NIH Emergency Management/
Continuity of Operations
Program Overview Briefing
May 2005 1
Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination (DEPC)
• History of the Division of Emergency Preparedness and
• DEPC Responsibilities
• NIH Emergency Response Capabilities
• Coordination with HHS
December 2008 2
History of Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination
History of the NIH Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination:
In 1985, the Office of Research Services (ORS) expanded the technical
capabilities of the Fire and Emergency Response Program (NIH Fire
Department) and established the Emergency Management Branch.
Serving under the Division of Safety within ORS, the Emergency Management
Branch advanced the NIH Fire Department and response support personnel
capabilities, specifically in the hazardous materials arena.
The Emergency Management Branch remained the primary coordination lead
until the late 1990’s, when reorganization led to a merger with the NIH Police
Department and designation of one management component - the Division of
Following the 2001 terrorist attacks on our Nation, the Division of Public Safety
was reorganized giving way to the Security and Emergency Response Program.
From this, the Division of Emergency Preparedness (DEPC) was created.
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Many of the NIH emergency preparedness activities are maintained by the NIH
Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination (DEPC).
NIH DEPC is the principal emergency planning resource for the NIH and is
responsible for coordinating all NIH resources essential to emergency planning and
preparedness functions. *
NIH DEPC is responsible for the:
NIH Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan
NIH Red Alert Critical (RAC) Program
NIH Evacuation Program (including shelter-in-place)
NIH Crisis Response Program
NIH Emergency Alert and Notification Program
NIH Employee Emergency Awareness Program
NIH Secure Communications
Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) Program
* DEPC Website. http://ser.ors.od.nih.gov/div_emergency_prep.htm
NIH Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities
NIH maintains extensive emergency preparedness and response capabilities:
– NIH Division of Police
– NIH Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
– NIH Division of Fire and Rescue Services
– NIH Division of the Fire Marshal
– NIH Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination
– NIH Division of Physical Security Management
These capabilities are found within the NIH Office of Resource Services (ORS)
Security and Emergency Response Resources.
For more information on NIH Security and Emergency Response Resources visit:
Coordination with HHS
Several aspects of the NIH EM/COOP Program are coordinated with HHS. In order to
ensure successful coordination and communication between HHS and NIH, DEPC acts
as the liaison with HHS in the following areas:
Secretary’s Emergency Response Team (SERT);
National-level exercises; and
Alternate emergency facilities.
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NIH Emergency Management/Continuity of Operations (EM/COOP)
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NIH EM/COOP Program Overview – Key Facts
The NIH EM/COOP Program is designed to ensure the following:
Personnel Safety and Emergency Preparedness. NIH has emergency plans in
place to provide for the safety and protection of employees, patients, and visitors
across a wide range of potential emergencies. To increase employee awareness
of these emergency measures, NIH has implemented a training program and
produced outreach materials.
Protection of Critical Assets. Emergency response guidelines serve to
safeguard animals, research and property, and focus on the continued execution
of critical activities during a crisis event.
Emergency/Crisis Response. The Office of Research Services, the NIH Fire
Department, and campus Police are working closely with the DEPC on providing
a high level of emergency response capability.
Coordination. NIH emergency and crisis operations are coordinated with HHS
as well as local, state, and federal emergency and response organizations. NIH
is also strengthening its internal crisis communications program.
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What is COOP?
“COOP is an integral effort…to assure the capability exists to continue
essential…functions across a wide range of potential emergencies, including localized
acts of nature, accidents, and technological and/or attack-related
emergencies…COOP….is more simply a “good business practice” - part of the
fundamental mission of federal departments and agencies as responsible and reliable
public institutions…All Federal Departments and Agencies…shall have a viable COOP
capability.” Presidential Decision Directive 67
A COOP Plan defines an agency’s strategy for performing essential functions
during any emergency that may affect that agency, this includes have to
relocate the essential functions to another location
COOP Plan = Specific actions required to continue essential functions with
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Why is a COOP Plan Needed?
A viable COOP Plan:
Takes an all-hazards approach in ensuring the capability exists for an agency to
continue its mission essential functions.
Protects and ensures the mission of an agency during all types of emergency
events, with consideration to a rapidly changing and escalating threat
Establishes an important component of a comprehensive EM/COOP Program
that aligns activities throughout the NIH.
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Objectives of a COOP Plan
The objectives of a COOP Plan include:
Reducing loss of life
Minimizing damage and losses;
Protecting critical facilities, equipment, records, and other assets;
Ensuring the continuous performance of an agency’s essential
functions/operations during an emergency;
Reducing or mitigating disruptions to operations;
Achieving a timely and orderly recovery from an emergency and
resumption of full service to customers.
