Emergency Operations Plan

The Winona State University Emergency Operations and Crisis Preparation Plan guides decision making and response during emergency situations.



In today’s society, we must be more vigilant of surrounding influences that can affect the safety of our community. Medical emergencies, disasters, accidents, injuries, and crime can occur at any time without warning. The purpose of this plan is to provide for the carrying out of emergency functions; establish responsibilities necessary to performing these functions; prevent, minimize and repair damage; and ensure continuity of operations so that essential services may continue to be provided to the WSU community.

This plan assigns roles and responsibilities to departments and individuals that are directly responsible for emergency response and critical support services, and provides a management structure for coordinating and deploying essential resources. WSU has many capabilities and resources that could be used in the response to any major disaster. These include the facilities, equipment, personnel and skills of both government and non-government professions and groups. The purpose of this plan is to promote the effective, coordinated use of these resources to:

  • Maximize the protection of life and property;
  • Ensure the continuity of the University; and,
  • Provide support to all areas of the University which require assistance. The actions outlined in this EOP constitute the existing guidelines of WSU in response to a disastrous emergency. However, the President has the authority to alter this operations plan during the course of an emergency to the extent that it is deemed necessary.


These procedures apply to all University faculty, staff, students and visitors. It encompasses all university operations, domestic and abroad.


WSU adheres to the “all hazards” concept for emergency planning under which all emergencies or disasters are different with unique issues, but the consequences are typically the same; this allows a set of operational fundamentals to be used to manage response activities to all emergencies. Paramount to the “all hazards” concept is that planning must address what is expected, but be flexible to adapt to what is unknown. The EOP addresses likely hazards, such as severe weather or fires, yet does not overlook the possibility of an unlikely, catastrophic hazard, such as a train derailment or a terrorist act. This plan may be activated in response to a regional or national crisis that impacts the WSU community. Any major emergency that affects our students, faculty, and/or staff community is considered a University emergency. The WSU EOP is based on and complies with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Minnesota Incident Management System (MNIMS)—a proven emergency management system.