This guide, developed by the  Office of Student Life and in consultation with members of Waldorf University's Emergency Response Team, provides vital information concerning emergency response practices and procedures at Waldorf. All members of the campus community should familiarize themselves with the contents of this document and keep it easily accessible at all times.


The purpose of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is to establish guidelines, assign responsibilities and promote awareness in responding to emergencies that may affect the Waldorf community. Additionally, the plan is designed to provide guidelines to assist those affected in dealing with crisis, coordinate with external entities and provide resources to expedite the return to normal operations with minimal negative impact. This plan was created to complement the emergency communications plan and other plans that have been developed on the state, county and city level.


The following guidelines apply to all students, employees, faculty, guests and to the buildings and grounds that are owned and operated by Waldorf. They are intended to enable the college to protect life, property and minimize the damage caused by emergency situations.

Definitions of an Emergency

Levels of Emergencies: This plan is designed to provide guidelines for responding to a variety of incidents and emergencies. Emergencies will require varying levels of response. Each incident will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Level 2 Major Emergencies and Level 3 Disasters will require notification of the Emergency Response Team. The Waldorf president or his/her designee(s) serve as the overall Emergency Director during any major emergency or disaster.

Level 1 Minor Emergency

A campus emergency with limited impact that does not affect the overall operation and function of the college. Examples include a minor hazardous material incident, small fire, or temporary limited power outage. A minor emergency will not normally entail notification of the Emergency Response Team except through routine communications.

Level 2 Major Emergency

A local emergency that has disrupted or potentially may disrupt significant operation of the college or adversely impact a major population of the community. Examples include serious crimes on campus, major fires, death(s) or partial infrastructure failure.

Level 3 Disaster

A community-wide emergency that potentially disrupts the operations of the entire college and involves major damage or systems failure. Disasters impact not only the college, but possibly the surrounding community and beyond. Examples include tornadoes, widespread extended power outage, severe natural disasters, fast spreading disease or serious acts of violence or terrorism.

Activating the Emergency Response Plan

Initial Notification

  1. Any campus community member who witnesses or receives information regarding an emergency is instructed to contact the Campus Information Center immediately at “0” or 641.585.2450 during regular business hours. In addition, 9.911 should be called and/or Waldorf Security at 641.585.8500.
  2. If the incident involves a Level 1 Minor Emergency, the Campus Information Center will alert appropriate staff, facilities or Waldorf Security and the appropriate department will take steps to remedy the situation.
  3. If the incident involves a Level 2 Major Emergency or Level 3 Disaster, the Campus Information Center or Waldorf Security will contact appropriate local police authorities (if they have not already been contacted) and members of the Emergency Response Team to activate the Emergency Response Plan.

Declaring an Emergency

  1. The university president and/or members of the Emergency Response Team will discuss the incident and determine the level of emergency and whether to activate the Emergency Operations Center. The decision to declare an emergency will rest with the president or his/her designee.
  2. Emergency Response Team members and their responsibilities during an emergency are outlined under "Preparing the Emergency Operations Center".
  3. Any other appropriate members of the community deemed necessary will be contacted to respond.


  1. Communications and Marketing along with the Office of Student Life will coordinate together through the communication plan and provide initial and ongoing notification to employees, students, parents and the public throughout campus emergencies.
  2. The Waldorf website, the campus email system, the campus phone system, and the local broadcast media, and our text message campus emergency notification system will be utilized to notify Waldorf community members and other parent groups that signed up for the program of the emergency. Alternative communication plans to be used when electricity is not available and be coordinated by the Emergency Response Team.
  3. The Campus Community will be notified once a year about our Emergency Response policies, process and practice drills.


  • Training to effectively activate the Emergency Response Plan will take place a minimum of once each year.
  • Training will include information to appropriate departments on blood borne pathogens, CPR, defibrillator usage, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid, floor plans, building mechanicals, etc.


