Emergency Operations Plan

Plan Contact

Eric Giardini
Director of Campus Resilience
(415) 422-4222

This plan complies with the State of California’s Standardized Emergency Management System and meets or exceeds all standards set by the California Emergency Services Act.

Since events during an emergency or disaster are not predictable, this emergency operations plan will serve as a guide that on-scene judgment based on actual circumstances must be the final guide for protecting lives, property, and the environment.

Statement on Emergency Preparedness

To the USF Community:

University operations may be impacted by emergencies or other disruptive incidents at any time and often without warning. In order to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff are protected and safe, while minimizing potential disruptions, the entire USF community must take the necessary steps to prepare itself for any such event. This Emergency Operations Plan addresses the university’s response to emergencies by taking an all-hazards approach. This approach encourages and promotes effective and consistent response to any emergency, no matter the cause. Although this plan is a fundamental component in the university’s preparedness process, it is important that individuals and university departments must make reasonable efforts to prepare for emergencies as well.

Each division, department, and office should familiarize themselves with the information in this plan. Additionally, individuals should familiarize themselves with the disaster preparedness resources from the Department of Public Safety.

By working together, we can continue to make the University of San Francisco a safe and prepared community.

Record of Changes




12-2014 All Total Revision – Eric Giardini, Director of Campus Resilience
12-2015 14, 27 Overall review of EOP; Update to Secondary EOC Location; Addition of President’s Cabinet JAS
12-2016 All Overall Review – Eric Giardini, Director of Campus Resilience
07-2017 16 Revision of Operations Section – Eric Giardini, Director of Campus Resilience
01-2018 14, 20 Overall review of EOP; Update to EOC; Update to emergency communications




The purpose of the University of San Francisco Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to describe the authority, responsibility, functions, and operations of The University of San Francisco (USF) as related to emergency mitigation, training, preparedness, response, and recovery. This plan is designed using an all-hazards approach with the intention of providing the basis to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of USF during any type of incident. It is intended to be a “living” document that will be constantly updated to reflect the ever-changing environment at USF. The primary objectives of this EOP are to:

  • Contribute to the protection of life, property, and the environment
  • Contribute to the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors
  • Minimize the disruption of University operations and activities
  • Effectively manage the response operations to an emergency which affects USF
  • Effectively work with internal stakeholders and external partners during emergency operations
  • Restore the University to normal operations as quickly as possible 


The Emergency Operations Plan applies to all USF personnel and all buildings, grounds, and properties owned and operated by the University at its main San Francisco campus. This plan addresses coordination and management of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation operations and various emergency functions carried out by identified divisions, departments, and offices.

The concepts in this plan may be applied to any incident on campus that impacts the health, safety, or security of students, faculty, staff, or visitors. As USF is vulnerable to a variety of both natural and man-made hazards, this plan takes an all-hazards approach.

The University of San Francisco celebrates and embraces the diversity and individual differences of the members of the University Community – to include students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Some members of the USF Community have functional and access needs which may require certain accommodations and assistance in the event of an incident on campus. The University, specifically individual divisions, departments, and offices, will plan for individuals with access and functional needs in terms of emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery operations.

This Emergency Operations Plan was developed by the Office of Campus Resilience in collaboration with key University stakeholders and representatives. All stakeholders identified the importance of training and exercising to the Plan to maintain the campus Community’s overall readiness and capabilities. Training and exercising the Plan also helps to validate the plans and procedures and identify strengths and any areas for improvement and to prepare the Community to respond to any real-world incidents. The Office of Campus Resilience will be responsible for conducting training and exercising on a regular basis and will ensure that this training reaches a wide ranging audience of the USF Community.

Campuses and Other Locations

USF operates at other locations throughout California. This Emergency Operations Plan focuses only on the main San Francisco campus. Below is a list of USF's additional locations, each of which maintains its own Emergency Operations Plan. For additional information on these plans, please contact the Office of Campus Resilience.

