01.F.04 – Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations Planning

Section: General Administration

Area: Public Safety

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The purpose of this policy is to describe provisions to minimize the adverse effects of an emergency through the development of Emergency Management programs and Continuity of Operations Plans at the University of Houston System universities, as well as to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and policies.


2.1. Emergency Management: The managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards, and enhance capabilities to respond and recover from disasters.

2.2. National Incident Management System (NIMS): A systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

2.3. Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP): A plan for individual agencies to ensure that essential functions can be maintained during a disruption of normal operations.


3.1. Emergency Management Essential Elements

Each university will comply with the following:

a. Appoint an individual responsible for the emergency management function to serve as the University Emergency Manager.

b. Each University Emergency Manager will have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety, with regard to emergency management and continuity of operations planning functions.

c. Develop and implement an emergency management program.

d. Develop and maintain an all-hazards emergency management plan which meets the requirements of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 217.

e. Incorporate and ensure compliance with the NIMS in the University's emergency management plan.

f. Participate, as required, in the Emergency Management/Safety & Security Audit every three years.

g. Participate and collaborate on the System Emergency Management Committee.

h. During regional incidents impacting UHS institutions, provide timely situational updates to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety or designee.

3.2. Continuity of Operations Planning Essential Elements

Each university will comply with the following:

a. Designate a Continuity Coordinator as outlined by the State Office of Risk Management (SORM) in the Texas State Agency Continuity Planning Policy.

b. Develop and maintain a COOP.

c. Develop a COOP Training Program to include exercises, as required by SORM.

d. Comply with the requirements of the SORM Texas State Agency Continuity Planning Policy regarding plan submission and exercise documentation submissions.

3.3. University of Houston System Responsibilities for Emergency Management

a. The System responsibilities for emergency management will fall under the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety. Operational control will continue to reside at the institutions.

b. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety responsibilities (related to emergency management) include:

i. Providing guidance and assisting with emergency management coordination efforts for the institutions of the University of Houston System.

ii. Administer and coordinate the Emergency Management/Safety and Security Audit of the System universities as outlined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 217, in conjunction with UHS Internal Audit.

iii. Chair the System Emergency Management Committee which develops tools and mechanisms to provide support and coordination for response and recovery operations.

iv. Provide guidance for the universities' training and exercise programs.

v. Support the universities' continuity planning through the development of an enterprise Continuity of Operations Planning Program which includes standards and tools.

vi. Serve as the UHS Emergency Management Liaison with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and on the Texas Emergency Management Council.

vii. During regional incidents impacting UHS institutions, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety or designee will compile timely situational updates from the UHS institutions to share with UHS Leadership and or the State Operations Center, as requested.


Texas Education Code, Chapter 51 (Section 217)

SORM Continuity of Operations Planning


Issued: 07/05/2022
Last Reviewed/Revised: 
Responsible Office(s): Administration and Finance