10.2.9  Occupant Emergency Planning  (09-21-2009)

  1. Occupant Emergency Plans (OEP) are an essential part of a security program. In the event of an emergency, properly developed plans can reduce the threat to personnel, property, and other assets while minimizing work disruption. This Section provides guidelines and requirements for the preparation and maintenance of plans to deal with those emergency situations that could affect facilities occupied by Service personnel.

  2. This section prescribes the occupant emergency planning process for all Internal Revenue Service personnel, including Chief Counsel and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration personnel, and all Internal Revenue Service facilities.

  3. Because of the variety of size and functions of Service facilities it is impractical to develop a standard Occupant Emergency Plan suitable for all offices. While this Section does prescribe guidelines and procedures to follow when preparing an emergency plan, it is essential that each plan be tailored to accommodate local conditions and requirements. Emphasis must be placed on developing a workable, realistic plan with the key ingredient being life safety. Some plans will be more elaborate than others, i.e. a submission processing campus plan will be quite extensive while the plan for a small post of duty may require only a few paragraphs.

  4. The plan must provide guidance for occupants to follow in the event of an emergency to protect themselves and other personnel within the office, building/facility. Personnel safety is the primary concern of any occupant emergency plan. However, just as important is the protection of the facility, property, equipment, money, and tax information. For these reasons, all plausible situations must be addressed so that all personnel involved will know what procedures to follow or where to obtain the necessary information. (Exhibit 10.2.9-1 provides an Occupant Emergency Plan Check List to assist in formulating a sound plan.)  (09-21-2009)

  1. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Protective Service (FPS) requires that Occupant Emergency Plans be prepared for all federally occupied space. Because of these requirements and in an effort to cooperate with the GSA and other tenant agencies, Service plans will follow the DHS/FPS occupant emergency guidelines whenever possible.

  2. Per IRM, The Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services, is authorized to prescribe the Physical Security Program for use within the IRS. The Director, Physical Security and Emergency Preparedness, is responsible for oversight of this IRS Program. The Associate Director, Risk Management, is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, evaluating, and controlling this IRS Program.

  3. Each PSEP Area Director is responsible for ensuring that adequate Occupant Emergency Plans are developed for facilities at all service sites they support.

  4. The local Physical Security Office, with input from the Designated Official, is responsible for development and maintenance of the Occupant Emergency Plan (in electronic format) for Service facilities they support.

  5. At those facilities where IRS is the primary Federal agency, the highest ranking official at the site, typically the Senior Commissioner Representative (SCR), or their designee, will serve as the Designated Official and will be responsible for assisting the local Physical Security Office in the development and maintenance of the Occupant Emergency Plan by notifying the local Physical Security Office when a change in personnel and/or office conditions occur so that necessary changes can be made. At those facilities where the Designated Official is not an IRS employee (multi-tenant buildings where IRS is not the lead tenant), IRS officials at that site will work with the Designated Official to develop and maintain the plan.

  6. All managers who have employees assigned as team members to the plan, will notify the OEP Coordinator when any member is transferred, retires, or because of extraordinary workload and/or circumstances can no longer perform their duties as an OEP team member and will provide a replacement member, providing the name and other pertinent information required to the OEP Coordinator. The OEP Coordinator will forward the information to the local Physical Security Office for the necessary updates to be made in the OEP. Managers who have employees with disabilities will also notify the appropriate monitor and the Plan Coordinator when that employee is not on the premises (attending training, on vacation, sick leave, etc.).  (10-01-2008)
Occupant Emergency Organization

  1. The Occupant Emergency Plan is devised to provide emergency procedures for the protection of life and property in specific federally occupied space and is designed to safely evacuate employees assigned to the building/facility and visitors. All resident federal agencies assigned to the building or facility should be a part of the plan.

  2. An emergency may involve fires, bomb threats, explosions, HAZMAT, demonstrations, civil disturbances, hostage situations, floods, hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, power failures, or earthquakes as well as other natural and human caused disasters. In the event of an emergency, properly developed plans should reduce the threat to personnel, property and other assets while minimizing work disruption.

  3. The Federal agency having the largest number of employees working and renting space square footage in a building/facility is the primary occupant agency. As such, the highest ranking official of the primary occupant agency is generally identified as the Designated Official. The Designated Official assists in the coordination of the plan with all tenants, activates the plan and oversees the response should an emergency occur, and ensures that the plan is followed during emergencies.

  4. Emergency operations are directed by the Command Center Team. The following are recommended components of the Command Center Team. However, during the emergency operation, it may not be necessary or feasible to include all components.

    1. Designated Official -- the highest ranking official of the primary occupant agency or the alternate highest ranking official or designee selected by mutual agreement of other occupant agency officials. This official is responsible for the activation, coordination and maintenance of the plan in all emergencies during normal duty hours.

    2. Occupant Emergency Coordinator -- assists and acts for the Designated Official and serves as a liaison with other team members. Record implemented emergency procedures, maintains organization records (monthly updates) and provides other required administrative services.

    3. Damage Control Coordinator -- identifies utilities, fire protection alarm systems, communications equipment and other emergency equipment in the building; maintains an emergency call list for utilities and hazardous substances; directs damage control team activities and makes recommendations regarding use of facilities and equipment. (This responsibility may be performed by the building engineer or other individual familiar with the facility, its contents and equipment.)

    4. Floor Team Coordinator -- during an emergency controls planned movement (between floors) and other activities of occupants; and, coordinates floor and elevator monitor activities.

    5. Medical Coordinator-- identifies available medical emergency services, maintains first aid equipment, arranges CPR, first-aid and other paramedical training and maintains lists of personnel with paramedical training.

