Washington State University

Revised 1-11
Office of Emergency Management

Emergency Planning and Preparedness

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At any time an emergency can adversely affect the safety of personnel and facilities and operations of the University. Emergency situations may be local, regional, or statewide in scope.

Planning and preparing for emergencies of any scale is vital to the welfare of personnel as well as to the continuance of University operations. Emergency incidents can result in lost research, damaged facilities and disrupted educational processes. Proper management of emergencies can minimize such disruption.


Before, during, and after emergencies, the University seeks to safeguard the welfare of students, faculty, staff, and visitors and seeks to protect the University's essential functions. (EP25; RCW 38.52; WAC 296-24-567)

Emergency Defined

An emergency is defined as an event, expected or unexpected, involving shortages of time and resources, that places human or animal lives, property, research, or the environment in danger, including and going beyond routine police, fire, and/or medical response.


This policy applies at all University locations including WSU Pullman, WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver, research stations, extension offices, jointly-owned facilities, all other University-owned property, University-leased space, and temporary field operations and field trips under the control of University operations and staff. This policy also applies to other agencies co-located or affiliated with WSU as appropriate.


Each vice president, chancellor, and dean is responsible for ensuring that all units under her or his administration comply with the requirements of this section (50.39).

Organizational Units

Each chancellor, vice president, vice provost, dean, director, department chair, and supervisor is responsible for the emergency response performance in his or her respective unit. The emergency response management responsibilities described below apply to all units.

Each University unit is required to have in place a plan that includes the following:

Coordination By Emergency Management Office

The Office of Emergency Management within Finance and Administration at WSU Pullman coordinates University emergency planning, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Other WSU campuses and facilities statewide should coordinate emergency management efforts with the Office of Emergency Management at WSU Pullman.

Contact Information

For coordination of all statewide emergency WSU management efforts or additional information, contact the WSU Office of Emergency Management.

Telephone: 509-335-7471
E-mail: emergencymanagement@wsu.edu
Website: http://oem.wsu.edu/



Each University unit (including each campus, college, division, department, and office) is to have an Emergency Response Plan and a Continuance of Operations Plan in place. The unit plans are to follow the guidelines and use the templates for Emergency Response Plan and Continuance of Operations Plan development available at the Office of Emergency Management website at:


Units with specific and exceptional emergency planning needs in addition to the information specified in the guidelines and templates are to attach contingency plans that include the necessary information (such as emergency procedures, animal care or other issues specific to the nature of the work being done) to the templates.

The unit Emergency Response Plan and Continuance of Operations Plan must be submitted to the Office of Emergency Management for review and approval. Plans may be submitted electronically or placed on a CD and submitted. New plans or annually updated plans are due October 1 of each year. Submit significantly revised unit plans as revisions occur throughout the year. Submit revised plans electronically or on a CD.

Send plans on CD to the Office of Emergency Management; mail code 1045; French Administration 232. Send electronic files in care of the Emergency Management Coordinator to:


The Office of Emergency Management issues reminders by September 1 of each year in WSU Announcements and WSU Today regarding the October 1 deadline for completing and submitting the new and/or updated plans.

Communication With Local Response Agencies

It is recommended that local staff communicate all specific WSU issues and concerns related to emergency response in advance with the local emergency response agencies. Examples of such concerns might include the presence of hazardous materials or critical resources or research that requires special protection.

Training and Exercise

Units are to provide training regarding building evacuation and standard emergency procedures to all unit staff members. Such training is to include the location and use of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), emergency supplies, and personal protective materials, etc.

Units with specialized emergency procedures, e.g., laboratory processes, hazardous materials handling, potentially hazardous processes, are to provide specific emergency response training for personnel with exposure to the hazards.

It is recommended that each unit practice emergency evacuation from the facility at least once annually. Units with specialized emergency issues should plan exercises to test the unit's ability to respond to those emergencies. Such units should practice the response at least once annually.


Normal Operation At WSU Campuses

WSU Pullman

During normal operations, the WSU Police Department coordinates and responds to police emergencies at WSU Pullman. The City of Pullman Fire Department coordinates and responds to fire and medical emergencies at WSU Pullman.

