Emergency Response Plans

Level 3: Nuclear Accident

Annex: Nuclear Accident

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 respond should an accident occur at the Catawba Nuclear Station. This plan also will entail evacuation or in-place sheltering of the student body, faculty, and staff of Winthrop University.

B. Priorities:

Winthrop University's campus is within the 10 mile emergency planning zone (EPZ) for the Catawba Nuclear Station. The university is located in zone C-2 of the 10 mile EPZ that includes the city of Rock Hill, between five and ten miles south of the Catawba Nuclear Station. It also is surrounded by heavily traveled roadways and bordered by a rail system that may support the transport of hazardous materials. Any natural or technological disaster could require the university to take protective measures such as in-place sheltering or evacuating and closing the campus until it's safe to return.

C. Expectations for Employees and Students:

In the event of a nuclear accident, the Winthrop University Police Department will be notified by the Emergency Operations Center on the extent of the emergency. Following this notification, the Winthrop University Police Department will notify faculty, staff, and students through the ALERTUS Emergency Notification System (building beacons and computer monitor pop-up messaging). The information provided will give direction on how to respond to the emergency.

D. Communications:

Communications between Winthrop University and the York County Emergency Operations Center will be conducted via commercial telephone service. Backup communications will be through utilization of the York County Comprehensive 800MHz Communications System.

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

When the area is given the "all clear" signal for reentry/return, the information will be disseminated by local radio and television stations. The university authorities will confirm the information through the York County Emergency Operations Center. This information will then be disseminated via the listed means throughout the Winthrop campus community.

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 Operations Center. All activities will be coordinated with ESF-13 (Public Safety and Security) in the York County EOC.
The Vice President of Student Affairs or a designee will be represented in the York County EOC and/or will be in continuous communications with the Winthrop EOC.

F. Emergency and Training Plans:

If a nuclear accident occurs at the Catawba Nuclear Plant, the initial alert notification will come from the York County Office of Emergency Management by activation of the all-hazards radio located in the Campus Office, by commercial telephone, or by utilizing the 800 Mhz radio system. If the situation involves an emergency at the nuclear station, the initial notification will be provided at an event classification of ALERT or HIGHER. Subsequent notifications will be provided by the York County Office of Emergency Management or by the outdoor warning siren system and Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages on local radio and television stations. The sirens will cycle for three minutes and recycle again for a total of 15 minutes. The sirens will sound for one (1) three-minute cycle if they are being tested. This siren system is tested audibly once every quarter throughout the year.

WUPD Notification Actions

When notification of imminent danger is received from either the York County Office of Emergency Management or the outdoor warning siren system, Winthrop's President or designee will be notified by the Winthrop University Police Department. The Chief of the Winthrop University Police Department or designee will verify the status of the emergency with the York County Office of Emergency Management, when practicable. Winthrop's President or designee may contact the York County Office of Emergency Management at any time to obtain current conditions and situation reports and to help in the decision affecting Winthrop University.

Specific Notification Actions

If an emergency situation occurs at the Catawba Nuclear Station, specific action will be taken to insure the safety of the Winthrop University student body and staff. Specific notifications for each Emergency Classification Level (ECL) are as follows:

  1. Notification of Unusual Event — No action required. The university would not receive any notification from state or local officials of this ECL.
  2. Alert
    • Winthrop University Police will be notified by York County Office of Emergency Management by telephone or all hazard radio.
    • Winthrop University Police will notify University Administration, department heads, on duty police officers, and the MacFeat Early Childhood Laboratory School (located on campus).
    • Review plans and special operations procedures.
    • Monitor all hazard radio and local radio and television stations.
    • Maintain regular contact with York County Office of Emergency Management.
  3. Site Area Emergency
    • Follow same notification procedure for an Alert.
    • Notify Director of Residence Life of the situation.
    • Consider closing the campus to allow commuter students to leave campus in their own vehicles.
    • Begin securing essential off-duty personnel to be on standby.
    • Begin collecting student files and supplies for evacuation assistance registration.
    • Check availability of university buses.
  4. General Emergency
    • Follow same notification procedures as for an Alert.
    • Notify essential off-duty personnel to report to work (determined by department heads).
    • Request buses for transportation from York County Office of Emergency Management, if needed to supplement university transportation resources.
    • Confirm, with York County Office of Emergency Management, that the shelter in Chester County is operational and can receive evacuees.
    • Follow protective actions recommended by York County Office of Emergency Management.

In-Place Sheltering

Should state and local emergency officials determine that evacuation is not required nor advisable, they may direct the general population in certain zones to in-place shelter. In-place sheltering is a temporary measure whereby individuals remain indoors for short-term protection. In-place sheltering includes the following steps:

  • Stay indoors until officials advise it issafe to go out.
  • Close all windows and exterior doors.
  • Turn off outside ventilation system ( i.e., air conditioning, heat, attic fans, etc.)
  • Go to a basement or a down stairs room without windows of outside doors, if possible.
  • Listen to university emergency information sources such as local radio, television, or all hazards radio system. 

Evacuation Procedures

University Closing

Winthrop's 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.