    6. Technical Advisors -- occupants familiar with the building’s utilities and mechanical systems or other areas of expertise who advise the DO and OEC. In a small facility, some positions, such as Administrative Officer, Medical Coordinator, and Floor Team Coordinator, may not be needed; or one person could perform several functions

  5. The Occupant Emergency Organization 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 occupant emergency plan. The OEP team members play a key role in the Occupant Emergency Plan implementation and enhance a quick response to events. The teams may be called upon to assist in controlling events by directing evacuations, communicating information, securing areas and assisting in shelter in place. The following are recommended team positions although all positions may not be needed.

    1. Floor Captain – Directs the activities of monitors for assigned floors, conducts a final check of rooms on a floor and notifies the Command Center that a floor is all clear or assistance is needed

    2. Floor Monitor – Directs occupants to nearest exit, checks floor to make sure it has been evacuated, advises floor captain when area is clear or when assistance is needed

    3. Stairwell Monitor – Checks stairwell doors and stairwell to assure they are clear, keeps doors open and traffic moving, redirects personnel if stairwell becomes congested or unsafe and reports to the floor captain when floor is clear or assistance is needed

    4. Elevator Monitor – Reports to elevator lobby, redirects occupants to stairwells and advises floor captain if assistance is needed

    5. Special Assistance Monitors – Assists individuals with disabilities in evacuating and advises Stairwell Monitor and Floor Captain if occupant is unable to evacuate and needs assistance (assistance monitors should remain with disabled individuals throughout the event)  (09-21-2009)
Plan Development

  1. An effective plan includes all anticipated emergencies, but is simple to follow and implement. Complex plans are more difficult to operate and often cause confusion. The plan should be designed to eliminate confusion and provide an orderly procedure for the protection of personnel, documents, property and facilities. Life safety is the primary concern.

  2. A properly developed plan will require coordination with the various agencies and departments, both Federal and State, which provide assistance during emergencies. For example, knowledge of procedures and techniques used by local fire and police departments and the Federal Protective Service (FPS) is necessary to develop an effective plan to deal with fires, building evacuations, demonstrations, chemical/biological threats, etc. 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.

  3. An Advisory Committee consisting of the Building Manager, FPS personnel, local IRS physical security office, technical experts and local authorities may be formed to help develop the plan and organization. The committee should remain available for consultation after the plan has been completed.

  4. It is important that all occupant agencies and activities be involved in all aspects of planning and staffing of the Occupant Emergency Plan. If there are non-government businesses in the building or facility, those businesses should be invited to participate. It should be explained that the plan is designed to protect the life and property of all occupants and their participation will permit their special interests and needs to be considered and incorporated into the plan. If they do not desire to participate in the plan, the plan should be developed without their input.

  5. Provisions will be made in the plan that 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 building management and other tenants will be notified.

  6. If there is a child care center, the IRS Designated Official or the local Physical Security Office personnel should work with the building management and Director of such facility to ensure that emergency response procedures have been developed and posted, and that: .

    1. Child Care Center staff should know whom to contact in the event of a medical emergency, how the center will be notified of a fire or other danger that may require evacuation, the location of the fire alarm boxes and fire extinguishers, the primary and secondary evacuation routes, and the locations of safe areas. Center staff should be reminded to select a meeting place that is clear of the facility and to provide this information to parents.

    2. Each staff member should be assigned a specific group of children for whom he/she is to be responsible during an emergency. Center staff should conduct practice drills over the prescribed evacuation routes so children won't be unprepared or unduly alarmed should a real emergency occur.

  7. The plan will identify the responsible individual for each action specified in the plan.  (10-01-2008)
Components of the Plan

  1. The plan for each facility will be different because of the varied functions and sizes of offices and facilities within the Service, but at a minimum, the plan for each facility will consist of an introduction describing the purpose, scope and general content of the plan, and an appendix for each of the following:

    1. The Emergency Organization

    2. Emergency Event Notification and Information

    3. Evacuation Procedures

    4. Responsibilities of Managers and Employees

    5. Fire and Explosion

    6. Bomb Threats

    7. HAZMAT Incidents

    8. Shelter-in-Place

    9. Hostage Situation

    10. Demonstrations and Civil Disorders

    11. Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

    12. Emergency Communication System

    13. Communications and Liaison

    14. Checklist

  2. For smaller posts-of-duty the level of planning will be based on local conditions. At a minimum, each office will have a basic plan consisting of an introduction describing the purpose, scope, general contents of the plan, and emergency procedures.

  3. The plan will designate a Command Center, staffed by the Command Center Team members. The Command Center is the center of all emergency communications. An alternate off-site Command Center should also be designated to be used in the event the emergency situation denies use of the primary site. If an alternate site is identified, include site specifics in the Occupant Emergency Plan.  (10-01-2008)
Plan Development Where the Designated Official is not a Service Employee

  1. Each office or facility occupied by Service personnel will have an Occupant Emergency Plan whether or not a Service employee is the Designated Official.

  2. In facilities where the Designated Official is not a Service employee the responsible Service official will cooperate with the Designated Official to develop and maintain an effective Occupant Emergency Plan. Cooperation will include:

    1. Advising the Designated Official of the Service's needs and requirements

    2. Participating in training, drills, and tests, and c. providing proportionate staffing for the plan

  3. The responsible Service Official, with assistance from local Physical Security personnel, will evaluate the plan developed by the Designated Official to insure that it is adequate to meet the Service's needs. The plan will be evaluated per guidelines in this Section. If the plan is determined to be inadequate and the Designated Official will not make the necessary adjustments, the responsible Service Official will supplement the plan as necessary. Any supplements determined to be necessary will be prepared as appendixes to the Occupant Emergency Plan and will be distributed to Service employees as appropriate.  (09-21-2009)
Review of Occupant Emergency Plans

  1. Each Occupant Emergency Plan will be reviewed annually by local security personnel or assigned security personnel. Use Exhibit 10.2.9-1 DHS/FPS Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) Check List to review the OEP and document findings. Share findings with Designated Official. Certify to Risk Management Program Office that review was completed.