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The NIH COOP Plan
Currently NIH has a COOP Plan in place that is designed to ensure continuity of the
NIH mission essential functions, based on an all hazards approach, that also
addresses the need to maintain the health and safety of the NIH employees, patients,
and the visitor community. It is an overarching strategy aimed at managing and
recovering from situations or events that have a direct adverse impact on the operations
The NIH COOP Plan applies to a broad spectrum of human-caused, natural, and
technological emergencies and threats such as:
Technological or human-caused hazards;
Material and emergency shortages;
The NIH COOP Plan activation addresses various types of emergency events. It is broken
down into four different levels starting from Level 4 (an event impacting part of an NIH
building housing essential functions) up to Level 1 (an event impacting the NIH Bethesda
Campus or the National Capital Region).
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The NIH Emergency Support Teams
In order to execute the NIH COOP Plan, teams with distinct roles and responsibilities have
been established. The NIH Emergency Support Teams (ESTs) are pre-designated teams
that respond during COOP operations and provide a resource management strategy
designed to coordinate resources in such a manner as to ensure the continuance of NIH
The NIH ESTs include:
Animal Resources Safety Team
Administrative Public Safety
Support Team Team
Clinical Center Public Information
Facilities Team Logistics Team
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NIH Emergency Support Teams
The NIH Emergency Support Teams are pre-designated teams that respond during COOP
operations and provide Institutes and Centers with additional resources (when requested by
the respective Institute EC) to ensure the continued execution of essential functions.
Administrative Support Team: provides Information Technology Team: provides IT
administrative support, information equipment and infrastructure support and
processing, and financial support services.
Logistics Team: provides services and
Animal Resources Team: consists of two materials related to transportation, food and
teams: water, requests for specialized equipment,
– Animal Recovery and Relocation etc.
Team assists in housing and relocating
animals. Public Information Team: coordinates all
public information communicated to groups
– Animal Care Team assists in triage, and/or individuals inside and outside the
treatment and care of animals. NIH.
Clinical Center Team: provides medical Public Safety Team: the initial responders
expertise and triage support, and response to emergencies where there is an immediate
personal wellness services. threat to life and/or property.
Facilities Team: provides consultation, Safety Team: provides consultation and
support and resources relating to the NIH direct support activities relating to the safety
infrastructure and facilities. and health.
NIH Crisis Response Team Initiative
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NIH CRT Initiative
On February 1, 2004, a fire in Building 30 caused extensive damage to the facility,
requiring building occupants to relocate.
As a result of the fire, several lessons were learned:
A clear notification process needs to be established;
Communication between NIH and the ICs needs definition and improvement;
All ICs must be able to quickly tap NIH resources in emergency events;
There needs to be a single point of contact for emergency recovery needs at
In an effort to remedy the communication and coordination problems that arose during the
Building 30 fire, the DEPC is pursuing the following new initiative:
NIH Crisis Response Team Initiative
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NIH Crisis Response Team Initiative
NIH works with each of the Institutes and Centers and the Office of the Director to
establish, train, and test a Crisis Response Team. An Emergency Coordinator has been
identified in each Institute and Center that is responsible for coordinating the CRT
The objective of the CRT Initiative is to:
Increase coordination and communication across the NIH; and
Establish a robust and streamlined Crisis Response System.
The CRT Initiative lays the foundation for NIH to have a coordinated response in a crisis
event by facilitating communication:
Across an IC;
With NIH Leadership; and
With the DEPC.
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Crisis Response Team
The Crisis Response Team (CRT) is responsible for implementing NIH specific
plans and procedures during an emergency event and initiating emergency
operations, continuing essential functions, and instituting recovery efforts.
The CRT consists of four main components:
1. Emergency Coordinator: Main point of contact for the CRT and the liaison
between the Institute and DEPC.
2. Leadership Team: Provides strategic decision-making, coordination and
communication for NIH.
3. Support Team: Responsible for initial set-up and operations associated with
the NIH Crisis Management Center (i.e. a designated operations room to
convene CRT members)
4. Functional Team: Responsible for maintaining NIH mission essential
Crisis Response Team Structure
Each CRT consists of the three basic components and an Emergency Coordinator.
This person serves as the IC point of contact and acts as a liaison between their Institute
or Center and the DEPC.
The Leadership Team provides strategic decision-making,
coordination and communication for the IC. The Emergency
Coordinator is a part of the Leadership Team and acts as a liaison
between the IC and the DEPC.
The Support Team coordinates activities associated with the Crisis
The Functional Team executes response operations, assesses
the impacts of an event on IC mission activities, and recommends
initial and follow-up actions to the Leadership Team.
