Emergency Operations Plan

  1. Emergency Operations Center

    The Emergency Operations Center will be in Room 100 unless otherwise designated. The Emergency Operations Center is equipped with back-up communications equipment, battery powered radios, and other emergency supplies.

  2. Emergency Communications

    The law school relies on several levels of communication in a major emergency, including telephone communication and two-way radios. These modes of communication provide redundancy in case of failure at one level of the system.

    Following a major emergency, the law school telephone system will be overloaded with calls, and it will be necessary to implement Emergency Essential Line Service. This procedure involves temporarily discontinuing service to all law school telephones except those pre-designated as essential to the emergency operations and a small number of lines to administrative offices to be used for disaster coordination. Full telephone service will be
    restored as soon as the emergency situation has ended.

    Emergency Information Messages: In case of a law school emergency, recorded bulletins and updates will be provided on (213) 738-6700.

    Callers, will receive critical information about the status of the law school, academic schedules, and key services.

  3. Emergency Policy Group

    The Emergency Policy Group (EPG) will have primary decision-making responsibility in an emergency situation. The EPG provides overall guidance on response priorities and external relations and communications during the emergency. The Group's major responsibilities will include:

    • Emergency Management: Establish response priorities and direct emergency operations.
    • Operations: Coordinate specific emergency response actions such as evacuation and medical response.
    • Communication: Provide critical input for emergency public information, including emergency messages/bulletins to students, faculty and staff.
  4. Emergency Operations Group

    The Emergency Operations Group (EOG) will implement the law school's response to the emergency within the framework provided by the Emergency Policy Group. The group will activate communication to law school staff, faculty and students, and provide periodic reports to the Emergency Policy Group on the area situation and noted problems. Specific responsibilities include:

    Security: Coordinate security emergency response effort; provide initial situation assessment; assist with medical response, evacuation, rescue and fire control as necessary; assist in directing student and staff movements; coordinate traffic; and provide information on road conditions.

    Building: Assess damage to building and utility systems; barricade and secure damaged areas; and provide emergency repairs to reduce life or safety hazards during the emergency period.

    Floor Wardens: Provide first aid for injuries and coordinate transport of injured to available medical facilities.

    Communications and Marketing: Assist with dissemination of emergency public information to the law school community.

    Registrar's Office and Student Affairs: Assist students during the emergency; keep track of student status; answer parent inquiries; and coordinate student volunteers wishing to assist with non-hazardous emergency tasks.

    Administrative Services:

    • Personnel: Assist in tracking law school staff during the emergency.
    • Law School Communications: Establish emergency telephone service to essential lines and coordinate service restoration. Provide personnel to assist with two-way radio communications during the emergency period.
    • Safety and Risk Management Services: Provide warnings for hazardous situations.
    • Purchasing: Arrange for emergency service contracts and purchases.
    • Facilities Management: Re-allocate office and classroom space.
  5. Faculty Response Group

    Faculty Response Group (FRG) members will evaluate the status of each classroom, assist faculty with emergency response, and report information to the Emergency Operations Center (Room 100). Key responsibilities include:

    • Evaluate class situation (identify any injured individuals, confirm absent and present students to establish a head count, evaluate room hazards).
    • Advise the Emergency Policy Group of classroom status, hazardous conditions in or around the classroom, and whether serious injury has occurred.
    • If hazard exists, evacuate classroom using the nearest safe exit. Proceed to the Student Parking Lot/Faculty-Staff Parking Lot unless otherwise directed.
  6. Faculty

    If a major emergency occurs during classroom instruction, the responsibility of faculty members will be to provide emergency guidance to students in their classroom. For example, in a major earthquake, faculty will instruct students to duck and cover until the shaking ends and then provide assistance with evacuation to designated assembly areas.

  7. Department Response Teams

    Department Response Teams (DRT) will consist of staff members who serve as coordinators for their office and floor area. DRT's will assess area problems and inform the EPG of needed action.

    In the event of a major earthquake, evacuation may be necessary. Law school personnel will coordinate building evacuation utilizing the closest and safest exits to a safe outdoor assembly area.

In the Event of a Major Campus Emergency or Disaster, Proceed as Follows:


  1. IF EVACUATION IS NECESSARY DURING THE DAY, follow building exit signs to the nearest stairwell and go to the assembly areas designated.
  2.  IN THE EVENT OF NIGHT-TIME EVACUATION, assemble in student parking lot 1 or the Bullocks Wilshire Building parking lot.


  • FOLLOW FLOOR WARDEN'S INSTRUCTIONS. Floor Wardens will be wearing bright orange vests for easy identification.

  • AVOID PANIC. Remain calm and await instructions.
  • STOP RUMORS. They lead to confusion.
  • AVOID USING THE TELEPHONE. You will be kept informed by floor/law school coordinators.
  • EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY when instructed to do so by floor wardens. Do not waste precious time recovering personal items.
  • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS unless instructed to do so.
  • IMMEDIATELY REPORT to administrativeservices@swlaw.edu any condition or object that may create a hazard to a student, staff, or faculty member.

Emergency Response Overview

Southwestern's Emergency Operations Plan was developed to insure effective and prompt response to natural or other disasters. In the event of a major earthquake or other emergency, emergency response activities will occur as follow:

  1. Implement life saving/protection procedures for students, faculty, staff and visitors;
  2. Control damage to law school facilities; and
  3. Restore disrupted law school programs.

When a law school emergency has been declared, specific response steps will depend on the magnitude of the emergency, the amount of damage to facilities, and the timing of incident. The first step in the emergency response will be an assessment of injury and damage in order to identify required assistance. If an emergency occurs during business hours when school is in session, then classrooms, the law library and offices will be the first response priority. If the incident occurs during non-business hours when classes are not in session, the law library will be the first response priority. If the incident occurs during early evening hours when limited classes are in session, priorities will be adjusted accordingly. When the emergency occurs during non-business hours, emergency communication and messaging procedures will be initiated.