Cornell University’s emergency management program is based on the framework of the four phases of emergency management: prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. All phases are highly interconnected; that is, each phase influences the other three phases. The cycle as a whole is an ongoing process, just as individual plans are dynamic documents that require continuous review.
Prevention is the action taken to decrease the likelihood that a disruptive incident or emergency will occur. Mitigation is the action taken to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage related to an event or crisis, particularly those that cannot be prevented.
The hazards the University is seeking to prevent, diminish, or mitigate are defined specifically through a process of hazards identification and risk assessment. In the assessment, campus representatives and community partners identify hazards that could cause risks and subsequently a crisis.
Cornell implements a variety of Prevention-Mitigation programs across campus, with an underlying goal of building a resilient community.
- Crime Prevention Program
- Fire and Life Safety Program
- Event Planning
- Occupational Health Program
- Occupational Safety Program
- Research Safety
- Mental Health Support
- Recreational Services Wellness Program
- Cornell Health Services
Preparedness takes the form of plans or procedures designed to save lives and to minimize damage when an incident occurs. Planning, training, and exercising are the essential elements of preparedness. These activities ensure that when a disaster strikes, emergency personnel will be able to provide the best response possible, and the community will be prepared.
Preparedness is not limited to the emergency response community. You should take steps to ensure that you are personally prepared for emergencies and disasters, both at work and home. Use our Preparedness Checklist to guide your activities.
The Preparedness phase designs and tests strategies, processes, and protocols to prepare the University for potential emergencies. The Office of Emergency Management support preparedness activities that include:
- Establishing an incident command system (ICS) consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for organizing personnel and services to respond in the event of an emergency.
- Cornell has identified key personnel who receive training on the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System.
- Developing all-hazard policies, procedures, and protocols with input from key community partners such as law enforcement, medical services, public health, fire services, and mental health.
- Collaborating with community partners to establish mutual aid agreements that will establish formal relationships among all the community response partners and emergency support services.
- Negotiating contracts that will provide the campus with resources (e.g., food, transportation, medical services, and volunteers) needed during an emergency.
- Assigning personnel to manage each ICS function and defining lines of succession in emergency plan as to who is in charge when key leaders are not available.
Preparedness exercises, such as drills and tabletop discussions, are used to test and validate our plans and procedures, and verify the integrity of supplies and equipment. Exercises help identify areas for improvement and corrective actions to improve our readiness. The Office of Emergency Management supports our campus response partners by facilitating emergency preparedness exercises.
Cornell University maintains a variety of emergency response programs and capabilities, all designed to support the campus community during times of crisis. The Cornell University Emergency Operations Plan provides the framework by which Cornell University will respond to and manage emergency incidents affecting the Cornell University Ithaca Campus.
The primary objectives of Emergency Operations Plan are to apply University and community resources to:
- Preserve human life
- Protect University research including animals and plants
- Protect University property and structures
- Protect the environment
- Facilitate continuity of academic and business operations
First responders from Cornell Police and Cornell Environmental Health and Safety are available at all times to respond to emergencies on the Cornell Ithaca campus. Report on-campus emergencies by calling 911 from an on campus telephone or (607)255-1111 from a cellular or off-campus telephone. You can also use any outdoor Blue Light phone (situated throughout campus) or indoor designated emergency phone to report a campus emergency. Just pick up the receiver or press the call button.
The Emergency Support Function (ESF) Annexes to the Emergency Operations Plan detail Cornell’s capabilities and services that can be utilized to respond to, manage, and recover from emergencies and incidents.
Emergency Support Function (ESF) Annexes
- ESF 1 Transportation
- ESF 2 Information Technologies
- ESF 3 Facilities Services
- ESF 4 Fire and Rescue Services
- ESF 5 Emergency Management
- ESF 6 Mass Care
- ESF 7 Procurement Services
- ESF 8 Health Services
- ESF 9 Emergency Medical Services
- ESF 10 Hazardous Materials Response
- ESF 11 Animal Care
- ESF 12 Utilities
- ESF 13 Law Enforcement and Security
- ESF 15 University Relations
- ESF 16 Incident Response Communications
- ESF 17 Personnel Management
- ESF 18 Student and Community Crisis Support
Continuity planning is used to improve university resiliency to academic and operational disruptions. Effective continuity planning identifies unit essential services and critical resources, and develops strategies for prioritizing and continuing essential services after a disruptive incident. Continuity planning supports university recovery objectives. The University Continuity of Operations Plan provides guidance for developing objectives and prioritizing essential services after a disruptive incident.
Whether for personal reasons (illness, family care, etc.) or broader situations (pandemic, severe weather, etc.), you may need to be able to conduct your work from remote locations. Human Resources has developed a remote work guide for departments and managers. CIT has also developed a guide for tools to work remotely.
Colleges, Divisions, and Departments can utilize Cornell’s web-based continuity planning software tool, called C-COOP, to develop continuity of operations plans. This software provides a central location to identify essential services and document continuity strategies for common disruptive incidents. C-COOP facilitates the development of continuity plans by supporting the identification of:
- Personnel – key unit leadership and orders of succession
- Essential Services – based on impact analysis, identify the unit’s most essential services
- Essential Resources – identify the unique space, specialized equipment, and technologies necessary to deliver the essential service
- Continuity Strategies – define essential service continuity strategies for common disruptions, such as loss of facility or reduced workforce.
The Office of Emergency Management provides stewardship of the C-COOP software tool for campus partners. For access or support regarding the C-COOP continuity planning software tool please contact the Office of Emergency Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.