Emergency Preparedness Plan

Emergency Preparedness Plan ~ Horn Point Laboratory ~  2016


This plan summarizes the actions that will be taken in preparation for and in response to emergencies impacting the regular operations of the laboratory. This plan will focus on the protection of individuals, facilities, information technology security and infrastructure, business functions, and academic and research continuity. Emergencies that could impact the lab include: a severe storm, tornado, flood, hurricane, a chemical spill, nuclear power plant emergency, health problem, fire, or acts of violence on campus.

This plan addresses the outline by the Board of Regents’ Policy on Campus Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response VI-13.00 (BORVI-13.00).

Basic Standards for Institutional Emergency Preparedness Plans include:

Organization and Coordination (BOR VI-13.01A1)

The Director of Horn Point Laboratory has appointed the Assistant Director for Facilities (ADF) to be responsible for overseeing and implementing the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP). The lines of authority during any emergency can be found in Appendix VI. These lines of authority are based on principles of the Incident Command Systems (ICS) and the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS). Four individuals from the faculty and staff have been appointed by the Director to the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC). Phone numbers for each member of the Disaster Management Committee are found in Appendix I of this report. The EPC will meet annually every March to review and update the current plan. Coordination with the local 911 emergency responders and the Dorchester County Emergency Management Agency will be used in case of a serious incident or major disaster. These and other State and Federal emergency contact numbers are listed in Attachment 2. A Multi Disciplinary Behavioral Assessment Team is currently being developed by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Human Resources. This Team will review reports and take appropriate action on potentially distressed or disturbed members of the campus community, including students, staff and faculty.

Risk Assessment and Planning

The EPC will perform an annual risk assessment that reviews a comprehensive range of threats, including natural disasters, hazardous materials, violence, and pandemic diseases. The risk assessment will identify the top hazards faced by campus and those that could result in a significant loss of life.

The level of emergency response and management can occur with varying degrees of severity. The response classifications parallels the definitions used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Maryland Emergency Management Agency. This facilitates a clear understanding of the severity of an emergency and necessary response by all potential respondents.

Level I response would have limited disruption of operations or services. There could be limited or no evacuation required. This small scale incident could be due to a small hazardous material spill that requires limited response from Safety and possibly Facilities Management (FM). It may or may not involve additional outside emergency response.  Injury to faculty, students, staff and/or visitors would be possible.

Level II response would have intermediate disruption of operations or services. This could involve the evacuation of an entire floor or evacuation of an entire building due to a hazardous materials spill or fire. It would involve Safety and FM plus additional resources from local emergency response units. Injury to faculty, students, staff and/or visitors would be possible.

Level III response would involve a major, long term, or complete disruption of operations or services. This would require multiple buildings or the entire campus to be evacuated. It would involve Safety, FM and multiple outside emergency response agencies. Injury to and/or death of faculty, students, staff and/or visitors would be likely.

Emergency Procedures:

While there may be a number of similarities in the nature of emergencies, each will have additional problems related to that event and will be discussed individually below with their related mitigation actions.

Hazardous Materials

If you work with hazardous materials you should be trained on the proper use and storage of hazardous materials.  Your supervisor should review the proper procedures for preventing spills, and emergency procedures if a spill happens. 

If the spill is not life threatening but you are not comfortable or properly trained to clean up the spill contact the Safety Officer.  If you are properly trained and have the appropriate protective equipment to clean up the spill follow the proper clean up procedures.  If you are not properly trained, and/or do not have the appropriate protective equipment, contact the Safety Officer.  Contact the Safety Officer to manage the waste properly. 

If the spill of hazardous material is possibly life threatening, evacuate the spill site, warn others to stay out of the area, and proceed to a safe location nearby.  Contact the Safety Officer and the Facilities Manager.  Post signs if necessary to stay out. 

Appendix III contains a list of the main locations of hazardous materials on campus.

Radioactive spills

If you will be working with radioactive materials you need to be approved by the University of Maryland Radiation Safety Committee prior to possession or use of radioactive materials.  Contact the Assistant Radiation Safety Officer (ARSO) for information. 

If the spill is minor and there is no immediate hazard to personnel, alert the personnel in the area.  If you are an experienced user of radioactive material (RAM), confine the spill, clean up the spill, decontaminate the area, and record it in the wipe log.  Notify the ARSO.  If you are not an experienced user or it is a major spill, then contact your supervisor and the ARSO after evacuating the room and warning others to stay out. 