Downtown Campus, San Francisco, CA
101 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA

Presidio Location, San Francisco, CA
920 Old Mason Street
San Francisco, CA

Orange Campus, Orange, CA
480 South Batavia Street
Orange, CA

Pleasanton Campus, Pleasanton, CA
6120 Stoneridge Mall Road, Suite 150
Pleasanton, CA

Sacramento Campus, Sacramento, CA
1 Capitol Mall, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA

Santa Rosa Location, Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa Junior College Doyle Library
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA

South Bay Location, Cupertino, CA
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Cupertino, CA

Planning Assumptions

USF developed this EOP to prepare for emergency response efforts with the following assumptions:

  • USF will maintain a current and well-communicated EOP to manage emergency operations.
  • An emergency or disaster can occur at any time with little to no warning.
  • USF is exposed to a variety of natural and man-made hazards that have the potential to disrupt the community and cause damage.
  • Disasters may affect widespread areas. As a result, city, county, and federal assistance may not be available for as long as 72 hours.
  • Responsibility for emergency preparedness rests with everyone in the University Community – all students, faculty, and staff.
  • Individual employee and student levels of personal preparedness will affect the overall preparedness of the University.
  • Warning time and alert notification, when used effectively, will decrease life and property loses.
  • Adequate pre-emergency testing of facilities and equipment will increase their reliability during emergencies.
  • The nature and extent of an emergency will govern which elements of the emergency organization will mobilize, activate, and/or respond.
  • Since events during an emergency or disaster are not predictable, published emergency plans will serve as a guide and on-scene judgment based on actual circumstances must be the final guide for protecting lives, property, and the environment. 


USF is vulnerable to both natural and man-made hazards. The University has taken into consideration the following risks in the development of this all-hazards based plan. The hazards listed below are some of the most likely hazards for USF:

  • Earthquakes
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Fire
  • Special Events
  • Public Health Emergencies
  • Utility Failures
  • Suspicious / Unusual Packages
  • Active Shooter / Violence
  • Cyber Attacks

Hazard-specific annexes may be found in the Emergency Response Guide on the USF Department of Public Safety website. 

Plan Development and Maintenance

The University’s Emergency Operations Plan will be reviewed annually and revised, if necessary, by the Director of Campus Resilience. The Plan may be modified as a result of post-incident analysis and/or post-exercise observations. It may be modified if responsibilities, procedures, laws, rules, or regulations pertaining to emergency management and operations change. 

Concept of Operations


The University of San Francisco divisions, departments, and offices will respond to emergencies by using pre-established standard operating procedures developed within each organization with assistance, as needed, from the Office of Campus Resilience. In the event that incidents grow too large for each individual organization to sufficiently respond, additional resources and coordination may be required on a campus-wide scale to assist in response and recovery operations.

USF’s operations are guided by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). NIMS, a nationwide template developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is a template which enables federal, state, local, and private sector non-governmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from incidents regardless of size, complexity, or cause. SEMS is required by the California Emergency Services Act (ESA) for managing multiagency and multijurisdictional responses to emergencies in California. This system unifies all elements of the emergency management structure within California into a single system which incorporates use of the Incident Command System (ICS), the California Disaster and Civil Defense Master Mutual Aid Agreement (MMAA), the Operational Area (OA) concept and multiagency or inter-agency coordination. In order to be eligible for state reimbursement funds, the University of San Francisco is required to use SEMS.

Levels of Emergencies

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has established three levels of Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activation based on emergencies. These levels are based on the severity and duration of the event and the impact on local and regional response resources. The University uses these levels of activation as a guideline for its own activation and are as follows:

Level I - Minor to Moderate

An event that occurs on campus and is responded to in a routine manner. The event can be handled within existing University resources or with limited outside help with little or no impact on University operations. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is usually not activated and a Campus State of Emergency is not proclaimed.

Level II – Moderate to Severe

An event or events that cannot be handled with existing University resources and requires considerable outside assistance. Depending on the severity and duration of the event, and its impact to University operations, the EOC may be activated and a Campus State of Emergency may be proclaimed.

Level III – Major

An area-wide catastrophic event with University resources being overwhelmed. Outside local resources are overwhelmed and may not be available to the University for a prolonged period of time. All normal campus activities are shut down. With this event, the EOC is activated and a Campus State of Emergency is proclaimed.

Activation of the Emergency Operations Center

The Emergency Operations Center is where emergency management activities take place. The role of the EOC is to manage resources and communications in the support of University staff and others responding to incidents on campus. The EOC is officially activated when the University President, or his designee, proclaims a Campus State of Emergency. The EOC will be automatically activated to a staffing level appropriate to the scope of the emergency when:

  • There is the existence or threatened existence of a Level II or III emergency that affects the University; or
  • When the City and County of San Francisco declares a State of Emergency; or
  • When the Governor has proclaimed a State of Emergency for an area that include the University; or
  • When the President of the United States declares a National Emergency for an area that includes the University.

