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Crisis Management Plan

All crises and emergencies at Penn are managed under the administrative framework prescribed in the University of Pennsylvania Crisis Management Plan (CMP). The Division of Public Safety (DPS) is the lead agency for maintaining the plan, recommending revisions to the plan and exercising the CMP with all schools, centers and divisions.

The CMP establishes a two-tiered structure for managing emergency situations. At the highest level, the Crisis Management Team (CMT) is the policy group. The CMT makes policy decisions and holds ultimate responsibility for decisions involving communications, evacuation, University closings and business logistics and normalization. The CMT, comprising members of Penn’s senior administration, is directed by the President, and chaired by the Provost and Executive Vice President.

The second-tier includes the Incident Management Team (IMT). The IMT is the operations group and coordinates all operational responses to the emergency. The IMT establishes an Emergency Operations Center, comprising representatives of all relevant emergency response entities, such as DPS, Facilities and Environmental Health & Radiation Safety. The IMT operates under an incident command system composed of emergency personnel as needed.

The CMP outlines responsibilities of the CMT members and of the organizations comprising the IMT, and sets forth communications chains to be employed as necessary. Under the CMP, the Division of Public Safety and other agencies at Penn employ a functional system of command, control, communications and coordination that allow all schools and centers to operate in unison to prepare for, respond to and recover from any crisis incident that impacts the Penn community. This functional system operates by allowing the Incident Commander, as the leader of the IMT, to develop strategies to manage a crisis incident by using an ‘all-hazards’ approach that standardizes the operational response of the University across any type of crisis incident that could evolve.

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