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CRT Emergency Coordinator Responsibilities
The IC Emergency Coordinator is the main point of contact for emergency
preparedness activities at the individual IC.
The IC Emergency Coordinator is responsible for:
– Coordinating IC response and recovery activities across the IC Crisis
Response Team (CRT);
– Coordinating with the NIH Division of Emergency Preparedness and
– Coordinating development and maintenance of the IC EM/CRT program.
CRT Leadership Team Responsibilities
Determine the effect an emergency has on IC.
Establish priorities during emergencies.
Conduct liaison activities with the NIH COOP Senior Management Group.
Coordinate management issues involving IC Programs, Divisions, Branches, and Laboratories.
Coordinate communication activities with IC staff.
Coordinate the release of information to groups outside of the NIH with the NIH COOP Public
Issue IC policy.
CRT Support Team Responsibilities
Setup the IC Crisis Management Center (CMC) to ensure it’s operational during an
Coordinate the flow of information in and out of the CMC.
Document response actions and update IC Leadership, Functional Team Leaders, and
Assist in requesting and coordinating additional NIH resources available to IC during an
CRT Functional Team Responsibilities
Assess emergency situation and determine level of impact on IC’s essential functions.
Report to designated areas as instructed and initiate emergency response actions.
Work to maintain essential functions.
If the scope of the problem is beyond the Function-specific group’s capability to respond, define
what help is needed and contact the IC Emergency Coordinator.
Provide Leadership Team with regular status updates.
Perform and/or recommend follow-up actions.
Crisis Management Centers
A Crisis Management Center (CMC) is used by the IC CRT Leadership Team to centrally direct
Members of the CRT will convene at the CMC upon activation by the Emergency Coordinator.
In the event that the primary CMC site is rendered unavailable, an alternate CMC will be used.
IC has CMC locations geographically dispersed to cover all IC facilities and primary and
secondary CMC locations are identified in each.
Crisis Response Teams Link to the NIH COOP Program
The IC Emergency Coordinator is the connection between the IC operations and
NIH operations. The IC Emergency Coordinator coordinates and communicates
with the NIH Disaster Recovery Coordinator.
Public Safety Senior
IT Team Recovery
The NIH Office of the Director and the 27 Institutes and Centers
Animal Resources Functional
Team Support Team
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Emergency Preparedness at Work
December 2008 26
Emergency Preparedness at Work
NIH is prepared to respond.
Each NIH Building has an Occupant Emergency Coordinator and a team of
volunteers to implement actions to protect life and property during an
– Building re-entry
Questions concerning specific building emergency plans should be directed to
your Occupant Emergency Coordinator.
To find your building’s Occupant Emergency Coordinator check the following
page on the NIH website:
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A wide variety of emergencies, both natural and man-made, may require all or parts of
NIH facilities to be evacuated.
NIH Campus Evacuation
The NIH has an evacuation plan in place for the NIH Bethesda Campus.
NIH law enforcement and security will direct traffic movement during a
For a campus map with evacuation routes, visit the following page on the
NIH website: http://parking.nih.gov/evacplan.cfm
For online building evacuation training, visit:
In an evacuation that involves the entire National Capitol Area, the NIH follows
the direction provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), General
Services Administration (GSA), and the Federal Emergency Management
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Some emergencies may require employees to shelter-in-place.
Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room and taking refuge
there until an all-clear signal is received.
Shelter-in-place generally lasts a couple hours, not days.
In some cases, employees will be asked to shelter-in-place at their work
stations and in others, they will be asked to relocate to a pre-determined
If a shelter-in-place order is issued, the DEPC will notify building Occupant
Emergency Coordinators and IC Emergency Coordinators. Follow the
guidance of the building Occupant Emergency Coordinator during a
The NIH Fire Department and NIH Police will coordinate with the DEPC to
ensure timely shelter-in-place of employees and visitors.
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Reporting an Incident
To report an emergency on the NIH Bethesda campus:
Call the NIH Emergency Communications Center at 911.
To report an emergency in an off-campus facility:
Call 9-911 to report the event to the local authorities.
Call the NIH Emergency Communications Center at 301-496-5685.
Emergency procedures vary according to the type of incident; incident-specific
response procedures are outlined on the following slides.
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Reacting to an Incident - Medical Emergencies
Call 911 (on campus) or 9-911 (off campus).
In the Clinical Center, call 111 for Clinical Center Code Blue.
On the NIH campus, the Occupational Medical Service (OMS) will stabilize and, as
necessary, refer urgent medical cases to other health care facilities.
If an NIH employee has a potential blood-borne pathogen exposure, such as HIV or
Monkey B virus, after routine hours, call the Clinical Center operator at 301-496-
1211 to contact an OMS physician.