Sound the alarm - If you discover or suspect a fire proceed in the opposite direction and pull the closes fire alarm.  On your way out of the building warn others that this is not a drill but real.  The fire alarm systems reports to a Central Monitoring Station which dispatches the fire department immediately.

Leave the building - All personnel and guests should immediately exit the building at the first sound of a fire alarm.  If you know of someone with a disability in the building, assist them safely outside with everyone else.  Close windows and doors on the way out. You should never use and elevator to evacuate during an emergency.  Once outside, try to stay near the other occupants of the building to permit a check on who might still be inside. Such groups should stay at least as far from the building as the building is tall.

Feel the door before opening -If you have to open any interior doors to exit, feel the metal doorknob to see if it is hot.  If it is hot, do not open the door.  If it is cool open it slightly and if heat or smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room. 

If you get trapped -If you get trapped keep the doors closed and seal cracks and vents to keep the smoke out.  If there is no smoke outside open the windows.  Hang an object in the window to attract attention of the fire department.  If you have a phone dial 911 and report that you are trapped and provide the room number and other information the operator asks you for.  If your clothes catch on fire - STOP, DROP, and ROLL to smother the flames.

Fire extinguishers – Fire extinguishers are place throughout the buildings in accordance with the requirements.  Employees are not expected to fight fires, just get out of the building safely.  Employees trained in the use of fire extinguishers may voluntarily choose to extinguish only very small fires.  Fires bigger than a trash can are considered too large to use an extinguisher on, just evacuate the building.  If the extinguisher does not put out the fire, leave the building immediately.

All staff contemplating work with flammables should first check with the Safety Office to learn the recommended procedures. The container size of flammable chemicals should not exceed 5 gallons. The total volume of all flammable chemicals should not exceed 40 gallons in the laboratory. If you are filling gasoline cans, place the can on the ground before and during refueling. Touch the can with the gas dispenser nozzle and keep the nozzle in contact with the can inlet to prevent a spark from static electricity.

All fire alarm devices will be tested every six months and sprinkler systems tested annually.  Any person desiring to interrupt service to any fire protection or alarm system must obtain the Facilities Manager or the Safety Officer. 

Health Emergencies

Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) – AED’s are located in the Coastal Science Building by the bathrooms in the lobby and in the Aquaculture Restoration Ecology Lab on the first floor by the doors to the machine room.  Certain individuals are trained in their use, but these units are designed to be used by anyone in the event of an emergency.  If someone has a heart attack, initiate the following emergency procedures:

  • Check the victim for breathing and heartbeat
  • Have someone call 911
  • Obtain an AED
  • Follow directions on the device.

Communicable Disease Management - In the event of a communicable disease event the Safety Officer will seek guidance from the local and state health departments, as well as the Center for Disease Control.  An educational segment will be placed on the website by the Safety Officer reminding staff of appropriate hygienic measures to be taken by each employee.  Communicable diseases are defined as those that can be transmitted from one human to another and include tuberculosis, meningitis, chicken pox, SARS, and others.  During any epidemic, faculty, students, and staff should not attempt to come to work if they are not well.  Increased efforts will be made by the housekeeping staff to maintain the premises to prevent transmission of the disease.  The University of Maryland and UMCES’ pandemic flu emergency plan should be consulted for further information (www.umces.edu/policies).


The Dorchester County Emergency Management Agency will contact the Safety Officer when there is a severe weather alert and the Safety Officer will initiate, the E-2 Communication system.

Inclement Weather – To check for closings, and lab delays in case of inclement weather:

  • Call 410 228 8200, 410 476 5400, or 410 883 3021
  • Check the HPL website
  • Tune radio to WSCL (89.5), WCEI (96.7), or WCEM (106.3)

Hurricane - Hurricanes are one disaster that usually gives adequate warning.  A “watch” means the storm is possible within 36 hours.  A “warning” means the storm is expected within 24 hours and you may be told to evacuate.  A “warning” provides detailed information on specific hurricane threats (like flash floods and tornados).  A Category 1 hurricane, for example, is predicted to flood 51% of Dorchester County.  Horn Point however, is located on higher ground and shouldn’t flood but, it may be difficult to access the lab due to high water.  Preparations should include moving outdoor items indoors if possible, tying down items which might blow into windows, moving research equipment into areas unlikely to flood, securing hazardous materials, shutting down experiments likely to be damaged by loss of electricity, and other measures determined by the Facilities Manager.  Supervisors should review and remind staff of the communications paths they may use and review the telephone numbers of all staff and update as necessary.  During and following the hurricane, non-essential staff should check for information on the internet site or call the telephone number where messages are recorded for access (410-228-8200).  The e2Campus u-Alert system will also keep everyone informed.

