4-OP-E-11 Emergency Closure

Responsible Executive:  Finance and Administration

Approving Official:         Vice President for Finance and Administration<

Effective Date:                July 14, 2021

Revision History:          New


An emergency event may require the partial or full closure of FSU campuses to protect students, faculty and staff and/or to prepare for, respond to or recover from an emergency.  For purposes of this policy the term “emergency” is defined as:  the threat of a hurricane or tropical storm, other severe weather events, flooding or environmental hazards that cause large numbers of individuals to become displaced, or a declared emergency by FSU President, local, state, or federal government, whether related to weather or other causes.

  • Campus closure may be required to accomplish the following objectives:
    • Protecting life
    • Supporting health & safety services
    • Protecting University assets
    • Maintaining or restoring essential University systems
    • Assessing and repairing damages
    • Restoring general campus operations
  • As such, when an emergency closure is announced campus facilities and grounds will not be accessible except to those performing emergency work or pre-authorized by public safety officials.


  • It is the policy of Florida State University to implement an emergency closure of its Florida campus(es) when an event or incident threatens to cause harm to students, faculty, staff and/or visitors or it is required to achieve the above objectives.  When implemented, notice of closure will be communicated via all applicable portals and notification means at the disposal of the University.  When announced, all unauthorized personnel should prepare to leave the campus with no undue delay.  The re-opening of campus will be announced by the same process when the objectives referenced above have been appropriately addressed. 
  • Considerations for Closure
  • Considerations for closure include, but are not limited to:
    1. National Weather Service (NWS) severe weather watches and warnings are issued for the campus locations.
    2. An emergency or public health declaration by the county, state or federal government that include the city, county or state where the campus is located.
    3. Campus Public Safety, Health or other officials identify a credible threat that would limit or cause failure in achieving the above objectives or such an event has occurred or is occurring.
    4. The decision and timing of the local school board to close; likely in response to considerations like those herein.
    5. The University's requirements per Florida Statute 252 that may be required by the local emergency management agency.
  • Closure Decision-making & Coordination
    1. Florida State University Emergency Management (FSU-EM) is consistently monitoring information from a variety of sources to assess the need for protective actions and to provide situational awareness to University leadership. 
    2. When an event/incident is identified that threatens University objectives, FSU-EM will initiate a briefing with Executive Policy Group (EPG) to review the threat, impacts, necessary actions, and timing & duration of closure.
    3. The EPG is comprised of executive leadership and includes:
      1. Vice President of Finance & Administration (Chair)
      2. Chief of Police (Co-Chair)
      3. Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs 
      4. Finance and Administration Chief of Staff/Associate Vice President for Human Resources 
      5. Emergency Management Director 
      6. Vice President of Student Affairs
      7. Assistant Vice President of University Communications
      8. Senior Associate Vice President of Facilities
      9. Assistant Vice President Office of Business Services
    4. It is recognized that the timing of both closings and re-openings of satellite campuses may differ from the main campus.  As such:
      1. Satellite and regional campus leadership will maintain procedures that detail their unique actions for closure; coordination with FSU Emergency Management; and be approved in advance by the Chair of the EPG.
      2. Protective actions for International Programs are addressed by International Programs’ leadership, in consultation with local and main campus authorities. When protective actions are implemented, notification will be communicated through applicable portals and notifications means appropriate for the specific location(s) affected.
    5. All decisions and actions will be documented in Situation Reports (SitReps) and Incident Action Plans (IAPs).
  • Unauthorized Sheltering
    1. The use of faculty/staff offices or any education space as shelters before, during or after a severe weather event is not permitted unless approved by the University. Not all campus buildings are deemed adequate to serve as shelters and there are no assurances that law enforcement or other university staff will be able to assist with life safety situations at alternate locations during a severe weather event. The university will take no legal responsibility for such unauthorized sheltering on campus.  Those in need of a place of refuge will be directed to the approved facility on campus designated for that purpose.
  • Damage & Safety Assessments 
    1. After a severe weather event, public safety officials must assess the campus grounds and buildings for hazardous conditions.  Following the assessment, and remediation phase if warranted, public safety officials will make the decision for the full or partial resumption of campus activities and access with University leadership.  There should be no attempt to access closed areas without the proper authorization. 
  • Continuity & Disruption Planning
    1. Campus units should make every effort to have plans in place for the continuity of research or other work in the event of significant events that force prolonged closure of the University.  Deans, directors or department heads requiring access to offices for their students/faculty/staff, during an emergency closure will require authorization from public safety officials.


  • 4-OP-E-5 Emergency Management
  • Florida State University Police Department, General Order 10-20B, Critical Incident Response/Rapid Deployment Policy
  • Regulation 3.001 Campus Emergency Management, Florida Board of Governors