Stanford University

Response Planning

Building Assessment Team
  1. Building Assessment Team (BAT) members are volunteers trained to identify specific signs of damage that may indicate that a building’s structure has been compromised by shaking during an earthquake. After a major earthquake, trained team members partner up to perform a visual inspection of building exteriors, looking for any of eight specific indicators. Then they fill out a Building Assessment Team Report and return copies to the BAT Assembly Point Lead. This report is used by Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE) and the University Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) to establish priorities for further inspections.

    The training utilizes materials from the Applied Technology Council (ATC) 20-1 Field Manual: Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings. Training for new BAT members (EHS-1650) is held each April. Refresher training for existing BAT members (EHS-1651) is held in April of odd numbered years (e.g. 2015 and 2017).

    New team members receive a BAT pack containing the forms and equipment necessary to conduct their assessments.

    Teams are made up entirely of volunteers, who can be any interested University employee. If you volunteer to be a BAT member, you are asked to commit to returning to campus as soon as possible in the event of an earthquake (after your family is taken care of). The University has over 800 buildings and is always in need of volunteers.

    Building Assessment Team (BAT) Frequently Asked Questions

    How often do I need refresher training?

    At least every five to six years. Refresher training (EHS-1651) is held in April of odd numbered years.

    I am a BAT member, but will be moving to another department on campus. What should I do?

    Contact the DOC associated with your new department to be added to their list of BAT members. Take your pack with you.

    I am leaving the university. Should I leave the pack with my department?

    No. Packs should be returned to the Office of Emergency Management. Please send an email to for instructions and to arrange pack return.

    I lost my pack, but would like to continue to serve as a BAT. What should I do?

    Please contact the Office of Emergency Management at for a replacement pack.

    I am no longer able to serve as a BAT member. How do I get removed from the roster, and what should I do with my pack?

    Please contact the Office of Emergency Management at for instructions and to arrange pack return.

    I have additional questions. Whom should I contact?

    For all further questions, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at

SU Community Emergency Response Team
  1. The Stanford Community Emergency Response Team (SCERT) consists of approximately 200 people who have been educated and trained to respond to disasters and hazards that may impact their area. SCERT members are trained to assist their departments and the University during an emergency event when professional responders are not immediately available.

    SCERT training is based on the standard Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). It includes basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Infection Control Committee
  1. Comprised of representatives from Stanford Health Care and many other University departments, the Infection Control Committee oversees infectious disease planning and prevention for the University and Stanford Medical Center.

    When specific threats emerge (nationally or overseas), a working group convenes to evaluate the threat and make specific recommendations on preventive measures. The working committee also determines what measures should be taken if preventive measures are not successful. The committee is co-chaired by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety and the Medical Director of Vaden Health Center.

University Emergency Operations Plan and Annexes
  1. The Stanford University Emergency Plan provides a management framework to respond to major emergencies that threaten the University community or disrupt its programs and operations. It uses an all-hazards approach to address a variety of events, including earthquakes, fires, explosions, hazardous materials releases, extended power outages, floods, or mass casualty events.

    Emergency response actions are guided by Stanford’s overriding goals:

    • Protect life safety
    • Secure critical infrastructure and facilities
    • Resume the teaching and research program

    An emergency event at Stanford may be designated as either a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 event, defined as follows:

    • Level 1: Minor, localized incident that is quickly resolved with internal resources or with limited help. The University Emergency Plan are not activated.
    • Level 2: Major emergency that impacts sizable portions of the campus. It may affect mission-critical functions or life safety. Elements of the Stanford University Emergency Plan are activated.
    • Level 3: Disaster that involves the entire campus and surrounding community. The Stanford University Emergency Plan is activated.

    During a Level 2 event, the Situation Triage & Assessment Team (STAT) is activated to assess the magnitude and scope of the emergency. The STAT will determine whether it is necessary to activate the University Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and/or Department Operations Centers (DOCs). A Level 2 emergency may be managed from a DOC without activation of the EOC.

    When activated in a Level 3 emergency, the EOC is staffed by University management, who will coordinate response strategies, deploy resources, and initiate the emergency recovery process. The EOC assembles emergency status reports, information, and resource requests from the DOCs and the Hospital Command Center, then distributes emergency resources and information to these local centers.

