not mobile

Real Estate and Facilities

Public Safety Guidelines

Print friendly

Biosafety/Biosecurity

These recommendations were compiled by the USG Biosafety / Biosecurity Subcommittee. The recommendations for institutions within the USG are as follows:

  • Adopt by reference BMBL Guidelines as a minimum for BSL-1 and BSL-2 labs; the same should apply for BSL-3 labs but allow flexibility for unique facilities.
  • Develop and implement a Biosafety and Biosecurity Manual relative to each campus’ level of biohazardous activities.
  • Create an Institutional Biosafety Committee (composition left to institution) to provide oversight at campus level and act as liaison to USG SBB; IBC should conduct periodic reviews of biohazardous activities.
  • Campuses conducting any level of recombinant DNA (rDNA) activity should establish an IBC above and beyond the minimum recommendation and in accordance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving rDNA. NIH Notice, NOT-OD-02-052, released May 28, 2002 stated, “…even privately funded projects employing rDNA must adhere to the NIH Guidelines if they are being carried out at, or funded by, an organization that has any NIH contracts, grants, or other support for this kind of research.”

Additional References and Resources:

Examples of Biosafety Manuals

Specific Guidelines Based on Threat Level

These recommendations were compiled by the USG Public Safety Subcommittee. The recommendations for institutions within the USG are as follows:

Each campus should form a Homeland Security Committee. This committee should be composed of at minimum the following departments:

  • Campus Police
  • Campus Safety
  • Academic Affairs
  • Registrar
  • Residence Life
  • Public Relations
  • University Maintenance

The committee should meet on a regular basis to discuss and create response plans to all potential campus emergencies. The plans should deal with issues related to terrorism as well as more common emergencies, including workplace violence and severe weather.

The plans should be shared with those campus departments who are involved with any aspect of the response. The plans should also be discussed and shared with local emergency response units within the city and / or county where the Institution is located.

The plans should be practiced using tabletop and actual mock disasters whenever feasible.

Training programs should be developed for each division, which will increase its ability to respond to a campus emergency. The training should be provided and refresher courses offered on a predetermined basis.

  • All institutions should prepare and have signed a mutual aid agreement, between its host city, county, and other campuses, which share a common region.

  • All biohazard and chemical storage lists should be provided to the campus police departments. The list should include the type of hazard, location of the material, the person who is responsible for the material with office and home phone numbers. A backup person should be available to provide the information in the absence of the primary person.

  • Each campus should develop redundant means of rapidly communicating with all faculty, staff and students in the event of an emergency. Suggested means of communication would include e-mail, phone trees, intra-campus radio systems, and campus walkie-talkies sharing a common frequency.
  • Campus police should have access to all areas of the campus. Internal key control policies should be implemented to ensure internal and external security. Electronic access control should be placed on high security areas and other facilities as time and funding allows.
  • Each institution should consider conducting background checks on employees with access to areas of unique risk. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act of 2002 requires USG institutions to conduct background checks on all individuals who may handle or have access to select biological agents. USG institutions may also wish to consider conducting background checks on individuals who may have access to campus areas of unique risk, such as financial records, student records, and food services.
  • Each campus should survey its facilities and determine which areas are critical to the operation of the Institution. Parking near these facilities should be removed or access restricted during elevated threat levels. Locks and alarm systems should be installed to harden these sites as much as possible against attack.
  • A command center should be created which would provide a location from which campus emergencies can be handled. This site should have the capability to conduct all college functions such as class scheduling, reassignment of residence hall space, coordinate repairs, clear roads, create emergency shelters, and handle evacuations.
  • Campuses should be prepared to share resources with other USG institutions. Campuses should collaborate and provide threat assessment information and intelligence between institutions.
  • All campuses should provide information to staff and students traveling abroad on how to protect themselves in the event of a terrorist attack. Procedures should also be developed to provide for contact with those traveling to keep them informed of any changes in the global terror situation.

Active Threats

Threat Advisory

The Threat Level system established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security creates minimum precautionary measures to be taken by governmental agencies in response to an actual or threatened terrorist attack. Authority to set or alter these levels rests with the Georgia State Coordinator for Homeland Defense or designee.

Specific policies and directives are the responsibility of individual state agencies, and should define actions and procedures to be taken in response to activation of the Threat Level system. Each Institution within the University System of Georgia should develop plans to be able to respond quickly to changes in the threat level.

Threat Level GREEN

A Green condition is declared when there is a low risk of terrorist attacks. Each Institution should consider the following general measures:

  • Develop new plans as conditions change globally.
  • Refine, exercise and critique as appropriate existing protective measures.
  • Ensure all campus Public Safety personnel receive proper training on Homeland Security, weapons of mass destruction and specific preplanned department and institution protective measures. Other staff and faculty should also be trained in requirements outlined in the US Patriot Act and related legislation.
  • The Homeland Security Committee should review legislation and training on a biannual basis to ensure that the institution is current on both issues.
  • Establish a process to assure that all facilities are regularly assessed for vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks and other dangers, and all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

Threat Level BLUE

A Blue condition is declared when there is a general risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the protective measures taken under Threat Level Green, each institution should consider taking the following steps:

  • The institution should insure that all personnel are notified that Threat Level Blue has been established and provide general information regarding the basis for establishing the heightened level of alertness.
  • Each agency shall advise and periodically remind all employees to report the following to campus police or security:

  • Suspicious personnel, particularly those carrying suitcases or other containers, or those observing, photographing, or engaging in suspicious conduct around critical facilities.

  • Unidentified vehicles parked or operated in a suspicious manner on, or in the vicinity of campus facilities or entities that support campus functions.
  • Abandoned parcels or suitcases.
  • Any other activity considered suspicious.