  2. The plan should be developed to provide procedures which will reduce the effect of the emergency to the greatest extent practical.  (10-01-2008)

  1. The larger the building the more complicated the evacuation tends to be. The evacuation procedures should provide for the fastest route(s) out of the building for all occupants. Alternate routes should also be specified 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.  (10-01-2008)
Evacuation Authorization

  1. The official(s), and designated alternates, authorized to order an evacuation must be specified in the plan. The decision of whether to evacuate depends on the type of threat, the circumstances of the threat and where the danger is or is suspected to be.

  2. Evacuation for a fire, bomb threat, explosion, inclement weather, utility failure or some other hazardous condition may or may not be prudent. There will be situations where a full evacuation will be automatic, however, evacuation of an entire building or area may not always be advisable or practical.

  3. In many cases partial evacuation will be more advisable, such as when an explosive device is found in a large building or an explosion occurs in one area of a large building. In situations where a partial evacuation is advisable, it is important that access to the hazardous area is controlled so that individuals do not inadvertently enter these areas.

  4. During partial evacuations, care must be taken not to move individuals from a relatively safe area through a hazardous area in the process of evacuation. Good communications and well trained monitors are necessary to prevent such situations.  (10-01-2008)
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. Good communications are necessary to get the proper word to the proper people to avoid confusion. The monitors must know which procedure is to be used so that the occupants can be quickly notified and directed to the proper location.

  4. To ensure that alarms, signals, and other methods of communication are in working order and effective, periodic tests of the system may be conducted without an evacuation. Occupants will always be advised prior to such tests so that they will become familiar with the methods of notifications.  (10-01-2008)
Evacuation Procedures

  1. Sites/Offices should identify evacuation assembly points or areas in advance. An accountability process should be developed. Drills should be conducted to ensure assembly points and the accountability process is adequate.

  2. Keeping in mind that the first consideration is life safety, the evacuation should be orderly and rapid. Personnel should take purses/wallets and coats (inclement weather) with them but should not stop to take other personal belongings. If conditions permit, cash, sensitive information and equipment should be secured in locked containers prior to evacuation.

  3. Doors and windows should be closed to provide effective smoke and fire containment if the evacuation is for a fire. However, in order to keep those readily accessible to emergency response personnel, do not lock doors and windows.

  4. Individuals with disabilities must volunteer or request assistance in order to be identified in the planning process. A monitor will be assigned to the individual to assist him/her in evacuating the area. Once the individual has been assisted to a pre-designated safe place, the monitor will notify the Occupant Emergency Coordinator through the Occupant Emergency Organization. (Safe areas must be coordinated in advance with local emergency response authorities.)

  5. Monitors will ensure that persons do not re-enter the building/area(s) evacuated until the area(s) have been determined safe and the Designated Official authorizes re-entry. It is possible for persons visiting to be unaware that an area or building has been evacuated unless some means is established to indicate the area is unsafe and may not be entered.  (10-01-2008)
Evacuation Site and Re-entry

  1. When a building or area is evacuated the evacuees must know where to go. The choices of where evacuees will go are varied but will be restricted by the configuration of the building, location of the building, facilities in the area and the reason for evacuation.

  2. For general building evacuation, a nearby park, an auditorium in a nearby building, etc., may be specified. For partial evacuation, instructions may specify to go up or down one floor or leave the building and assemble at a specified alternate location. For severe weather warnings, instructions may specify to proceed to an inner core of the building, to the basement, to a nearby shelter, or to return home.

  3. It is important to set up a means of communicating to employees when it is safe to re-enter a building or that the building will have to remain closed for the day, etc. The method of recalling employees will often depend on where they have assembled. If the building has been cleared for re-entry, a simple announcement made by the Occupant Emergency Coordinator to the employees may be sufficient. Or, each manager may be responsible for notifying their employees of re-entry. Whatever the method, a plan should be in place and should be communicated to all employees.

  4. So that personnel do not access unsafe areas or unsafe buildings, it may be appropriate to provide controls for re-entry to the building especially if the emergency situation resulted in damage or obstructions.  (09-21-2009)
Drill Schedules

  1. To be effective, Evacuation and Shelter-In-Place plans must be tested. Evacuation test procedures assist the OEP team members in becoming familiar with their duties and give occupants an opportunity to experience the evacuation process.

  2. An Evacuation (Fire) drill will be conducted at least annually either as part of, or in addition to the plan review required in section 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 or temporary hires should consider semi-annual drills. Similarly, a Shelter-In-Place drill should take place annually.

  3. Procedures will be established to provide for the notification of all appropriate authorities (CSIRC/SAMC, head of office, local Physical Security 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. Every evacuation, whether a drill or an actual event, must be reported to CSIRC/SAMC via the incident tracking portal and must be documented using Emergency Evacuation checklist (revision 05/01/09), Exhibit 10.2.9-3, or Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Checklist (revision 08/01/09), Exhibit 10.2.9-4, Addendums to this IRM. Instructions for completing the Emergency Evacuation Checklist, Exhibit 10.2.9-5 (revision 05/01/09) is also included as an Addendum. The local Physical Security Specialist, or person documenting the evacuation and their manager should sign the checklist and forward a copy to the Risk Management Program Office.

  5. The local Physical Security office will maintain records of the date of the last drill and the scheduled frequency of drills for each facility within its jurisdiction. The local Physical Security office will advise the designated official when the drill for a facility is due.