Building Evacuation

Evacuation procedures may vary depending on the nature of an emergency. Buildings will be evacuated when an alarm sounds or with emergency personnel notification. Be prepared for the following:

  1. Activate the building’s alarm if emergency officials tell you to do so, or it is apparent people will be in harm's way if they do not leave (i.e. fire).
  2. When the building evacuation alarm is sounded or when you are told to leave by emergency personnel, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit. Do not use elevators. Do not take time to shut down computers.
  3. Once outside, move clear of the building.
  4. Do not return to the evacuated building until advised to do so by emergency personnel.
  5. Be ready to assist people with disabilities who may have difficulty evacuating.
  6. When the building evacuation alarm is activated during an emergency, leave and alert others to leave by the nearest marked exit.
    • Close but do not lock the doors.
    • Leave the lights on.
    • Assist people with disabilities in exiting the building. Remember that elevators are reserved for people with disabilities. In case of fire or earthquake, do not use the elevators.
    • Take any personal belongings that could conceal an explosive device with you (such as purses, lunches, packages).
    • Wait for instructions.
  7. Proceed to the designated outdoor assembly area. Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel. Campus buildings and designated assembly areas are listed here.

Campus Evacuation

  1. Evacuation of all or part of the campus will be announced by the Emergency Response Team or the appropriate agency.
  2. All students, employees, and visitors are to vacate immediately the area of campus in question and relocate to another part of the campus grounds or off campus as directed.


Some emergencies may require students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to take shelter inside buildings. Incidents such as a hostile intruder, severe weather or a hazardous material release are examples of times the campus community might be asked to stay in a specific area. Waldorf Officials, Waldorf Security or law enforcement and emergency personnel will instruct you to evacuate or remain in place depending on the nature and context of the emergency.

In the event you are ordered to lock down an area:

  1. All people should move to the closest building.
  2. Subjects in affected buildings will be instructed to stay away from windows to minimize exposure.
  3. Close windows and lock doors.
  4. Turn off air conditioning, ventilation and lighting if possible.
  5. Close window coverings.
  6. Remain quiet and in place until notified by emergency personnel.
  7. Silence cell phones and do not use them unless you are in contact with emergency personnel.
  8. Barricade doors and take cover to protect yourself.

Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

unable to leave the building due to a physical disability

  • Go to the nearest inside area where there are no hazards.
  • Contact the Campus Information Center by telephone "0" using a campus phone or 641.585.2450 or use other means to advise them of the situation.
  • Be sure to give them the room number so they can send help to you.
  • If possible, signal out the window to on-site emergency responders.
  • Try to establish a “buddy” system to have someone ready to assist you.

assisting visually impaired persons

  • Alert individual to the situation by touching or speaking.
  • Offer your arm for guidance; but do not grasp his/her arm, allow him/her to take yours.
  • Tell the person where you are going, obstacles you encounter. Give clear instructions.
  • When you reach safety, ask if further help is needed.

alerting people with hearing limitations

  • Turn lights on/off to gain the person’s attention or alert individual to the situation by touch or eye contact.
  • Indicate directions with gestures, or write a note with evacuation directions.
  • Offer visual instructions about safest route or direction, such as pointing or a map.

evacuating persons who are mobility impaired

  • Inform individual of situation.
  • Always ask how you can help.
  • Move debris if necessary/possible to allow safe escape route.
  • If cannot exit, move individual to as safe an area as possible and notify appropriate personnel of the individual’s location.
  • If in immediate danger and unable to move, notify appropriate personnel and remain with the individual.

To Implement an Evacuation

  2. Alert others to assist with evacuation.
  3. Communicate clearly and succinctly. Example: "We have a ______ (type of emergency). Evacuate to _____(location). Take your belongings. DO NOT use the elevators."
  4. Assist persons with disabilities (see above section).
  5. Check offices, classrooms, and restrooms.
  6. Turn equipment off, if possible.
  7. Close doors, but do not lock them.
  8. Take emergency supplies, rosters.
  9. Keep exiting groups together.
  10. Instructors assist students.
  11. Gather at the evacuation site and await instructions.
  12. Account for faculty, staff, and students.
  13. Exit the building via the nearest safe exit route. Walk; do not run. Do not use elevators to exit.
  14. Move away from the building, report to the unit’s designated evacuation point.
  15. Do not reenter the building until emergency staff gives the "all clear" signal. (The silencing of the building fire alarm system is normally used as the "all clear" signal. In some cases, the fire alarm will be silenced and staff members placed at building entrances to keep people out until the incident has been resolved.)

