Handbook of Operating Procedures

Emergency Management and Business Continuity Plans

Policy Number: 141


Emergency management and business continuity plans


Employees and students

Date Reviewed:
February 2014
Responsible Office:
Environmental Health and Safety; Finance and Administration
Responsible Executive:
Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer


This policy defines the responsibilities of personnel and departments to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies, disasters, or interruptions to normal operations at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”). The policy assigns responsibility and action items to university employees.

Employees, students, residents, volunteers, observers, visitors and patients are to adhere to instructions provided during an emergency such as evacuation procedures and controlled access limitations.

Procedures to protect life, property, the environment, and the continuity of business operations at the university are detailed in the Emergency Management Plan (“EMP”) and the Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”). The EMP is designed to address preparedness and response activities, while the BCP addresses measures for ensuring continuity of operations after emergencies occur.


Emergency: A sudden disruption to normal operations which requires immediate action to protect life, property, or the environment, and/or restore normal operations.

Essential Personnel: Essential employees are those designated by their department heads as essential to the continued performance of their department for the protection of university assets during an emergency. Essential employees will be required to report to their designated work site even when the university has issued a controlled access status due to adverse conditions. Essential personnel are comprised of two categories:

Category 1: Executive Control Team members; Advisory Call personnel; Environmental Health & Safety (“EH&S”) personnel; Facilities, Planning, and Engineering personnel; The University of Texas Police - Houston ("UTP-H"); Information Technology personnel; Office of Advancement personnel; Auxiliary Enterprises Maintenance staff; and Animal Care personnel.

Category 2: Departmental personnel who will be the last to leave their area during an evacuation, and the first to reenter when the facility is cleared. Category 2 personnel are responsible for securing property (i.e., controlled substances, placing perishables in refrigerators, turning off equipment, covering sensitive property, etc.) prior to evacuation.

Controlled access: A state of limited access to university facilities declared by the Executive Control Team during which only essential personnel will have uncontrolled access to institutional buildings or areas. Non-essential personnel may gain access to facilities based on safety conditions within the facility and need to follow any established procedures including signing in and out at the designated check points.

Executive Control Team: Team of executive administrators with institutional authority in times of emergencies. Members of the team include the President, Senior Executive Vice President Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer, Vice President of Facilities, Planning, and Engineering, and the Chief of UTP-H.


EH&S shall develop and maintain the institutional Emergency Management Plan. The EMP shall be updated at least annually.

Finance and Administration in conjunction with EH&S shall develop and maintain a Business Continuity Plan. The BCP shall be updated at least annually.

Information Technology (“IT”) shall develop and maintain a dedicated Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan.

UTP-H remains responsible for security and law enforcement procedures during an emergency. All institutional emergencies shall be immediately reported to UTP-H.

A drill to test the EMP and BCP shall be conducted at least annually.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Control Team to activate a controlled access situation. Only Category 1 essential personnel will be granted unescorted access to university facilities during periods of controlled access. Other individuals may be granted entry into the university on a case by case basis. These individuals must check in and out at designated check points.

All departments are required to develop and maintain a written departmental emergency management plan and business continuity plan to address the department’s specific needs outside of the context of the larger university plans. Departmental plans shall be reviewed and updated as necessary or at least annually. Guidelines for developing departmental emergency management plans can be located on EH&S’ emergency procedures webpage, while BCP worksheets can be found on the Risk Management & Insurance webpage in the last section of the page. Departmental plans must be consistent with the university EMP and BCP and shall not conflict with university plans.

The university will comply with all local, state and federal mandates and orders during emergencies such as mandatory evacuations. The university emergency management plan shall be consistent with the National Incident Management System. The Incident Command System shall be used as necessary during emergency situations.

All employees are required to familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities during an emergency.


ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Environmental Health & Safety 713-500-8100


Finance and Administration 713-500-4952 https://inside.uth.edu/financialresources/contact-us.htm