Emergency Operations Plan

In the event of an emergency, the University has emergency response plans in place to ensure a coordinated and informed response. The Emergency Operations Plan provides policies and procedures for the coordination of communications within the University and between the University, the media, and the public in the event of an emergency. Emergencies may include fires, bomb threats, and acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or major crimes. The plan establishes guidelines for dealing with a variety of situations and to ensure that campus officials and communicators are familiar with those procedures and their roles in the event of a crisis. The plan is designed to be used in conjunction with the normal decision-making hierarchy of the University and does not supplant that decision-making process. Find more information on the Emergency Operations Plan.

Emergency response plans adopted by a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, a community college, or a public hospital as defined in G.S. 159‑39 and the records related to the planning and development of these emergency response plans are not public records as defined by G.S. 132-1 and shall not be subject to inspection and examination under G.S. 132-6. (2001-500, s. 3.1.)

Emergency Operations Plan Overview


The University of North Carolina Asheville Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) serves as an all-hazard emergency management guidance document. The EOP is built upon scalable, flexible, and adaptable coordinating systems to align key roles and responsibilities across the university when an emergency occurs.

The EOP procedures are designed to protect the lives of students, faculty, staff, and visitors and to protect University property through the effective use of University and community resources and personnel.

The plan describes both authorities and practices for managing and coordinating the response to incidents that range from the serious but purely isolated, to large-scale incidents and natural disasters.


The purpose of the UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to establish a comprehensive, all-hazards approach to managing disasters and emergencies at UNC Asheville across a spectrum of activities including preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

The Emergency Operations Plan establishes policies, procedures, and organizational structure for response to emergencies or disasters that may cause a significant disruption of the functions of all or portions of the University. The plan describes the duties, roles and responsibilities of University departments and individuals in a disaster or emergency, and outlines the roles of external emergency management individuals, departments, agencies, and volunteer organizations in the event of a disaster.

Because an emergency may occur with little or no warning, these procedures are designed to be flexible in order to accommodate contingencies of various types and magnitudes. Activation of the plan will reduce the vulnerability of people and property to disaster, and establish a means to respond effectively to actual disasters or threats of disaster.


The EOP is designed to address natural and technological hazards that could adversely affect the University. It covers the full range of complex and constantly changing requirements in anticipation of, or in response to, threats of actual disasters and emergencies. The UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Plan also provides the basis to initiate long-term recovery and mitigation activities.

The plan is applicable to all UNC Asheville departments and individuals that may be requested to provide assistance or conduct operations in the context of actual or potential emergencies or disasters at UNC Asheville. It describes the fundamental policies, strategies, and general concept of operations to be used to control the emergency or disaster from its onset through the recovery phase.

The EOP plan is modeled after the National Response Framework (NRF) and incorporates the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to facilitate coordination between responding departments and agencies. NIMS provides a national template that enables Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and private sector non-governmental organizations to work together effectively and efficiently.

UNC Asheville recognizes the importance of comprehensive all-hazards planning in response to both incidents and federal mandates. Implementation of this plan will require and engage extensive cooperation, collaboration, and information sharing across all UNC Asheville departments, as well as local and state agencies that will assist the University during major emergencies and disasters. The University will cooperate with federal, state, and local emergency management agencies and other responders in the development, implementation, and execution of emergency response plans.


The UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Plan is based on the foundations of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), Homeland Security Presidential Directive - 5 (HSPD-5), and Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes. Other guidance documents from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, and the University of North Carolina General Administration are also utilized.

The UNC Asheville Emergency Operations Plan may be used in conjunction with other emergency operation plans including local, state, and federal plans developed under these authorities as well as memorandums of understanding among various external public and private entities.

Pursuant to the authority contained in Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes and under the authority of the Chancellor of the University, the Emergency Operations Plan, its attachments, appendices, and annexes are adopted as policy.

The Director of Public Safety, functioning also as the University Chief of Police, is designated as the responsible official to coordinate, implement, and supervise emergency operations on behalf of the Chancellor and other Administrative Officers of the University. The Director of Public Safety is empowered to coordinate with other local, state, and federal emergency operations agencies in the event of disasters that may require implementation of this plan.

Each University administrator, department chair, director, and functional manager is directed to take the necessary actions to implement the EOP by developing written internal procedures that detail support required by the plan and then maintaining preparedness to put the plan into action. The University is further committed to carrying out the training, exercises, and plan maintenance needed to support the plan

The EOP supersedes all previous Emergency Operations Planning documents which have been incorporated in this plan.

Emergency Operations Plan Organization

The University of North Carolina Asheville (UNC Asheville) provides the Emergency Operations Plan as a guidance document for all-hazards emergency management. The document is established to replace the former plan.

The Emergency Operations Plan contains fundamental elements that follow the format of the National Response Framework, and many other institutions within the University of North Carolina system.

The Base Plan

The Base Plan describes the structure and process through an all-hazards planning approach, based on an emergency incident or disaster of any magnitude or geographic size. The Base Plan provides general guidance for primary University resources and outlines the procedures for such major tasks as notification, organizational structure, and emergency operations center coordination.

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) are based on models developed in the National Response Framework and adapted for the specific functions necessary at UNC Asheville. These annexes provide directions for specific functions during preparedness, response, and recovery phases of an emergency incident or natural disaster. These annexes do not address specific emergency incidents or natural disasters, but rather provide a general framework that may be adapted for emergency operations during any type of incident.

Hazard-Specific Annexes (HSAs)

Certain hazards present a greater risk or vulnerability for the University and should have specific plans for such hazards, such as a fire, severe winter weather or hazardous materials (HazMat) incident.

Situational Annexes (SAs)

Situational annexes expand on the framework of the Base Plan and provide additional guidance for responding to specific situations such as an active shooter, evacuations or large-scale special events situations.


Checklists, maps, resource lists, or other documents not critical to the Emergency Operations Plan may be attached as appendices.