Independent Minds, Working Together

Emergency Action Protocol

The safety of students and staff is an essential priority for The College of Wooster. It is thus necessary to put in place response measures that will be useful in dealing with crises and emergencies that may impact the safety and security of Wooster staff and students while off campus. The following plan is designed to give a general outline for emergency response; The College of Wooster emergency response team will advise as to specific action in the event of an off-campus crisis or emergency.

I – Goals

  1. Have a plan in place that will help to assure the safety and security of students and staff when crises or emergencies occur while off-campus.
  2. Reassure The College of Wooster constituency, including parents and students, that The College is as prepared as possible to manage crises and emergencies that may develop off campus.
  3. Take steps to assure communication amongst The College of Wooster community in times of crisis off campus.

II – Communication

The following parties should be contacted in a crisis or emergency situation:

  • Director of Off-Campus Studies
  • Program Leaders and/or Third-Party Program Providers
  • The College’s Off-Campus Study Insurance Provider (HTH*)

* Some students may have a different insurance plan. This information can be found in their Off-Campus Study file located in the office of Off-Campus Studies.

III – Responsibilities of On-Campus Emergency Response Team

  • Consultation in times of crisis and emergency in regards to suspension of a program, evacuation,etc.
  • Communication with parents and greater College community.

IV – Responsibilities of Director of Off-Campus Studies

  • Contact appropriate parties on campus as necessary, including the Dean of Students.
  • Contact parents as necessary.
  • Prepare students and staff by informing them before departure of crisis and emergency action plans and protocol and emergency contact information.
  • Prepare and regularly revise administrative policy in regards to crisis and emergency preparedness and response.

V – Program Evacuation

A. The decision to evacuate a program should be based on information obtained from:

  • Program Leaders, host institution contacts, program providers
  • Department of State Travel Advisories
  • US Embassy/Consulate Warden Messages
  • Local contacts in host country (U.S. Agencies, NGOs, etc.)
  • Reliable media sources (CNN, etc.)

B. Procedure for evacuation

  • Locate all students and instruct them to be reachable at all times and not to travel independently.
  • Discuss means of evacuation with embassy/consulate in country as well as State Department.
  • Departure should occur within 72 hours of decision to evacuate (as far as possible).
  • Students and faculty should leave as a group (as far as possible).
  • Parents and appropriate parties should be informed about evacuation through the Dean of Student’s office or the Off-Campus Studies office.
  • Public statements should be made through the Public Information office.
  • Director of Off-Campus Studies will keep detailed log of events.
  • Director of Off-Campus Studies will manage arrangements for returning students in regards to housing and study.

VI – Health-related and Other Emergencies for Individual Students

In the case of a serious illness, death, arrest or other serious event involving an individual student, the Director of Off-Campus Studies will inform the appropriate parties according to the situation and current privacy laws, and in accordance with the signed FERPA Release:

  • Dean of Students and Dean of Curriculum and Academic Engagement
  • Parents
  • Student Wellness Center
  • Insurance Provider(s)
  • College Crisis Response Team