This plan provides the university with an effective and efficient procedure to respond to a disaster requiring a partial or total evacuation of the campus. The plan provides for the warning of students, faculty, and staff and delineates responsibilities of on-campus and off-campus personnel and local government agencies, provides for evacuation centers, and establishes operating procedures for an effective and safe evacuation of the campus.
Evacuation of the campus can be ordered by the University Director of Public Safety or her/his authorized designee, alone, or in conjunction with any of the following entities qualified to confirm that there is a significant emergency or dangerous situation warranting building evacuation or campus-wide evacuation:
- City of Boston Fire Department
- State Fire Marshal
- State Police
- Any appropriate federal, state or local agency
The Director of Public Safety shall consult with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, and/or other appropriate university officials in making this decision as time and circumstances allow.
Should time and circumstances prohibit prior consultation, notification shall be made through the Public Safety chain-of-command as soon as possible thereafter. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance shall be responsible for notifying university administrators of the situation.
Should the order to evacuate the campus come from outside the university, the Public Safety Dispatcher will verify the call and immediately notify the police shift supervisor. The university Public Safety internal chain-of-command shall be notified by the supervisor or designee.
The University of Massachusetts Boston will immediately notify the campus community (or an appropriate segment or segments of the campus community) upon the confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus. (Please see previous section.)
Building-specific evacuations will be signaled by fire alarms sounding in the affected building and, if conditions warrant, a campus-wide ENS message indicating building evacuation and advising people to avoid the area. On-scene notifications may also include use of bullhorns, police cruiser loudspeakers, and door-to-door building sweeps.
Campus-wide evacuations will be signaled by Emergency Notification System (ENS) messages sent via text, email, and voice notifications.
Public Safety Dispatcher will notify:
Coordinator of Emergency Management, who will:
- Initiate Emergency Notification System (ENS) message, per instructions of Public Safety, using pre-scripted messages revised with pertinent details
- Notify Communications for further dissemination via website, social media, and external media, when necessary. Also communications to JFK Library, Commonwealth Archives.
- Coordinate follow-up communications to campus community.
State and Boston Police, which will
- Request assistance
- Control traffic off campus
Director of UMass Boston Parking and Transportation, who will:
- Request additional university shuttle buses
Director of Facilities, who will provide assistance as needed:
- Activate personnel
- Assign personnel to assist Public Safety
- Install barricades
- Provide vehicles
Director of Environmental, Health & Safety, who will:
- Provide advice and counsel as needed
Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, who will notify:
- Office of the Chancellor
- Office of the Provost
- Human Resources: Activate Telephone Tree Staff Notification System
- Vice Chancellors, Deans, Administrators, Directors, Faculty, Staff
Procedures for Building Occupants
• When the alarm sounds the building must be evacuated. All evacuees should use the marked exits and proceed off the plaza to the perimeter road or use adjacent buildings as areas of refuge. The catwalk system may be used during the evacuation to access adjacent buildings with the understanding that no one will be allowed to wait on the catwalk while the drill is underway. Evacuees should take all valuables with them.
• Monitors wearing bright orange traffic vests will provide direction.
• Elevators will not be available except under the direction of Public Safety.
• Mobility Impaired Occupants:
o When an alarm is initiated, proceed to the elevator lobby and call Public Safety for evacuation assistance.
o If the lobby is affected by the emergency event, go to the nearest stairwell, call Public Safety, and wait at the landing.
o All enclosed stairwells are fire rated and designed to provide safe refuge during fire events.
• Monitors will allow evacuees back in the building when an all clear signal is received from the Fire Safety Specialist.
Building occupants are provided with this information in advance of the drill and may access it on the preparedness website. Members of the campus community are encouraged to call the University’s Customer Service information line (7-4000) with any questions or concerns regarding building evacuation.
Depending on the circumstances of the evacuation, the university may need to establish a command post to manage the crisis and the university. The location of the command post shall be determined by the Chancellor, provided however that Public Safety might establish a temporary emergency command post on its own initiative. Administration and Finance will notify the appropriate individuals when a command post has been established and that their presence is needed.
The University of Massachusetts Boston conducts building evacuation/fire drills twice per year. These drills are announced at the start of the semester. A team of fire safety volunteers assists with the drills. The Office of Fire and Life Safety maintains records for dates and times of all building evacuation drills.