The EOC can be activated in whole or in part, as the needs of the situation dictates. In the event that the President is not present, or is disabled, authority and responsibility to proclaim a State of Emergency and activate the Emergency Operations Center may follow this chain of succession:

  1. University President
  2. Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
  3. Vice President, Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer
  4. Vice Provost, Student Life
  5. Vice President, Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer
  6. Associate Vice President, Facilities Management
  7. Senior Director, Public Safety
  8. Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Development

Emergency Management Structure

The University’s Incident Management Team is responsible for overseeing the University’s strategic and tactical-level activities during an event’s response and recovery efforts. The emergency management structure follows both the Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) and the Incident Command System and has pre-established roles and responsibilities. The following can be scaled up or down depending on the situation and not all of these roles may be activated.

  1. President’s Cabinet

    The USF President’s Cabinet is responsible for directing strategic response to an incident. This group will be comprised of the following and will oversee long term, strategic continuity response rather than the detailed response operations. This Group is comprised of the following:

    • The President
    • Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer
    • Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer
    • Vice President for Communications and Marketing
    • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
    • Vice President for Development
    • Vice President for International Relations
    • General Counsel
    • Vice Provost of Student Life
  2. Command Staff

    The Command Staff is responsible for assisting the Emergency Operations Director when needed at the time of the emergency. This group is responsible for the tactical control of the incident rather than the strategic response. This Group consists of the following:

    • Emergency Operations Director
    • Safety Officer
    • Security Officer
    • Public Information Officer
  3. Planning Section

    The Planning Section is responsible for overall emergency policy as well as coordination of response efforts. The Planning Section Staff is responsible for providing advice on policy matters. Staff will also assist in the development of overall strategy and formulation of relevant rules, regulations, policies, etc. The Section may include the following staff functions and will be designated at time of activation:

    • Academic Programs
    • International Programs
    • Athletics
    • Faculty Personnel
    • Staff Personnel
  4. Operations Section

    The Operations Section’s primary responsibility is to manage the operations of various response elements that are related to an emergency response. These elements include, but are not limited to, the following and will be designated at the time of the activation:

    • Public Safety
    • Facilities Management
    • Student Life
    • Student Health Services
    • Counseling and Psychological Services
  5. Logistics Section

    The Logistic Section ensures the acquisition and mobilization of resources to support the response effort. This section is responsible for providing communication services, acquiring equipment and supplies as well as arranging for food, lodging, and other support services as required. The Logistics Section includes, but is not limited to, the following and will be designated at the time of activation:

    • Care and Shelter
    • Supplies
    • Communication
    • Transportation
    • Food Service
    • Volunteer Coordination
  6. Finance / Administration Section

    The Finance / Administration Section is responsible for providing financial and cost analysis services. This section supervises negotiation and administration of vendor contracts. It starts special payroll services and maintains records for insurance, State, and Federal reimbursement. Depending on the nature of the event, this section may activate one or more of the following:

    • Cost and Accounting
    • Risk Management, Compensation, and Claims
    • Timekeeping
    • Office of Grants and Contracts

    Members of these staff functions within the University may be assigned to specific Incident Command System roles and responsibilities outlined in the Job Action Sheets in Appendix C.

Campuses and Other Locations

USF’s Hilltop and Lone Mountain campuses are not autonomous operating entities but rather are integrated together into this plan. The roles of the Incident Management Team are the same regardless of an event at either of these locations.

Emergency operations at each of USF's additional locations will be managed at each location within their respective capabilities and resources. Response and recovery at these locations will be carried out based on the capabilities, operations, and protocols for each specific location and may vary between the locations. If an incident exceeds the capabilities of a location, assistance may be provided between the locations, if appropriate. 

Mitigation and Preparedness

Mitigation and preparedness actions are done in advance of an emergency to help prepare for and minimize the potential impacts caused by incidents on campus. Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. It is taking action now to reduce consequences later.

Preparedness activities consist of any pre-emergency action that will improve the safety or effectiveness of emergency response. These activities possess the potential to save lives, reduce property damage, and enhances individual and Community ability to respond to an emergency. Training students, faculty, and staff; conducting exercises; and maintaining emergency supplies are all examples of preparedness activities of which USF actively engages.

The University of San Francisco Office of Campus Resilience will coordinate mitigation and preparedness efforts with local jurisdictional and external partners as necessary. This will include, but is not limited to, the development and maintenance of Memorandums of Agreement / Memorandums of Understanding (MOAs / MOUs) with community partners.

