Emergency Response Plans

Level 1: Classroom Emergency Response

Annex: Classroom Emergency Response & Recovery Plan

Department: Academic Affairs

Departmental Emergency Contact: Tim Drueke

A. Purpose:

In the event of a critical incident, Academic Affairs may help communicate the nature of an emergency and the appropriate course of action to the occupants of academic buildings, determine which classes are affected by the incident, and help decide whether classes need to be cancelled or temporarily relocated. Classroom emergencies may range from Level One incidents, which are minor, localized, and contained, to Level Three incidents, which are complex, wide-ranging, and affect the entire campus.

B. Priorities:

Every member of the faculty, staff, and student body is required to report any potentially dangerous situation to the immediate supervisor, instructor, or university safety manager.

Accident response priorities are as follows:

  1. Immediate attention to injured person(s) or crime scene(s) and protection of the health and safety of students, employees, and community members.
  2. Communication with appropriate emergency responders and/or building occupants.
  3. Academic program continuity for students.
  4. Protection of university property.
  5. Continuity of research, scholarship, and technology.
  6. Recovery.

C. Expectations for Employees:

Employees are expected to follow the written Emergency Plan and adhere to all directions given by emergency responders. Depending upon the level and type of classroom emergency, essential employees may include the Winthrop University Police Department, Facilities Management, the university safety manager, Critical Incident Monitor, and/or the academic scheduling coordinator.

D. Communications:

Depending upon the level and type of classroom emergency, communication may take place via telephone, e-mail, website, online work order system, or face to face. The Winthrop University Police Department should be contacted and will be responsible for determining what additional communications need to be activated.

Each academic building's Critical Incident Monitor is responsible for disseminating information quickly and efficiently during a critical incident. S/he will gather instructions and information from ALERTUS (and any other appropriate source) and relay it to classroom occupants face to face, whenever possible. Should the ALERTUS siren sound, faculty in class should check their computer monitors immediately and look to their cell phones (and/or ask students to turn on and check their cellphones) for emergency voice and/or text messages with further information on the nature of the alert.

E. Responsibility and Control:

It is the responsibility of the department to provide, as far as is reasonably practical, safe working conditions for its students and employees. Divisions of responsibility shall be as follows:

Critical Incident Monitor

  1. Relates information from campus-wide alerts (such as ALERTUS, text, e-mail or telephone messages) to classroom occupants.
  2. Ensures that building occupants are following the necessary directives during an emergency.
  3. Assists disabled persons with building egress during an evacuation. 

Course Director, Researcher, or Instructor

  1. Informs students of safety procedures in the event of an emergency situation and enacts those procedures during such an event.
  2. Reports in-class incidents and potential hazards to university safety manager, Facilities Management, and/or the Winthrop University Police Department.
  3. When an alert is received, suspends normal classroom activities and takes appropriate and immediate steps to protect the health and safety of students. 


  1. Follow evacuation/safety plans in the event of an emergency situation.
  2. Follow all university safety protocol.


  1. Adhere to any and all heath, safety, and security policies.
  2. Follow all university safety protocol.

F. Emergency and Training Plans:

Emergency Plans:

In the case of Level Two and Three incidents, classroom occupants may receive information via alert systems such as ALERTUS, text and voicemail messages, and/or campus loudspeaker. Except in shelter-in-place situations, the building's Critical Incident Monitor will make face-to-face contact to ensure faculty and students are promptly and safely following the appropriate safety procedures, to ascertain whether anyone has been trapped in the building's elevator, and to determine whether any disabled persons are in need of assistance.

Should any form of emergency message be received, faculty must suspend class and take immediate and appropriate action to ensure student safety, erring on the side of caution even when they suspect the message of being a drill. All directions provided by emergency responders and/or campus safety personnel should be closely followed. All employees should be reasonably familiar with emergency procedures so they will be prepared to direct students calmly and quickly.

In the Case of Level One incidents, the Critical Incident Monitor should contact and follow instructions provided by the appropriate on-campus responder, for example, the university safety manager in the case of a localized chemical spill or blood borne pathogen exposure, the Winthrop University Police Department in the case of a localized fire, and Facilities Management for plumbing, heat failure, or other forms of structural damage or disrepair.

Training Plans:

Printed Emergency Plans and training should be provided for all department heads and Critical Incident Monitors. Each academic building's Critical Incident Monitors should outline building-specific responses to various critical incidents. All faculty, staff (including temporary and part-time), and students should also receive basic emergency response training.

Alternative instructional spaces and resources available for use during a crisis should be identified and inventoried by the Academic Scheduling Office.