10.2.9 Occupant Emergency Planning

Manual Transmittal

October 05, 2017


(1) This transmits revised IRM 10.2.9, Occupant Emergency Planning.

Material Changes

(1) As of January 1, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instituted a requirement that the IRM address relevant internal controls. This will inform employees about the importance of and context for internal controls by describing the program objectives and officials charged with program management and oversight. Internal controls are the program’s policies and procedures which ensure:

  1. Mission and program objectives are clearly delineated and key terms defined.

  2. Program goals are established and performance is measured to assess the efficient and effective mission and objective accomplishment.

  3. Program and resources are protected against waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and misappropriation.

  4. Program operations are in conformance with applicable laws and regulations.

  5. Financial reporting is complete, current and accurate.

  6. Reliable information is obtained and used for decision making and quality assurance.

(2) Clarified the audience of the IRM as those involved in Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) planning and execution.

(3) Eliminated positions in OEP teams that are not required, and movement toward a team approach to staffing.

(4) Streamlined the Occupant Emergency Organization (OEO).

(5) Increased emphasis on site-specific emergency planning and reducing requirements outside Interagency Security Committee (ISC) standards.

(6) Added IRM, Development of the Occupant Emergency Plan, manager and employee responsibility for understanding the content of their OEP, participating in drills, communication and accountability.

(7) Restructured IRM, Components of the Occupant Emergency Plan, to streamline and eliminate redundancy, and elimination of the long planning sections and mandatory inclusion in the OEP for each type of emergency, incident, with a shift in focus to include in the OEP, types of incidents specific to facility location.

(8) Added IRM, Special Assistance Considerations, a new subsection to be included in the OEP.

(9) Added IRM, Telework and Remote Management Considerations.

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 10.2.9, dated September 12, 2016.



Effective Date


Richard L. Rodriguez
Facilities Management and Security Services
Agency-Wide Shared Services

Program Scope

  1. An OEP is an essential part of a physical security program. The OEP provides emergency procedures for the protection of life and property in and around facilities occupied by IRS personnel. The OEP describes responsibilities, actions and who to contact in the event of an emergency. Properly developed plans can reduce the threat in the event of an emergency to personnel, property, and other assets while minimizing work disruption.

  2. Purpose: This IRM provides guidelines and requirements for the preparation and maintenance of the OEP that deals with those emergency situations that could affect facilities occupied by IRS personnel. The OEP must provide guidance for occupants to follow in the event of an emergency to protect themselves and other personnel within an office, building or facility. Personnel safety is the primary concern of any OEP. Emphasis must also be placed on the protection of IRS assets, e.g. facility, property, equipment, and taxpayer information.

  3. Audience: The primary audience for IRM 10.2.9 Occupant Emergency Program is all IRS employees involved in OEP planning and execution.

  4. Policy Owner: The Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS), is authorized to prescribe the Occupant Emergency Program for use within the IRS.

  5. Program Owner: The Director, Facilities Management and Security Services (FMSS), is responsible for oversight of the OEP Program.

  6. Primary Stakeholders: The primary stakeholders are IRS employees and others who occupy IRS facilities.


  1. The OEP provides policy on developing and executing guidance for IRS employees to follow in the event of an emergency to protect themselves and other occupants within an office, building or facility. The primary concern of an OEP is life safety. An OEP also emphasizes on the protection of IRS assets, e.g. facility, property, equipment, and taxpayer information. The OEP is a site-specific plan tailored for each facility to accommodate local conditions and the functions and requirements for the facility, including building size and the number of employees.


  1. All federal departments and agencies are required to comply with 41 CFR 102-74 - Facility Management, and standards established in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and develop and implement an OEP program.

  2. Occupant Emergency Programs: Interagency Security Committee Guide PDF

  3. IRS plans follow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Protective Service (FPS) guidelines as outlined in Occupant Emergency Plans: Development, Implementation, and Maintenance PDF, whenever possible.


  1. The Chief, AWSS, is authorized to prescribe the OEP Program for use within the IRS.

  2. The Director, FMSS, is responsible for oversight of the OEP Program.

  3. The FMSS Associate Director (AD), Security Policy, is responsible for planning, developing, evaluating and ensuring implementation of the OEP Program.

