SMU is committed to supporting the University’s academic mission by providing infrastructure that ensures a positive and protected environment for students, faculty, staff, and guests. This is accomplished through our plans, our partnering and our exercises.
There are major emergencies and then there are potential ‘everyday emergencies’. SMU employs a number of Everyday Plans to ensure the safety of everyone on our campus.
Police patrol plans
Police close circuit camera surveillance plans
Police ‘Silent Witness’ plans (obtaining anonymous tips about suspicious persons or behaviors)
Building evacuation or shelter-in-place plans
Notification or alert plans
Escorted campus transport (provides free, late evening rides anywhere on campus)
The SMU Emergency Plan
SMU maintains a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan that meets state standards, and is in compliance with the National Response Plan. The SMU plan describes the organizational structure that will provide the greatest effectiveness during disaster response. At the heart of the plan, are two fundamental ideas: the protection of human life, and secondarily, the protection of property.
The SMU plan guides the response of university personnel and resources during an emergency. Just as important, the document details how SMU interacts with local and state officials to obtain the swiftest, specialized disaster assistance, when needed. The plan includes the organizational structure utilized during emergencies, and the roles and responsibilities of each position within that structure, both internal and external to the university.
Partnering with First Responders at the Local, Regional, and State Level
Success during emergency response depends upon obtaining the necessary resources as quickly as possible. SMU accomplishes this by maintaining strong relationships with all of the necessary responding agencies. This ongoing interaction with the response community takes place through SMU's active participation in the regional preparedness efforts throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
SMU takes pride in being a fully participating partner, not only with first responders in our adjacent cities, but also with specialized response units and critical non-profit response agencies like the Red Cross. Moreover, SMU participates in regular preparedness meetings, specifically for higher education. This results in positive collaboration with neighboring universities to meet the challenges seen on campuses across the country.
Exercise Preparedness Plans
Disaster plans are only successful when people can enact the plan successfully. That requires training and exercise –both within and external to the university.
Train To meet that challenge, SMU provides training to their own response personnel detailing how they must carry out their emergency duties. SMU then trains city emergency officials to understand our response plan so that they know who to contact and so interactions during an emergency can be quickly understood.
Test Plans are then tested through disaster exercises. SMU voluntarily complies with state and federal exercise guidelines, although no exercises are required of private universities. While disaster exercises test many functions, communication is critical a critical function. SMU fully recognizes how critical it is to communication with parents, first responders, those directly affected or displaced, and other major stakeholders.
Learn After all of our exercises and after minor emergencies, SMU gathers all responders together to review the actions that were taken with the intent of discovering actions that worked well and actions that need improvement.