Sept. 17, 2002

Levels of Alert

Four Levels Identified

By Greg Licamele

Four levels of alert have been established for the University. The current level is established by the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management and will be posted online. These levels are meant to prepare the University for an anticipated or ongoing incident.

• Normal (Alert Level IV): A level IV status indicates normal operations of the University. The local, national, and international news and other available information warrant neither increased concern nor actions beyond normal security efforts.

• Incident Watch (Alert Level III): A level III alert is a transition point and a departure from normal operations. It will be established in response to: an incident that disrupts some aspect of University operations, but can be controlled by on-duty police and others in authority present, or in anticipation of a possible incident of that scope that is not yet assessed as credible or imminent. Examples include weather presenting a risk of damage, initial recognition of vandalism in laboratory facilities, unsecured sensitive facilities, a suspicious package, an identifiable group of trespassers, or a pattern of recent incidents in the area or at other campuses.

• Incident Warning (Alert Level II): A level II alert is a transition point and exceeds GW’s capacity to respond. A level II alert will be established in response to an incident that cannot be controlled by on-duty police and others in positions of authority present or in some other manner exceeds the University’s capacity to respond or recover without outside assistance, or in anticipation of an incident of that scope assessed as credible and imminent. During a level II alert, the University Command Center will be set-up. Examples of incidents requiring the establishment of a level II alert include outbreaks of violence, or credible threats to specific personnel, laboratories, research facilities or records, critical systems or infrastructure, other campus resources, significant or uncontrolled fire damage, severe weather presenting a threat to life, or presumptive identification of threatening personnel, objects, or substances.

• Crisis Imminent or Crisis Response (Level I Alert): A level I alert is reaching a crisis or worse. A level I alert will be established in response to an incident meeting or exceeding the criteria for a crisis either by the level of damage resulting or through its importance to the fulfillment of goals, the protection of vital interests, or the adherence to values, or the duration, disruption, or fiscal impact. The event meets the criteria for a disaster or catastrophe, or the likelihood that such an incident is imminent. The University may need to make modifications to academic and business operations and schedules to manage an incident at this level in a manner that ensures, as much as possible, the protection of life and property.

There also is a recovery stage, at which time a level of alert will be established and communicated.


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