  4. Each FMSS Operations AD is responsible for ensuring an OEP is developed for all facilities that they support.

  5. FMSS Territory Managers (TM) are responsible for the development, maintenance and implementation of the OEP for each facility in the territory they support, and the oversight and administration of all aspects of the OEP Program for those facilities. The TM must ensure the OEP and/or a consolidated version with all relevant emergency information is accessible to all IRS employees in those facilities.

  6. Managers must ensure that the physical security measures required for protecting information, property and life are applied within their area of supervision and that those measures meet the established minimum security standards outlined in IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook.

  7. Managers must ensure employees are aware of their roles and requirements within the physical security programs.

  8. Managers are responsible for ensuring that employees are familiar with the OEP, evacuation procedures and Shelter-in-Place (SIP) procedures.

  9. Managers must ensure proper OEP Cadre Team (OEPT) coverage at all times, and should consider telework schedules of their employees when assigning OEPT roles as identified in the OEP.

    1. For additional information, see IRM IRM, Occupancy Emergency Plans.

  10. All employees are responsible for:

    1. familiarizing themselves with the OEP for their facility.

    2. following instructions in the event of an emergency.

    3. providing status after any drill or incident has concluded.

    4. participating in drills and exercises.

Program Objectives and Review

  1. Program Goals: The goal of the OEP program is to ensure occupants in all IRS facilities are prepared in the event of an emergency with guidance to follow to protect themselves and IRS assets. The OEP for each facility serves as a reference for emergency protocol. By becoming familiar with and following the processes and procedures outlined in the OEP for each facility, and through participation in regular training, testing and exercises that replicate real-world scenarios, all IRS employees will be prepared to respond to different types of emergency incidents that may arise.

  2. Program Reports: To measure the overall health of the OEP program and the emergency preparedness level of all IRS employees, the FMSS Security Policy office generates monthly, quarterly and cumulative reports through the Security Information Management System (SIMS) database for OEP program core deliverable completions and status: OEP, Emergency Evacuations, and SIP, for leadership and FMSS Operations. SIMS is also used to measure compliance with plan review and exercise requirements.

  3. Program Effectiveness: To ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the OEP program in achieving program objectives:

    1. FMSS Operations will develop an OEP for new facilities within 60 calendars of occupancy, and will review and evaluate the entire OEP for each facility within 12 months of the previous review.

    2. FMSS Operations will update the OEP when there are changes to emergency contact personnel or responsibilities, physical layout of the facility, facility processes or hazards, or codes and regulations.

    3. FMSS Operations will implement any corrective actions identified during a drill or an actual emergency. FMSS Operations, in coordination with other OEP stakeholders for each facility, will conduct Emergency Evacuation Drills (EED), in compliance with 41 FMR 102-74.30, and SIP exercises at a minimum once within 12 months.

    4. Each FMSS TM will review Emergency Evacuation and SIP checklists for incidents and drills, to identify and implement corrective actions to mitigate risk.

    5. FMSS Security Policy will maintain policy guidance that is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and ISC standards, review each new OEP for adherence to policy, review reports on the completions of OEP reviews and associated drills, and conduct a quality review of the OEP and exercise checklists.

  4. Annual Review: FMSS Security Policy will conduct an annual review and assessment of the policies, procedures, and related control activities described in this IRM for continued relevance and effectiveness in achieving program objectives.


  1. Acronym Definition
    AD Associate Director
    AS/AT Active Shooter/Active Threat
    AWSS Agency-Wide Shared Services
    C&L Communications & Liaison
    CCC Child Care Center
    CR Commissioner’s Representative
    DHS Department of Homeland Security
    DO Designated Official
    EED Emergency Evacuation Drill(s)
    FMSS Facilities Management and Security Services
    FPS Federal Protective Service
    GSA General Services Administration
    IAM Individual Accommodation Module
    IC Incident Commander
    ISC Interagency Security Committee
    OEC Occupant Emergency Coordinator
    OEO Occupant Emergency Organization
    OEP Occupant Emergency Plan(s)
    OEPT Occupant Emergency Plan Cadre Team
    POD Post(s)-of-Duty
    SAMC Situational Awareness Management Center
    SCR Senior Commissioner’s Representative
    SIMS Security Information Management System
    SIP Shelter-in-Place
    TM Territory Manager(s)

Related Resources

  1. IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook

  2. IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, Telework (Flexiplace) Program

  3. IRM 10.2.8, Incident Reporting

  4. IRM 10.2.11, Basic Security Concepts

  5. IRM 11.1.3, Communications, Contact with the Public and the Media

  6. Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP)Service-Wide Repository

  7. Emergency Evacuation Checklist

  8. Shelter-in-Place Checklist

  9. Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR Part 1910.39 as outlined in the OSHA Field Safety and Health Manual

