NASA logo NASA Headquarters' Directives
HQPR 8710.1
Effective Date: October 07, 2008
Expiration Date: June 07, 2019
Responsible Office: LM
Emergency Preparedness Plan
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Table of Contents | PREFACE | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | AppendixA | AppendixB

CHAPTER 1. Basic Emergency Preparedness

1.1 Overview

1.1.1 The EPP provides NASA Headquarters leadership, employees, contractors, and visitors with general guidelines and procedures for emergency preparedness, response and recovery. This plan fulfills, for NASA Headquarters, the requirements of Executive Orders 12148 and 12656 directing all federal agencies to establish emergency response plans to protect lives, minimize the loss of or damage to resources, and aid in the recovery and timely resumption of normal operations. The EPP:

a. Mobilizes NASA Headquarters leadership for information gathering, information sharing, and rapid decision making.

b. Provides focus in the decision-making process by providing for the creation of pre-established response plans.

c. Defines roles, responsibilities, span of control, and functions for identified key staff during an emergency response.

d. Establishes the standards within the NASA Headquarters organization for emergency preparation, response and recovery.

e. Is an overall guideline with specific response and recovery steps contained in the Incident Command Post (ICP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and the Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP).

1.1.2 The EPP is an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness and acknowledges that most of the responsibilities and functions performed during an emergency are not hazard-specific. This plan accounts for activities to be performed before and during the response and recovery stages of an event, and provides for a graduated appropriate response. Planning must be accomplished prior to an emergency to ensure that responsibilities are assigned and individuals are trained to react in accordance with approved procedures. The Headquarters Emergency Preparedness Coordinator will review emergency preparedness plans annually and update them as required.

1.2 Roles and Responsibilities

1.2.1 The ICP, located in Conference room 1A25, is structured to expand and contract as required. Two notional organizations work together to support NASA Headquarters' ability to continue its mission in times of increased threat, natural disaster, natural emergency, or crisis. Those entities are the ICP and the Emergency Management Team (EMT). Most emergency situations can be managed on the scene and are generally addressed by elements of the EMT or Headquarters security. When a situation escalates or warrants a more robust response, the ICP is activated as outlined in the decision tree contained in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Conceptual Decision Process for ICP Activation

1.2.2 When an emergency arises, the Executive Director, Headquarters Operations or designee hereafter referred to as the Designated Official, will be notified of the event and will be briefed by the Incident Commander. The Designated Official will in turn brief the Administrator and Deputy Administrator or designee.

1.2.3 The Incident Commander will be either the Branch Chief for Emergency Management and Administrative Services or the Chief of Security or their designee. A rotating weekly assignment will be established and published on a monthly basis to ensure all response personnel are aware of who the Incident Commander is should an event occur. Events requiring just the utilization of the EMT will be reported to the Incident Commander for further relay to the Designated Official. When external emergency response entities (DC Fire Department, Federal Protective Service (FPS), FBI, etc.) arrive at NASA Headquarters the NASA Incident Commander will relinquish command of event response to that entity. The NASA Incident Commander will act as a liaison with the entities' Incident Commander or appoint an individual to do so. Upon departure of the external entity the NASA Incident Commander will assume responsibility for recovery operations providing the Designated Official with a recommended course of action. During an emergency situation, the Incident Commander will:

a. Identify the problem or risk.

b. Assess the scope of the problem and appropriate level of response.

c. Communicate the initial issue and updates to the Designated Official.

d. Coordinate with responding external entities as necessary.

e. Determine the best course of action for response and recovery plans needed for the return of normal operations for NASA Headquarters.

1.2.4 The basic ICP reporting structure is depicted in Figure 2. When activation of the ICP is warranted the Incident Commander will be assisted by three Action Officers. To ensure continuity a rotating weekly assignment will be established and published on a monthly basis to ensure response personnel are available to staff the ICP. Once published assigned personnel are responsible for arranging coverage should they need to depart for a meeting, conference or other activity inhibiting their ability to rapidly respond. Specific responsibilities are defined below:

a. Safety: communicates with and coordinates EMT actions except for the Disaster Assessment Team (DAT).

b. Facilities: provide building plans and schematics, marking affected areas and providing advice on courses of action; interface with the Building Manager, communicate and coordinate DAT Actions.

c. Security: communicates with and coordinates actions of the security force.