    Stanford DOCs are the pivotal university unit for gathering and disseminating emergency information in support of EOC activities. DOCs prepare emergency plans for mitigation, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, and assist in recruiting volunteers for the Stanford Community Emergency Response Team (SCERT) and Building Assessment Team (BAT) programs. DOCs also work with the University Fire Marshal to establish outdoor Emergency Assembly Points (EAPs) for emergency evacuations of their buildings. Every Stanford building has a designated EAP site, all of which can be seen on the maps showing Emergency Assembly Points on Campus and Emergency Assembly Points for Residential Leaseholders.

    There are currently fifteen DOCs. Seven are in operational areas and have specific emergency response or specialized emergency service responsibilities. The remaining eight are in academic and research units. Operational DOC plans describe how individual units will provide emergency aid for the campus, including:

    • safety assessments
    • search and rescue
    • repairs
    • sheltering
    • counseling and other support

    Academic DOC plans describe how units will provide support to students, faculty, and staff for purposes of academic continuity.

    Department emergency plans and business continuity plans are developed in each Stanford business unit. These plans outline strategies to protect department personnel and programs, resuming business functions after a disaster, and coordinating with DOCs.

    Stanford’s emergency documents include the Stanford University Emergency Plan, Medical Plan, and Infection Control Plan. The University Emergency Plan contains guidance for Deans and Vice Provosts, DOCs, and Departments. An Emergency Management Steering Committee reviews Stanford’s emergency plans and meets regularly to provide general oversight for related policies and procedures. Stanford evaluates the Emergency Plan by conducting table-top, functional, and full-scale exercises.

    Crisis Communications Annex

    Concept of Operations Plan: Power Outage

Department Level Emergency Plan
  1. When an emergency strikes, our safety and recovery will depend on the preparedness of faculty, staff, and students. Stanford is an interdependent community, so each school and department has an important role to play in supporting the University’s emergency preparedness.

    At Stanford, Department Emergency Plans provide support for the general campus Emergency Plan. During a major emergency or disaster, the University Emergency Management Team (EMT) will rely on effective communication between the campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the corresponding Departments Operation Centers (DOCs), and individual campus departments.

    Department Emergency Plans are an essential component of the University’s overall emergency response. They are also part of every unit’s basic health and safety responsibilities. Department Emergency Plans outline how an organization will:

    • Protect the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors in the department.
    • Safeguard vital records and resources related to the department’s mission.
    • Coordinate with the University’s emergency response and recovery procedures.

    The guidelines for Department Emergency Plans are meant to assist departments in producing comprehensive, simple, and flexible procedures that they can apply to a variety of potential emergencies. The guidelines will help departments:

    • Identify key roles and responsibilities.
    • Plan for safe building evacuations and effective emergency communications.
    • Develop strategies to resume normal functions after emergency conditions subside.

Dean/Vice Provost Level
  1. The University’s Emergency Plans include critical roles and responsibilities for Deans, Vice Provosts, Vice Presidents, and Directors. University executives provide a vital link between emergency personnel and the campus community before, during, and after a major crisis.

    Emergency Plans apply to a wide range of events including earthquakes, fires or explosions, hazardous materials releases, extended power outages, floods, mass casualty events, and potential or actual terrorism events. Stanford’s emergency management structure applies not only to campus incidents, but also to emergencies in the community that could affect our people or programs.

    As a University executive, your leadership during an emergency helps to protect campus safety while also ensuring that our academic program and mission-critical functions are restored as quickly as possible.

    Stanford depends on University Deans, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, and Directors to:

    • Oversee the development of effective hazard mitigation and preparedness in all of their constituent departments.
    • Create an effective Department Operation Center (DOC) to provide emergency operations leadership and coordination in your area and interface with the University Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
    • Develop post-incident business recovery plans for appropriate academic and financial managers, along with corresponding program resumption plans in all departments.
    • Gather documentation on emergency impacts and implement post-incident program resumption and cost recovery measures.

