Critical Incident Management Plan

Our Mission

The University of Delaware has a fully developed Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP) established to assist with planning and preparation for emergency situations, including proactive efforts to reduce risk and mitigate loss, as well as outline and guide those involved in response and recovery following such emergency situations.

The University of Delaware recognizes the importance of ensuring the safety and security of UD students, faculty, staff and extended community. The UD Emergency Operations Plan is updated annually and recently had Hazard Specific Annexes added to it to enhance its effectiveness. The University was also recently recognized for having a stand-alone All Hazard Mitigation Plan, one of only a few universities nationwide to boast such an honor.

UD truly sees emergency preparedness as a whole community issue. As you read through the information provided, you will notice UD response teams include more than just police and fire. This is to ensure that no matter what the event is, all our faculty, staff and students pull together to respond.

University Priorities

When critical incidents occur it is the University Policy to:

  • Protect human life; prevent/minimize personal injury
  • Protect the environment
  • Prevent/minimize damage to existing structures, research data, laboratories and library collections
  • Restore normal operations

Introduction to UD Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness is the process of identifying risks to the University and determining how to best lessen the effects of those risks. In order to do this, we follow the 5 Phases of Emergency Management: Mitigation, Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

  • Mitigation includes any effort to minimize loss of life and property by reducing the impact of disasters. Mitigation may also include efforts to stop hazards from developing into disasters.
  • Prevention refers to the actions taken to decrease the likelihood of emergencies occurring, ideally avoiding them entirely.
  • Preparedness constitutes a range of activities such as training, planning, and developing improvements in anticipation of a potential emergency.
  • Response encompasses all actions taken to contain and resolve a critical incident and the consequences of its impact.
  • Recovery is the process of returning the built and social environments to a state of pre-disaster "normalcy".

How to use this page

This web page is designed to provide up to date information in the event of an emergency and serve as an educational resource for students, faculty, staff and parents who would like to learn more about The University of Delawares commitment to Emergency Preparedness. The UD Office of Campus & Public Safety encourages you to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Universitys safety procedures and the ways UD will communicate important emergency news to you.

A key to a safe campus is peer responsibility. We are all members of this community and we must look out for one another.


The Critical Incident Management Plan is intended to provide a framework within which to structure the response and resources of the University academic and administrative community to an emergency incident affecting the University. The comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan is activated when an emergency affecting the University reaches proportions that cannot be handled by established measures.

Introduction to Plan

The University of Delaware is committed to adhering to the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) for each incident that occurs at or near UD. This adheres to the Federal Government's ICS/NIMS Compliance regulation and also aligns us with our local and state emergency response partners. For more information on ICS or NIMS, visit: NIMS Training Courses

In light of recent tragic events on college campuses, we have implemented a new UD Alert communications system, which will enable us to send voice and text messages to the campus community via land-line and cellular phones. We also have a number of other avenues for communicating with the campus as a whole.

The Emergency Management Authority Structure.

The UDEOP establishes a clear authority structure that defines the roles and responsibilities of all administrative faculty members that will be involved in emergency situations. The President of the University is the Chief Executive Officer in charge of overall policy and decision-making and the Executive Vice President is in charge of overall daily operations of the University and strategic projects for the expansion of the University. The Executive Vice President is also the chair of the Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT). In the event of an emergency, the Executive Director of Campus and Public Safety will act as the Emergency Manager for the University during a crisis situation. Different individuals will take on the role of Incident Commander depending on the type of crisis and level of severity.

The President, or his designee, may declare a University emergency and mobilize the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and/or the Critical Incident Management Team to handle a crisis situation within the University or to support the on-scene operations.

The Executive Director of Campus and Public Safety is charged with acting as the Emergency Manager for the University during emergencies. He will liaise with the Incident Commander, the EOC staff and others during the incident and work to respond effectively and efficiently to the incident at hand. He will also report all operations to the Executive Vice President, if his or her activities preclude the President from being available during the crisis.

The University Provost is responsible for making the decision to cancel classes, close the University, or resume normal University operations in conjunction with the Universitys Executive Vice President and Treasurer. The Provost is also tasked with defining crisis policy, overall priorities and strategies. In the event of a particularly disruptive emergency, the Provost oversees the planning and prioritization of the Universitys long-term recovery efforts.

The University of Delaware Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety serves as the tactical Incident Commander for the University. The Chief of Police must be involved in any decisions at the incident site that affect the University community.

