The program tasked with emergency management responsibilities for Binghamton University shall be known as the Binghamton University Emergency Management Program.
What is Emergency Management?
All communities are vulnerable to a variety of hazards. Emergency management provides a structure for anticipating and dealing with preparedness, prevention, protection, response, recovery and mitigation of those hazards. Emergency management is an interdisciplinary field that addresses the strategic organizational management processes according to phases before, during and after emergency or disaster events. The effectiveness of emergency management rests on the ability of this network to support our community and first responders. Emergency Management should meet the following principles (In March of 2007, FEMA's Emergency Management Institute's Higher Education Project convened a working group of emergency management practitioners and academics to consider principles of emergency management. The group agreed on eight principles, as listed):
- Comprehensive - Emergency management programs should consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters.
- Progressive - Emergency management programs should anticipate future disasters and take protective, preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.
- Risk-Driven - Emergency management programs should use sound risk-management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.
- Integrated - Emergency management programs should ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community.
- Collaborative - Emergency management programs should create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus and facilitate communication.
- Coordinated - Emergency management programs should synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.
- Flexible - Emergency management programs should use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.
- Professional - Emergency management programs should value a science and knowledge-based approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.
Historical Overview of the Binghamton University Emergency Management Program
In 2002, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) recognized the need for an expansion of emergency preparedness activities at Binghamton University. An existing staff member was tasked with half of his time (.5 FTE) allocated to emergency preparedness duties and was given the title of "emergency response coordinator." This was the first time Binghamton University had specifically tasked a staff member with the coordination of emergency management responsibilities.
In January 2006, the Division of Administration underwent reorganization and the reporting structure for EH&S was altered. Rather than reporting to the chief of police, the associate director of EH&S was now assigned to report to the associate vice president for administrative services. During this reorganization, it was determined that the emergency response coordinator would remain within the University Police reporting structure. This staff member was reassigned to University Police and the job title was officially changed to "special services coordinator." The duties of this staff member were now 100% (1.0 FTE) associated with emergency management. Binghamton University was the first SUNY campus to assign 100% of an employee's duties to emergency management. Approximately one year later, the staff member's title was changed to "emergency manager" to more accurately reflect his responsibilities. In November 2011, this staff member was promoted to the position of "director of emergency management." Binghamton University's progressive attitude toward emergency preparedness has made this program the oldest in SUNY and an exemplary program both inside and outside of New York state.
The Binghamton University Emergency Management program, operating from within University Police, is devoted to ensuring a safe and enriching academic environment by managing the preparation, mitigation, response and recovery from natural and human-made disasters.
Building and maintaining a safe environment and supporting continuation of the University's mission through internal and external cooperation.
Program Goals and Objectives
- Protection of life and property
- Supporting the University's mission
- Coordination of incident management efforts
- Supporting first-response efforts
- Supporting the security of the University's critical infrastructure and facilities
- Assisting with the coordination of the resumption of University functions, including education, research and business systems
The Binghamton University Emergency Management Program shall be led by the director of emergency management. The director shall have the full responsibility for all elements of the program. The director shall manage any staff members and student interns assigned to emergency management. See Figure A.1 for an organizational chart of the program.
The director of emergency management shall report to the New York State University Chief of Police. The emergency management program shall operate from within University Police and shall have campus-wide responsibility for preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts.
Roles and Responsibilities
The director of emergency management oversee the planning, development and implementation of all emergency management programs, supervises all personnel assigned to emergency management and is esponsible for the overall success of the program.
Emergency Management Staff and Student Interns
Under the direction of the director of emergency management, coordinate activities and functions of the program to ensure that goals and objectives are accomplished in accordance with established priorities, time limitations, funding limitations and/or other specifications.
Chief of Police
Provide direct supervision to the director of emergency management and support and promote the emergency management program through advocacy for financial resources and senior level administrative support.
Method of Program Evaluation
The Binghamton University Emergency Management Program is more than the activities of delivering services. The program is a highly integrated set of activities that aims to meet a verified need at the University by accomplishing defined outcomes among the campus community and by evaluating those outcomes to determine if they are being achieved among those clients.
Thus, the emergency management program includes a process to verify the actual needs of the University. These needs shall be identified through a hazard assessment process defined in the Binghamton University Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). Once this assessment is complete, a mitigation plan shall be developed in order to establish the desired outcomes and objectives of the program. To determine if the desired outcomes are being achieved, a program evaluation should be conducted regularly.
Annually, the director of emergency management shall provide a report to the chief of police as well as to the Emergency Management Advisory Committee detailing the status of objectives defined in the mitigation plan and to review/reassess the hazard assessment plan. The chief of police and the advisory committee shall review the annual report for the purpose of providing insight and guidance for the program.
Records Management Practices
Emergency management stores records as determined by standard business practices. Long-term storage may entail packing records in a box and sending it to storage space utilized by New York State University Police. There is, however, no departmental index of the records stored. Although emergency management maintains records in storage, there is generally no easy way to access this information other than to open boxes and search for the needed record. Working files and records not moved to long-term storage shall be maintained in the office(s) of emergency management staff.