The Department of Public Safety administers a variety of programs designed to help educate the USF Community on emergency preparedness. Personal preparedness information is distributed to students, faculty, and staff at a variety of campus events, fairs, and orientations. Additional information is available on the Department of Public Safety website.

Preparedness is important at all levels of the University. In addition to overall campus preparedness, each division, department, and office should take the following preparedness actions:

  • Regularly review emergency preparedness information with faculty and staff
  • Train faculty and staff on internal emergency plans
  • Routinely backup critical data and important documents for business continuity
  • Develop and maintain internal contact sheets that may be used to reach faculty and staff within a department 

Response and Recovery

Initial Response

This section of the Plan addresses the initial response by field responders to events, allowing for transition from routine emergencies to a disaster. Experience has shown that the outcome of many emergencies may be greatly mitigated by effective initial response actions. At the University of San Francisco, the Incident Command System (ICS) will be used on all incidents. Campus emergency responders will organize the field response using ICS.

In order for ICS to be used at all incidents, the first emergency responder on scene will always take the following basic actions:

  • Establish the Incident Command Post (ICP)
  • Determine the size and scope of the incident
  • Determine the ICS organizational elements required
  • Request additional resources necessary to mitigate the incident
  • Delegate authority within the ICS organizational structure
  • Develop the Incident Action Plan, incorporating the incident objectives and strategies

Field Response

In the event of a disaster that requires EOC activation, the senior Public Safety Officer will become the Field Incident Commander (FIC) and establish an Incident Command Post to direct field operations.

The University has multiple, redundant means of communication to assist in the response. At the University’s disposal are Public Safety radios, Nextel radios, cell phones, family service radios, or by message forms and runners if all other forms of communication are down. FICs will communicate and coordinate directly with the University EOC’s Operations Section Chief, if the position has been established, or with the EOC Director.

The Field IC will establish a field response organization using ICS positions to manage the event. This field response organization should include Command, Operations, Planning, and Logistics as well as the supporting Units as needed. Finance and Administration issues will be addressed and managed at the EOC level.

Evacuations / Shelter-in-Place

Building Marshals assist in managing evacuations to ensure occupants exit from the building as safely as possible to pre-designated Emergency Management Areas (EMA) in the event of an evacuation or will assist shelter-in-place procedures. Faculty who are in the classroom will ensure their students are led to an Emergency Management Area or shelter-in-place. The determination for either will be conveyed to the University community through emergency communications systems. For additional information on the Building Marshal procedures, please reference Building Marshals’ Emergency Response Procedures document.

Extended Operations

During a disaster/emergency, the University’s Cabinet assists the President in setting response and recovery priorities and the Incident Management Team supports field response operations in mitigating incidents on campus. The primary emphasis will be placed on life safety, protecting property, and preserving the environment. The Incident Management Team will operate using the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) functions, principles, and components. It will implement the action planning process to develop an Incident Action Plan, identifying and implementing specific objectives for each Operational Period.

Job Action Sheets

Job Action Sheets have been designed to serve as a standalone guide in the event of an EOC activation. Each of the following sheets are to be distributed to the proper USF staff member at the time of activation. These Job Action Sheets may be found in Appendix C.

Incident Action Plan

All incidents will have some form of an Incident Action Plan, and this plan may be oral or written. Short-term incidents do not require a written Incident Action Plan. As incidents grow larger, the Incident Action Plan should be written. These plans will vary in content and complexity depending on the incident.

The use of Incident Action Plans by the Incident Management Team provides a clear and measurable means to identify objectives and priorities for an event. The planning process should include the Emergency Operations Director and the Section Chiefs, along with other members of the Incident Management Team, as needed. Action planning is an important management tool that involves:

  • Setting objectives for emergency response or recovery efforts based on priorities set by the Emergency Operations Director
  • Documenting the priorities and objectives, and the tasks and personnel assignments associated with meeting the objectives.

Incident Action Plans have four main elements:

  • Incident Objectives – Statement of what was accomplished in the last Operational Period and what is expected to be achieved in the next Operational Period. Objectives must be measurable.
  • Tactics and Assignments – Describes general objectives and tactics for controlling the incident including a safety message and the current assignments for the Incident Management Team.
  • Organization – Describes what elements of the ICS organization will be in place for the next Operational Period.
  • Supporting Material – Examples could include an incident map, a summary of resources that have been ordered or used, a communications plan, weather data and special precautions.