WSU Spokane

WSU Security personnel and City of Spokane Police and Fire Departments provide emergency response at WSU Spokane.

WSU Tri-Cities

City of Richland Police and Fire provide service to WSU Tri-Cities.

WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver Police and the local fire department district provide emergency response at WSU Vancouver.

Emergency Calls

For emergencies at all WSU campuses, dial:

911 from any campus phone.
911 from any pay phone, off-campus phone, or cellular phone.

Normal Operations At Other WSU Locations

Emergencies at all other WSU facilities and offices statewide are managed by local staff coordinating with local emergency services.

Major Emergencies

During a major emergency affecting an entire campus or region, normal reporting and response services may not be available.

WSU is committed to the use of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for the management of all significant emergencies at any WSU campus or facility, statewide. Designated staff at all WSU locations are to be trained in the use of the NIMS and the Incident Command System (ICS) to provide consistent and integrated emergency management functions.

Coordinated and integrated campus-wide response to emergencies at WSU Pullman is provided by the WSU Emergency Operations Management Team (EOT) operating under the direction of the Executive Emergency Management Team (EEMT).

Emergency response operations at WSU Spokane, WSU Vancouver, WSU Tri-Cities, and at all other WSU sites statewide, other than WSU Pullman, are managed locally in coordination with city, county, or other local resources and agencies. The WSU Pullman Office of Finance and Administration should be notified promptly of significant emergency situations at any WSU sites. The Office of Finance and Administration can activate the resources of the WSU Emergency Operations Team, as appropriate, to provide support to local management of these emergencies.

Report to WSU Pullman Finance and Administration

Promptly report significant emergency situations at WSU campuses and sites statewide to the WSU Pullman Office of Finance and Administration.

Business Hours: 509-335-5524 or 509-335-2252
Evenings and Weekends: WSU Police at 509-335-8548
E-mail: baf@wsu.edu


WSU Pullman Campus

The University provides notification of emergencies to WSU Pullman personnel and students as follows:

Voice and text messages to cellular telephones,
Voice messages to landline telephones, and
E-mail messages to WSU and personal e-mail addresses.

For more information regarding the CCS, go to:


WSUALERT also provides notice on the WSU Alert website at:


WSUALERT provides emergency messages on the WSU Alert telephone hotline at 509-335-2345.

Select the Campus Spotlight link to view emergency information and/or directions, as applicable.

Select a campus/division in the "My Preferences" settings to receive targeted notices for that campus/division.

Non-Pullman WSU Locations

The University provides notification of suspended operations to personnel and students at non-Pullman locations as follows:

For more information regarding the CCS, go to:


Select the Campus Spotlight link to view emergency information and/or directions, as applicable.

Select a campus/division in the "My Preferences" settings to receive targeted notices for that campus/division.

WSU Spokane

WSU Spokane also provides notice to Spokane personnel and students on the Campus Alert website at:


WSU Spokane provides emergency messages on the Campus Alert telephone hotline at 509-323-2474.

WSU Tri-Cities

WSU Tri-Cities provides notice to Tri-Cities personnel and students on the Campus Alert website at:


WSU Tri-Cities provides emergency messages on the Campus Alert telephone hotline at 509-372-7234.

Local news radio stations broadcast emergency alert messages from the WSU Tri-Cities campus on KONA radio stations 105.3 FM and 610 AM.

WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver Public Safety provides notice to Vancouver personnel and students on the Community Alerts website at:


WSU Extension

The WSU Extension Dean and Directors' office sends an e-mail message to all non-Pullman Extension faculty and staff.

Research and Extension Centers

Each research and extension center (REC) shares information and updates with personnel by telephone tree.

The REC director notifies the CAHNRS Dean's office; telephone 509-335-4561; and if possible the Agricultural Research Center; telephone 509-335-4563; of the situation.

The director ensures that all areas of the REC are secured (e.g., laboratories, chemical storage sheds) before all personnel go home.

During an emergency situation, each REC main office is the information center for any updates or instructions, rather than the REC's safety committee.