  10. The Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities: An Interagency Security Committee Standard PDF

  11. Treasury Directive 23-01, Responsibilities with Respect to Emergency Programs

  12. 41 CFR 102-74 - Facility Management

  13. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

  14. Occupant Emergency Programs: Interagency Security Committee Guide PDF

  15. Occupant Emergency Plans: Development, Implementation, and Maintenance PDF

Development of the Occupant Emergency Plan

  1. Each office or facility occupied by IRS personnel will have an OEP. An effective OEP includes guidance to follow during emergencies and is designed to eliminate confusion and provide orderly procedures for the protection of personnel, documents, property and facilities.

  2. An OEP Planning Team develops the OEP for each facility. The OEP team can consist of a representative of Building Management, FPS personnel, local FMSS Physical Security office, technical experts and local authorities.

    1. The OEP Planning Team will coordinate with the various federal, state and local agencies and departments which provide assistance during emergencies. Contacts with local emergency organizations can develop awareness of local conditions for which special planning is needed such as flood, earthquake, and local severe weather hazards.

    2. All occupant agencies and activities are involved in all aspects of planning and staffing of the OEP. If there are non-government businesses in the building or facility, those businesses should be invited to participate. If all business occupants do not desire to participate in the plan, the plan should be developed without their input. If an emergency does occur, where there is possible danger to other tenants, such as a fire, water leak, discovery of an explosive device, hazardous material, etc., the OEP will specify how building management and other tenants will be notified.

  3. The Designated Official (DO) is the highest ranking official or the alternate highest ranking official or designee selected by agreement of all the occupant agency officials. The DO must supervise the development of the OEP, and review and sign the final document.

    1. In facilities where the DO is not an IRS employee, the responsible IRS official, determined at the facility level, will cooperate with the DO to develop and maintain an effective OEP, to include advising the DO of the IRS’ needs and requirements, participating in training, drills, and tests, and providing adequate staffing for the OEP.

    2. The local FMSS physical security office will then evaluate the OEP. If the OEP is inadequate and the DO will not make the necessary adjustments, FMSS will supplement the OEP as necessary.

  4. If there is a Child Care Center (CCC), the IRS DO or the local FMSS physical security office should work with the building management and Director of the facility to ensure that emergency response procedures have been developed and posted, and that guidelines are followed as established in the Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities: An Interagency Security Committee Standard.

  5. CCC staff must know:

    1. who to contact in the event of a medical emergency.

    2. how the center will be notified of a fire or other danger that may require evacuation.

    3. the location of the fire alarm boxes and fire extinguishers.

    4. the primary and secondary evacuation routes.

    5. the locations of safe areas.

    6. how to notify the designated guardians of the children in the CCC of the meeting place.

  6. Each staff member should be assigned to a specific group of children for whom he/she is to be responsible during an emergency. CCC staff will conduct a practice drill within a 12 month period, at a minimum, in coordination with the facility drill over the prescribed evacuation routes so children won’t be unprepared or unduly alarmed should a real emergency occur.

Components of the Occupant Emergency Plan

  1. The OEP for each facility will be unique because of the varied functions and sizes of offices and facilities within the IRS. At a minimum, the OEP for each facility will consist of an introduction describing the purpose, scope and general content of the plan, and a section for each of the following:

    1. Occupant Emergency Organization

    2. Special Assistance Considerations

    3. Telework and Remote Management Considerations

    4. Emergency Communications and Notification

    5. Emergency Services and Medical Assistance

    6. Responses to Emergency Incidents:
      i. Evacuation
      ii. Shelter-in-Place
      iii. Lockdown
      iv. Office Closings
      v. Active Shooter/Active Threat Response

    7. Emergency Evacuation Drills and Shelter-in-Place Exercises

    8. Specific emergency situations posing an immediate threat to life or property, and the internal and external resources and procedures that will be utilized and require activation of the OEP, which include:
      i. Fires
      ii. Bomb Threats and Explosions
      iii. HAZMAT Incidents
      iv. Natural Disasters and Severe Weather
      v. Demonstrations
      vi. Code Adam/Amber Alerts
      vii. Hostage Situations

Occupant Emergency Organization (OEO)

  1. The OEO is a cadre of people who have responsibility for implementing the OEP. The OEO coordinates all emergency procedures in each facility. The overall OEO structure is designed to be flexible so it can be tailored to the needs of the individual facility.