  6. When training or a briefing is conducted in lieu of an actual evacuation or shelter-in-place exercise, it should be reported to CSIRC and documented using the Emergency Evacuation/Shelter-In-Place Training Record template (revision 10/01/08). The training record should be signed by the person giving the training and their manager. A copy should then be forwarded to the Risk Management Program Office for recordation and retention.  (10-01-2008)
Emergency Services

  1. The availability and response of emergency services are vital to an emergency plan. The right help obtained rapidly will greatly minimize the effect of the emergency. 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. The Advisory Committee [see section (3)] may assist in the development of this part of the plan.

  2. In relatively small offices these requirements will be greatly scaled down to meet the needs of the particular office.  (10-01-2008)
Medical Assistance

  1. Medical assistance will not be required in all emergencies. However, the availability of medical assistance must be known in the event the emergency does result in injuries. In large facilities, planning must include provisions for getting medical assistance for events which result in large scale injuries. In the event of a medical emergency, professional medical assistance (rescue squad, fire department, etc.) must be called immediately. After actions are taken to prevent further injuries, the first priority becomes aiding the injured. The quicker the emergency response is, the better the results. For this reason, employees certified in first aid are an excellent source. First aid should not be relied upon as final treatment but rendered only until professional assistance arrives.

  2. To reduce response time as much as possible, the area surrounding the facility should be surveyed to identify sources of medical assistance that are readily available. Sources that should be considered are:

    1. Local Security Officers (where applicable and are trained in first aid)

    2. Federal Protective Officers (all are trained in first aid)

    3. Health units

    4. Police and fire department personnel

    5. Rescue squads and hospitals

    6. Local physicians In most areas, 911 will activate an emergency response.


    In most areas, 911 will activate an emergency response.  (10-01-2008)

  1. Pre-planning will enhance the safety and survivability of those individuals who may be injured and/or trapped in a building or area. The larger the complex the greater the possibility exists that an emergency will result in a situation which will require an organized rescue operation. Sources of assistance are the local security officer, FPS, local fire department, rescue squad, and police department.

  2. In those offices where natural disasters (tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.) may occur, an emergency pack containing items such as flashlight, first aid kit, etc. may be appropriate to keep on hand. Check with the Physical Security Office with questions concerning pack contents as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for advice.  (10-01-2008)
Fire Emergency

  1. Fire is the most likely threat to life and property that may be faced by an emergency organization. Statistics show that fire continues to be a major cause of death, injury, property damage and operational disruptions.

  2. A major portion of the Service's efforts to deal with the threat of fire must be in fire prevention. Fire prevention measures are covered in the Occupational Safety and Health Handbook (Document 10853) and IRM 1.14.5., Occupational Safety and Health Program, dated March 1, 2006. It is essential that security personnel work closely with safety personnel to create a comprehensive and coordinated effort to deal with threat of fire. It is also important to coordinate with local fire officials represented on the Advisory Committee.  (10-01-2008)

  1. All Service facilities will have written plans to deal with fire emergencies. The plans should avoid unnecessary detail and complexity and must address the following:

    1. notifying the fire department

    2. evacuating personnel

    3. directing the fire department to the scene of the fire and providing aid and information as necessary

    4. notifying management of the incident and extent of loss and damage.

  2. The fire appendix should include, at a minimum:

    1. telephone numbers for the fire department and appropriate officials in the Occupant Emergency Organization

    2. evacuation procedures and routes

    3. location and use of fire alarms

    4. any special needs for physically challenged individuals.  (10-01-2008)
Special Consideration for Information Processing Facilities

  1. Some facilities contain information processing equipment which is critical to the mission of the Service. Special consideration should be given to the protection of this equipment from fire and consequent smoke and water damage. Enhanced emergency response procedures for computer room personnel will be developed when appropriate and be included in the plan. Information Systems personnel will be consulted on this part of the plan.

  2. Minimum procedures for information processing areas should include:

    1. evacuation routes

    2. location and criteria for use of emergency power cut-off switches

    3. location and instructions for use of protective devices.

  3. Electronic equipment which has been doused with water or other chemicals used in fire fighting, or covered in smoke or soot, must be cleaned and/or dried as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage. As part of the resumption of business, procedures should be developed for taking appropriate steps to clean contaminants followed by salvage procedures as recommended by the manufacturer.

  4. Computer room emergency response procedures will define what actions must be taken, assign responsibilities for each action and provide necessary material and equipment in accessible locations. In some cases, there will be ample time to initiate loss control measures but in extreme emergencies, life safety will dictate immediate evacuation. For this reason, emergency response procedures will designate one or more individuals in each computer room who, in the event of an emergency, shall determine what can be done to protect equipment and records and direct personnel without endangering life. (For additional information on computer room emergency response, see IRM, Fire Call Account).  (10-01-2008)
Bombs and Bomb Threats

  1. All Service facilities will have written plans to deal with bomb threats and explosions. 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.

  2. Aside from explosion, the two significant dangers that exist with bomb threats are the sense of complacency that can develop from repeated hoax threats and panic that can result from lack of appropriate action when a threat is perceived to be real. Both dangers can be partially overcome by instructing personnel about the organization and procedures involved in bomb threat reaction and by establishing a uniform bomb threat reporting procedure throughout the facility. Properly established reporting procedures will avoid having information delayed or stopped on its way to the official with responsibility for evaluating threats.

  3. Analysis of bomb threat data indicates that most threats are made to create a sense of fear in the employees and disrupt the facility. This objective can be denied, to a great extent, by effective planning and organization.  (10-01-2008)

  1. A section entitled Bomb Threat should be included in the plan. Bomb Search Team members should be individuals with a good general knowledge of the physical layout of the entire facility as well as the type of work that is done in each area. This knowledge will help responders determine the areas most susceptible to the introduction of an explosive device and will facilitate quick, effective searches.

