OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
During the 2018 calendar year, the MSU Office of Emergency Management (OEM) focused on developing new polices and improving past procedures as they relate to emergency management in higher education. The OEM continued to build and foster working relationships with members from city, county, and state entities through joint committees and reestablishment of Mutual Aid Agreements (MAA). The importance of utilization of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and emergency management was further utilized into university event planning to improve overall safety of life, property and the environment.
In spring of 2018, Montana State University entered into a partnership with Gallatin County to produce a fortified and integrated emergency notification system powered by Everbridge. This partnership allows enhanced communications between MSU and Gallatin County during the time of a life-threatening emergency. Previously, MSU Alerts were only sent regarding issues within the immediate university property lines. The upgraded system now allows users to receive emergency notifications of events occurring within Gallatin County that could affect the MSU community.
In addition, the MSU Alert System upgrade automatically enrolls all students, faculty, and staff into the system. Members are given the opportunity to opt-out of emergency notifications if they choose. The local community, family, friends, and visitors are encouraged to opt in to receive emergency notifications by texting “montanastate” to 888-777.
The OEM convened the Emergency Management Committee (EMC) on a quarterly basis. The committee is comprised of several members representing various cross sections of the university. Current emergency management polices at the university were reviewed as well as incidents that occurred at other universities across the globe. Best practices and lessons learned from other incidents were reviewed by the committee. The EMC worked to implement updates to emergency management plans and to provide input on large campus events.
The OEM actively participated on the Unified Health Committee (UHC) and the All Hazards All Disciplines Committee (AHAD) at the county level. The UHC completed a Novel Flu Table Top Exercise (TTX) in Fall of 2018 to exercise the development of the Gallatin County Health
Annex. The AHAD worked to establish a Mass Casualty Incident Working groups and to prioritize county projects for Homeland Security Grant funding. The OEM participated in the Disasters and Emergency Services (DES) Committee at the state level. The DES focused on lessons learned from individual counties who had dealt with incidents in their jurisdictions and functioned as a way to build additional relationships across counties.
The OEM and University Police Department (UPD) worked in coordination to improve NIMS utilization for events hosted at the university. Event Action Plans (EAPs) were developed for events with a high number of patrons. EAPs provide a pre-planning opportunity to reduce the damage
to life, property and the environment should an incident occur. Incident Commands (ICs) were established prior to each large event, improving the process of incident stabilization and allowing increased communication amongst the appropriate entities.