    1. Designated Official (DO) - The DO supervises the staffing and training of the OEO. The DO has overall responsibility for managing emergencies during normal duty hours, approving the activation of the OEP, coordinating with all tenants during the incident, and supervising the development of the OEP. At those facilities where IRS is the primary federal agency, the highest-ranking IRS official at the site, typically the Senior Commissioner’s Representative (SCR) or their designee, will serve as the DO.

    2. Command Center Team - The Command Center is the center of all emergency communication and is staffed by the Command Center Team Members. The Incident Command Center Team directs emergency operations. All key members of the OEO will report to the Incident Commander (IC). The Commissioner’s Representative (CR) is the on-site contact for the SCR and acts as the OEP Incident Commander until the SCR arrives on-scene and takes command.

    3. Occupant Emergency Coordinator (OEC) - The DO or his designee will appoint the OEC. The OEC assists and acts for the DO and serves as a liaison with other OEO members. The OEC coordinates OEP procedures with other tenants; records emergency procedures implemented; and provides other administrative services as needed, which can include soliciting OEPT members and participating in review of the Emergency Evacuation and SIP checklists.

    4. OEP Team - Depending on the size, structure and function of the individual facility, the OEO will include an OEPT. The OEPT is comprised of tenant employees of agencies in a building who volunteer to participate on the team and are delegated specific team assignments established by the OEP. The OEPT plays a key role in the OEP implementation in response to emergency events. The teams may be called upon to assist in controlling events by directing evacuations, communicating information, securing areas and assisting in SIP. The OEP templates outline positions that can be included depending on the facility, for example floor captains and stairwell monitors.

    5. The OEP will identify and provide the contact information for each member of the OEO and OEPT.

Special Assistance Considerations

  1. The needs of individuals with disabilities and other needs for special assistance during emergencies, including those with temporary or permanent mobility impairments, medical concerns, or hearing or vision impairment must be considered and adequately addressed in all aspects of the OEP development, implementation, practical application, and review.

    1. Individuals with disabilities or who require assistance must self-identify with their manager of record to be included in the OEP planning. This information will only be provided to those with a need to know.

    2. The manager of record will assign a special assistance monitor (buddy) to assist the individual with disabilities in evacuating the area or SIP.

    3. The manager of record will develop any notification and communication procedures and will acquire and test any special equipment needed during an emergency.

    4. The OEP will include procedures for evacuation or SIP of individuals with disabilities. Any actions taken during activation of the plan must be as effective for individuals with disabilities as those actions provided for the other occupants of the facility.

    5. The Emergency Occupancy Emergency Plan (OEP) Individual Accommodation Module (IAM) provides a template for managers and individuals with disabilities to design a customized plan based on specific needs for assistance.

Telework and Remote Management Considerations

  1. Telework is a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee's position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work. Managers are expected to communicate expectations to both emergency and non-emergency employees regarding their roles and responsibilities in an emergency. This is especially challenging for remote managers and offsite employees.

  2. The OEPT will address telework considerations and consider a team approach to staffing the OEPT, to ensure all IRS employees are prepared in the event of an emergency and accounted for, whether it occurs at the telework location or at the employee’s Post of Duty (POD) while the employee is on telework, and to ensure adequate emergency personnel are on hand to assist in controlling the event.

    1. For additional guidance, see IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, Telework (Flexiplace) Program on manager and employee responsibilities for telework.

    2. For additional information, see the ERC for Emergency Information on OEP Accountability procedures for employees with off-site manager on the ERC.

    3. For additional guidance, see https://www.ready.gov/ for resources on emergency preparedness for employees and families.

Emergency Communication and Notification

  1. The OEP will include the procedures for occupants to report an emergency, which are outlined in IRM 10.2.8, Incident Reporting. Emergency communication and notification methods are based on facility-specific needs and resources, and include:

    1. timely and accurate information transmission and receipt by all members of the OEO and occupants of the facility.

    2. procedures to notify federal and local law enforcement agencies and emergency responders.

    3. multiple means of communication, since the results of a serious emergency condition frequently include power outages and telephone lines.

