Last year, the Davis Campus suspended normal operations due to smoke impacts from the Camp Fire, which was burning almost 100 miles away.
UC Davis Health remained fully operational, though classes were canceled. The Davis Campus closed for classes and to the general public, but there were still students that needed dining services, as well as animals in our care. Those essential duties required employees to come to campus, while others could work remotely from their homes.
Policy for Emergency Events and Hazardous Situations
Since last year, we have developed a policy to guide decisions during such an incident. Specifically, the policy establishes condition levels that grants the Chancellor authority to temporarily change the UC Davis' Operating Status to:
- Reduce operations
- Current conditions may not pose severe safety risks or logistical challenges, but an event has significant potential to, or is already, negatively affecting local area commuting, important campus services, or the efficient functioning of campus buildings and grounds. Certain non-critical functions and services may be reduced at one or more campus locations.
- Suspend operations
- Current conditions pose a safety risk or logistical challenges that are more severe and there is a substantial interest to having a limited number of individuals travel to, or remain at one or more campus locations. Non-critical functions and services may be suspended.
- Current conditions pose a severe risk to health and safety or presents difficult logistical challenges that will severely impede the efficient and effective functioning of operations. Facilities at one or more campus locations may be closed.
Some hazards and emergencies for which this policy might be enacted include: natural disaster, dangerous air quality, transmission of a communicable disease, an immediate threat to the safety of the campus community or infrastructure, equipment failure, and others.
Designated and Non-Designated Employees
Every employee is essential to fulfilling the campus’s mission. Moving forward, supervisors must determine which employees are designated and non-designated to serve, if the campus operating status changes. Further, an employee’s designation could change depending on the type of emergency and its duration. Some examples of employees designated by policy include:
- Healthcare functions
- Patient and animal care
- Emergency responders
- Housing and dining services
- Others designated by situation
Departments Should Plan Now
- Develop a UC Ready plan – these are a best practice and UC Davis Emergency Management can help.
Since the core activities of teaching, research, and public service are performed at the department level, planning to resume your business after an emergency should begin at the department level.
- Identify designated employees that will be called upon to perform essential functions.
Supervisors should be aware that an employee’s designation may change depending on the type of emergency, or its duration. Further, supervisors should prepare to clarify roles and expectations of non-designated employees who may be asked to work remotely.