  • The person with access to building plans for campus facilities will be contacted and should be placed on-call.

  • Ensure that law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies will have immediate access to building floor plans and emergency evacuation plans should the need arise.
  • Key personnel, who are necessary to the implementation of facility specific security plans and evacuation, should be on-call and readily available.
  • Secure buildings, rooms, and storage areas not in regular use.

Threat Level YELLOW

An Elevated Yellow Condition is declared when there is a significant risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in Threat Level Blue, the institution should consider taking the following measures:

  • The institution should ensure that the campus community is notified that Threat Level Yellow has been established and provide general information regarding the basis for establishing the heightened level of alertness. Keep the campus community informed of the general situation to stop rumors and prevent unnecessary alarm. Periodically update all personnel as the situation changes and reassure the campus community that response plans are in place.
  • Direct maintenance and custodial personnel as well as employees assigned to a facility to be aware of any suspicious activity, packages, or signs of tampering or indications of unauthorized entry. If anything suspicious is identified, they should be instructed to notify campus police immediately.
  • Notify Student Activities to monitor for any signs of protest or other acts which may constitute a threat to the campus community.
  • Limit access to critical areas of campus. Ensure that security equipment is operational and security procedures are being followed. Visitors should be restricted from entering these facilities or should be escorted at all times.

Threat Level ORANGE

An Orange Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in Threat Level Yellow, the institution should consider taking the following measures:

  • The institution should insure that all personnel are notified that Threat Level Orange has been established and provide general information regarding the basis for establishing the heightened level of alertness. Keep the campus community informed of the general situation to stop rumors and prevent unnecessary alarm. Periodically update all personnel as the situation changes and reassure the campus community that response plans are in place.
  • Place “On-Call” all personnel responsible for implementing facility specific emergency action or evacuation plans.
  • Review all emergency action and evacuation plans for facilities specifically targeted in order to protect personnel and employees.
  • Inspect command center and test relevant equipment to ensure its operability. Inventory emergency supplies and review activation procedures.
  • Eliminate parking and traffic on campus grounds near sensitive areas. Position barricades or vehicles, as a second layer of protection, to prevent entry into these areas.
  • Increase security activity to the maximum level sustainable.
  • Consult local authorities about closing public roads that might make the institution vulnerable to terrorist attacks in the event the level progresses to Threat Level Red.
  • At the beginning and end of each workday and at frequent intervals, inspect the interior and exterior of buildings in regular use for suspicious activity, packages, or for signs of tampering or indications of unauthorized entry.
  • Test each facility specific incident warning system. Ensure that all elements of each facility evacuation plan are in place and remind personnel of actions to be taken if an order to evacuate is issued.

Threat Level RED

A Red Condition is declared when there is an imminent risk of terrorist attacks. In the event the Governor declares a Threat Level Red, each Institution will follow the guidelines ordered by the Governor. Lacking specific guidelines from the Governor or in addition to them, the following measures will be taken. These actions are in addition to those measures implemented in Threat Level Orange.

  • Place all critical personnel on extended hours. Cancel all leave until the threat level is reduced.
  • Implement reasonable screening procedures for incoming deliveries, packages, and mail to identify possible dangerous devices or materials.
  • Verify the identity of all personnel entering sensitive facilities such as ITS, Food Service, President’s Office, etc. Visitors to these and other critical facilities must be thoroughly identified and verification of their mission or approval of the person to be visited must be obtained. At all times, an escort is to be provided. The name of any person who is denied access will be ordered to leave the campus and their names and all personal identifiers recorded.
  • Increase liaison with local public safety agencies and request assistance with identifying and monitoring the threat to campus facilities.
  • Test each facility specific incident warning system. Ensure that all elements of each facility evacuation plan are in place and reiterate to those personnel the actions to be taken if an order to evacuate is issued.
  • Implement security measures for high-risk personnel to enhance personal security. High-risk personnel should at a minimum alter established patterns and take additional security measures when traveling. Reiterate any Executive Protection Plans and precautions with affected personnel. Cancel or delay all administrative movement that is not essential.
  • If appropriate, cancel or reschedule events or meetings. If it’s a “mission critical” meeting, advance notification to the campus police must be made with specific approval received, in order for the meeting to be held. Specific and detailed identification procedures, to include access control measures, are implemented with a layered approach to facility and meeting room access. Escorts provided at all times.
  • Eliminate parking and traffic on facility grounds near sensitive areas. If appropriate, position barricades or vehicles, as a second layer of protection, to prevent entry into these areas.
  • If reasonable, suspend all deliveries and prohibit packages, bags, and other containers from being brought into state facilities.
  • At the beginning and end of each workday and at frequent intervals, inspect the interior and exterior of buildings in regular use for suspicious activity, packages, or for signs of tampering or indications of unauthorized entry.
  • If appropriate, initiate emergency action or evacuation plans for facilities specifically targeted in order to protect personnel and employees. For essential facilities that must remain open, consider evacuating non-essential personnel.
  • If appropriate, dismiss classes and evacuate non-essential personnel. If the campus is evacuated, ensure that those personnel assigned to protect and maintain the facilities have adequate shelter and food available to them.
  • If the campus is closed and evacuated, consult local authorities about closing public roads, which bisect the campus. At minimum, barricade any campus road, which does not provide through traffic to the outside community.
  • Identify the owners of all vehicles already parked at the campus. In those cases where the owner or presence of a vehicle cannot be explained (owner is not present and has no obvious campus affiliation), inspect the vehicle for dangerous items and take steps to remove the vehicle from the vicinity if possible.
  • Establish a mechanism to periodically re-check all Threat Level provisions (Threat Level Green through Red) to insure that specified measures have been implemented and that they are sustainable.