Tornado - Very little notice is usually given for a tornado and damage can be severe.  Tornadoes can last for several seconds or more than an hour, but most last less than 10 minutes.  A waterspout is a tornado over water but isn’t recorded until it hits land.  A tornado “watch” means a tornado is possible.  A tornado “warning’ means a tornado has been sighted and to take shelter quickly.  Individuals in a building should stay inside and seek shelter in place in an interior room without outside walls or windows and on the lowest level of the building.  The recommended shelter site for Center Administration is the basement.  For the Coastal Science Building go to the bathrooms or the kitchen and close the doors.  The interior labs in Coastal Science are not recommended due to the storage of hazardous chemicals.  For the Morris Marine Building go to the center block of offices, and close the doors. The AREL Building personnel should go to the first floor restrooms (rooms 118 and 119). The Integration and Application Network (IAN) building personnel should go to the Center Administration basement. Those in the dorm should go to the basement.  Maintenance should go to the carpentry or paint shop area.  Anyone in Environmental Ed should go the inner most room and close the doors.

Individuals who are outside should try to seek shelter indoors.  If you cannot get indoors go to a protected or safe area away from buildings, windows, glass, telephone or light poles or any place where there could be falling debris.  A low area such as a ditch or ravine or other similar depression works well.  Lie face down and cover your head and face. After the tornado has passed be careful removing debris that has fallen around you.  Call 911 if you or anyone else has been injured.

Flood - Horn Point Laboratory is situated on one of the highest points in Dorchester County. However, staff should keep this fact in mind as access into and out of the laboratory may not be possible even though the laboratory itself is not damaged by flood waters.  If road signs, barricades, or cones are placed in areas – OBEY THEM.  DO NOT drive around barricades… find another way.  Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet and 2 feet of water can float a car.

If flooding is expected, move electronics, files and hazardous materials off the floor to a higher safer area. Shut off non-essential equipment. Floods in the past have been the result of hurricanes or breakage of lines delivering water to research spaces.  Avoid flood waters since they may be contaminated by hazardous materials, sewage, oil, gasoline or may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.  Watch out for snakes and other wildlife in areas that are flooded.  Throw away food that has come into contact with flood waters.  Wait for officials to advise when water is safe to drink.  Wash hands often with “clean” water and soap since flood water are full of germs.  The best thing to use for cleaning up flooded areas is household bleach. 

Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies

Horn Point Laboratory is not within the siren radius of the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. We are, however, in the possible path of a radioactive cloud. Should such an emergency develop, tune to WCEI 1460AM or 96.7 FM in Easton or WCEM 1240 AM or 106.3 FM in Cambridge. Follow the instructions you receive from this station.  If advised to evacuate the area, you will be given the safe direction to aim for and what routes to take. . Stay calm.  Before evacuating, close windows and doors, turn off air conditioner, fans, furnace, close fireplace damper and take your emergency kit containing batteries, radio, food and water, essential medicines and cash and credit cards.

If you are advised to remain in place:

  • Bring pets indoors
  • Close and lock windows and doors,
  • Turn off heating or cooling systems,
  • Go to the basement if available,
  • Stay inside until authorities say it is safe.


In the case of perceived threat or actual violence on campus, the individual recognizing the serious possibility of an event or witnessing the event should leave the scene, call 911, and then wait in a safe area until the Dorchester Sheriff‘s Department arrives in order to describe the situation to the responding officer. The sheriff’s department is only minutes from campus allowing a quick response.  The e2Campus u-Alert system will also keep everyone informed

Each incident should be reported as soon as possible to the Director who will confer with Human Resource Director and other members of the Behavioral Assessment Team.  In the absence of the Director, staff should call Human Resources (ext. 2018).  Center Administration shall have primary responsibility for convening the assessment team, assessing events and recommending appropriate actions.

Injury Reporting - If a work related injury occurs that requires 911 or medical treatment timely reporting of the injury will ensure that the employee gets proper treatment, medical bills are paid and employee is properly compensated for lost time.  Every effort should be made to report the injury within 24 hours of the occurrence.  An Incident Report Form will need to be completed by the injured party or their supervisor. 