  2. A pyramid or cascade call system is an effective means of alerting an organization of an emergency without tying up the communications system. It involves the DO or designee responsible for initiating emergency action calling one set of individuals who then call another set of individuals. The number of calls each individual is responsible for will vary with the size of the organization. The OEP Planning Team will ensure procedures are in place to review the accuracy of the contact information and regularly test the call system.

  3. Emergency alerts and notifications are the initial warning to facility occupants that an emergency situation exists. Examples of alerts can include:

    1. The audible sounds of a facility fire alarm

    2. Flashing strobe lights

    3. Public address systems

    4. Enterprise alert notifications

    5. An oral announcement from a member of the OEO


      The OEP Planning Team will identify the notification systems that are in place and the procedures to use them.

  4. A spokesperson for public affairs will be designated in coordination with the SCR and approved by the DO to respond to the media and public regarding any emergency incident. All media and public responses must be cleared through the Communications & Liaison (C&L) Office, as outlined in IRM 11.1.3, Communications, Contact with the Public and the Media, before release.

Emergency Services and Medical Assistance

  1. The OEP Planning Team will include contact information for available emergency services and medical assistance in the plan as applicable to the facility covered by the OEP: The availability and response of emergency services are vital to an emergency plan.The plan must identify, with phone numbers, the services required for each emergency as well as the capabilities, limitations and response times of each service.


    In most geographic areas, 911 will activate an emergency response.

Response to Emergency Incidents

  1. The OEP Planning Team will address the following types of responses to emergency incidents in the OEP.


  1. Deciding whether and how to evacuate depends on the type of threat, the circumstances of the threat, and where the danger is or is suspected to be. The evacuation procedures must provide for the fastest route(s) out of the building for all occupants, and specify alternate routes in the event the primary route is not accessible. The primary goal is to move individuals from the danger area as safely and rapidly as possible.

  2. There will be situations where a full evacuation may not be advisable or practical. In many situations, a partial evacuation is sufficient, e.g. an emergency situation is localized on one floor or area. If an incident expands and threatens occupants in other parts of the facility, it may require full evacuation. During partial evacuations, OEPT members must take care not to move individuals from a relatively safe area through a hazardous area in the process of evacuation.

Evacuation Signals

  1. The method of notifying occupants and communications options available to evacuate will vary depending on the type of emergency, the building layout, alarm system installed, and communications systems available, but must be specified in the plan. The general alarm can and should normally be used for complete evacuation.

  2. Different types of emergencies such as fire, bomb threat, bomb, suspicious package, explosion, gas leak, power failure, etc. may require different procedures. Evacuation may also be advisable prior to a severe weather condition. Depending on the facility, these situations may require a method of notification other than the general alarm.

  3. OEPT members must know the various evacuation signals to ensure prompt notification and proper direction of facility occupants.

Evacuation Procedures

  1. Employees will follow the direction of the evacuation signals, OEPT, on-site FMSS Physical Security staff, and emergency responders.

Evacuation Site and Re-entry

  1. Evacuation assembly areas or rally points will be at least 300 feet from the building and will be described in detail in the OEP. OEPT members will ensure that individuals do not re-enter the building/area(s) evacuated until the area(s) have been determined safe and the DO authorizes re-entry, and will use established notification procedures to contact occupants at off-site meetings and/or visitors and advise them that an incident has occurred and that they will be unable to gain access to the facility until an all-clear is given by federal or local responders.

Shelter-in-Place (SIP)

  1. During some emergencies, it is not safe or appropriate to evacuate because outside conditions may be dangerous. SIP is a protective action individuals can take to remain inside a facility and protected from exposure to threats from outdoors. During such events, OEO/OEPT members, local authorities or emergency responders may instruct occupants to remain at their desks or move to pre-designated shelters in safe areas, depending on the event. SIP is a short-term measure meant to accommodate a situation for only a few hours by taking immediate shelter in a readily accessible pre-designated location, unless the specific threat dictates otherwise.

  2. The types of events where SIP procedures may be initiated include:

    1. Biological or chemical event

    2. Civil disturbance

    3. Explosion, fire, criminal activity or other threat in close proximity to facility

    4. Natural disaster

    5. Inclement weather

  3. The DO will provide guidance and direction in response to a given event, in coordination with federal or local emergency response officials. The DO will activate the SIP plan and determine the level and the duration. The DO will communicate with the OEC, who will in turn communicate instructions to the OEO/OEPT.