Hostile Intruder/Active Shooters

On or around University Property

This is a police response situation. Responding campus staff or in some cases Waldorf Security personnel may not be trained or equipped to confront an armed suspect, but they will make every effort to help with the local and county police response and take every action possible to assist with evacuation and intelligence on the situation. When a hostile person(s)/active shooter is actively causing death or serious physical injury or the threat of impending danger, death, or serious physical injury to person(s) on the campus, we recommend the following procedures be implemented:

  1. Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can.
  2. Dial 911 on a cell phone, 9.911 from a campus phone and call campus switchboard at "0" (campus phone) or 641.585.2450.
  3. Do not run in a straight line.
  4. Stay behind vehicles, bushes, trees, and anything that could possibly block your view from the hostile person(s)/active shooter while you are running.
  5. If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
  6. If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding. Will I be found here? Is this really a good spot to remain hidden?
  7. If the person(s) is causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  8. If you are caught by the intruder and you are not going to fight back, do not look the intruder in the eyes, and obey all commands.
  9. Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.

This emergency response plan cannot cover every possible situation that might occur but it is a training tool that can reduce the number of injuries or death if put into action as soon as a situation develops. Time is the most important factor in the optimal management of these types of situations.

In a Non-Residence Hall Building

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a building, we recommend the following procedures be implemented. While the guide refers primarily to academic buildings, it should be stated that these procedures are also relevant to administrative buildings and other common buildings on the campus.

  1. Faculty should immediately lock the students and themselves in the classroom if possible. Cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.
  2. If communication is available, call the switchboard at "0" (campus phone) or 641.585.2450 and 911
  3. Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
  4. Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains.
  5. Stay away from the windows.
  6. Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  7. Try to remain as calm as possible.
  8. Keep everyone together.
  9. Keep classrooms secure until police arrive and give you directions.
  10. If you are not in a classroom, try to get to a classroom or an office.
  11. Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
  12. If for some reason you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death.
    • You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.
    • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as, desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles, and other objects to block you from the view of intruders.
    • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
    • If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and don't look the intruder in the eyes.
    • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed, or keeping your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.

In a Residence Hall

When a hostile person(s) is actively causing deadly harm or the imminent threat of deadly harm within the residence hall, we recommend the following procedures be implemented:

  1. Lock yourself in your room.
  2. If communication is available, call the Switchboard at “0” (campus phone) or 641-585-2450 and 911.
  3. If away from your room, join others in a room that can be locked.
  4. Don't stay in the open hall.
  5. Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants in the rooms to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
  6. Barricade yourself in your room with desks, beds, or anything you can push against the door.
  7. Lock your window and close blinds or curtains.
  8. Stay away from the window.
  9. Turn all lights and audio equipment off.
  10. Try to stay calm and be as quiet as possible.
  11. If you are caught in the open such as hallways and lounge areas, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and can possibly mean life or death depending on your actions.
    • You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the dorm looking for more victims.
    • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Keep any objects you can between you and the hostile person(s) while in the building. Once outside, don't run in a straight line.
    • If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
    • The last option you have if caught in an open area in the dorm may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
    • If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and don't look the intruder in the eyes.
    • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.

Psychological Crisis

Psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to himself, herself, or to harm others, or is out of touch with reality due to severe drug reactions or psychological problems. Psychological problems may be manifested by hallucinations, anxiety or uncontrollable behavior, or the person could be a walk-away from a nursing home or hospital.

If a psychological crisis occurs

  1. Never try to handle on your own a situation you feel is dangerous.
  2. Notify Campus Information Center at “0” (campus phone) or 641.585.2450 and 911. Clearly state that you need immediate assistance, and give your name, your location, and the area of campus involved.
  3. Understand that it is important to deal with the actions of the person involved regardless of the underlying cause.
  4. The counseling staff can be reached during normal business hours at 641.585.6801.
  5. Police are able to escort an individual to the emergency room against their will when they have probable cause that the person is a danger to himself/herself or others.

