Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is primarily aimed at creating a safe environment for our Students, Faculty and staff. The CEMP and associated business continuity plan are designed to minimize disruption to classes and ensure that disruption to students learning are minimized.


Rensselaer’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) establishes policies and introduces a concept of operations spanning the direction and control of an emergency from initial monitoring through post-disaster response, recovery and mitigation.

The CEMP guides overall policy and procedures for actions related to emergency planning, preparedness, response and recovery including business continuity and business recovery planning.

The CEMP identifies Portfolios, Departments and individuals responsible for emergency planning, emergency response, business continuity and business recovery planning. The CEMP establishes procedures to prepare for emergencies, as well as the management structure for coordinating and managing response to emergency situations.

The CEMP is supported by all Portfolios through participation in training and education programs offered at Rensselaer. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and students to know and understand their role in an emergency.


The Rensselaer CEMP will be used whether a catastrophic event occurs on-campus, off-campus or in a neighboring area affecting the campus. The plan attempts to keep students, staff and faculty safe while also operating a safe and comfortable working, learning and living location.

The CEMP also establishes a campus-wide comprehensive, risk-based, all-hazards emergency management program. Some of the hazards identified are weather, varying extreme climate, utility interruption, Information Technology disruption and more. The CEMP adheres to four (4) basic principles:

  • Life safety
  • Protection of property
  • Continuity of essential functions
  • Restoration of campus services and activities

Emergency Management Practices

Institute emergency management is based upon the principles and concepts embraced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) and the Rensselaer County Office of Emergency Management. This Plan incorporates the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) in all activities, terms and operations.

Who is in Charge of the CEMP?

In all events, the President of the Institute will be the Incident Commander. During the period of any major campus incident, the President will direct the implementation of the appropriate procedures necessary to respond to the incident and safeguard persons and property, including the evacuation and/or closing of Rensselaer facilities.

Where can I see the Full CEMP?

An original copy of the CEMP along with a current list of contact numbers will be held by the Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management and an alternate secure site.

Hazard Vulnerability

The purpose of a hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) is to identify probable threats and rank potential risks to campus. Three sources of information are gathered to construct the annual HVA:

Scientific data, i.e. National Weather Service reports, seismic activity analysis, and so forth.  Historical records and other documents, i.e. Library materials, historical society records, newspaper accounts and Oral history collected from local residents including long-term Rensselaer employees.

Rensselaer’s HVA identifies hazards using three broad categories of natural, man-made and technological. These include: 

  • Natural: Snow storms, tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning strikes
  • Man-made: Terrorism, shooter-on-campus, cyber-attack 
  • Technological: Electrical power outage, Utility failure (potable or waste water)

Emergency Program Management 

The Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for managing the campus emergency management program, including the following:

  • Focus on the activities related to the oversight and supervision of a comprehensive emergency management program
  • Coordinate the efforts of the Emergency Operations Group as they prepare for the spectrum of emergencies that may affect the Rensselaer community
  • Work with portfolios and departments in preparing business continuity plans, recovery plans, coordinate annual training efforts, and
  • Conduct an annual review of the CEMP

Additionally, the Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management has developed working relationships with local and state emergency agencies; mutual aid agreements for receiving and providing assistance and reciprocal agreements for alternate locations in the case of extraordinary emergencies and disasters.

If you would like to know more about the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan please contact Emergency Management at 518-276-6656.

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