North Carolina Wesleyan University, a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning, and responsible participation in their communities.
Located in Rocky Mount in Eastern North Carolina, North Carolina Wesleyan’s campus is nestled on 200 acres of land. The diverse student body including a significant international population creates a rich learning environment full of opportunities for our healthy mix of traditional aged students and adult learners.
North Carolina Wesleyan University is committed to the welfare of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Preparing an emergency management plan and allocating resources to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies is one way the College meets this commitment. The plan is developed based on the 2009 Action Guide for Emergency Management at Institutions of Higher Education by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, this plan is fashioned in accordance with the laws, regulations, and policies that govern emergency management and reflects the most current thinking in this area.
The Emergency Management Plan (EMP) is designed to minimize danger, preserve property, maximize human survival, restore normal working conditions, and assure responsive communications with the College community, surrounding neighborhoods, the city of Rocky Mount, state agencies such as the State Highway Patrol, Rocky Mount Police, and the N.C. Emergency Management Agency (NCEMA).
The EMP for the College will be publicly available on the Campus Security website. Hardcopies of this plan as well as incident specific plans will be located in each North Carolina Wesleyan University security vehicle, Maintenance Office, Office of Student Affairs, housekeeping key office, the switchboard desk, and the Campus Security Office. It shall be the responsibility of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (VPSA/DOS) to update the North Carolina Wesleyan University EMP annually and update it as needed.
Much like the dynamic nature of any emergency plan, the framework for the EMP consists of four ongoing and cyclical phases: prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Prevention is the action colleges and universities take to decrease the likelihood that an event or crisis will occur (p. 7). Mitigation is the action colleges and universities take to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage related to an event or crisis, particularly those that cannot be prevented (p. 7).
North Carolina Wesleyan University’ s Vulnerability Assessment
- At North Carolina Wesleyan University, we recognize that there are aspects of the campus that make us vulnerable. Our close proximity to the eastern shore subjects the campus to the effects of hurricanes. In mitigating personal harm and property damage, the College has developed a Hurricane Preparedness document (see Appendix 1).
- There are five access points to campus, and entry can be made at the front main gate, the Athletic Field House, the Hartness Center, and two entrances by The Dunn Center. To control access, Campus Security keeps the gates by The Dunn Center open and unlocked only when there is a major event at the Center. This practice reduces the entry points from five to three. Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., the Campus Security officers lock the gates near the Athletic Field House and Hartness Center to centralize campus access to the main gate.
- With regard to acts of violence, Campus Security officers and Residence Life staff are trained on conflict mediation to address and alleviate issues that can be resolved through mediation before they escalate into bodily and emotional harm or property damage. Through leadership of the College counseling services and the Campus Security, we aim to create psychologically healthy environment that prevents incidents brought on by emotional instability.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs has submitted a proposal to implement an Institutional Review Board. For the purposes of crisis management, this group would review study proposals that involve human subjects. Considering the possibility of students, faculty, and staff being subjects, we see the need to have all study proposals approved to ensure no danger to subjects or members within the campus community.
- Starting the 2009-2010 academic year, alcohol is not permitted in any residence halls regardless of age hence making College a “dry campus.” The enforcement of this policy will likely reduce the level of danger posed the by risky behavior resulting from the inappropriate consumption of alcohol.The College will maintain ongoing monitoring and assessment of facilities and grounds, campus and community data, and the campus climate in determining areas that threaten safety to students, faculty, and staff.Preparedness—a phase that designs strategies, process, and protocols to prepare the college or university for potential emergencies (p. 9).The President of the North Carolina Wesleyan University is the chief executive officer holding the responsibility for directing the overall operations of the College. In his/her absence, the Vice President for Academic Affairs emerges as the leading decision maker for the College. For the purposes of planning for a crisis event, the Emergency Management Team (EMT) coordinated by the VPSA/DOS will employ the plan and advise the College’s commanding officer in response to an emergency. The EMT will consist of the following campus officials:
- Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (Director/Incident Commander)
- Vice President of Academic Affairs
- Vice President of Finance
- Director of Health Services
- Director of Security
- Director of Maintenance
- Director of Housekeeping
- Director of Residence Life
- Food Services General Manager
- Head Athletic Trainer
- Director of Public Relations
Emergency Operation Center—a centralized management center for emergency operations
The Campus Security Office in the Hardees Building at the College is the primary Emergency Operation Center (EOC). The Hardees building contains the communications center of Campus Security, sufficient conference space, and numerous resources such as maps, diagrams, directories, and technical data. In addition, the Hardees Building has an emergency power supply for communications and lighting. Finally, a campus-wide alarm is located in the Campus Security Office.