    Actions should be taken before, during, and after an emergency event to accomplish these objectives. DOCs are the vital link between Stanford’s decentralized departments and the University when a major emergency occurs. DOCs must know their responsibilities while understanding the critical relationship between preparedness and program continuity.

    The Cabinet Emergency Planning Guidelines provide a basic orientation to your emergency roles and to the essential components of a DOC.

Department Operation Center Level
  1. During a disaster response, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) coordinates information and resources. The EOC is currently located at the Faculty Club.

    The EOC is supported by Department Operations Centers (DOCs) located in the administrative headquarters of Deans, Vice Provosts, and Vice Presidents. DOCs transmit emergency impact reports to the EOC and forward emergency information and instructions to their constituents.

    Here is a list of the University’s Department Operations Centers and Emergency Operations Centers:

    Operational DOCs
    Business Affairs
    Department of Public Safety
    Environmental Health & Safety
    Land, Buildings & Real Estate
    Residential & Dining Enterprises
    University IT
    Vaden Health Center

    Academic DOCs
    Dean of Research
    Graduate School of Business
    Graduate School of Education
    Law School
    School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
    School of Humanities & Sciences
    School of Medicine

    Partner EOCs
    Hospital Command Center
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders

  1. Exercises provide a controlled atmosphere to evaluate emergency response procedures. By completing exercises, it’s possible to identify gaps and implement corrective actions before an actual emergency occurs.

    In a comprehensive exercise program, there are five main kinds of activities:

    • Orientation seminar: An orientation seminar is an overview or introduction to emergency response procedures, aimed at familiarizing participants with roles, plans, procedures, and equipment. It can also be used to resolve questions of coordination and responsibilities.
    • Drill: A drill is a coordinated, supervised exercise activity, used to test a specific operation or function. With a drill, there is no attempt to coordinate organizations or fully activate the EOC. Its role in an exercise program is to practice and perfect one small part of the response plan, and to help prepare for exercises where several functions will be coordinated and tested. Drills make it possible to focus on potential problem areas.
    • Tabletop exercises: A tabletop exercise is a facilitated analysis of an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment. It is designed to elicit constructive discussion as participants examine and resolve problems based on existing plans. Participants can then identify where those plans need to be refined. The success of the exercise is largely determined by group participation.
    • Functional exercise: A functional exercise is a fully simulated interactive exercise that tests the capability of an organization to respond to a simulated event. It is a coordinated response to a situation that is realistic and time-pressured. The exercise tests multiple functions of the organization’s operational plan.
    • Full-scale exercise: A full-scale exercise simulates a real event as closely as possible, designed to evaluate emergency management systems in a highly stressful environment that simulates actual response conditions. To accomplish this realism, the mobilization and actual movement of emergency personnel, equipment, and resources is necessary. Ideally, the full-scale exercise should test and evaluate most functions of the emergency management plan or operational plan.

    These exercises build:

    • From simple to complex
    • From narrow to broad
    • From least expensive to most costly
    • From theoretical to realistic

    When carefully and properly planned, this progression is an important element of an integrated emergency preparedness system.

    The Office of Emergency Management partners with other campus organizations, either taking the lead in organizing exercises or assisting and participating in exercises run by other groups. In the past few years, we’ve taken part in the following exercises:

    • 2015: FEMA Virtual Tabletop (Earthquake Scenario)
    • 2014: Child Care Center Tabletop (Earthquake Scenario)
    • 2014: Alerting Anxiety: A Campus Notification Tabletop Exercise (Various Scenarios)
    • 2013: Stadium Evacuation Functional Exercise (Explosive Device Scenario)
    • 2013: Tabletop with the President, Provost, and Senior Staff (Active Shooter Scenario)
    • 2012: Tabletop Series for the Operational DOC Team, the full DOC Coordinators group, and the STAT Team (Active Shooter Scenario)
    • 2010: Emergency Evacuation Drill (Earthquake Scenario)
    • 2009: Functional Exercise (Earthquake Scenario)
    • 2009: SLAC Exercise (Workplace Violence Scenario)
    • 2008: Tabletop (Pandemic Flu Scenario)
    • 2008 Hospital Evacuation Tabletop

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