  2. The plan will provide for all bomb threat information to be relayed to the Bomb Search Team Coordinator or Designated Official as quickly as possible. The Designated Official will analyze the threat information and notify the appropriate federal/local authorities.

  3. The Bomb Search Team Coordinator or local physical security staff will be responsible for arranging bomb threat plan training and drills and for establishing liaison with local and Federal officials that can provide assistance in this area. This training should be part of the overall Occupant Emergency Plan training.

  4. The Bomb Search Team Coordinator or the local physical security office staff (with assistance from agency management), should make Form 9166, and cat. No. 10941A, available to all employees to be used to record the receipt of bomb threat information. The plan will include a requirement that any employee who receives a threat immediately notify his/her supervisor; that the supervisor immediately notify the Bomb Search Team Coordinator (who will immediately notify appropriate authorities) or appropriate officials as designated in the plan. The priority or order in which notifications are made may change depending on local requirements or guidance from management.

  5. The plan should include procedures to implement more stringent than normal security procedures in the event that bomb threats become a recurring problem. These procedures include access controls, package searches and screening of mail.

  6. Potential concealment areas around outer walls, rest rooms, trash containers, public access areas, etc. are areas considered most susceptible to placement of an explosive device.  (10-01-2008)
Bomb Search

  1. The FPS has primary search responsibility if a bomb is suspected in Federal space. All Service employees will be advised not to touch strange or suspicious objects or packages. Under no circumstances will a Service employee attempt to move or examine a suspected explosive device.

  2. When a bomb threat is considered to be serious, local and/or Federal authorities trained in bomb search and disposal techniques will be called immediately to conduct the search. Searches should begin in the area previously identified as most susceptible to concealing an explosive device unless a location was provided with the threat.

  3. If a suspected explosive device is located, the bomb Search Team with the Federal and/or local authorities will recommend to the Designated Official whether a partial or full evacuation is necessary.  (10-01-2008)

  1. Whether to evacuate or not when a bomb threat is received is a decision that only the on-site Designated Official can make. Though most bomb threats are hoaxes, all factors must be considered. The safest course of action may appear to be evacuation. On the other hand, continued bomb threats, followed by automatic evacuation of the facility could disrupt operations and encourage more threats. Some of the factors the Designated Official should consider, in consultation with FPS and/or local authorities, in making the decision are:

    1. current trends involving bomb threats and explosions -- the local police department may be a good source of information

    2. character and consequence of recent threats in the area -- percentage of threats that result in an explosion or an explosive device being found

    3. whether recent activity of dissident groups has been directed against government agencies, or against IRS specifically

    4. characteristics of recent threats toward local IRS offices

    5. content of threat -- whether caller specified a location or time the bomb is to explode,

    6. whether evacuation will put personnel in greater danger of injury than remaining in place.

  2. When there is doubt whether to evacuate, it is generally better to err on the side of evacuation since life safety is of prime importance.

  3. If evacuation is directed, the evacuation will be conducted as specified in section  (10-01-2008)
Bomb Detonations

  1. If an explosion occurs in or immediately adjacent to a Service facility, the local police will be contacted immediately advising them of the need for medical aid. The nearest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) office will also be notified as soon as possible. The area surrounding the explosion will be evacuated and kept clear to prevent destruction of evidence and to minimize the dangers of secondary explosions caused by other explosive devices, leaking gas lines, or falling debris. If there are any injured, first-aid should be administered while waiting for further medical assistance.  (10-01-2008)
Hazardous Material (HAZMAT)

  1. Hazardous material (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. (See Exhibit 10.2.9-2, Planning Checklist for Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Incidents.

  2. A HAZMAT incident may be a hazardous material spill or a threat of chemical or biological terrorism and each facility must have a plan to address these type incidents.

  3. The Occupational Safety and Health Handbook (Document 10853) revision 06-2000 and the IRS Safety Officer Training Course offers detailed information on hazardous material communication.  (10-01-2008)
Biological/Chemical Threat

  1. A biological threat may be received via an envelope or package purporting to contain a hazardous substance, or a telephone threat. Whatever the means, all Service facilities will have written plans to deal with potential biological threats. It is essential that Security personnel work closely with the FPS and local authorities in developing a plan.

  2. The plan will provide for notification of the designated official, FPS, and local authorities. As with any suspicious package, no attempt should be made to move the item. Immediately cordon off the hazardous area to prevent entry by others.

  3. The decision to order an evacuation depends on the circumstances of the threat and where the danger is or is suspected to be. In most situations, a full evacuation will not be necessary. In many cases a partial evacuation will be more advisable. In a partial evacuation, it is important that access to the hazardous area is controlled so that individuals do not inadvertently enter these areas.  (10-01-2008)

  1. Check with the local fire department or HAZMAT response organization for assistance in reviewing and/or developing appropriate response procedures. Response procedures vary from one jurisdiction to another so coordination with local emergency response organizations is essential.

  2. The local Physical Security staff should work with the Safety Officer to make sure that the facility's Hazard Communications Program includes:

    1. identifying and labeling all hazardous material stored, handled, produced and disposed of by the facility

    2. obtaining material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous material at the facility

    3. conducting HAZMAT training in proper handling and storage of these materials.

  3. The local Physical Security Office should make sure that all employees are trained to recognize and report HAZMAT spills and releases. Ensure the HAZMAT response plan includes:

    1. procedures for notifying management and local HAZMAT response organizations

    2. procedures for warning employees of incidents

    3. procedures for evacuation


  4. Local emergency response organizations may be able to assist offices in organizing and training in-house response teams to control HAZMAT incidents until local authorities arrive.  (10-01-2008)
Severe Weather

  1. Severe weather conditions can affect all Service facilities. The affects range from minor disruption of operations to life threatening events capable of destroying entire facilities.

