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NMSU Emergency Plans Policy (NMSU Policy Manual Sept 18, 2007)

NMSU Emergency Plans Policy (final draft)

All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan (AHEOP)

Each component of the New Mexico State University System shall maintain an “All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan” to guide responders, administration, and the community during emergency situations. As part of this plan, each component of NMSU is an active participant in local, regional, and state plans, and the National Incident Management System is the model for command and communications to be utilized. The NMSU Las Cruces AHEOP can be accessed at , as well as through the NMSU Police Department and Environmental Health & Safety. This model plan shall serve as a guide to other system components for the types of planning and documentation required for their AHEOP.

The authority for the Plan is granted to the Board of Regents of New Mexico State University by the New Mexico Constitution (Article XII, Section 13) and state statute (21-8-3 NMSA 1978 et seq.). The Regents have delegated the authority to manage the daily operations of the university (to include management of emergencies) to the President of NMSU, who has in turn authorized personnel in certain departments to take those actions necessary for mitigating, preventing, preparing, responding, and recovering to/from emergencies and disasters.

The President shall approve and sign each components AHEOP. Prior to signature each AHEOP shall be reviewed by all appropriate parties. At a minimum these plans shall be reviewed by the following.

  • Central Administration Response Team
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • NMSU Fire and Emergency Services Department
  • Local fire department for components
  • Information and Communications Technologies
  • NMSU Police Department
  • Local police department for components
  • University Communications

At a minimum, each component shall insure their specific plan is reviewed every two years. Any substantive changes made to the plan require approval by the President. Appendices are considered working documents and do not need to be re-approved when changed, as they are expected to be changed regularly in order to be kept up-to-date.

Unit / Department Level Emergency Planning

Each department or unit should engage in emergency planning in order to protect their human and physical resources to the fullest extent possible. Such local planning effort is required under each components AHEOP. Such plans should include the following.

  • Unit-Level Emergency Action Plan (EAP): The EAP is intended to address response of unit-level personnel to hazards such as natural disasters, fires, hazardous material spills, and active shooters. The goal of this plan is to get unit-level personnel and those in the area (to include students and visitors) to safety as quickly as possible. They are not intended to address actual response to the threats presented by said hazards. A component of all plans must be notification of emergency response personnel and communication within the unit. (see guidance and example on NMSU Safety website at
  • Lines of Succession: All units shall maintain a listing of who is in charge, along with a line of succession of 2 additional people. Contact information for said individuals must be readily available, and the line of succession and contact information shall be communicated within each unit and to the next level of supervision.
  • Contact and Communications: These plans identify the mechanism to be used for contacting unit personnel in the event a disaster takes place outside of business hours. This may include use of telephone trees, e-mail, personal visits to homes, etc. (NOTE: Communication during an emergency should be addressed within the Unit-Level Emergency Action Plan.)
  • Continuity of Operations: The Continuity of Operation Plan (CoOP) identifies the key missions carried out by the unit, and identifies mechanisms for continuing to meet/achieve them during or after a disaster. These plans should include information necessary to operate in a variety of circumstances, such as from a remote site, without electricity, without computer connections, etc. Paper forms, electronic forms, databases, spreadsheets, and similar information that support the plan should be maintained/stored off-site for use during a disaster. A number of possibilities exist for these purposes, such as “trading” space with other departments located in other parts of the campus. (Template and guides are at

Assistance in developing these plans is available from Environmental Health & Safety and from the NMSU Police Department for any NMSU facilities in the state. Unit/Department level plans should be reviewed and updated annually, or more frequently when critical information changes.

NMSU Las Cruces - Location Specific Plans

NMSU Las Cruces is an active part of the Dona Ana County/City of Las Cruces emergency plans and regularly participates in emergency planning and response. For NMSU Las Cruces and portions of Dona Ana Community College, the NMSU Chief of Police and NMSU Chief of Fire and Emergency Services (and their respective delegates) are responsible for acting as the incident commander on the scene of disasters and emergencies. They are authorized to conduct evacuations, shelter in place, close buildings, block roads, and take other such actions as are necessary for the immediate preservation of life and property. They may also request mutual aide pursuant to written agreements with other agencies without the need for a presidential declaration. In addition, they are authorized to activate the Central Administration Response Team and the Dona Ana County/City of Las Cruces Emergency Operations Center in support of their emergency operations.

The public safety entities at NMSU Las Cruces are also expected to maintain policies, procedures, and guideline manuals for their personnel that provide proper guidance in both daily and emergency situations.

Coordination with Local Emergency Service Agencies

In Dona Ana County there are resources internal to NMSU that provide police, fire, and medical command and control of incidents. However, NMSU components outside Dona Ana county are dependent upon the local jurisdiction for fire, police and emergency medical services for at least initial response. Managers of those facilities are responsible for coordinating emergency plans and responses with those entities having jurisdiction in their location. For facilities outside Doña Ana County, it is incumbent upon administration of those facilities to notify central administration of any emergencies that take place as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. In no way should such notification delay requests for help from the local jurisdiction via 911 calls or other pre-arranged mechanisms. For any criminal activity, notification to the NMSU Police Department should also be made so the department can coordinate with the agency(ies) of primary jurisdiction on the investigation. As deemed appropriate, the NMSU Police Department may assign personnel to handle criminal investigations taking place on NMSU property anywhere within the State of New Mexico.

NMSU System Command and Control of Emergency Situations

The President of NMSU is authorized to declare a state of emergency and/or a disaster at NMSU or any of its components, sections or divisions as is deemed appropriate. Such a declaration shall invoke all agreements and plans (to include local City and County All Hazards Plans and/or the State of New Mexico All Hazards Plan) necessary and appropriate for resolving the pending crisis. When the President is not available, the line of succession for said office shall be followed, with all such individuals having the authority to declare a disaster or emergency in the absence of the President.

For each component’s campuses or facilities, the person in charge of such facility has full authority to take those actions necessary to preserve life during an emergency, to include evacuation of buildings and requesting assistance from local public safety agencies without need to first obtain authorization, however, the President must be notified immediately. Formal declarations of emergency must still come from the President or his/her designee.

Each Component of the NMSU system shall identify a core group of administrators and resource personnel to assist in long-term management (consequence and recovery) of emergencies.

The NMSU System and NMSU Las Cruces CART is established as defined below. Any member of the Central Administration Response Team (CART) is capable of calling the CART together when deemed necessary. The CART consists of three teams of designated representatives for the following positions:

NMSU System CART Command:

  • President
  • Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Senior Vice President for Business, Finance, and Human Relations
  • Senior Vice President for Planning, Physical Resources, and University Relations
  • Associate Vice President for University Communications & Marketing Services

NMSU System CART Operations:

  • Director of Human Resource Services
  • University General Counsel
  • Regents’ Chief of Staff
  • Senior Assistant to the President
  • Vice President for Student Services
  • Vice President for University Advancement
  • Director of Purchasing and Risk Management
  • Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services
  • Vice President for Planning and Information Technology

NMSU System CART Resources:

  • NMSU Police Department
  • Fire and Emergency Services
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Facilities Operations and Utilities
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • News and Media Relations
  • Health Services (student and employee)
  • Counseling Services

Pdf format available at

Posted by David Shearer
Environmental Health and Safety
New Mexico State University,
Las Cruces, NM

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