Crisis Management Procedure

Maintaining Control

The chapter president or another designated officer or brother must be in command of every emergency situation involving serious injury or death. This does not mean that he cannot consult with other members who may have more expertise or insight, but it does mean that the final decisions are his. In the absence of the president or designated member, a pre-determined hierarchy or the hierarchy of officers stated in the Ritual (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer) should be followed in order to determine who is in charge in an emergency situation.

In the event of a fire

  1. Contact the fire department.
  2. Pull the house alarm. Arouse as many members as you can while you are exiting the house.
  3. All members should meet in a pre-designated area.
  4. Take a head count and report missing individuals to the fire department.
  5. Do not allow anyone to return to a burning building.
  6. As soon as reasonably possible, notify the appropriate campus officials as well as Board of Governors Members and the Ewing T. Boles Executive Offices.

In the event of an emergency (serious illness, injury, or death):

  1. As required by the situation, call for an ambulance, the police or the fire department. Briefly and calmly explain the situation so that the appropriate emergency personnel may respond.
  2. Do not notify the parents of the person who is involved in the emergency situation. University, police or medical officials will inform the parents of the situation.
  3. Notify the Executive Offices, Board of Governors Chairman, and the Greek Advisor.
  4. Inform members along these guidelines:
    1. Close the house and only permit entry to members and emergency personnel;
    2. Assemble all the members, including AM’s, in a group;
    3. Depending on the situation, certain people may need to be called in (BOG, University representative, or headquarters representative);
    4. Instruct the members to make no statements to anyone other than the school or police and Fraternity officials during an investigation;
    5. Instruct the members to direct all inquiries to the chapter's president and/or spokesman.

Handle the media along these guidelines:

  1. Contact the Executive Office and the Board of Governors prior to speaking with the media or releasing a statement to the media.
  2. Use tact and caution while developing a statement.
  3. Do not release the names of any injured persons until you are positive the family has been notified;
  4. Do not speculate, jump to conclusions or incorporate your personal opinion;
  5. Report the facts;
  6. Inform the members of the content of the statement, but tell them not to discuss the statement with anyone.

In the event of a suicide attempt

  1. Call for an ambulance and the police. Briefly and calmly explain the situation so that the appropriate emergency personnel may respond.
  2. Notify the Executive Offices, Board of Governors Chairman, and the Greek Advisor.
  3. Talk with the member while awaiting the ambulance. Do not play psychologist; just be a friend.
  4. Do not immediately assemble and inform the members.
  5. Do not contact the parents or family of the person.

In the event of a death

After following the appropriate emergency guidelines noted above, one should adhere to the following advice:

  1. In the event of a death of a member who lives in the chapter house, do not remove any personal items from the room;
  2. Do not let members enter the room; permit entry only by the proper officials;
  3. If the member has a roommate, he should move out of the room temporarily;
  4. After you are sure the parents have been notified of the death, you should write a letter to the parents offering sympathy on behalf of the chapter and ask what their wishes are in regards to their son's possessions;
  5. Inform the members as to when the parents will be coming to the house in order to ensure that they are given privacy. The time to extend sympathy is at a wake or funeral. Only one member should show them to the room and assist them if they request it. This is a difficult time for them and they may want to be alone;
  6. Coordinate attendance to the wake, memorial service, or funeral and in sending flowers; also, you may want to ask the parents for permission to perform The Funeral Ritual of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

Ensure the membership's mental health and well being

Individual and group counseling is strongly recommended following a crisis situation. There are people on campus that can assist in this capacity. Consult your Greek advisor because he/she should be able to assist the chapter in finding a counselor.

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