Heidelberg University Crisis and Emergency Response Summary


To provide guidelines and procedures for the establishment, implementation, and oversight of a crisis management plan for Heidelberg University.


This plan applies to all faculty, staff, employees, students and visitors who are on the Heidelberg campus. It encompasses all buildings and grounds owned and operated by the University.


The development and administration of this plan is the responsibility of the Emergency Operations Team.


MILD TO MODERATE INCIDENT (disrupting only limited parts of campus): Any incident that does not seriously affect the overall functional capacity of the University, and can be resolved with existing university resources or limited outside assistance. This type of incident has little or no impact on personnel or normal operations outside the locally affected area, and does not require the University’s Emergency Operations Team to be convened. Affected personnel or departments will work directly with Security and the appropriate vice president(s) to address the situation. The Director of Security will be responsible for contacting and informing appropriate university staff. Some examples of minor emergencies include but are not limited to: odor complaint, localized chemical spill, plumbing failure, and/or an inoperative elevator.

MODERATE TO SEVERE INCIDENT (disrupting sizable portions of campus): Any incident which affects an entire building or buildings and which will disrupt the overall operations of the college. Assistance from external organizations will most likely be required, the situation may escalate quickly, serious consequences to critical functions could occur and serious injury or loss of life might be possible. In a moderate to severe incident, the Director of Security will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs, who will notify Emergency Operations Team members. A campus emergency operations center will be established in the Campus Center, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Emergency Operations Team will meet there (possibly with local authorities) to evaluate the situation and decide upon a course of action. Should the Campus Center not be accessible due to the nature of the emergency, the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall serve as the campus emergency operations center. Some examples of major incidents include but are not limited to: building fires, chemical spills which could pose a threat to a large number of people, extensive power or utility outage, severe flooding, and/or an existing or imminent external emergency that may impact the campus.

CRISIS (involving the entire campus and surrounding community): Any event or occurrence that has taken place and has seriously impaired or halted the operations of the University. In some cases, mass casualties and severe property damage may be sustained. The effects of the emergency are wide-ranging and complex. A timely resolution of disaster conditions requires university-wide cooperation and extensive coordination with external jurisdictions. During a crisis, the Director of Security will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, who will notify Emergency Operations Team members. A campus emergency operations center will be established in the Campus Center, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment and the Emergency Operations Team will meet there with a representative with authority to the city or County Emergency Operation Center to evaluate the situation and decide upon a course of action. Should the Campus Center not be accessible due to the nature of the emergency, the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall serve as the campus emergency operations center. Some examples of a crisis include but are not limited to: major flooding, major earthquake, and/or a massive release of a biological or chemical agent or other terrorist activity.


Regardless of the time of day, immediate contact should be made with those persons who are best able to provide the needed services in response to an emergency. In all life-threatening emergencies dial 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) and follow up with a call to Heidelberg Security at 419-448-2211(on campus phone x2211) or the Director’s phone number 419-448-2977 (on campus phone x2977). All other emergencies should be directed to Security at x2211. Security personnel will be responsible for contacting designated responders and administrative officials and the specific guidelines within this plan will be followed.


The authority to declare a campus “state of emergency” rests with the President (or his designee) upon consultation with appropriate personnel. When this declaration is made, access to the campus may be limited to registered students, faculty, staff and employees at the discretion of the President (or his designee). Proper identification may be requested. Upon notification of a campus state of emergency, the Director of Security will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, who will notify Emergency Operations Team members.

Heidelberg University uses an emergency notification system (SendWordNow) to notify the campus community in the case of emergency. SendWordNow delivers time-sensitive information to students, faculty and staff simultaneously via multiple paths including phone calls, SMS text messages, and email when unforeseen events or emergencies arise. The institution will, without delay, and taking into account the safety of the community, determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system, unless the notification will, in the professional judgement of responsible authorities, compromise efforts to assist victims or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency. Each campus emergency will present hazards and situations unique to that emergency. It will be imperative that the Director of Security notify the proper personnel in a timely manner. Once the Emergency Operations Team is notified, they will have the flexibility to respond to the incident, as they deem proper for the situation at hand. If a significant emergency has been declared by the president (or his designee) then, the notification will be initiated to the campus community using SendWordNow. A list of emergency phone numbers accompanies this document and provides a complete listing of individuals and/or agencies that can respond to a particular emergency (see Appendix A).


In case of an emergency, all employees must follow the specific emergency procedure found in this plan and/or the directions of his/her immediate supervisor. Emergencies that may be life-threatening should be reported immediately to 911 (9-911 from campus phone). Non-life threatening emergencies should be reported to Security at 419-448-2211 or the Director of Security at 419-448-2977. Your personal safety is of utmost concern. All employees are responsible for taking precautions to assure their safety by familiarizing themselves with this plan.

Every administrator, division head, department chair, director, and supervisor has the following general responsibilities prior to and during any emergency:

Emergency Preparedness

Understand and disseminate emergency procedures and information as outlined in this plan to building occupants and employees.

Emergency Situations

Inform all building occupants under their direction of the emergency condition. Evaluate the impact of the emergency on their activity and take appropriate action. This may include ceasing operations and initiating emergency response.

