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Hurricane Action Plans
The Department of Public Safety will follow the guidelines below when an impending weather event (hurricane, snow, etc.) is expected to impact the college campus. These are only guidelines. Specific events or situations may cause a variance from the timeline or tasks listed.
72 Hours Prior to Event
- Director of Public Safety will contact the Emergency Manager of St. Mary’s County for weather updates, evacuation notices, etc. The Director will remain in periodic contact throughout the event for updated information.
- The Director will update the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and the Emergency Response Team.
- The Director, or designee, will monitor the weather through internet services or other means, if available.
- The Director will meet with supervisors to review the emergency plan, prepare a 12-hour schedule, and discuss contingencies.
48 Hours Prior to Event
- Public Safety staff will be placed on 12-hour shifts.
- Vehicles will be fueled, fluids checked, tire pressures checked; ensure an adequate supply of flares, caution tape, jumper cables, and check wipers and emergency lights. Repairs will be made as necessary.
- Check personal equipment, i.e. flashlights, raingear, radios, etc.
- Assist Physical Plant and Grounds to check the campus for objects that could become projectiles in severe winds and check buildings are secured.
- Make rounds through residence halls to assist students as needed.
- Maintain overall campus security.
24 Hours Prior to Event
- Director will begin updates to Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Emergency Response Team at a minimum of every 6 hours or sooner if needed.
- Maintain overall campus security.
- Assist students with evacuations if ordered.
- Provide security at campus shelters, as needed.
- Monitor “non-student” ingress onto campus and take appropriate action.
- Continue to monitor campus for unsecured objects and/or buildings.
12 Hours Prior to Event
- Director will continue updates to Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Emergency Response Team.
- Public Safety Officers will close all entrances to campus to all “unauthorized personnel.”
- Officers will be teamed in pairs, except when reporting to sheltering locations as there may be several locations being utilized.
- Officers will be assigned security locations at a common shelter or a residence hall that is sheltering in place.
- Provide security checks on all buildings with an emphasis on evacuated residence halls or those halls where sheltering in place is ordered.
- Assist with transportation to County shelters, if needed.
- Ensure their families are in a safe place as officers may be required to remain on campus through the event.
- Public Safety Officers will be directed to shelter once “sustained” winds of 40 mph are experienced.
- Dispatch and all operations at the Public Safety building will be moved to a back-up location once “sustained” winds of 40 mph, or gusts of 60 mph, are experienced.
Note: Staff that will be required to remain on campus should be permitted to shelter family members at a location on campus. This will enhance the likelihood of keeping essential personnel during critical times.
During the Event
- Director will continue contact with St. Mary’s County Emergency Operations Center and update the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and the Emergency Response Team.
- Ensure officers are sheltered in a safe place and all hands are accounted for. (Officers will only leave shelter during the event if a life threatening situation occurs and an officer is able to respond without placing themselves in jeopardy.)
- Maintain security at shelter or residence hall assigned.
- Work with staff to keep students safe and calm.
- Maintain 30 minute safety checks with dispatch via radio or telephone (if working).
- Be prepared for alternate sheltering should their location experience a roof collapse or other tragic occurrence.
After the Event
- Report and attend to any injuries within your level of training.
- Report any structural damages to the building assigned.
- Keep all students and staff inside the building as long as it is still structurally safe.
- Notify the dispatcher or the Emergency Response Team Incident Commander if dispatch cannot be reached, that you are leaving shelter to do an outside damage assessment and report all damage to dispatch or the Emergency Response Team.
- Once the above is complete, ALL OFFICERS will report, when safe to do so, to the Public Safety building or the back-up location for assignments. Officers will again be teamed in pairs.
- Officers will check campus entrances to ensure they are still closed, via traffic cones, signage or caution tape.
- Begin systematic building checks for looting and injured subjects.
- Maintain overall campus security to ensure no “unauthorized persons” are on campus.
- Public Safety will remain on 12 hours shifts and receive assignments daily throughout the recovery period, which could be for several weeks or months. The primary objective of Public Safety during the recovery phase is to ensure campus security and the safety of the students, staff, and faculty.