The Emergency Preparedness Manager is responsible for providing basic guidelines for emergency planning, response, mitigation, and recovery/continuity of operations, as well as reviewing completed plans, coordinating emergency planning, training and exercises with other jurisdictions and agencies, and responding to assist in the management of emergency incidents.


The Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) will be the focal point for institutional leadership and global decision-making during an emergency. The Executive Vice President is the Chair of the CIMT, with the Provost acting as Chair if the Executive Vice President is unavailable. The Critical Incident Management Team is divided into two groups, the Policy Group and the Operations Group, depending on their identified role in an emergency. The Critical Incident Management Team will be assembled to address the immediate crisis and disband when the crisis has ended and normal operating systems are in place.

The role of the Policy Group is to be a decision-making body for the University on issues related to the emergency, and to support the EOC, Incident Commander and any external agencies responding to the scene. The Policy Group is also responsible for the dissemination of timely, accurate and appropriate information (through the Office of Communications and Marketing or EOC Public Information Officer, as appropriate) to the University faculty, staff, students, parents, media and other concerned community partners.

The role of the Operations Group is to be a tactical decision-making body for incident operations. The Operations Group will be convened at the behest of the President, Executive Vice President, or, in situations where the threat is imminent, the Chief of Police. The Operations Group will take charge of determining the scope and impact of incidents, coordination and deployment of resources and equipment, communication with government and external agencies, and prioritization of emergency actions.

Know Your Role

While professional first responders are trained to be ready to mobilize at a moments notice, the reality of Emergency Management is that normal people are always the first ones on the scene responding to a crisis. Please take a few moments to educate yourself on how you best ensure the safety of yourself, and others, in the event of an emergency.


Faculty members serve a critical role to the campus and student body during emergency incidents; they serve as models of behavior when students are unsure how to act. Faculty should be sure to familiarize themselves with the CIMP, UDEOP, University Evacuation policy, and behavioral guidelines for Emergency Situations. Faculty should understand what would be expected of them and how the University administration would operate during different levels of emergency. Employees of the University must be prepared to assess situations quickly but thoroughly, and use common sense to determine a safe and effective course of action. Additionally, faculty should review building layout plans and feel comfortable locating emergency exits, stairways, fire extinguishers and fire escapes.


Students should take a proactive approach towards educating themselves on how to prepare for, and respond to Emergency Situations. Every student should be familiar with University safety procedures, as well as the building layouts and evacuation plans for his or her classrooms and dormitory. Students must also be prepared to assess situations quickly but thoroughly, and use common sense in determining a safe and effective course of action. Students are expected to evacuate buildings (except when otherwise instructed) in an orderly fashion when an alarm is activated, or instructed to do so by emergency personnel and authority figures.


The University of Delaware treats Emergency Preparedness as a “Whole Community” issue and thus encourages parents to become involved in the effort. Parents should encourage their children to review emergency preparedness guidelines, University emergency plans and procedures, and the UD Alert system. Parents should understand that in the event of an emergency University telephone lines may be very busy, therefore it is best to call your child and communicate emergency news through each other as incidents progress. The Office of Communications and Marketing will also post emergency information on the UD Homepage when an incident occurs. Parents may also take it upon themselves to develop an Emergency Plan for their family to follow in the event of an emergency.

Be sure to check out our Emergency Situations page and learn how to respond to different emergencies:

Our Projects

The University's emergency response and communications plans are constantly being reviewed and updated. In addition to evaluating and revising our current resources, we are also committed to further development through projects and exercises. Current projects in progress include:

  • UDEOP 2013 revision disseminated
  • Partnering with Google to map the interior of our campus buildings
  • Active Shooter Table Top Exercise (October 2, 2013)
  • Develop an Emergency Management Strategic Plan
  • Work towards Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) certification

Additional Emergency Communications Resources

UD units and offices coordinate their emergency planning to provide a safe atmosphere at the University every day. To make these plans accessible, they are available for viewing here. The University's emergency response and communications plans are constantly being reviewed, updated and evaluated for compliance with federal regulations and requirements.

For all audiences

During an emergency or crisis, timely and responsible communication is vital with all the University of Delaware's audiences, including students, faculty, staff, trustees, parents, media and the public at large.

  • Office of Communications & Marketing, Communications in a Crisis– This document details the protocols, Crisis Response Teams and Media Center locations to be established in various scales of emergency situations.
  • Student Life Incident Notification Protocol – This document details the protocol Residence Life staff and the University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) use to report incidents to Student Life. Protocols and procedures exist for dealing with specific kinds of situations (e.g., death of a student) and can be provided upon request.