Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
Public Safety will take steps necessary to contain and control any emergency or dangerous situation that may affect the campus community. The Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) provides Loyola University Maryland with guidelines to ensure a timely, effective, efficient, coordinated, and safe response to crisis and emergency incidents. Response operations are intended to resolve situations while minimizing casualties and property damage. Response activities include warnings, emergency medical services, firefighting, law enforcement operations, evacuation, shelter and mass care, search and rescue, and other associated functions.
Loyola University draws upon principles found in the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Loyola's first responders use the Incident Command System (ICS) when managing the tactical aspects of a crisis or emergency. The ICS system lends consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness to the way the University responds during an incident that requires the evacuation of all or part of Loyola's campuses.
When an incident requires a building evacuation, it is University policy that all faculty, staff, and students exit the building to pre-designated rally points. These procedures are explained in the General Campus Evacuation Guide, which can be found on Loyola's emergency preparedness webpage. This guide and additional fire safety information is distributed annually to all faculty, staff, and students on campus.
The policy of DPS is to notify the campus community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an imminent or ongoing threat to health or safety. The Director of Public Safety or designee may send the notification via text and email using the Greyhound Alert System. All students and staff are provided with a Loyola University email account at the start of their employment or academic pursuits. The Greyhound Alert System is an opt-out system that updates daily with student and employee contact information. Campus community members can update their Greyhound Alert profile through the “Inside Loyola” portal. Students can add parent or guardian contact information through their account portals. Students are strongly encouraged to stay registered in the system.
All emergencies reported to the Public Safety Communications Center by calling 410-617-5911 will be dispatched to an officer who will investigate the incident. DPS officers, officers in charge, and shift supervisors will make early assessments to determine the emergency's scale and scope.
Authority to declare a campus state of emergency rests with the President or a designee. The Director of Public Safety will consult with the President or designee regarding emergencies to determine whether a campus-wide state of emergency exists. During a crisis, Public Safety will follow the appropriate procedures necessary to safeguard life and property as outlined in the EOP.
Loyola University's CCP establishes procedures for the timely release of information during an emergency of any scale. The strategies outlined in this plan focus on four overall objectives for the communications component of Loyola's crisis response: speed, accuracy, consistency, and transparency.
During a crisis, communications must empower Loyola community members to make informed decisions that will mitigate risks to their health and safety, their environment, and their property, along with Loyola's environment and property. Also, communications are central to University efforts to maintain or regain credibility among stakeholders and the public.
The CCP was produced by Loyola's Office of Marketing and Communications (MarComm) in collaboration with Public Safety as an annex to the EOP.
Although it is possible to send notifications to parts of the community, the usual practice is to send notifications to all campus community members. Administrators at the Leuven campus will send emergency notifications to the community residing at the Loyola International Nachbahr Huis (Loyola House) in Leuven, Belgium because the location is overseas.
Loyola University will initiate the emergency notification system, unless, in responsible authorities' professional judgment, sending an emergency notification will compromise efforts to assist a victim or manage the incident. The dissemination of emergency information to the broader community is a collaborative effort between Public Safety and a representative of Marketing and Communication. If necessary, the Director of Public Safety, or designee, will alert local law enforcement. Baltimore City Police may use the city's Communicator system to alert specific neighborhoods affected via mass phone notifications.
Public Safety has the authority to unilaterally create and send an initial message, including subsequent follow-up messages for incidents that pose an imminent or ongoing threat to the Loyola community's health and safety. For message approval in all other incidents or once the CCP is activated, the Associate Director of Media Relations and the emergency operations team must do the following as outlined in the University's EOP:
- Determine what messages need to be approved.
- Determine who needs to review and approve messages.
After initial alerts have been sent, additional information may be disseminated as information becomes available. We anticipate that follow-up messages may be needed as the situation develops and more information becomes available. The Chair of the emergency operations team or designee and the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications determines when the CCP is deactivated. Deactivation occurs after the final message is sent. A timely warning is not required for the same incident, but follow-up information will be provided as needed.
The Greyhound Alerts System is tested on the first Monday of every month at 1:00 pm. This test exercises each standalone system and determines if they will perform their intended functions when needed. DPS alerts the Loyola community of these monthly tests via the University's online news/events publication Loyola Today, which is distributed to all community members Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer months.
Building evacuation drills are conducted and documented throughout the calendar year. After action reviews are used to train, educate, and improve evacuation times.
Loyola University Maryland conducts an annual, campus-wide exercise to validate and improve various campus plans, especially the EOP, to evaluate the University's emergency response capabilities; and improve communication and working relationships among departments. The exercise participants include the Emergency Management Team (Operations and Policy Groups) and key faculty, staff, and administrators totaling approximately 80 to 100 individuals. Exercises generally last 3.5 hours, followed by an hour-long after-action review. The after-action review is conducted to evaluate our response efforts and to identify any weaknesses or improvements needed within our plans and procedures.
These tests are designed to assess and evaluate emergency response plans and capabilities of the institution. These tests may be announced or unannounced. General information about emergency response and evacuation procedures is publicized each year as part of the University's emergency preparedness efforts and is available on the Public Safety website or the Department of Environmental Health & Safety website.