  4. OEO/OEPT members will assist in:

    1. communicating to employees the need to maintain and bring water, medical prescriptions and non-perishable food items with them.

    2. directing tenants to designated SIP locations, and/or marked areas with the yellow SIP sticker for sheltering.

    3. sheltering employees in designated SIP rooms and disbursement and use of SIP kits during a SIP emergency event.

  5. SIP locations will be identified in advance, designated with a yellow SIP decal and specified in the plan. SIP rooms are best located on middle floors and in interior rooms away from outside walls and with as few windows and doors as possible. In general, SIP locations will be identified based on the features that make that facility vulnerable to the outside airborne contaminant releases, with sufficient space for the occupants.

  6. During a SIP emergency, entrances and exits must be secured. OEO/OEPT members will move occupants away from windows and building entrances/exits. OEO/OEPT members will use established notification procedures to notify occupants at off-site meetings and/or visitors and advise them that an incident has occurred and that they will be unable to gain access to the facility until an all-clear is given by federal or local responders.


  1. A lockdown is a protective action occupants can take when there is a threat from an action occurring inside or outside of the building and occupants cannot safely evacuate, e.g. when an individual has gained entrance with the intent to commit a violent act, such as active shooter.

  2. The reasons for initiating lockdown and SIP procedures are markedly different. In general, local law enforcement, emergency responders, or OEO/OEPT members will implement a lockdown due to actions occurring inside the building, and will initiate a SIP because of actions taking place outside of the building, such as severe weather or an accidental chemical release.

    1. A transition from a SIP to a lockdown can occur based on the scenario outside the building. A SIP initiated due to civil unrest can result in a lockdown if the event subsequently turns into an imminent threat.


      Civil unrest - peaceful demonstration; imminent threat - destructive riot.

    2. The threat may come from individuals who have knowledge of the security procedures, layout, and operating procedures of the building.


      Current or former employees.

  3. Once a lockdown is declared, emergency personnel will instruct occupants to get out of all open areas such as hallways and stairwells. Occupants must follow directions received from emergency personnel.

Office Closings

  1. Severe weather or other adverse conditions may develop before or during working hours that necessitate office closure and the need to advise employees. The primary source of information is the IRS Emergency Information Hotline (1-866-743-5748).


    For additional guidance on office closings, see IRM 1.4.12, Resource Guide for Managers, Senior Commissioner’s Representatives Roles in Management of IRS Non-Campus Field and Headquarters Offices.

Active Shooter/Active Threat (AS/AT) Response

  1. An active shooter is an individual or individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. An active threat is used to describe any incident with a perpetrator who poses a potential risk to life safety.

  2. AS/AT plans include courses of action that describe how occupants can most effectively respond to an active shooter situation to minimize the loss of life, and will address training on these practices. Procedures developed require coordination among the DO, facility managers, physical security staff, emergency management personnel, employees and federal, state, and local law enforcement, and are designed to reduce the likelihood of active shooter or threat events, increase the effectiveness of response, and limit casualties.

  3. An effective shooter plan will include:

    1. proactive steps that can be taken by occupants to identify individuals who may be on a trajectory to commit a violent act.

    2. a preferred method for communicating active shooter incidents, including informing all occupants in the facility or those who may be entering the facility and ensuring the communication methods are effective for individuals with disabilities.

    3. how to neutralize the threat and achieve life safety objectives.

  4. Employees are encouraged to participate in AS/AT awareness training and understand the federally-endorsed "RUN, HIDE, FIGHT" concept and the importance of having a personal plan.

    1. "RUN" - If it is safe to do so, the first course of action that should be taken is to run. When possible, employees should exit the building through the safest route and proceed to a designated assembly location or an alternate safe site.

    2. "HIDE" - If running is not a safe option, employees should hide in a place as safe as possible.

    3. "FIGHT" - If neither running nor hiding is a safe option, when confronted by the AS/AT, employees in immediate danger should consider trying to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter.

Specific Emergency Situations

  1. The following are specific emergency situations that pose potential threats to IRS personnel and property. The OEP will include planning and procedures to address each threat, identify the internal and external resources, and outline the procedures to be followed when the OEP is activated.


  1. A major portion of the IRS's efforts to deal with the threat of fire must be in fire prevention. All facilities must be in compliance with the fire prevention measures in OSHA Standard 29 CFR Part 1910.39 as outlined in the OSHA Field Safety and Health Manual.