In the event of an emergency the EOC must be kept operational. The Campus Security and Physical Plant radios are located in the Hardees Building and are powered by a single emergency electrical source, supported with a backup generator.
Should the Hardees Building be inoperable, the EOC will be moved to the Hartness Center.
Continuity of Education Program
The College will remain open and execute its academic program as best as possible. If the education program has to be suspended, the College will be prepared to employ an operations procedure obtained from Blackburn College until a permanent North Carolina Wesleyan one is developed.
1. Based on the recommendations or directions from public health authorities the College will suspend regular operations and send all students home.
2. The following calendar should be considered for how to conclude the semester in the event described above:
- Suspending the semester prior to week 4 will result in cancellation of the semester. When the college resumes normal operations the semester will restart.
- Suspending the semester from week 4 through week 12 will result in the suspension of all instructional activities, which will be resumed at the same point in the semester when the college resumes normal operations.
- Suspending the semester after week 12 will result in the conclusion of the semester with grades calculated on the basis of the work done to that point. The next academic term will commence on schedule following a suspension of this type.
3. Once classes are suspended only essential personnel (to be defined by the Office of the President Staff and the President) will be expected to report to campus.
Early in the academic year, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to update their emergency contact information with Flashbrief, a mass alert notification software program. Campus members can provide a current cell phone number to the Office of Student Affairs in the Hardee’s Student Union. An alternate site for registering with the system is the College’s switchboard in Braswell Hall. Also, student’s home information will be verified and updated in the Call-Em-All registry. This is a service that allows for transmitting information to families.
Response—taking action to effectively contain and resolve an emergency.
The authority to declare a campus state of emergency lies with the President or his/her designee, typically the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The plan shall be set in motion whenever a natural or induced emergency affecting the College reaches proportions that cannot be handled by established measures. Emergencies are sudden and unforeseen, or there may be varying periods of warning. The plan is intended to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate contingencies of all types, magnitudes, and durations. The plan also provides for aiding the local community when appropriate, though the College community is the primary focus. The intent of the plan is to be a tool to accomplish the stated purposes with a minimum of confusion and wasted resources and efforts.
Depending upon the magnitude of the emergency, the Coordinator for North Carolina Wesleyan University or the Emergency Director for the City of Rocky Mount is responsible for the series of actions taken during an emergency. These actions shall generally reflect the steps specified in the appropriate EMP, modified appropriately for the circumstances. Securitas, NCWC’s contract security force has a set of post orders for its employees.
In the event of crisis incident, the EMT will determine if the crisis is real, perceived or potential, and determine the type of response required. If the EMT determines that the crisis is real, the campus will be notified and appropriate steps in response to the crisis will be initiated.
- The campus-wide alarm will be sounded, followed by broadcast messages on the campus computer system and voicemail messages to those individuals who have provided a cell phone number to the Office of Student Affairs.
- A message will be sent to all NCWC email addresses.
- Resident Directors and Resident Assistants will be contacted to help spread the message to their residents.
- A message will be posted to the switchboard line acknowledging the nature of the emergency.
- Director of Campus Security will contact external law enforcement agencies as needed.
– If appropriate, the entrances to campus will be adjusted.
The decision to evacuate the College community will be made by the Incident Commander. Evacuation procedures will mirror current fire alarm procedures, including assembly of staff in an area where all may be accounted for. In many cases, the evacuation of a building may be accounted accomplished by activation of the Fire Alarm System. Resident Directors and Resident Assistants will account for their residents in a predetermined location for gathering. Supervisors must account for members of their staff in a common assembly area once activation is initiated.
Several facilities on campus have been identified as emergency shelters. Depending on the geographic area and the type of incident, persons may be relocated to one of the following areas as determined by the Incident Commander:
- Hartness Center
- Hardees Building
- Everett Gym
- Taylor Center
- The Dunn Center
Recovery—phase that establishes procedures, resources, and policies to assist an institution and its members’ return to functioning after an emergency.
An incident will be considered terminated upon the determination of the Incident Commander that no state of emergency still exists and that normal operations may resume, except buildings that may remain closed for extended periods for repair or overhaul.
The President, upon recommendation from the Incident Commander, will issue necessary directives and instructions concerning the resumption of classes and the use of College buildings and facilities.
Counseling and Support
Emergencies can impact emotional and spiritual needs for both those affected by an incident and those responding to the event. For those reasons, the North Carolina Wesleyan University Director of Counseling and the Chaplain will be initiated into the recovery process. Sufficient space and the necessary resources will be made available in close proximity to the incident.