Preparing the Emergency Operations Center

If the emergency involves a large part of the campus, the Emergency Operations Center is to be set up in a "to be determined" building location. If this site is unavailable the emergency coordinator is to select an alternate location. A separate marshaling area for outside and local media shall be established by the Marketing Department. A conference room with facilities for emergency teams or media crews, which is designed to accommodate multiple telephone and/or electrical appliances, is desirable. Announcements will be made to local radio, newspaper and television stations. Offices and departments may set up phone trees or other methods of communication as appropriate. Please refer to the Emergency Communications Plan for complete details.

Emergency Response Team (ERT)

The Emergency Response Team is comprised of the following staff members. Back up individuals are listed in parentheses.

  1. University President (Vice President for Academic Affairs)
  2. Director of Facilities (On-Call Facilities 641.590.4325)
  3. Director of Waldorf Security
  4. Vice President for Business Affairs (Chief Financial Officer)
  5. Dean of Students (Director of Residence Life)
  6. Academic Vice President (Faculty Chair/IT Director)
  7. Marketing Director

Emergency Responsibilities

University President

  1. Assesses the emergency and prepares the university specific response.
  2. Declares and ends as appropriate the campus state of emergency.
  3. Notifies and conducts activities with university administration, government agencies, etc.
  4. Authorizes campus evacuation orders.
  5. Approve all official communiqués.

Director of Physical Plant

  1. Assists local, state, and federal agencies in damage assessment.
  2. Maintain and provide access to blueprints and building plans.
  3. Execute design work and the subsequent construction contracts to correct necessary repairs that are beyond the capability or resources of the campus employees.
  4. Make assessment of any campus area susceptible to damage. An assessment of building safety will be made in coordination with campus security. Utilities will be secured if an unsafe condition exists; restoration of utility service will be made as needed.
  5. Assess/direct efforts to control hazardous materials in conjunction with the fire department.
  6. Make emergency repairs.
  7. Remove debris.
  8. Provide necessary support to other departments (heavy equipment, barricades, etc.)
  9. Provide sanitation service during an emergency.

Waldorf Campus Security

  1. Coordinate with off-campus emergency response resources.
  2. Monitor and assess the safety hazards and unsafe situations to develop measures for ensuring personal safety.
  3. Point of contact for assisting or coordinating agencies.
  4. Consult with ERT leader about the development of the overall incident plan.
  5. Develop plans for effective use of communications among various off-campus agencies and the ERT pre-emergency.
  6. Determine evacuation routes and implement evacuation plans.
  7. Direct access and security control.

Marketing/Public Relations Director

  1. Coordinate Communications Plan with university president and information to be disseminated during and after crisis.
  2. Maintain communication with media and others affected by the incident.
  3. Provide input into all decisions related to communications and public relations.
  4. Make appropriate plans for media.
  5. Organize press conferences and releases.
  6. Coordinate with other departments for cost recording.
  7. In collaboration with the president, serve as the official spokesperson to the media.

Vice President for Business Affairs

  1. Initiate a record keeping system for all expenditures associated with emergency operations.
  2. Coordinate security of campus funds.
  3. Initiate process for emergency purchases.
  4. Assist in the coordinate the distribution of supplies.
  5. Arrange for contract services and locate required equipment and supplies.
  6. Arrange for a photo/video team to document damages for insurance purposes.
  7. Initiate/process insurance claims.
  8. Coordinate emergency purchases.
  9. Coordinate with other departments for cost recording.
  10. Provide budget accounts for emergency spending.
  11. Identify funds available to meet emergency needs.

Dean of Students

  1. Assess and respond to the impact of the situation on students and student life areas.
  2. Supervise student life professionals’ response.
  3. Coordinate mental health and health service assistance to students and staff in coordination with nurse/counseling services.
  4. Identify individuals with special needs and implement plans for assistance.
  5. Coordinate with residence life staff and procedures with residential facilities.
  6. Assist in the communication plan with instructions and communications to students and parents.
  7. Coordinate with facilities, health services and dinning services on secondary meal locations, residence halls and quarantined/treatment areas for students.

