Chapter 4



To provide for the orderly and expeditious evacuation of all or any part of the population of Buena Vista University Storm Lake campus if it is determined that such action is the most effective means available for protecting the population from the effects of any disaster.


  1. The University Emergency Management Plan identifies numerous hazards which could result in the need to evacuate.

Assumptions and Planning Factors

  1. While some disaster events are slow moving providing ample reaction time, the worst case assumption is that there will be little or no warning of the need to evacuate.
  2. The decision to evacuate could occur day or night, and there would be little control over the start time.
  3. Because most evacuations cannot be staged or stretched out, maximum traffic congestion should be expected. Voluntary evacuation probably will not have occurred; however, voluntary evacuation could occur after the campus community has been advised of a potential problem or danger, even though the situation does not warrant an official evacuation.
  4. There would not normally be time to obtain manpower support from local, state or federal resources.

Organization / Responsibilities

All of the emergency functions detailed in this plan could play a role in successfully carrying out an evacuation of the campus community. The overall responsibility for issuing evacuation orders rests with the EOT. However, the on-scene command authority can make a decision to evacuate when there is an immediate need in order to protect lives and provide for public safety. Key campus participants are:

  1. Campus security
  2. President's Council
  3. Student Services
  4. Facilities Management
  5. University Marketing and Communications

Key off-campus participants may include:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Fire Departments/EMS
  3. Public Works Director/City Engineer
  4. Buena Vista County Chapter American Red Cross
  5. County Emergency Management Coordinator
  6. Superintendent Storm Lake School District
  7. Buena Vista Regional Medical Center
  8. Methodist Manor
  9. St. Mary's School
  10. Local churches

Concept of Operations

  1. Command and Control -- The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will normally have been activated because of the primary hazard event. Overall, executive direction and control of the incident and any ensuing evacuation will be conducted from the EOC. The Buena Vista University campus Emergency Management Coordinator will assist with coordination of all evacuation support activities.
  2. Transportation
    1. Assembly Area -- refer to checklist and glossary
    2. Special Needs and Health Care Transportation -- there could be cases where injured or handicapped persons in the evacuation area will not be able to get to the assembly point or would need special transport. The Buena Vista University campus Emergency Management Coordinator, or designee, will coordinate the use of campus or other vehicles to transport these individuals. The campus community will be instructed to notify the EOC of any special transportation problems.
  3. Local Support --Under disaster conditions, evacuation support and resources may be available from a number of state agencies. Assistance will generally be requested through the State EMD. Assistance includes manpower, transportation, supplies, and technical advice. The following agencies may become involved in the emergency evacuation of the area:
    1. Storm Lake Public Works -- will provide updated information on road conditions, load bearing capacities and usability to support evacuation or rerouting of traffic. They will also provide equipment and manpower to maintain or repair roads and bridges to usable condition in support of an evacuation. Personnel may assist in traffic control by erecting barricades, warning lights and signs, or providing manpower.
    2. Department of Public Health --if an evacuation is initiated, maintenance of the health standards in reception areas will be closely monitored. This agency is responsible for the prevention or control of such conditions as:
      1. overcrowding,
      2. spread of disease, and
      3. development of unsanitary conditions/practices
    3. City Fire Chief -- this office is responsible for insuring that adequate safety standards, including fire safety, are met.
    4. Storm Lake Police Department -- the SLPD may establish control points for traffic control, assist in maintaining order, obtain medical help and direct emergency vehicles to the proper destination within and around the disaster area.
    5. Iowa National Guard -- the Iowa National Guard may provide support to the civil authorities when authorized by the Governor. They may provide manpower, and equipment in support of an evacuation.
    6. Department of Natural Resources -- the department field personnel may be able to provide information on local conditions, act as guides along evacuation routes or to augment other law enforcement personnel in traffic control. The department also has boats available to assist in evacuation during floods.
    7. Iowa Department of Public Safety -- will maintain a road conditions/closures hotline for services for public and emergency access. Also provided will be a teletype service for law enforcement agencies for road closure and detour information. Routes of travel may be identified.

Evacuation Emergency Response Checklist 

Preparedness Phase

EOC Staff

  • Activate campus EOC as necessary
  • Assemble EOC Staff as required
  • Alert all supporting groups
  • Advise Buena Vista County EOC of evacuation preparation status
  • Prepare to augment campus EOC Staff as necessary
  • Assist in definition of the potential evacuation area
  • Make sure that critical facilities and institutions in the potential evacuation area have been alerted
  • Determine how many campus residents would be affected
  • Identify population groups that may require special assistance during evacuation
  • Coordinate with officials of Shelter Areas
  • Correlate information needed to make the evacuation decision and brief the EOT
  • Evaluate alternatives for protective action
  • Make evacuation decision based on recommendations of on scene command authority
  • Prepare for possible relocation of university services
  • Obtain bus resources from school systems, if required
  • Determine evacuation routes in consultation with campus security and local authorities

Public Information Officer (PIO)

  • Prepare statement of university actions
  • Maintain contact with media
  • Serve as single point of contact for media and general public
  • Coordinate exchange of information within campus community

Response Phase


  • Make decision to evacuate and issue evacuation order
  • Increase staff as necessary

EOC Staff

  • Notify key facilities in evacuation area of evacuation order
  • Coordinate public transportation for evacuees
  • Monitor support operations and advise all services/organizations of situation
  • Advise County EMD and request support as needed


  • Establish rumor control center
  • Continue providing evacuation information to the public

Campus Security

  • Disseminate evacuation order to campus residents of the affected area and transient population
  • Establish perimeter security
  • Establish traffic control on evacuation routes in conjunction with law enforcement
  • Sweep evacuated area to ensure all persons have left
  • Provide reports of traffic movement and other related problems to EOC
  • Implement access pass system for entry into evacuated area
  • Provide necessary traffic control devices
  • Assist in keeping evacuation routes open
  • Establish and maintain fire security of evacuated area

Director of Housing

  • Establish Relocation Center
  • Implement mass care procedures
  • Open lodging facilities
  • Begin emergency feeding operations
  • Implement human services and crisis counseling actions

Recovery Phase


  • Make decision to reenter evacuated area
  • Issue return order

EOC Staff

  • Gather information concerning the safety of the evacuation area
  • Brief EOT and make recommendations concerning reentry
  • Advise Buena Vista County EOC of reentry decision
  • Advise local law enforcement and fire officials of reentry decision
  • Arrange for transportation of all personnel back to campus


  • Disseminate announcement of return order
  • Inform campus community of proper re entry actions

Campus Security

  • Provide traffic control for movement back to evacuated area, when area is determined to be safe

Physical Plant/Maintenance

  • Clear debris as necessary
  • Inspect evacuation area for safety

Director of Housing

  • Notify evacuees in lodging facilities of clearance to return to campus
  • Terminate lodging and feeding operations

Student Services

  • Determine long term housing needs of evacuees