  2. All Service facilities will have written plans to deal with local severe weather threats. Severe weather plans are to be developed on the type(s) of weather most likely to cause the threatening conditions or disruption of operations. The type of weather conditions that should be considered are:

    1. tornado

    2. hurricane and windstorm

    3. winter storm

    4. severe thunderstorm

    5. flooding

  3. Local weather service or FEMA offices may be contacted to obtain information about the conditions most likely to occur in the area of a particular facility.  (09-21-2009)
Office Closings

  1. Severe weather plans should have provisions for advising employees of an office closing in the event that adverse conditions develop before or during working hours. The primary source of information is the IRS Emergency Information Hotline (1-866-743-5748, Option 3). Local radio news stations can also be considered as a means of notification. In addition, some offices have set up 800 numbers Emergency Information Hotline for office closings. In smaller offices the cascade call system described in section 9.16 may be an effective means of making the notification.

  2. In the event that local radio and news stations are used as a notification medium, the radio station channel call signs and frequencies will be included in the severe weather appendix.  (10-01-2008)

  1. All Service facilities are subject to the disruption that can result from demonstrations. Disruption can result when a demonstration is directed at the Service or when directed at other tenants of a facility occupied by the Service or by demonstrations staged in areas adjacent to Service facilities.

  2. All Service facilities will have written plans to deal with demonstrations. The emphasis on planning for demonstration response must be on minimizing the potential for confrontation that can develop into violence and for avoiding the involvement of IRS employees with demonstrators.

  3. Service employees should be instructed to continue working and to stay away from windows and doors to the extent possible during demonstrations. Local law enforcement agencies and the Federal Protective Service should be contacted in order to develop coordinated plans to deal with demonstrations.  (10-01-2008)
Employee Job Actions

  1. Planning for demonstrations that result from Service employee job actions (i.e. a reduction in force) requires coordination with the Personnel office for the facility involved. Most employee job actions will not require the use of emergency plans. However, in the unlikely event that an employee job action becomes a threat to life and property, the demonstration plans will be utilized to control the incident.  (10-01-2008)
Use of Internal Revenue Service Enforcement Personnel

  1. Internal Revenue Service enforcement personnel (TIGTA/CI) will be utilized in demonstration control only when one or both of the following conditions exist:

    1. There is a clear and present danger to Federal employees and property in federally owned or leased space and other local or Federal law enforcement officers are not available to provide adequate protection.

    2. There is a request from local or other Federal law enforcement agencies for the use of Service enforcement personnel to assist with control of a demonstration at a Service occupied facility.  (10-01-2008)
Implementation of the Protect Act: Code Adam and Amber Alert Procedures

  1. Treasury/Bureaus shall develop and implement procedures for a child missing within their facility, in accordance with Title III, Subtitle D, of theProsecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today(PROTECT) Act of 2003, also known as the "Code Adam Act of 2003" . The Act, signed into law April 2003, requires "the designated authority for a public building" to "establish procedures for locating a child that is missing in" a federal building. Once a child is determined missing "from" a federal building, an Amber Alert must be initiated in accordance with local procedures.  (10-01-2008)

  1. All service facilities to include those with child care centers shall plan and develop procedures, and use the GSA Public Building Service (PBS) nation-wide lead in the Code Adam program for all GSA-leased facilities. Treasury/bureaus shall ensure Code Adam and AMBER Alert policies and procedures are established for facilities not under the control of GSA.

  2. The program and procedures established for Code Adam alerts shall provide, at a minimum, the following functions:

    1. Awareness training and instructions for employees on Code Adam alerts

    2. A central point of contact for program administration in those facilities not under control of GSA

    3. Points-of-contact to notify when a child is missing. For facilities without security forces, the points-of-contact should be the federal or contract guard forces, or designated officials, including alternates

    4. Guidance for providing a detailed description of the child, including name, age, eye and hair color, height, weight, clothing, and shoes

    5. Procedures for issuing a Code Adam alert and providing a description of the child using a fast and effective means of communication. Notification shall include the building management in leased facilities

    6. Monitoring of all points of egress from the facility and building while a Code Adam alert is in effect

    7. Conducting a thorough search of the building

    8. Contacting of local law enforcement. Procedures shall include an immediate courtesy notification to local law enforcement

    9. Actions that people should take once the child is located, including instructions if the child is found with someone other than his or her parent or guardian

    10. Documenting the incident

    11. Reporting the incident to local law enforcement if the search of the facility or building does not find the child in a reasonable time, for a determination to escalate to an AMBER Alert

    12. Reporting the incident to computer Security Incident Reporting Center (CSIRC).  (10-01-2008)
Hostage Situations

  1. In recent years the use of hostages to gain negotiating advantage has increased. The Internal Revenue Service is particularly susceptible to this threat because of the high level of public access to employees and managers.

  2. When dealing with hostage incidents, in an ideal setting, properly trained and equipped law enforcement agencies will be available to control the situation. However, because of the wide range of Service locations, ideal conditions are not always attainable, especially in the early development of an incident.  (10-01-2008)

  1. All Service facilities will have written plans to deal with hostage situations. These plans should be coordinated with Criminal Investigation (CI), Office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and other Federal and local law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Plans must emphasize the use of properly trained law enforcement agencies.

  2. The plan will include at a minimum, the following information:

    1. telephone numbers for law enforcement agencies that will provide support in a hostage situation

    2. designation of Service officials responsible for assisting law enforcement agencies with negotiations (name, position title and telephone number of designated official)  (10-01-2008)

  1. The following guidelines are provided as general background on the control of hostage situations and will be used until the appropriate law enforcement agency takes control of the incident.