The Planning Section is responsible for facilitating the action planning meeting and completing and distributing the Incident Action Plan. This Section relies on information from the other Sections, particularly the Operations Section. Incident Action Plans are developed for a specified Operational Period, which may range from a few hours up to 24 hours. The Operational Period is determined by first establishing a set of priority actions that need to be performed and then establish a reasonable timeframe for accomplishing those actions. The Operational Period length should remain constant throughout the incident. A template for a basic Incident Action Plan may be found in Appendix D.

Emergency Communications

For notification of activation of the Emergency Operations Center, there are a number of means of notification:

  1. Incident Management Team members will receive a phone call;
  2. Emergency notification by text, voice message and / or email through USF Alert (USF’s mass notification system)

Communication to the campus community will be accomplished through the USF Alert system (phone call, text message, email) and the USF website.

The University has several “red” phones located around campus which are hard wired analog land lines that allow for outside communication should the USF phone system go down. They have been strategically arranged in key locations around campus to provide communication hubs both intra-campus and for the EOC to communicate out. A list of the locations of these phones are located in both EOCs.

Recovery Operations

Recovery operations should be considered throughout the response to an incident and not just following the response phase. Recovery occurs during two phases: short-term and long-term. Short-term operations will begin during the response phase of the emergency. Section Chiefs should begin considering recovery and demobilization of personnel and supplies early in the event.

Short-Term Recovery

The goal of short-term recovery is to restore the University to at least a minimal capacity. Short-term recovery includes:

  • Infrastructure restoration
  • Re-establishment of the University’s administrative responsibilities
  • Debris removal
  • Cleanup operations
  • Abatement and demolition of hazardous structures
  • Restoring critical business functions

Long-Term Recovery

The goal of long-term recovery is to restore facilities to pre-disaster condition. Long-term recovery includes hazard mitigation activities, restoration or reconstruction of facilities, and disaster response cost recovery. The major objectives of long-term recovery operations include:

  • Returning University business to pre-disaster levels
  • Improving the University’s Emergency Operations Plan based on lessons learned from event
  • Reimbursement for qualifying disaster costs
  • Effective integration of mitigation strategies into recovery planning and operations

In coordination with the American Red Cross (ARC) and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SF DEM), the University may be required to provide shelter for disaster victims from the surrounding community until other arrangements can be made. This must be taken into account in both short- and long-term recovery planning.

Once the decision has been made to deactivate the Emergency Operations Center, the Emergency Operations Director will direct Section Chiefs to deactivate its section while ensuring that all relevant logs and files are given to the Cost / Accounting Branch within the Finance / Administration Section. These materials will be organized so they may be archived and / or utilized for financial recovery process. Depending on the level of efforts, a Recovery Manager may be appointed to coordinate the recovery effort to ensure that all damaged buildings, facilities, and services are restored. In coordination with the Cost / Accounting Branch, the Recovery Manager will prepare the After Action Report, ensuring that the information is available within 90 days of the event.


Documentation is the key to recovering eligible emergency response and recovery costs. Damage assessment documentation will be critical in establishing the basis for eligibility for disaster assistance programs. Documentation must begin with initial field response and continue throughout the operation as the disaster unfolds. These costs may include any debris removal and emergency response costs incurred. All should be documented for cost recovery purposes under the federal programs. The cost of compliance with building codes for new construction, repair, and restoration will also be documented.

After Action Reporting

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) regulations require any city or county declaring a local emergency for which the Governor proclaims a State of Emergency, to complete and transmit an After Action Report to OES within 90 days of the close of the incident. An After Action Report serves the following important functions:

  • Provides a source for documenting response and early recovery activities.
  • Identifies problems and successes during emergency operations.
  • Analyzes the effectiveness of different components of SEMS.
  • Describes and defines a plan of corrective action for implementing recommended improvements to existing emergency response efforts.

The After Action Report serves as a source for documenting the University’s emergency response activities and identifying areas of concern and successes. For each incident, both for real-world events and drills/exercises, an After Action Report will be developed. Each Report will also be utilized to develop a work plan for implementing improvements and corrective actions. The Director of Campus Resilience will be responsible for the completion of the After Action Report.

Emergency Services

For emergencies, call (415) 422-2911 or extension 2911 from any on-campus phone. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact Info

Department of Public Safety

CLOSED temporarily, until further safety updates are issued by the city and county of San Francisco

Administrative Office
University Center 5th Floor
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

(415) 422-4222 (415) 666-3323