Campus Police

Horn Point Laboratory does not have a Campus Police force.  The campus is within 5 minutes of response time from the Sheriff’s Department and the Local Police.  A select group of Graduate Students do rounds. During rounds they go through all the buildings checking for any problems.  As they move between buildings on campus they are vigilant for anything suspicious.  On weekdays, the rounds are done once between the hours of 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM. On weekends they are done between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM.  During holidays the Maintenance person on call does rounds between 8:00 AM and 10:00 PM.  If, during rounds, anything suspicious is identified they will contact the appropriate person or agency.  This helps keep a “neighborhood watch” on campus and helps avert problems that could become quite serious. 

Continuity of Operations

Efforts have been made to minimize the effects of emergencies on daily operations. The Information Technology Disaster Recovery and Data Backup Policy are in place to provide for the continuity, restoration and recovery of critical data and systems.  Critical data is backed up periodically and copies maintained at an off-site location.  This is a continuity plan for critical assets that provides information on recurring backup procedures, and also recovery procedures from both natural and man-made disasters.

Human Resource data, Accounting Records and Grant Records are updated daily and sent to an off-site location.  The facility has the option to store data in a recoverable database well.  Contact the IT Department if you have questions regarding this.  In addition, each employee of Horn Point Laboratory is urged to convert from paper paychecks to direct deposit to ensure they will be paid during a laboratory closing.

If there has been damage to building(s) on campus, Facilities Management and Safety will assess the damage and make decisions on the safety of the building(s).  A determination on how and when the building(s) will be used, repaired, and reopened will then be made. 

For the EPP to be complete, critical research groups must develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).  Each SOP will become part of this plan by reference.  These SOP’s will contain identified personnel lists with contact numbers, procedures for disaster assignments, and resource lists (Appendix IV).  These SOP’s will be submitted annually to the EPC the beginning of each calendar year to be incorporated into the annual report submitted in March of each year. 

The following conditions will also help in the continuity of operations:  

  • Each supervisor (faculty members, office managers, maintenance managers) shall design and retain a “telephone tree” enabling quick contact with their direct reports to ensure continuity of business, academic, and research programs.
  • Each supervisor should advise each of their employees whether or not they are identified as “essential employees” for a disaster and to be on standby should an incident occur. 

The list shall be updated annually by each supervisor and sent to the Emergency Preparedness Committee before their annual meeting in March.

Emergency Preparedness and Prevention

The EPC is responsible for developing and providing all training required under NIMS regulations.  The faculty is responsible for ensuring that their students and staff are familiar with and knowledgeable their SOP’s. Annual testing of the EPP will occur through the EPC.  This will include either an annual Table Top Exercise or a full scale Simulation Exercise with outside agencies.  Priority will be given to the top hazards faced by HPL including but not limited to fire, hazardous material, bio-safety, hurricane, or tornado.  These exercises help prepare HPL in the event of an actual emergency.  Fire alarm drills/evacuation drills will occur annually for the campus.  The ICS will be reviewed annually by the EPC.  Key personnel lists will be updated annually and their duties reviewed.

In the event of an emergency, the campus will be notified by using the E-2 Campus U-Alert system which will be in place by April 2011.  E-2 Campus U-Alert will broadcast time-sensitive messages to students, faculty, staff, visitors, families, Board of Regents, first responders, and others – wherever they are located.  E-2 Campus instantly and simultaneously sends redundant communications to a subscriber’s mobile phone (via SMS text message), Blackberry, smart phone, wireless PDA, pager, traditional phones (voice messages), desktop alerts, as well as existing infrastructure such as digital signage e-mail account, and relevant web pages. 

The e2Campus Alert system will also be used for communications after an incident to provide updates.  The second alert wave could also include signs posted at building entrances and/or safety personnel.  The UMCES Director of Communications and Marketing (DCM) will be responsible for communicating with the surrounding communities, and the media in the case of an emergency incident.  The DCM will serve as the conduit for information on campus and off campus during a campus emergency using the E-2 Campus Alert System .  In consultation with the EPC, he/she will coordinate all news releases, interviews, and information dissemination concerning the emergency.

Training on appropriate information sharing related to distressed or disturbed members of the campus community will be addressed by the Multi Disciplinary Behavioral Assessment Team with is currently being developed by UMCES Human Resources.

