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Emergency Communication Notification Procedures

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on September 27, 2017
Approved By:

Source / Authority

Strategic Communications, (909) 537-5007

Purpose

Effective and efficient communication is an essential component of any emergency plan. In the event of an emergency situation, the University will implement the emergency notification procedures below. It shall be the responsibility of the division vice presidents to ensure that their respective divisions are knowledgeable of all emergency communication methods, which are specifically outlined in the procedures below. All University employees and students are encouraged to ensure that their personal information remains updated and to participate in any activation of the plan when notified. Right to privacy mandates that participation in this plan will be voluntary and that no personal information will be disseminated without the express permission of the involved employee.

For the purposes of these procedures, a crisis is defined as an event or series of events that could affect the health or well being of individuals associated with the university -- or the university itself -- beyond the everyday problems of living and working.

Policy

PROCEDURES

CSUSB will immediately notify the campus community using the Emergency Notification System

(ENS) upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees. A significant emergency or dangerous situation is confirmed for the purposes of distributing an emergency notification when Chief of Police or designee receives reports or other evidence from community members, local first responders, the National Weather Service or other similar means that leads one to believe that a significant emergency or dangerous situation exists for the entire campus or a segment of the campus population.

When reasonable, the CSUSB Crisis Communication Team (CCCT) is responsible for issuing an ENS. The CCCT consists of: the Chief of Police or designee, the AVP for Strategic Communications, the Vice President for Administration and Finance or designee, the Assistant Director of Media Relations or designee, all pertinent members of the Executive Cabinet and any other stakeholders deemed necessary. They shall work in consultation issuing an ENS if reasonable and possible. The Vice President for Administration and Finance or designee shall make a notification to the Office of the President. While efforts are made to confer with the CCCT prior to issuing an ENS, the Chief of Police or designee has authority to issue an ENS without consultation when necessary to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Because an emergency notification is time-sensitive, the Chief of Police or designee shall take into account the safety of the campus community, determine what information should be released, and issue an ENS notification based upon the evidence known at the time of issuance. An ENS message will be released as soon as reasonably necessary, and without delay, unless notification will compromise efforts to assist a victim, or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

The ENS allows notifications to geographical areas of persons or select persons on campus and if applicable to the PDC Campus. ENS messages will be sent to all members of each campus community based on the location of the crisis. CSUSB uses an Emergency Notification System (ENS) to notify students, staff and faculty when it is determined that there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees on campus. The ENS is used to transmit brief, urgent messages to the campus community as quickly as possible. CSUSB uses “Blackboard Connect” as it ENS which transmits messages via the following media channels: text, phone, email, social media formats Twitter and Facebook and RSS feeds. In addition, the University also employs “Alertus,” “Informacast,” has a dedicated Emergency Notification webpage and a CSUSB Hotline. “Alertus” sends emergency messages directly to all campus computer screens and TV monitors; “Informacast” sends messages directly to all land line campus phones; the “Emergency Notification” webpage is built to both inform the campus community and to be a repository of all messages; and finally, the CSUSB Hotline is updated for anyone calling in needing information.

The University will also issue or provide post-event information that provides an update on how the situation concluded.

TYPICAL USAGE

The following is a list of potential situations where the ENS system will be deployed:

  • Earthquake
  • Gas leak
  • Fire
  • Power outage
  • Terrorist incident
  • Armed intruder / active shooter
  • Bomb threat
  • Civil unrest or rioting
  • Explosion
  • Approaching extreme weather
  • Campus closure
  • Other incident or situation requiring rapid communication

RECIPIENT RESPONSIBILITY

Recipients of ENS messages are responsible for updating their emergency contact information with the University. All members of the University community are encouraged to add their cellular phone number so they may receive ENS messages via text, which is the quickest form of communication.