2013 Archives

September is National Preparedness Month

SMU urges campus community to prepare for emergencies

Know What To Do

In A Lockdown Emergency

If You Need To Evacuate

If You Need To Seek Shelter

September 3, 2013

DALLAS (SMU) – Because knowing what to do in the event of a campus emergency can save lives, SMU is asking its community throughout the Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month in September to take an active role in learning how to respond to potentially dangerous situations.

Information that SMU’s students, faculty and staff need to know to prepare is posted at smu.edu/emergency, including FAQs and three short videos that instruct how to react if the University issues an alert to lockdown, evacuate or seek shelter.

Information will be shared with students, faculty and staff during the month of September through email, web and social media messages focused on recommended emergency responses to a variety of different threats. Emergency Management officials will conduct drills across the campus and will test communications equipment, sirens and radios.

A Twitter contest will award Starbucks gift cards throughout the month to students who view the emergency videos and are first to answer related questions Tweeted from @SMU. 

Hazardous weather is not rare in North Texas, which drives the need to understand what to do if the University issues a “Seek Shelter” warning.  A warning to “Evacuate” would be tied to incidents such as gas leaks and fires. 

“Being prepared for a campus assailant is an unfortunate necessity in contemporary society,” said Anita Ingram, SMU’s Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Anita Ingram.  “The university will lockdown if campus police perceive even the threat of an armed assailant on campus, and certainly if an assault is under way. We all need to be prepared to respond. 

“For that reason, we are stressing that everyone needs to take six minutes to watch the Run, Hide, Fight lockdown video posted at www.smu.edu/emergency.  It teaches real-world lessons in how to survive a campus shooter,” Ingram said.  “And in addition to watching the video, take a look around your classrooms and offices.  Think about where the exits are, and where you would hide if you needed to.”

The goal of this kind of preparation is not to frighten, Ingram said, but to empower people to do everything they can to protect themselves.   To that end, student leaders and other SMU personnel will participate in an “active shooter” functional exercise scheduled for McFarlin Auditorium during September. 

“The best thing you can do, and I’m not just talking to students, is to make sure that we can communicate with you during an emergency,” said Lee Arning, SMU director of preparedness.  “It only takes a minute to check access.smu.edu/ to make sure that we have your correct cell number and email to let you know if there is a dangerous situation on campus.”

Questions about emergency preparedness may be directed to Lisa Morris, SMU emergency management specialist, at lwmorris@smu.edu.

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