Bomb Threats and Explosions

  1. Although most bomb threats do not result in an explosion or discovery of an explosive device, it is very important that threats are thoroughly evaluated and that effective procedures exist for reacting to threats. The FPS has primary search responsibility if a bomb is suspected in federal space.

  2. Form 9166, Bomb Threat Card can be used for employees to record the receipt of bomb threat information.


    Under no circumstances will an IRS employee attempt to move or examine a suspected explosive device.

Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Incidents

  1. HAZMAT is any substance or material that, when released in sufficient quantities, poses a risk to health, safety and property. HAZMAT includes chemical, radiological, or biological substances and materials such as water treatment chemicals, detergents and other cleaning supplies, explosives, radioactive materials, flammable liquids or solids, poisons, oxidizers, toxins and corrosive materials. OSHA Field Safety and Health Manual offers detailed information on HAZMAT communications.

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

  1. Severe weather preparedness plans address the type(s) of weather most likely to cause threatening conditions or disruption of operations, depending on the location of each facility. The types of weather conditions to consider are:

    1. Tornado

    2. Hurricane or windstorm

    3. Winter storm

    4. Severe thunderstorm

    5. Flooding

    6. Tsunami

    7. Earthquake


    For additional guidance on local weather threat procedures, see https://www.ready.gov/, the ERC (for office closing policy) or at 1-800-743-5748, Option 3.


  1. General guidelines for an earthquake are:

    1. During: stay indoors, if already there, take cover under sturdy furniture such as desks or work tables, stay near the center of the building, stay away from glass windows and doors, and if outside, stay away from buildings and utility wires.

    2. After: stay out of damaged buildings, and have building maintenance check the building for damaged water or gas lines and broken or shorted electrical lines.

Demonstrations/Civil Unrest

  1. The emphasis on planning for demonstration and civil unrest response must be on minimizing the potential for confrontation that can develop into violence and for avoiding the involvement of IRS employees with demonstrators.

  2. OEO/OEPT members will contact local law enforcement agencies and FPS to develop coordinated plans to deal with demonstrations. OEO/OEPT members must also notify on-site IRS enforcement personnel (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration/Criminal Investigation (TIGTA/CI)), and instruct IRS employees to stay away from windows and doors to the extent possible during demonstrations, until additional instructions are given.

Code Adam/Amber Alerts

  1. IRS has developed procedures for a child missing within or from one of their facilities, in accordance with the Code Adam Act of 2003, Title III, Subtitle D, of the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003.

  2. Once a child is determined missing "within" an IRS facility, an Adam alert will be initiated in accordance with General Services Administration (GSA) local procedures.

  3. Once a child is determined missing "from" an IRS facility, an Amber alert will be initiated.

  4. For additional guidance, see theCode Adam and Amber Alert Program - IRS Managers Guide.

Hostage Situations

  1. The use of hostages is a means to gain negotiating advantage. The IRS is particularly susceptible to this threat because of the high level of public access to employees and managers.


    The OEP must emphasize the use of properly trained law enforcement. Untrained employees should not make any attempt to negotiate during a hostage situation.

Emergency Evacuation Drills and Shelter-in-Place Exercises

  1. Each FMSS TM is responsible for ensuring EED and SIP exercises are scheduled and conducted at all assigned locations, to assure the readiness of all IRS facility occupants.

  2. FMSS, in collaboration with other OEP stakeholders at each facility, will conduct an EED within 12 months of the prior completion either as part of, or in addition to the plan review required in the Shelter-in-Place subsection. Although actual evacuation drills are recommended and are the most effective means of evaluating a plan, an effective drill can be conducted without a total evacuation of a facility and may consist of a discussion about evacuation routes, duties and responsibilities of various employees. These discussions will be followed by a "walk-through" of the evacuation routes. Drills of this nature can be conducted by groups or sections of employees. Facilities that experience a high rate of employee turnover, temporary hires or have frequent teleworkers should consider semi-annual drills. Similarly, FMSS will conduct a SIP exercise, at a minimum, within 12 months of the prior completion.

  3. Each FMSS TM will establish procedures to provide for the notification of all appropriate authorities (Situational Awareness Management Center (SAMC), head of office, emergency response services such as fire department, FPS, etc.) when drills are conducted. The notification will include comments about any plan weaknesses or training needs determined by the drill.

  4. The Emergency Evacuation Checklist and Shelter-in-Place Checklist will be used to document the exercises or events and findings.