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Reacting to an Incident - Fire
If possible, confine the fire by closing all doors.
Pull/activate the nearest fire alarm box and notify others in the area of the
Call 911 (on campus) or 9-911 (off campus) and report the emergency.
For those working in a laboratory, if time permits, turn off gas and confine hazardous
materials in cabinets.
Evacuate in an orderly manner. Do not use elevators.
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Reacting to an Incident – Chemical, Biological or Radiological Release
Leave the room and close doors. Do not open the windows. If applicable and safe to
do so, use absorbent material to keep the substance from spreading.
Remove contaminated clothing/shoes before entering a clean area.
Wash any body parts that may have come in contact with the material.
Call 911 (on campus) or 9-911 (off campus) and report the emergency.
After evacuating, do not permit anyone to enter the area until emergency response
personnel determine it is safe.
Anyone who may be contaminated should be restricted to a single staging area. Do
not move from this area until directed by authorities. Moving from area to area will
cause further contaminate and place others at risk.
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Reacting to an Incident – Telephoned Bomb Threat
When receiving bomb threat DO NOT hang up. Take all threats seriously. Stay calm
and take notes. For a bomb threat reference card, visit:
Try to determine:
– The exact location of the bomb
– The source of the threat
– What time the bomb will explode
– Background noises that could help identify the caller’s location
– Characteristics of the caller’s voice (gender, age and/or accent)
Dial *57 immediately to trace the call. Listen for confirmation and hang up. The
number of the last call will be reported to the local telephone company.
Call 911 (on campus) or 9-911 (off campus). Pass on all information to the police.
Do not activate the fire alarm, this may trigger the bomb. Listen and follow
instructions on how to evacuate.
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Reacting to an Incident – Suspicious Package/Explosive
Never touch a suspected bomb/explosive.
Do not use radios and transceiver equipment near the suspected explosive.
Call 911 (on campus) or 9-911 (off-campus).
If evacuation is necessary, leave in an orderly manner.
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Reacting to an Incident – Terrorism
Depending on the nature of the event, the response may vary.
Always remain calm, monitor radio or television for information, and listen to
local, state, and federal authorities for specific instructions and terror threat
Call or e-mail your emergency contact and let them know where you are going.
Be aware of your surroundings. If you see anything suspicious, report it to
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Emergency Actions At Work
Employees are encouraged to refer to the following emergency preparedness resources for
information on how to handle emergencies that occur during the workday:
Building Evacuation & Shelter-in-place
NIH Policy Manual, Chapter 1430 – Occupant Evacuation Plan
NIH Emergency Preparedness Handbook
NIH Radio Station 1660 AM
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Emergency Preparedness at Home
December 2008 38
Family Emergency Actions
In order to be prepared for an emergency event, planning is your strongest ally. Make sure
you know what is available in both your community and your workplace.
The NIH Emergency Preparedness Handbook offers practical guidelines to employees and
their families in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency event.
Preparing Before an Emergency—Covers options such as home evacuation
plans, family contact cards, emergency preparedness kits, and school/care
provider response plans.
Responding When an Emergency Happens—Recommends gathering
information, communicating with family, caring for pets, and understanding the
actions your child’s school will take.
Recovering After the Emergency—Focuses on the physical and emotional
responses that can be seen after an emergency and offers tips for coping.
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Your Preparedness Role at Home
– Create a Household Emergency Plan.
– Plan escape routes.
– Locate the best shelter-in-place rooms in your home.
– Know how to properly shut off utilities.
– Develop a Family Communications Plan.
– Select a trusted friend or relative outside of your geographic area to contact in case
local phone lines are unavailable, or you are separated from family members.
– Write down and post emergency contact numbers.
– Make photocopies of vital documents. Keep original documents in a safe deposit
box, place one copy in a safe location in your home, and give the second copy to an
out-of-town friend or relative.
– Create Household and Pet Disaster Kits (water, food, first-aid supplies, medications,
radio (crank or battery), flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, pillows,
veterinary/shelter numbers etc.).
– Get involved in community preparedness efforts.
Steps you can take to better prepare for an emergency situation:
Know who your IC Crisis Response Team Emergency Coordinator
contact the DEPC at 301-496-1985 if you don’t know who your IC
Emergency Coordinator is.
Identify your building’s Occupant Emergency Coordinator and make
sure you understand the procedures for sheltering-in-place and evacuating.
Take advantage of existing emergency drills. Know what to do during an
Create a list of phone numbers to help you contact colleagues and family
members during and after an emergency.
Understand what is available to employees. Utilize available resources
such as the NIH Radio Station (1660 AM), the NIH Intranet, and the NIH
Crisis Response Teams.
December 2008 41