DHS home | Policies | Administrative policies | Admin policies index | policy

DHS Policy: Oregon Department of Human Services
Administrative Services
Policy Title: Emergency Preparedness
Policy Number: DHS-080-010
Effective Date:

Approved By: DHS Chief Administrative Officer
Approved Date: 10/08/2004

policy section link  link to procedures section  link to forms section  link to references  link to definitions section  link to contact section  link to history section


Description: Provides summary of required activities and emergency planning documents for all DHS worksites. Ensures preparation for incidents ranging from a building emergency such as fire or a medical emergency to natural disasters affecting a larger geographic area.

Emergencies can include fire, an occupant requiring emergency medical assistance, natural disaster and much more.

Purpose/Rationale: DHS seeks to ensure a safe environment for employees, clients and other building occupants and continuity of essential services to the public; even in the event of an emergency. Emergency planning will help us be prepared. Because DHS operates statewide, emergencies can be unique to office locations; availability of resources during emergencies can vary with the location. Thus, each DHS worksite must develop emergency plans and conduct emergency preparation activities that are responsive to the worksite in order to protect employees, clients, and other building occupants and to continue to safely provide essential services to the public.

Applicability: All DHS worksites

Failure to Comply: May result in employee or visitor harm resulting in workers’ compensation costs or liability claims, delay of critical services to Oregonians, and/or citations by regulatory agencies, licensing and accreditation organizations.

Back to top


  1. General
  2. DHS managers are responsible for ensuring that their work locations have up-to-date emergency planning documents and that employees are prepared to deal with an emergency. This policy includes required and recommended activities and documentation.