8. CAMPUS EMERGENCY STAFF - Organization and Responsibility

The following administrators will comprise the Emergency Operations Team: the President, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Administration, the Associate Vice President of Engineering and Facilities, the Director of Communication and Marketing, the Director of Campus Safety and Security and the Director of Campus Ministry.

University staff members listed below may be called to serve on the Emergency Operations Team, based on the situation at hand. This team will be convened and directed by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment as needed or as requested by the President. As a group, their function will be to determine the scope and impact of the incident, make appropriate emergency notifications, prioritize emergency actions, deploy resources and equipment, communicate information and instructions, monitor/re-evaluate conditions and review the effectiveness of the response after the incident. Team members may be asked to conduct an evaluation and compile an evaluative report based on the response and outcome.

Associate Dean of Students
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Director of Residence Life
Campus Counselor
Director of Health and Counseling Services
Director of Computer, Network and Information Technology
Associate Director of Communication and Marketing
Director of Food Services
Administrative Assistant to the President


The Campus Emergency Operations Center will be established in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment, Campus Center (third floor) during a severe incident or a crisis. The operations center will serve as a focal point for key personnel and a central location for emergency equipment and operations as required. The office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, University Hall, will be used as an alternative site in case the Campus Center is not available.
The Associate Vice President for Engineering and Facilities will be responsible for securing a mobile generator to provide power for base station operation and other essential communication hardware.
The security office and CNIT staff will work together to maintain an up-to-date listing of staff having cell phones. Dependent on need, these staff may be asked to provide their phone for emergency telecommunications during a time of crisis where the telephone system is inoperable.


The Director of Security will contact the Director of Communication and Marketing and request that he/she come to campus and set up a communications center to deal with the media. All calls concerning the crisis will be forwarded to the communications center.
The Director of Communication and Marketing, through discussions with the President, Vice Presidents, and Director of Security, will begin developing a strategy for releasing information proactively to the media. [See Heidelberg University Crisis Communication Plan, Policies and Procedures, Appendix H]
If the crisis occurs after hours, the Director of Communication and Marketing will contact staff members at home to secure additional assistance. The number of persons, if any, contacted will depend on the nature of the crisis.
The Director of Communications and Marketing will assign responsibilities to staff members. The staff will also assist in keeping media a safe distance from the site of the crisis.
The Director of Communications and Marketing will determine whether a major press conference area needs to be made available. If major media are expected, parking will need to be arranged for uplink vehicles and multiple phone lines will be needed. This will be coordinated with the Director of Security and the CNIT staff.
The Director of Communications and Marketing is the official spokesperson for the college and will be the official contact with members of the media.


In case of medical emergencies and when emergency transport is necessary, EMS will provide the transportation. Emergency transport is requested by calling 911 (9-911 from campus phone).
Generally, it is advised that individual faculty, staff or students not take responsibility for transporting a person involved with any health emergency.
In the case of protective custody or emergency detention where a restraint is necessary, the city of Tiffin Police Department will be involved directly with transportation.


Every individual must accept personal responsibility for getting out of a building during an emergency. Even though emergency personnel are usually available to assist with evacuation, this may not always be the case. Alternative plans and arrangements made in advance of an emergency will increase the likelihood that individuals will be able to exit a building safely in the event of an emergency. This is even more critical to the safety of those individuals with mobility impairments because the use of elevators during emergencies is dangerous and should be avoided. Thus, individuals will need to use alternative methods of leaving a building. Because of constantly changing populations and building occupancy patterns, it is not possible for the University to make reliable arrangements for the evacuation of specific individuals from the many buildings they may occupy in the course of a week. In the absence of this ability, the following suggestions are advised for individuals to increase the chances of their safe evacuation from a building in an emergency situation.

Recommendations for persons with disabilities or persons who provide assistance to persons with disabilities are included in the following list.

  • In advance, identify and be familiar with at least two exit routes from every area and building you occupy. An emergency exit route should not include an elevator.
  • In advance, identify possible volunteers, such as classmates, faculty or fellow workers who are willing and able to assist you to evacuate. Make specific arrangements for their assistance.
  • If you are unable to exit a building, contact the college security office or civil authorities or arrange for others to inform them of your location.
  • Know the safest method people could use to assist you. Know how many people you need to provide you that assistance.
  • If you use a wheelchair, be prepared to explain how and where persons should support you. Practice instructions beforehand.
  • If you have difficulty being understood, develop a card containing all appropriate instructions and carry it with you.
  • Carry a loud whistle or similar device you can operate for use in the event you become trapped.
  • Individuals who need to work in isolated areas after normal building occupancy hours should determine telephone availability. If a telephone is not available, they should contact security in advance and provide their location and occupancy times.


Updated building floor plan maps will be posted on each floor within all campus buildings. The maps provide information on evacuation routes. A comprehensive set of building floor plans will be kept in the Student Affairs Office in the Campus Center and Krammes Service Center so the Emergency Operations Team can quickly access them.


The Emergency Operations Team will work with other campus departments and offices to assure an evaluation of any significant crisis response is conducted after the incident.


The universtiy will test the emergency response and evacuation procedures on an annual basis. The University will publicize the annual test including a description of the exercise as well as the date and time of the exercise.