Figure 2. ICP Organization

1.2.5 Most Headquarters related incidents do not require the activation of the ICP and will be handled by the appropriate element of the EMT. The EMT is comprised of representatives from the Building Manager, Headquarters Security, Headquarters Facilities and Administrative Services Division (Facilities, Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and Occupational Health), the Occupant Emergency Team (OET) and the Disaster Assessment team (DAT). The composition of the EMT can be expanded or changed based on the type, size, scope, and duration of the emergency.

1.2.6 The Occupant Emergency Team, a component of the EMT, is composed of volunteer monitors charged with the responsibility for ensuring the safe evacuation or shelter in place of building occupants when events warrant. All NASA Headquarters employees have been provided with an Occupant Emergency Plan and share responsibility for their safety and welfare on a daily basis. Each Monitor can be identified during an emergency by their fluorescent emergency vest. The Occupant Emergency Team is comprised of the following:

a. Floor Monitors (All Floors).

b. Area Monitors.

c. Stairwell Monitors.

d. Assistance Monitors.

e. Staging Monitors.

f. Crossing Monitors

1.2.7 The Action Officer, Safety contacts each floor monitor via government cell phone and provides him\her with the name and location of all visiting disabled persons who are in their area of responsibility. During an evacuation the Action Officer, Safety will account for each Floor Monitor exiting the building through the use of a government cell phone and identify the locations of any disabled person needing exit assistance by professional rescuers.

1.2.8 The Floor Monitors are volunteer employees located at the East and West elevator lobbies of their assigned floor to await reports from the Area Monitors. Floor Monitors maintain an open line of communications with the Action Officer, Safety using their government cell phone and coordinate evacuation or shelter in place activities on their assigned floor. Floor monitors also:

a. Ensure the floor is clear of occupants before leaving.

b. Report to the Floor Monitor Coordinator the floor status or any problems, including names and locations of those refusing to leave.

c. Report any disabled employees and visitors or trapped passengers within elevators requiring assistance and their exact location to the Action Officer, Safety.

d. Exit the building when no longer needed, respond to their predestinated assigned staging area, collect evaluation reports from the floor team members.

e. Notify the Action Officer, Safety of any procedural problems immediately.

f. Attend post-event meetings and or debriefings held in room 1A25.

1.2.9 The number of Area Monitors is based on the organizational needs of each floor. Area Monitors inform employees and visitors within their area of responsibility (offices, conference rooms, etc.) to evacuate or shelter in place as appropriate. Area Monitors following evacuations or shelter in place procedures described in the OEP.

a. Report "all clear" status or any problems encountered to the Floor Monitor.

b. Exit the building when no longer needed.

c. Report any procedural problems on the evaluation form and submit to the floor monitor immediately after re-entry to the building.

d. Notify the Floor Monitor if no longer able to serve as Area Monitor.

1.2.10 The volunteer Stairwell Monitors ensure the safe egress of employees through the stairwells throughout the Headquarters building and will:

a. Check the stairwell for safe egress conditions reporting status to the Floor Monitor.

b. Direct the movement of persons on the stairs ensuring single file steady movement at a walking pace.

c. Keep the door to the stairwell open until the corridor is clear.

d. During the absence of an Assistance Monitor, the Stairwell Monitor notifies the Floor Monitor of the location of any staged special needs employees or visitors within their stairwell.

e. Exit the building when no longer needed.

f. Complete the evaluation form and forward to Floor Monitor immediately after re-entry to the building.

g. Notify the Floor Monitor if they are no longer able to serve as a stairwell monitor.

