Emergency Response Plan:
(1) Purpose, Scope, Situation Overview

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the St. John Fisher Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to establish the schools preparedness and response strategies related to natural and man-made emergencies and disasters. It outlines authority, responsibilities and organizational relationships, and shows how all actions will be coordinated among campus divisions and departments.

The plan is structured as follows:

Basic Plan

Provides an overview of Fishers emergency management system; briefly explains hazards faced (from the mitigation plan), capabilities, requirements, and our emergency response and management structure/organization.

Support Annexes

Provide a framework through which the campus coordinates and executes common emergency management strategies including such as Direction, Control & Coordination, Warning and Communications, and Evacuation. Functional Annexes are maintained as individual sections.

Emergency Support Functions

They are mechanisms for grouping functions most frequently used to provide support, both for incidents that require the activation of the Emergency Response Team or some portion thereof for less complex incidents. Emergency Support Functions are maintained as individual sections.

Hazard- or Incident-Specific Action Plans

Describes features of a hazard or incident of high concern and explain procedures unique that hazard/incident type. Strategies already outlined in a functional annex are not repeated in a hazard- or incident-specific annex. Hazard- or Incident-Specific Annexes are maintained as individual sections.

1.2 Scope

The ERT will be activated by the Emergency Director for incidents and emergencies that have or may have a significant impact on life, health and safety, infrastructure and property, and/or mission critical operations, and are of such size, scope and complexity that exceed normal operational capacity of campus departments to address. The extent to which the ERT is activated is determined by the Emergency Manager.

1.3 Situation Overview

This section summarizes the hazards/incidents of most concern, as well as St. John Fisher University's capabilities and limitations related to each. More detail is provided in our mitigation plans and the hazard or incident specific annexes.

Hazard / Incident Summary

The following hazards or incidents have been determined to be of the most concern based on probability of occurrence and possible impact on personnel, infrastructure, environment and/or operations (either directly or through cascade events).

Severe Winter Weather

Blizzards and snowstorms are a yearly occurrence in the Rochester region, with the capability of creating conditions that are sufficiently hazardous as to warrant cancelling classes and closing the university. In addition, these storms may cause power failures, which combined with cold temperatures, may lead to campus residences becoming unsafe. Large amounts of snowfall, in addition to disruptions in transportation systems, may lead to unsafe conditions on campus. Snow volume may be exacerbated due to our close proximity to Lake Ontario, the Rochester region receives lake effect snowfall which increases the risk for large amounts of snowfall in short periods of time.

Ice Storm

The last significant ice storm in the Rochester region was in March 1991. Though relatively rare, ice storms can produce significant damage and disruption, particularly to transportation and electric service.

Power Failure

Internal or external disruption of electrical power to campus or parts of campus can have significant consequences to majority of campus operations (academic and business). The St. John Fisher University campus is powered by two energy organizations, Rochester Gas & Electric and Fairport Electric. RG&E power the main campus while Fairport Electric covers the Murphy complex, Alesi building and the Skalny Welcome Center. Power disruption can come to all or just a portion of the campus depending on the event and failure during times of extreme cold increase consequences, particularly to resident student population where extreme temperatures might require evacuation of residences.

Extreme Wind Events

Extreme winds or Damaging Winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph. Wind is caused by changes in atmospheric pressure; more significant changes in pressure produce more damaging winds. These damaging winds are often associated with thunderstorms. Damage from severe wind is often underestimated and accounts for significant weather related damage in the United States and is more common than damage from tornadoes. These winds are often called "straight-line" winds to differentiate their damage from tornado damage.

These winds can produce impacts such: downed trees/limbs and power lines/poles leading to large scale power outages; damage to roofs and infrastructure on roofs; injuries related to blowing debris, debris in roadways and walkways causing accidents impacting transportation and other significant infrastructure.

Communicable Disease

The spread of highly contagious and/or severe infectious disease may require isolation of ill individuals. Increased consequences occur when resident students are impacted, potentially requiring housing resources for isolation, as well as dining and medical resources for support. Case(s) of measles/mumps/rubella may lead to exclusion of all students who have not been immunized against MMR due to NYS regulation. Highly communicable and severe disease, such as influenza, may lead to class cancellation and university closure to enact the NPI (non- pharmaceutical public health measure) of social distancing as Fisher may not be able to reasonably care for a high number of severely ill students. If this were an area wide emergency, Fisher is a member of the County of Monroe's "Closed Point of Dispensing Plan" positioning us to distribute medications to the Fisher community.

Structural Fire

A fire that has moved beyond the initial (incipient fire) stage from which it can be controlled or extinguished by portable fire extinguishers, class II standpipe or small hose systems without the need for protective clothing or breathing apparatus. Significant property loss can be expected, with the potential for injury or death to occupants who may not be able to readily evacuate.

Armed Intruder

This is a "dynamic incident" or one where individual(s) are actively engaged in and whose sole purpose is harming or killing as many people as possible, is of most concern due to the physical, psychological and emotional damage it would cause. Unlike a K-12 school facility, our university campus is an open space accessible by a wide spectrum of community members and dangers. This inability to strictly limit access to our academic buildings poses additional challenges that must be considered in our planning.

Explosion/Bomb Threat

An explosion is a violent expansion in which energy is transmitted outward as a shock wave. Explosion may have several causes, from a chemical reaction to a manmade explosive device the most likely of which could be from a construction accident/incident involving natural gas or other petroleum product.

HAZMAT Release

A hazardous material is defined as any substance or material could adversely affect the safety of the environment, public, handlers or carriers if it were to be released. The release can be from a stationary source or an in-transit source.

Information Security Incident

Information Security Incident is an event involving inappropriate use, abuse, loss, theft, or compromise that has the potential to adversely impact the confidentiality, integrity or availability of our information resources.

Potential avenues for information security incidents include:
  • Loss or theft of information resources
  • Program agents like viruses, worms, keystroke loggers
  • Unauthorized users, physical or logical access
  • Malicious denial of service attacks
Most likely avenues for an information security incident are:
  • Phishing

Probable High Risk and/or Vulnerable Areas


  • Resident Students - significant student population 1427 residing in on-campus student housing/residence halls. These are students who could be displaced by fire, flood, power failure during extreme cold weather conditions, or some other natural disaster affecting the University.
  • Close living quarters make transmission of communicable disease among residents more probable.
  • Daycare children in care at the Early Learning Center.
  • People dealing with some known disability or injury impairment (approximately 25 or less) may need assistance in taking immediate protective actions during any critical or emergency incident.


  • Residential Buildings – Michaelhouse and Murphy Hall do not have sprinkler systems, making them more vulnerable in cases of structural fire
  • Data Center – supports majority of IT services to campus including critical services such as the online learning system (Brightspace), email communications, web services, student financial aid processing, employee work information, dining services and meal payment management, student electronic medical recordkeeping.
  • Data center is located in the Salerno Building (Building 4)
  • Haffey Hall – Public Safety offices and communications (dispatch), primary resident student dining facility.
  • Facilities Building – Infrastructure maintenance and equipment storage and repair.
  • Kearney Hall – Location of critical administrative services.

Emergency Response Team Handbook Revised and Updated: January 2020