Responsible for protecting the lives of every person on campus.

Emergency Operations Response to Electrical Power Outages

Posted Dec-19-2000

Current electrical shortages in California may result in electrical power outages on campus. Outages may occur without notice.

The purpose of this Bulletin is to inform the Campus Community of the planned emergency operations response protocols in the event of electrical power outages.

Emergency Management Modes of Operation

Emergency operations are managed in one of three modes, depending on the magnitude of the incident/event.

1. Decentralized Coordination and Direction

This management mode (Level I response) is similar to day-to-day operations and is used for emergency activities in which normal management procedures and local resources are adequate. Campus emergency function coordinators provide necessary support. The campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is not activated and inter-unit coordination is accomplished via established telephone and radio communications.

As desired and established, Incident Command System (ICS) procedures can or will be used for on-scene activities. On-scene managers and responders usually report through established twenty-four-hour dispatch facilities.

2. Centralized Coordination - Decentralized Direction

This mode of operation (Level II response) is used for emergency responses that require several campus units or agencies from off-campus. In these situations, key management personnel from involved campus units meet in a central location to provide coordination. Establishing the management organization for an emergency at the earliest possible time is vitally important. Therefore, the process of establishing the management organization begins with the first person who arrives at the EOC. The first person arriving assumes management responsibilities until relieved by an appropriate authority based on organizational responsibility.

The coordinating group meets at the campus EOC or an alternate location and establishes management organization in accordance with the Incident Command System (ICS) and SEMS (Standardized Emergency Management System). Their activities can include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Establishing a campus-wide situation assessment function.
  2. Establishing a campus-wide public information function.
  3. Determining resource requirements and coordinating resource requests.
  4. Establishing and coordinating the logistical systems necessary to support emergency services.

Incident commanders and on-site emergency services continue to report through established twenty-four-hour dispatch facilities. Information is provided to the EOC by dispatch facilities.

3. Centralized Coordination and Direction

This mode of operation (Level III) is utilized when a major emergency or disaster renders the campus unable to function effectively in either of the other modes. In this situation, the campus EOC and Department Operation Centers (DOCs) are activated and all coordination and direction activities (including public safety dispatch) are accomplished from the EOC.

Emergency Management Periods of Operation

Emergency management generally includes three periods of activity:

1. Pre-Emergency Period

The Campus Emergency Management Staff maintain communications systems and the EOC in operable condition. Plans, procedures and resource data are kept up to date. If an emergency situation is likely, the Emergency Management Organization takes necessary actions to increase readiness.

2. Emergency Period

If a threatening situation develops, the Emergency Operations Executive (Vice President, Student Affairs) is notified immediately. The elements of the Emergency Management Organization are activated as required at the direction of the Emergency Operations Executive. Incident management is established to direct field units. Operations are coordinated in a centralized or decentralized mode depending on the magnitude of the emergency situation. Actions are directed to save lives and protect property, and if the situation warrants, the University President or a designee will declare a Campus Emergency to include emergency conditions; i.e., curfew, evacuation, etc., in accordance with California Administrative Code, Title 5, Sections 41302/42402.

If an emergency occurs without warning, the initial response is managed in a decentralized mode by on-duty personnel. Centralized management, if required, is established as rapidly as conditions permit. Assistance is requested through mutual aid channels as needed. A Campus Emergency may be declared. Neighboring jurisdictions are notified and, if deemed essential, are requested to proclaim a Local Emergency.

3. Post-Emergency Period (Recovery)

As soon as practical following a major emergency, normal management of campus operations is restored. Disaster assistance for affected persons is coordinated through Disaster Assistance Centers (DACs) in the local area. If major damage has occurred, a recovery group is formed to coordinate planning and decision-making for recovery and reconstruction efforts.

The University President or designee will cancel the declared Campus Emergency after post-emergency activities have concluded.

Campus Emergency

If, in the opinion of the University President, conditions warrant, the President or designee can officially proclaim a Campus Emergency and direct campus closure in accordance with California Administrative Code, Title 5, Sections 41302, 42402. Whenever possible, this will be done in coordination with the Chancellor’s Office. Proclaiming a Campus Emergency by the President has the following effects: it activates the Emergency Plan, facilitates campus participation in mutual assistance in the event of declaration of local emergency and/or State of Emergency; ensures that supervisors are acting under campus Presidential delegation in directing activities outside the regular scope of employees’ duties; and helps ensure appropriate payment of Workers’ Compensation, reimbursements for extraordinary expenses, and federal disaster relief, where applicable.

Such a declaration will be made when, in the President’s opinion, there is an actual or threatened condition of disaster or extreme peril to persons or property on campus that cannot be met by ordinary campus administrative procedures.

Implementation of the campus Emergency Plan puts into effect the campus’ role in the California Emergency Plan and is the first step in coordinating disaster assistance with local jurisdiction and giving or receiving mutual aid if necessary.

The University Chief of Police (EOC Director) has the primary responsibility for promptly notifying the campus community when warranted by an emergency situation. Notification to the community, which will normally be accomplished through the University Police Dispatch Center, will involve both warning that an emergency condition exists and the issuance of appropriate instructions.

The University Police Dispatch Center is the primary point on campus for receipt of warnings from local and state officials. Warnings are received via radio, teletype and telephone.

In the event of an emergency, the University Police Dispatch Center will notify various areas of the campus. Persons contacted will be given instructions and advised to assist in implementing appropriate emergency actions for their particular areas of responsibility or general location. The Chief of Police will ensure an appropriate message is recorded on the campus information line, 826-4636.