  3. Required Documents and Activities.
    1. Emergency Action Handbook (EAH) or equivalent.
      1. Description: The EAH provides steps for the protection of building occupants. The plan requires minor customization by each worksite.
      2. Requirement: Each worksite must develop a EAH that is specific to the worksite. The plan requires minor customization by each worksite.
      3. Guidance to develop the EAH:
        1. The EAH should be modified as necessary to meet needs of worksite.
        2. Other formats may be used. For example, an office housed with another agency may use the other agency’s document. However, the document must be supplemented with actions from the EAH that are specific to DHS. For example, threat reporting.
        3. Worksites are strongly advised to receive input from local emergency responders after the plan has been drafted.
        4. See General Guidance to development of emergency documents, Section 5.
      4. Distribution: Each employee shall receive a copy or be able to quickly access a centrally posted or available copy during an emergency. For example, employees working in a cubicle arrangement that is open to the center could share a centrally located document.
      5. Review and Update: Annual review and update by manager or designated team or as information changes.
    2. Emergency Management and Continuation Plan (EMCP)
      1. Description: The EMCP provides steps and resources to ensure the continuation of mission critical services to Oregonians when buildings are closed or other events curtail services. The plan identifies roles and responsibilities of the DHS Director’s Office and Administrative Services’ offices during an emergency. The primary audience for this Plan is area managers, who hold the responsibility to ensure delivery of services.
      2. Requirement: Each worksite is required to have an EMCP.
      3. Guidance to develop:
        1. The EMCP requires some research and customization by worksites.
        2. The EMCP should be modified to meet the needs of the worksite. Existing, up-to-date, alternative documents may be used providing specific notification requirements listed in the EMCP. For most DHS operations, sharing this type of plan with another co-housed agency would be ineffective.
        3. Worksites may need to supplement the EMCP with special procedures, forms, and references for carrying out a critical function under conditions such as no computer access. Administrative and other offices may need procedures and special forms to aid with providing assistance to other offices and tracking their status during an emergency.
        4. See General Guidance to development of emergency documents, Section 5.
      4. Distribution: It is recommended that a hardcopy be kept on-site as well as a copy off-site. Further distribution of copies is the discretion of the cluster management.
      5. Review and Update: At least annually, local management should check to ensure that alternative work sites and emergency contact numbers for use of the site are current. Emergency employee contact lists should be updated frequently. See the EMCP for additional requirements and recommendations.
    3. Emergency training
      1. Description: Managers shall ensure that all staff and staff with emergency roles receive required training.
        1. All employees shall receive training on immediate response to an emergency.
        2. Employees with special emergency roles shall receive additional training. The contents of the Emergency Action Handbook may be used as a basis for training.
        3. Employees who are listed as key for carrying out the critical functions listed in the Emergency Management and Continuation Plan shall be informed of management’s expectations and available resources during an emergency.
    4. Evacuation Drill
      1. Description: Each office shall conduct one evacuation drill per year. This drill is required by the Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM).
        1. A drill must be documented and critiqued in order to "count". DHS 0059, DHS Fire Drill/Fire Incident Report, is an optional form.
      2. Guidance:
        1. It is advised that larger offices drill more frequently. Partial evacuation or tabletop drills are an option.
        2. DHS Field Offices located in cities where the SFM is not the "authority of jurisdiction", should check with the local fire marshal for requirements.
        3. It is recommended that local emergency responders be invited to participate in a drill.
      3. Review and Recommendation: The safety committee shall conduct a review of the drill, providing management with any recommendations and and share lessons learned with staff.
    5. Earthquake drill
      1. Description:
        1. Each office shall conduct one earthquake drill per year. This drill is required by Oregon Administrative Rule.
        2. DHS Facilities and Safety and Health Services will provide information annually to offices that will coincide with the non-mandatory statewide drill.
        3. Buildings that contain operations other than offices should check the law or with DHS Safety & Health Services to see if they are required to drill.
      2. Guidance: It is recommended that the earthquake drill, not be an evacuation drill since evacuation should not be the automatic response to an earthquake.
      3. Review and Recommendation: The safety committee shall conduct a review of the drill, providing management with any recommendations identity learnings and share lessons learned with staff.
    6. First aid and exposure control kits
      1. Requirement: Worksites shall provide first aid and exposure control kits in close proximity to all employees.
        1. The kit, and any cabinet housing the kit, shall be clearly marked and easily accessible. The location(s) shall be listed in the Emergency Action Handbook or otherwise communicated to all employees.
        2. Vehicles used to transport passengers shall be similarly equipped.
      2. Guidance:
        1. Contents of the kit should be regularly checked.
        2. Larger offices may want to consider use of a contracted service. OSHA does not stipulate first aid kit contents but expects worksites to assess their needs.
    7. Emergency phone numbers:
    8. 911 (or "9-911") or alternative emergency numbers shall be posted conspicuously. This may be accomplished by posting the written plan or by placing emergency number stickers on phones.
  4. Recommended Actions
    1. Critical Incident Flow Chart
      1. Description: A one-page overview reference for branch offices following an emergency; provides information about who to notify and process to determine evacuation and re-occupation of buildings
      2. Distribution: Worksite.
      3. Review and Update: Update when there has been a change in emergency contacts.
    2. First Aid and CPR training
      1. Requirement: DHS office environments are not required by any authority to provide first aid or CPR training. DHS offices are considered by OSHA be in sufficient proximity to emergency services. Worksites that perform functions other than office type of work may have other requirements.
      2. Approval for training. Approval for training will be in accordance with established cluster protocol and authorization for expenditures.
      3. Names of First aid/CPR-trained personnel, after obtaining their permission, should be posted (next to the 1st Aid kit is recommended) but no employee completing the course shall be expected to provide CPR/first aid unless required by their position.
    3. Emergency response teams
      1. Requirement: There are no emergency response requirements for office environments beyond what is included in the Emergency Action Handbook.
      2. Guidance: Offices wanting to form a response team should consider the following:
        1. The desired role for the team relative to the role of the professional emergency responders and
        2. The labor/cost of keeping members trained. No manager shall approve a plan that knowingly places a DHS employee in a dangerous situation that should be handled by professionals, even if that employee has had relevant training while working for another employer or through volunteer work.
  5. Building Closure
    1. In the event of a significant emergency, the Department of Administrative Services has delegated authority, under 60.015.01 - Temporary Interruption of Employment, to the DHS Service Delivery Area managers to make region-wide decisions for all state agencies on building closures outside of the Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Corvallis metropolitan areas and to communicate those decisions as noted in the policy. Within the metropolitan areas, the DAS Director will make the decision in consultation with appropriate agency officials such as the Public Health Officer, PSOB building manager, ODOT and local government officials.
    2. DHS SDA Manager Role. When the DHS Service Delivery Area manager is confronted with the decision to close a building, they shall consult with Employment and Transportation department field offices. It is strongly recommended that when possible, the DHS Assistant Director or Deputy be consulted prior to making this decision.
      1. It is advised that prior to an emergency occurring, that Service Delivery Area managers contact other state agency managers in their geographical area to ensure that they are aware of this delegated authority. It is especially recommended that prior to an emergency the SDA manager contact Employment and Transportation management to agree on closure protocol.
      2. SDA managers shall refer to policy 60.015.01, Temporary Interruption of Employment for detailed information on their role.
      3. Managers who may cover during the absence of the Service Delivery Area manager shall be notified in advance of this role.
  6. General Guidance and Assistance
    1. Supervisors may delegate responsibility to develop and coordinate the emergency documents and activities to one person or a group of employees, however each supervisor remains responsible to ensure that employees have the information they need to safely respond to an emergency.
    2. Documents will require some customization by DHS work sites, to ensure they are responsive to the unique needs and resources available to the worksite.
    3. To ensure consistency in responses to emergencies, planning should be coordinated with other building occupants.
    4. Local emergency responders should be used as a resource for planning. DHS Safety & Health Services and institution safety offices are available to assist managers with planning.
Back to top


Back to top


Back to top


Back to top


Authority Having Jurisdiction—the government entity that provides regulatory services over building occupants. For some DHS offices the city or county fire services has been granted this authority. For other offices the Office of the State Fire Marshal has this authority.

Drill—an activity that tests a written plan.

Exposure Control Kits—a collection of equipment for the use of a person performing first aid or CPR to protect them from transmittable diseases. Also includes tools for cleaning up blood or other body fluids and broken glass contaminated with body fluids.

Local Emergency Responders – the city, county or other officially delegated entity, such as college campus, police or fire unit under whose jurisdiction the worksite falls.

Mission critical or critical functions—services provided by the Department of Human Services that if interrupted may negatively affect the health and safety of citizens.

Back to top


Name: Robert Salinas III; Phone: 503-945-6380; E-mail: robert.salinas@state.or.us
Back to top

Policy History

Back to top

If you have comments about this site, send email to dhs.policyinfo@state.or.us.

Oregon.gov, FindOR state search engine, and Get Acrobat Reader icons

Oregon Department of Human Services
500 Summer St. NE E25, Salem, OR 97301-1098
Phone: (503) 945-5944
Fax: (503) 378-2897
TTY: (503) 947-5330