Media relations shall be handled by the Director of Marketing & Communications or his/her designee. The Director of Public Relations shall consult with the Incident Commander and President or his/her designee for appropriate information release to the media. The Director of Public Relation shall provide an area for media to congregate away from the affected area. No media shall be allowed in an affected area without expressed permission of the Incident Commander.
The Director of Maintenance, the Director of Housekeeping, and the Director of Campus Security will conduct a full assessment of the buildings and grounds to determine the level of damage endured as the result of an incident’s effects. The group will identify structures that may threaten safety or vulnerabilities created by the incident. The assessment will provide data to be used in deciding the order of repairs and the timeline to restore a safe environment.
The decision to resume the academic program will be made according to the continuity of education plan.
Location of the Plan
This plan will be made available online via the College’s website and hardcopy stored in key administrative offices. All community members should be familiar with the plan prior to a pandemic outbreak, hurricane event, or other emergencies.
The annual hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
Should a storm threaten this part of North Carolina, members of the Wesleyan community should continually monitor the College’s Web site for the most current information. Students, faculty, and staff will also receive campus information via email. These communications will keep you informed of developments on campus such as class cancellations, event schedules and closures.
- Facility, staff, student, and visitor preparation before the hurricane strikes: NCWC Emergency Management Plan.
- Clear desk tops, tables and other horizontal surfaces of all paper and other articles susceptible to water damage in case windows are broken.
- Protect books, valuable papers and equipment.
- If you can, move desks, file cabinets, worktables and bookcases away from windows or open doorways.
- If windows are open; shut close and latch them.
- Drop all Venetian blinds, close slats and draw curtains.
- Close and lock all doors.
- Turn off lights and electrical equipment. Unplug equipment and turn off air conditioners.
- Backup all individual personal computers, keeping a copy of all files on disk.
Residence hall preparation before hurricane strikes:
1. If time allows, students living on campus will be given a time frame in which to leave the campus if they choose.
2. Residents must notify their Resident Director of their destination prior to leaving campus. This is necessary for accountability reasons.
3. All furniture including beds should be pulled away from the windows. Electronic equipment (TV, stereo, computer, etc.) should be placed off the floor, preferably in a closet.
4. Since the floors can get wet, all articles such as shoes, rugs, clothes bags, suitcases, etc., should be placed on closet shelves or in dresser drawers.
5. All lose objects should be placed in drawers or closets. Paper, books, etc. should not be left on tops of desk or dressers.
6. Valuables should be placed in safekeeping. Closets and drawers should be closed throughout the hurricane. All doors should be locked when the occupants are not in the room. All windows must be closed tightly. All blinds/curtains should be closed.
7. Any resident who owns a car should see that the emergency brake is set and placed in park. All windows should be closed and the car locked. It is NCWC Emergency Management Plan Drafted 09/09, p. 8 recommended that cars be moved to The Dunn Center parking lots, as they are less prone to flooding.
8. Each student should provide his or her own flashlight in case of power failure. Do not use candles or other flame-type lighting under any circumstances, fire is uncontrollable during a hurricane. Use battery powered lighting only!
9. Residents are encouraged to keep beverages and food items in their rooms. Food Services will provide food for the students either in the Cafeteria or in each residence hall.
Procedures during the hurricane:
1. It is essential that all remaining residents stay indoors throughout the entire hurricane, unless told otherwise by College staff. During the peak of the storm, for maximum protection, residents may be asked to remain in the hallways.
2. Do not attempt to open windows or doors to see what is happening outside.
3. Report all accidents, injuries, broken windows, or excessive water to Residence Hall staff and Campus Security.
4. Telephone calls should be made only in case of emergency.
Resumption of service:
Following the lifting of the HURRICANE WARNING status, the Dean of Students and other College staff will determine which buildings and facilities can be used safely for classes and other purposes and will make appropriate recommendations.
The President, upon recommendation from the Dean of Students and Director of Physical Plant will issue necessary directives and instructions concerning the resumption of classes and the use of College buildings and facilities.
External Agency Contacts
Rocky Mount City Police: 972-1411
Nash County Sheriff’s Department: 459-4121
Nash County Health Department : 446-0027
Nash General Hospital: 443-8000
Nash General Hospital Emergency Management: 443-8553
Coastal Plains Hospital: 443-9500
Nash Community College: 443-4011
North Carolina Emergency Management Agency: 919-733-3825
North Carolina State Police: 252-824-3607
North Carolina Poison Control Center: 800-222-1222