Vice President for Academic Affairs

  1. Responsible for all academic issues that surface during crisis.
  2. Arrange for temporary classrooms or workspace.
  3. Coordinate with academic deans, registrar, director of fine arts center, etc.

Director of Instructional and Information Technology

  1. Provide phone service for media relations.
  2. Provide phone service for emergency operations center.
  3. Re-establish affected networks.
  4. Re-establish affected offices as needed.
  5. Relocate affected offices if necessary.
  6. Implement IIT emergency procedures and disaster recovery plan as needed.
  7. Maintain network and computing operations.
  8. Secure critical data and information resources.
  9. Repair and restore network and computing facilities.

Director of Dining Services

  1. Direct and arrange for emergency meals.
  2. Request necessary food & liquid supplies.
  3. Coordinate efforts with Red Cross and other agencies.
  4. Coordinate with Director of Residence Life regarding meal procedures.

Health Services Nurse

  1. Provide medical assistance in collaboration with local agencies and health providers.
  2. Coordinate the identification of sources of contamination that would present a public health threat.
  3. Maintain records on assistance provided.
  4. Advise campus on water and food safety precautions.
  5. Assist with coordination of staff/student hospitalization & communications
  6. Coordinate with American Red Cross as necessary

Director of Residence Life

  1. Responsible for the operation and maintenance of residence halls, apartments and theme houses.
  2. Responsible for the coordination of emergency shelters and providing assistance with housing.
  3. Responsible for Residence Life staff and the departments procedures with residential students.

Director of Counseling Services

  1. Organize and implement appropriate mental health intervention in crisis situations.
  2. Facilitate mental health debriefings with crisis team after crisis response.
  3. Review department crisis plans to ensure adequate attention is given to mental health issues.
  4. Advise the mental health referral list to secure appropriate community support in crisis situations.

Director of Human Resources/Benefits Coordinator

  1. Arrange for expedited services of temporary employees when required.
  2. Coordinate mental health assistance to faculty and staff in coordination with counseling services.
  3. Coordinate with other departments for cost recording.
  4. Assist faculty/staff where needed.
  5. Coordinate any employee relations matters arising from emergency.

Procedures for Specific Emergencies

The following emergency procedures and safety information are listed on the university web site under emergency safety and procedures. In addition, a copy of a university incident report is provided to anyone who may need to document an incident on campus relating to injury, security, safety or a crime.

  • Blood borne pathogens
  • Bomb threats (telephone)
  • Bomb threats (packages/ written)
  • Chemical spills/ fires
  • Disturbances or demonstrations
  • Evacuations
  • Explosions
  • Fire
  • Flooding and water damage
  • Infectious diseases
  • Medical emergencies
  • Power outages
  • Preventing crime
  • Safety procedures
  • Suspicious packages & envelopes
  • Tornado/ severe weather
  • Workplace violence

Safety Information

  • University Emergency Communication Plan
  • Latex allergy policy
  • Pandemic emergency plan (avian flu)
  • Important phone numbers

Reporting Emergencies

Calling from Campus Phone

Emergency Dispatch: 9-911
Waldorf Security: 9-585-8500

Calling from Non-Campus Phone

Emergency Dispatch: 911
Waldorf Security: 641.585.8500

Receiving Emergency Information

  • E-mail: Correspondence will originate from

Campus Communication in the Event of an Emergency

Depending on the origin and nature of a campus wide emergency, the campus community will be alerted by one or more of the following methods:

  • Text Message Alert System

    This is a system that sends emergency messages to designated cell phones and e-mail addresses. Those registering for the service will receive timely information during university emergencies. Normal fees from cell phone providers apply, but there is no charge from the college to use the service.

  • E-mail

    Any correspondence from should be opened immediately. This address is reserved exclusively for emergency information.

  • Media Inquiries

    The Marketing Department will be the source of official college information in a crisis situation. University employees should refrain from public comment and instead direct all media inquiries to the Marketing Department.