuation process to permit an orderly evacuation. Should an evacuation become necessary, the university will be closed and students, faculty, and staff will be requested to leave the campus. Those individuals not able to return to their home for whatever reason, may request that the university help them in their evacuation. It is estimated that approximately 500 students may need transportation assistance to a safe area.

Evacuee Assembly

Those persons requiring evacuation transportation assistance should report to Dinkins Hall. Dinkins will serve as the assembly point for Winthrop University evacuees. Residence Life staff will follow the fire drill procedure to evacuate residence halls. Upon arrival at Dinkins, university and local authorities will assign evacuees to temporary shelters.

Evacuee Assistance Registration/Inquiry Process

In case of an evacuation, a registration and inquiry process must be conducted to maintain a record of Winthrop University students, faculty, and staff who have requested assistance with transportation. To achieve this, students electing to be evacuated by the university will be processed through the registration and inquiry process at Dinkins. The Division of Student Affairs will be responsible for the Registration and Inquiry process located at Dinkins.

Transportation Assistance

In case of a campus evacuation, York County Office of Emergency Management will work with Winthrop University to coordinate transportation for the evacuees to a designated shelter. This transportation will supplement the buses and vans controlled by the university.

Evacuation Information

When evacuees leave, all appliances and faucets should be turned off. All doors and windows should be closed and locked. York County or neighboring counties will provide public reception centers managed by the American Red Cross and supported by the state and local Department of Social Services and other groups. An evacuation could last from a few hours to several days. Considering the things that may be needed is important. Evacuees should take the following items:

  • Two (2) changes of clothing
  • Two (2) blankets or one (1) sleeping bag per person
  • Important personal papers
  • Toiletry items (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Personal medications
  • Special foods or baby formula

Make arrangements for pets. Accommodations for pets may be limited at reception centers. Pets may also be boarded at veterinarian offices or boarding facilities outside of York County.

On Campus Day Care Facility

MacFeat Laboratory School will follow the plan developed for the facility. MacFeat's plan has been coordinated with local officials and the Winthrop University Police Department. York County Office of Emergency Management may choose to take precautionary measures and evacuate children in schools and daycares very early. This may take place before any protective actions are actually needed to be taken by the general university student population.


For all emergency disaster situations, evacuation transportation, evacuation routes, shelter locations, etc. will be coordinated between the Winthrop University Police Department and the York County Office of Emergency Management.