    1. Isolate the area involved by evacuating employees, taxpayers and any other visitors to the site.

    2. Cordon off the area to prevent entry by unauthorized persons.

  2. Until enforcement personnel arrive and if approved by enforcement personnel, communications with hostage captors should be maintained by the designated Service official, if appropriate, and should be conducted in such a way as to avoid provoking the captor(s) or escalating the incident. This communications must be a part of the plan, must clearly define the parameters of the communication and must be coordinated and approved by local law enforcement agencies. Communications will not include any attempts by untrained personnel to negotiate.

  3. Other Federal law enforcement agencies and local police departments will be contacted to determine the resources available for handling hostage incidents. Assistance with specific planning needs and training for the employees designated in the plan should also be pursued.  (10-01-2008)

  1. The most important time for earthquake threat planning is during facility site selection and determination of construction standards. Planning from the ground up is, however, rarely an option available to the facility manager. This, coupled with the current inability to prevent or accurately predict earthquakes, leaves emergency planners with the task of providing effective reaction to a threat with rapid onset and intensity that cannot be mitigated once underway.

  2. Earthquake emergency plans will be prepared for all Service facilities which are in seismic risk zone 3 as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey. For facilities in seismic risk zone 1 and 2, a review of historical data and advice from local authorities will be helpful in making a determination on the need for earthquake emergency plans. Local authorities should be contacted to obtain training and guidelines for earthquake emergency response.  (10-01-2008)

  1. The following are general guidelines during and after an earthquake:

    1. During an earthquake: 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 the earthquake: stay out of damaged buildings, and have building maintenance check the building for damaged water or gas lines and broken or shorted electrical lines  (10-01-2008)
Shelter-In-Place (SIP)

  1. When dangerous airborne contaminant releases originate from outside a building, evacuation is typically not appropriate. During such events, it may be necessary to Shelter-in-Place for a short period of time until local authorities can arrive to assess circumstances. Partnering with local authorities is crucial because OEPs should not conflict with the plans of local community first responder protocol. In many locations, particularly outside major population centers, local officials may not recommend SIP planning because the risks in these areas do not justify this course of action.

  2. SIP could simply mean having occupants remain at their desk or it could require directing occupants to a pre-designated safe area. Whatever the circumstance, in general SIP is a short-term measure meant to accommodate a situation for only a few hours. The types of events where shelter in place procedures may be initiated include but are not limited to:

    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  (10-01-2008)

  1. A response to a given event should be based on guidance and direction provided by Federal or local emergency response officials. This guidance will be communicated to the Designated Official who will activate the SIP plan, the level and the duration. The Designated Official will communicate with the OEP Coordinator, who will in turn communicate instructions to the OEP team.

  2. OEP team members will assist in communicating to employees the need to bring water, medical prescriptions and nonperishable food items with them.

  3. OEP team members will assist in directing building occupants to designated SIP locations, and/or marked areas with the yellow SIP sticker for sheltering.

  4. OEP team members will assist employees sheltering in a designated SIP room with disbursement and use of SIP Emergency Preparedness Kits. SIP Emergency Kits shall only be used during real-world SIP situations, in which it becomes necessary to perform preparation protection measure and provide first aid treatment of personnel in a designated SIP location.

  5. Entrances and exits should be secured to minimize the potential for access into an unsafe area. Shut down procedures for air handling systems in the event of a biological or chemical threat should be developed in coordination with building management familiar with the layout of the building and who have access to these systems. During SIP, occupants should be moved away from windows and building entrances/exits. Occupants at off-site meetings and/or visitors should be contacted and advised 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.  (10-01-2008)
Emergency Communications System

  1. Emergency plans require rapid communication in order to be effective. A pyramid or cascade system is an effective means of alerting an organization of an emergency without tying up the communications system.

  2. The concept of the cascade call system is simple. One individual initiates the system by 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 but the number should be as small as possible.

  3. For occupant emergency planning purposes the individual responsible for initiating the cascade call systems should be the Designated Official or other Service official responsible for initiating emergency action.

  4. Any communication system that contains incorrect names and telephone numbers is ineffective; therefore, reviews are necessary to validate the system. Whatever method of communication is used to initiate emergency action plans, the system should be validated quarterly. This will be accomplished by routing a copy of the call list to the participants in the system. Each individual will then enter any corrections needed and initial next to his/her name.

  5. Total reliance on the telephone, or other systems that do not have back-up or self-contained power sources, as the sole means of communication should be avoided during emergencies. Since the results of a serious emergency condition frequently include downed power and telephone lines, alternate communication systems should be devised.

  6. Alternate communications systems that should be considered are radios using batteries or back-up power sources, beepers, cell phones, or messengers.  (10-01-2008)
Communications and Liaison

  1. A potential danger in any emergency situation is the perception of what employees and/or the public think happened as opposed to what really happened. Misinformation received by employees or the public may be as damaging as the emergency. There must be a plan for disseminating information to those who have a need to know.

  2. All Service offices must have a written communication and liaison plan. To ensure that accurate information is disseminated and the office speaks with one voice, a spokesperson must be appointed to the Occupant Emergency Team. In large offices a representative of the Communications and Liaison Office will be the spokesperson. In smaller offices, an individual able to deal with people should be appointed. This individual should be approved by the designated official and should clear all information through the Communication and Liaison Office before release to the public.

  3. The individual appointed to disseminate information must be kept fully advised of the entire emergency plan and should attend as many planning sessions as possible. He/she should be advised of what can and cannot be released and during an emergency be kept advised of all occurrences and actions taken so that proper and accurate information may be disseminated.