1.2.11 The Assistance Monitor ensures permanent or temporarily disabled personnel are assisted and escorted to the designated staging location ensuring they are safe from imminent danger and will: a. Assist assigned special needs employees in evacuation of the facility or to a designated stairwell if the special needs employee's mobility is restricted remaining with him\her until emergency assistance arrives.

b. Assist assigned special needs person on re-entry to the building, if necessary.

c. Remain with special needs personnel until advised by the Action Officer, Safety through fire department officials to evacuate. DC fire department officials will determine evacuation or relocation of staged special needs employees and Special Needs Monitors.

d. Complete the evacuation form and forward to the Floor Monitor upon re-entering the building.

e. Provide current roster of permanent and\or temporary special needs employees within their assignment area and update such information quarterly of each calendar year, to the Action Officer, Safety and the Floor and Area Monitors.

f. Notify the Floor Monitor if they are no longer able to serve as a stairwell monitor.

1.2.12 Staging Monitors report to their assigned staging area outside of the Headquarters building directing building evacuees to the staging areas and assist in accounting for personnel.

1.2.13 Crossing Monitors report to their assigned location on the east or west side of the building and assist employees with crossing the street to report to their designated staging area.

1.2.14 Another subset of the EMT is the Disaster Assessment Team (DAT) comprised of personnel from Headquarters Facilities and Administrative Services Division, Building Management, and Headquarters Information Technology. When an event damages the building or its infrastructure the team will conduct an assessment providing detailed information to the ICP enabling the Incident Commander to ascertain an effective course of action.

1.2.15 During normal business hours, the Incident Commander will provide direction to the occupants of the Headquarters building via the Public Address System, and\or the computerized Emergency Notifications System (ENS) using canned pre-planned messages.

1.3 Supervisor Responsibilities

1.3.1 Supervisors shall support the training of employees who volunteer for monitor positions by allowing them to attend the required training.

1.3.2 Prior to emergencies they shall ensure employees they are responsible for have been provided with and familiar with the Occupant Emergency Plan.

1.3.3 During emergencies they shall ensure employees follow the directions of the monitors in a rapid and orderly fashion.

1.4 Employee Responsibilities

1.4.1 During emergencies, all building occupants shall follow the instructions contained within the Occupant Emergency Plan and follow the direction of the EMT, Security personnel, and representatives of external agencies (DC Fire Department, Federal Protective Service (FPS), FBI, etc.). In the event of an emergency, employees shall utilize the established procedures outlined in the OEP. Employees should familiarize themselves with the contents of the OEP prior to an emergency to be better prepared to assist in assuring their personal safety. Items addressed in the OEP include, but are not limited to:

a. Bomb threat procedures.

b. Civil disturbance procedures.

c. Evacuation procedures.

d. Fire emergencies.

e. Medical emergencies.

f. Shelter-in-place procedures.

g. Suspicious packages.

1.5 Personnel with Special Needs

1.5.1 The Headquarters EPP and OEP includes safeguards to support employees, contractors, and visiting individuals with special needs during an emergency. Individuals with permanent or temporary disabilities requiring assistance during emergencies are encouraged to self identify so the EMT can assign a Special Needs Monitor to assist and Headquarters Safety can provide a government cell phone with direct connect capabilities. Current safeguards are as follows:

a. The EMT has a monitor assigned on each floor whose sole responsibility is to assist any disabled employee or visitor.

b. Specialized evacuation chairs, inspected on a monthly basis, are on each floor near the freight elevator lobby.

c. In the event of an emergency evacuation, the visitor desk will provide a list of special needs visitors to the Action Officer, Safety in the ICP.

1.6 Recover

1.6.1 Recovery is the effort to bring NASA Headquarters back to a normal operational status as quickly as possible after any type of disruption. Recovery can be a short-term or long-term process. For major damage short-term recovery operations restore vital services to NASA Headquarters with long-term recovery focused on restoring Headquarters to pre- emergency operations. Under these circumstances it may be necessary to relocate key functions or personnel to other locations. For less extensive damage it may suffice to relocate personnel within different sections of NASA Headquarters. Information provided by the DAT is key in shaping the recovery options recommended by the Incident Commander to the Designated Official.

1.7 Drills and Exercises

1.7.1 Drills and exercises will be conducted in accordance with the Multi Year Test and Exercise Schedule promulgated by the Headquarters Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. The schedule is a three year cyclical approach and will be updated on an annual basis.

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