Notification to the campus community will be made by the most expeditious and effective means, including public address and hand-held public address units in police vehicles. Emergency personnel will also make on-site voice commands.

Upon direction by the Campus President or designee to close the campus (see Campus Closure Policy below), the Chief of Police (EOC Director) will direct the following actions:

  • Coordinate with the City of Arcata EOC and/or County EOC (if activated) on implementation of closure procedures.
  • Assign field teams for classroom notifications and building closure.
  • Assign personnel to post barricades/signs at incoming points to campus.
  • Coordinate with the Emergency Operations Executive (City of Arcata EOC and/or County EOC if activated) regarding progress of closure.
  • Notify the Director of Plant Operations who will assign personnel to building closure (locking of buildings) and the closing down of utilities if necessary.
  • Ensure that designated emergency or essential personnel needed for emergency use will be instructed to remain on campus. (Determined by EOC Director or senior Police Officer on duty, if campus EOC is not activated.)
  • Notify Housing staff of the closure. Resident students remaining on campus will be instructed to wait in resident halls or assemble at a designated emergency assembly point for further instructions.
  • Notify parents of children participating in campus children’s programs to pick up their children at a designated location.

Upon authorization by the campus President or designee to close the campus, the following will be notified by the President’s Office of the closure:

  1. Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  2. University Community Relations.
  3. Vice President for Development and Administrative Services.
  4. Director of Human Resources.

These individuals will call those who report directly to them and have them in turn call their department heads, etc., with the appropriate information.

The Director of University Relations will advise the campus news media and off-campus media as appropriate of the decision to cancel classes and close the campus.

In the event closure of the campus or a portion thereof becomes necessary, Building/Facility Coordinators will play a very important role in the closure with minimal disruption. Building/Facility Coordinators, particularly those who support emergency management efforts, should review duties such as:

  • Notify the University Police Department, consistent with the responsibility of all staff members, of any existing disturbance or conditions that might develop into a disturbance.
  • Inform building occupants and constituents of pending events and activities which will affect building schedules and operations.
  • Assure that hallways and corridors are kept free of obstruction of any kind which could create a fire hazard or obstruction during emergency evacuation.
  • In accordance with our Survival Actions for Emergencies (SAFE) guidelines, develop a SAFE program for the building, including evacuation routes and exterior assembly points, placement of emergency kits, and notification and training of building occupants.

Campus Closure Executive Memorandum, September 2000, P 00-9


When it becomes necessary to close the campus to normal operations, a number of factors will influence whether all or part of the campus will be affected. These factors include, but are not limited to, the risk of injury or death to people, property damage, and disruption to essential utilities.


The purpose of this policy is to establish general guidelines for personnel involved in a campus closure and to assist Emergency Management personnel in closure and/or evacuation of the campus in response to an emergency or potential safety hazard.


In accordance with Title 5, California Code of Regulations, sections 41302 and 42402, the University President or designee is the only person(s) who may direct a campus closure.


It is the policy of Humboldt State University that whenever there is an immediate or potential danger to life (including health and/or safety) and property, the University will take every possible action necessary to protect life and property. Those actions may include partial or complete campus closure and evacuation of all or some persons or any other actions in accordance with this policy and the Campus Emergency Management Plan.


Unplanned Event

An unplanned event is an event that has occurred, and which affects all or a portion of campus normal operations, without notice. ("Notice" refers to documented approval by an authorized University representative.) An unplanned event may or may not necessarily pose an apparent threat to life or property.

Planned Event

A planned event is an event that will occur, and which affects all or a portion of campus normal operations, with notice. A planned event may not necessarily pose an apparent threat to life or property.


An emergency is a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence that requires immediate attention and affects all or a portion of normal campus operations. An emergency generally involves an apparent threat to life or property.

Essential Personnel

Essential personnel are employees designated by the University President or President's designee(s) who, by virtue of their employment responsibilities, provide services essential to the protection of life and property when an unplanned event, planned event or emergency occurs that affects all or a portion of the persons at the University or any University property. This category is exclusive of staff who are asked by the Vice President and/or designee to work their usual schedule during an emergency.

Procedures for Unplanned Events and Emergencies

Initial Response

If an emergency or unplanned event occurs that threatens the safety of persons or property, the University Police Department (UPD) should be notified immediately. The UPD will ensure the most rapid response of necessary resources. University Police personnel will conduct or coordinate with other personnel a rapid needs assessment and communicate the findings to the appropriate designated authority to further ensure that the campus administration receives the information necessary to evaluate the need to close all or a portion of campus. It should be noted that some unplanned events or emergencies may dictate the need for a University Police Officer to exercise his/her police officer powers to direct persons to evacuate buildings or areas directly affected by a criminal or non-criminal incident for safety and evidence preservation purposes.


When an unplanned event or emergency occurs, the most senior University Police Officer on duty will notify the following University officials as soon as possible in the following order:

  1. Emergency Operations Executive or designee
  2. University President or designee
  3. Emergency Operations Center Director (Chief of Police) or designee

Campus Closure

The decision to close the entire campus or any portion of the campus when an emergency or unplanned event occurs shall be made by the University President or designee. In most cases this decision will be made on the basis of information and recommendations received through consultation with the Emergency Operations Executive, University Police Department, and/or other Emergency Management personnel.

When campus closure is authorized and/or a campus emergency is declared, the Emergency Operations Executive will direct the Emergency Operations Center Director (Chief of University Police) to implement campus procedures in accordance with Section 5 (Levels of Emergency) of the Campus Emergency Management Plan.

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