  4. There must be procedures for keeping employees informed of the situation as well as the public. Good liaison with the news media will keep the public informed. Employees may be kept informed through managers, public address systems or other methods that will effectively get the word out.  (10-01-2008)

  1. The following guidelines will assist in planning a successful public affairs emergency response:

    1. release only verified information

    2. promptly alert the press of relief and recovery efforts

    3. escort the press

    4. keep accurate records and logs of all inquiries and news coverage

    5. try to find out and meet the press deadlines

    6. have a clear idea of what can and cannot be released (discuss with OEP Team and Communications and Liaison)

    7. carefully coordinate planning and implementation

    8. do not speculate on causes of the emergency or resumption of normal operations

    9. do not speculate on the outside effects of the emergency or the dollar value of the losses

    10. do not interfere with the legitimate duties of newspersons

    11. do not cover up events or purposely mislead the press

    12. do not place blame for the emergency.

Exhibit 10.2.9-1  (10-01-2008)
DHS/FPS Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) Check List

To be used when reviewing a sites OEP. Document and report findings to Designated Official and Territory Manager.

  1. Did an advisory committee of appropriate officials (building manager, physical security specialist, etc.) assist in developing the plan?

  2. Are the officials who developed the OEP or committee members on-site or available for consultation?

  3. Has an emergency organization been established, preferably following the existing lines of authority?

  4. Are emergency organization members designated by job position rather than by individual?

  5. Do all organization members know their own responsibilities as well as who bears the decision making authority in any given situation?

  6. Have procedures been established for notifying organization members?

  7. Are the emergency procedures easy to implement in a crisis situation?

  8. Has a command center location and phone number been established?

  9. Are communication links at the command center adequate?

  10. Do emergency organization members know under what circumstance they are to report to the command center?

  11. Are employees without specifically assigned duties excluded from the command center?

  12. Are emergency phone numbers posted in the command center and throughout the building? Published in the telephone book?

  13. Are procedures established for handling serious illness, injury, or mechanical entrapment?

  14. Do organization members know what medical resources are available and how to reach them?

  15. Have all occupants been advised how to get first aid or CPR if necessary?

  16. Are occupants aware of what to do if an emergency or fire is announced?

  17. Are evacuation procedures established and familiar to all employees?

  18. Have special procedures been established for evacuation of the physically challenged?

  19. Are fire report and call-in procedures familiar to all employees?

  20. Have firefighting plans been developed which coordinate internal and external resources?

  21. Do occupants know who they should report an unlawful act to? Reporting procedures for other emergency incidents?

  22. Do employees know what procedures to follow should they receive a telephone bomb threat?

  23. Are bomb search responsibilities and techniques spelled out in the plan?

  24. Are procedures established for reporting the progress of a search, evacuation, etc.?

  25. Have procedures for bomb disposal been established?

  26. Have emergency shutdown procedures been developed?

  27. Have plans been made for capture and control of elevators in emergency situations?

  28. Have arrangements been made for emergency repair or restoration of services?

  29. Have drills and training efforts been adequate to ensure a workable emergency plan?

  30. In leased space, have the responsibilities of the lessor/owner been clearly defined?

  31. Are current floor plans and occupant emergency information readily available for use by police, fire, bomb search squads, and other emergency personnel?

  32. Has a Hazard Communication Program been implemented in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1200?

  33. Has a comprehensive inventory of all hazardous materials used in individual offices or stored in all locations in the building been compiled?

  34. Are emergency phone numbers current and/or published where they are readily accessible? Are they reviewed and updated frequently?

  35. Does the entrance door to designated SIP area have the yellow SIP sticker affixed?

  36. Are occupants aware of SIP procedures and reason for meeting in the designated SIP area?

  37. Did occupants have water and food items with them when they were in the SIP area?

  38. Did the SIP area have an Emergency Preparedness Kit available and was it unopened?

Exhibit 10.2.9-2  (10-01-2008)
Planning Checklist for Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Incidents

Guidance for developing HAZMAT OEP information and instructions

  1. Ask the local fire department or HAZMAT response organization for assistance in reviewing or developing appropriate response procedures.


    We have found that response procedures vary from one local jurisdiction to another. Therefore, pre-incident coordination with your local emergency response organization is a must.

  2. Review your facility's OEP to determine if it adequately addresses HAZMAT incidents.

  3. Review your facility's "Hazard Communications Program," required by 29 CFR 1910.1200. This program includes:

    • Identifying and labeling all HAZMAT stored (MSDS) for all HAZMAT at your facility

    • Identifying state and Federal HAZMAT regulations that apply to your facility

    • Conducting HAZMAT training in proper handling and storage

  4. Train all employees to recognize and report HAZMAT spills and releases.

  5. Ensure your HAZMAT response plan includes: Procedures to notify management and local HAZMAT response organizations. Procedures to warn employees of incident. Procedures for evacuation.


    Procedures might vary depending on substance and guidance from local HAZMAT response organizations. Depending on your organization, e.g. size, resources, and incident, consider organizing and training an in-house emergency response team to confine and control HAZMAT incidents. Once again, your local HAZMAT response organization can help you train in-house personnel.

  6. Identify other facilities near you that use HAZMAT and determine whether an incident at those facilities could affect your facility. Local emergency response organizations should be able to help with this effort.

  7. Identify highways, railroads and waterways near your facility used for the transportation of HAZMAT. Determine how a transportation accident near your facility could affect your operations.

Exhibit 10.2.9-3  (09-21-2009)
Emergency Evacuation Checklist

To be used by all offices when conducting drills or after actual events. Managers should sign the checklist and forward a copy to Risk Management Program Office.

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Exhibit 10.2.9-4  (09-21-2009)
Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Checklist

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Exhibit 10.2.9-5  (09-21-2009)
Instructions for Completing the Emergency Evacuation Checklist

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Exhibit 10.2.9-6  (09-21-2009)
Emergency Evacuation/Shelter-In-Place Training Record

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