Emergency Operation Center

The Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for use in response to specific emergencies could vary depending on the location of the type of incident, location on campus, and/or prevailing wind.  Following first news of a problem, the EPC will confer by cell phone, e-mail, telephone, etc., along with the Director, to choose a site for planning for the continuity of operations, depending on locations that are accessible.  This decision will be made by the Assistant Director of Facilities who is the Incident Commander on site.  The following are the potential locations:

  • Coastal Science, Building #386
  • Aquaculture Restoration and Ecology Lab, Building #399
  • Maintenance, Building #381

Organization and Coordination

Horn Point Lab (HPL) holds a bi-annual meeting with all local fire companies, police and other emergency responders for a discussion of new developments, tour of the laboratory and receipt of their suggestions on how the make their work more effective should they be called to Horn Point.  Since Horn Point will be interacting with the local emergency responders bi-annually they do not require a written plan to be in place.  These organizations are listed in Appendix II. 

HPL has established an MOU with Salisbury University and a local real estate agent (Henry Hanna).  These coordinated relationships will help to provide space for critical research, academic, and business operations should a disaster destroy a building making it inoperable for a period of time (Appendix VII and VIII). 



Incident Command System

Emergency Response Levels

Emergencies can occur with varying degrees of severity that requires different levels of response and management. The following chart summarizes the levels of emergencies and types of response that may be required.



Appendix I
Important Phone Numbers

Disaster Management Committee                  Other (after hours 410-221-8300)

Jeff Miley                                                          Amy Pelsinsky
Assistant Director for Facilities                            Communications & Marketing
Office:  410-221-8464                                       Office: 443-330-1389                   
Cell:  443-783-2393                                                        

Kurt Florez                                                         Lisa Ross                      
IT Director                                                         Human Resources
Office:  410-221-8374                                        Office:  410-221-2017

Sherry Pike-Saville                                             Dorchester County Emergency Management                 
Environmental Safety Compliance Officer &          410-228-1818                          
Assistant Radiation Safety Officer                                        
Office:  410-221-8441                                                                    
Cell:  410-330-0737                                                                

Liz Freedlander                                                                   
Development Director                                                       
Office   410-221-8433                                                    
Cell:  410-829-9913

Tom Fisher                                                                           
Office:  410-221-8432                                        

Ex-Officio:  Mike Roman
Office:  410-221-8425
Cell:  410-330-4833

Building Contacts

Coastal Science Building                                         Center Administration

        Jamie Shockley-Parks  410-221-8335                         Dottie Samonisky  410-221-2005
        Maureen Johnson  410-221-8457                               Lori Stepp  410-221-2001

Morris Marine Lab                                                   Integration and Application Network (IAN)  

       Anne Gauzens  410-221-8283                                     Jane Thomas   410-221-2046
Meg Maddox   410-221-8375                                                  

Aquaculture Restoration Ecology Lab                     Dorm

        Bear Kampmeyer 410-221-8384                                 Dorm Liason   TBA
        Ralph Kimes      410-221-8486                                      
        Gordy Dawson   410-221-8485                                             
 Environmental Education                                       Maintenance Department           

        Liz Freedlander   410-221-8433                                  Diana Parnell    410-221-8334             


Appendix II

Government Contacts for Disaster Reporting

Dorchester County Emergency Management Agency
829 Fieldcrest Rd
Cambridge, MD   21613
Voice:  410 228 1818
Fax: 410 228 1216

Rescue Fire Department
8 Washington St
Cambridge, MD  21613
410 228 1670

Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff James W. Phillips Jr.
829 Fieldcrest Rd
Cambridge, MD  21613
Voice: 410 228 4141
Fax: 410 228 9869

Neck District Fire Department
954 Cooks Point Rd
Cambridge, MD 21613-3262
Voice:  (410) 228-2434

Dorchester County Health Department
3 Cedar St
Cambridge, MD  21613
Voice:  410 228 3223
Fax:  410 228 9310

Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
1800 Washington Blvd
Baltimore, MD  21224
Voice:  410 537 3000

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA  30333
Voice:  404 639 3311

Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street S.W.
Washington, D.C.  20472
Voice:  1 800 621 FEMA (3362)
US EPA Region 3
1650 Arch St (3PM52)
Philadelphia, PA  19103-2029
Voice:  1 800 438 2474