Emergency Operations Plan

Emergency Operations Plan: Dissemination Of Emergency Information

Disaster conditions occurring during scheduled class periods will require expeditious communication of information and instructions to employees and students. Uncertainty and confusion must be avoided, prevented or minimized and the protection of lives must be the primary concern.

Communication Systems

Mobile Loudspeakers (Audio Hailers)

Audio hailers (bull horns) will be utilized at the Field Control Point for on-site public information and instruction purposes.


The local radio stations have the potential of reaching a considerable number of employees and students. Likewise, television stations may also carry emergency messages through the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). During a major disaster, tune in to a local EBS radio station.

Electronic Communications

Emergency information shall be sent periodically to faculty, staff, and student email accounts as well as cell phone text messages via UH Alert. Information and updates shall also be posted on the UH Hilo Home Page, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

Building Fire Alarm Systems

Most buildings have independent audible fire alarm systems that can be activated to indicate that immediate evacuation of a building is ordered. Important: Do not activate the Fire Alarm Systems for building evacuation in the event of a Bomb Threat

Campus Telephone System or Word of Mouth

While slow compared to the above, these systems can be utilized in conjunction with any of the above. The dissemination of emergency information and instructions by means of a “communication pyramid” telephone system will be utilized. All Deans and Directors will be contacted who, in turn, will contact their sub-units.

Emergency Announcements

Information to be disseminated through UH Hilo security personnel, UH Hilo switchboard operator, and authorized personnel only.


This is the traditional alert to advise all persons involved to prepare for an emergency with further instructions to follow.

Suspend Classes

The UH Hilo Chancellor or designee is authorized to suspend classes. This action shall be considered as a rapid method of removing employees and students from the campus and dispersing them as rapidly as possible.

Evacuate Buildings and/or Campus

Each person appointed as Building Administrator or Assistant Building Administrator for that building shall announce the evacuation signal. The names of the Building Administrator and Assistant Building Administrator and subsequent replacements shall be sent to the Environmental Health and Safety Office for inclusion into the Emergency Operations Plan. (See Attachment 1 for listing of Building Administrators and Assistant Building Administrators).

The signal to evacuate any building will be by mobile loudspeaker, and/or word of mouth. On hearing the alarm, all persons will leave the building in an orderly manner. Without compromising their safety, the Building Administrator and/or the Assistant Building Administrator, for the respective building, will ensure that all personnel are clear of the building and that all necessary utilities are secured.

Provisions and responsibilities for the safe notification and evacuation of those individuals with disabilities are outlined in Addendum–Emergency Considerations for those with Disability Issues.

This simple emergency announcement should suffice to begin an orderly evacuation of the building by the staff and non-essential employees. Campus residents–dormitory students and staff residents–may or may not be evacuated, depending on conditions. All campus personnel not essential to carrying out the Emergency Operations Plan must be dismissed and encouraged to proceed to their home if sufficient time is available.

Building Evacuation is Appropriate For:

  • Hurricanes
  • Fire
  • Bomb Threat, Explosion or threat of Explosion
  • Bioterrorism
  • Shooting Incidents
  • Hazardous Material Incident
  • Post-earthquake
  • Any occurrence which would make a building uninhabitable

Convert Campus

Action to convert the campus to temporary shelters will be accomplished only upon direction from the UH Hilo Chancellor or designee. In the event of extensive personal property damage from tsunami, flood, earthquake, etc., portions of the campus may be used for temporary shelter for persons who lost their homes. The UH Hilo Chancellor will designate buildings to be utilized for shelter after being notified by Civil Defense of the extent of shelter space and other services required.

Seek Shelter

The UH Hilo Chancellor or designee may order Seek Shelter for disasters such as sudden windstorm, hurricane, flood, etc. Shelters are listed under Appendix B and Appendix C.

Email Alerts/Webpage Updates

Following initial notification of emergency, the EOC shall issue update notifications at 6 AM, 12 noon, and 6 PM or more frequently as required.

Civil Defense Warnings and Alert Signals

Know the Civil Defense warning and alert signals and what action to take when hearing them (Refer to the Civil Defense Disaster Preparedness Information section in the Hawaiian Telcom Phonebook).

  • A steady three (3) minute siren tone is the attention alert signal.
  • Tune your radio or television to any station and listen for emergency information and instructions.
  • Listen to Emergency Alert System broadcasts for further instructions and the all-clear announcement.