Washington University will simulate an emergency situation on its campuses the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 12, to help ensure the university is prepared should an actual emergency occur. Staff from participating departments throughout the Danforth, Medical, West and North campuses will participate in the drill.
The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate and review the university’s current emergency response plans and protocols and to make improvements and adjustments as needed, says Steven P. Hoffner, associate vice chancellor for operations and chair of the Danforth Campus Crisis Management Team.
The drill also will help the university’s first responders become more familiar with crisis plans and how to respond to various emergencies, Hoffner says.
“The exercise is designed to stimulate open, honest and productive discussion about the university’s preparation for a potential crisis of significant magnitude, and to provide new experiences and approaches for personnel who have limited real-life experience in managing crises, emergencies and disasters,” Hoffner says.
Participating WUSTL areas include personnel from: Danforth and Medical Campus Crisis Management Teams; Public Affairs; WUSTL Police; School of Medicine Protective Services; Danforth and Medical Campus Facilities, Planning & Management; Division of Comparative Medicine; Crisis Communications Task Force; West Campus Information Services & Technology; WUSTL Faculty Practice Plan; Human Resources; Resource Management; College of Arts & Sciences; School of Engineering & Applied Science; Residential Life; and Dining Services.
Signs will be posted in areas being used for the drill to warn those that might witness the exercises that the events they are seeing and hearing are part of a simulation.
The drill should not interfere with regularly scheduled classes or work on WUSTL campuses, says Mark Bagby, emergency management coordinator.
“We are using areas that are controlled or closed to the general population and simulating many of the events so that we do not disrupt education, research and clinical care,” Bagby says.
While many in the WUSTL community will not be involved in or affected by the drill, there still are many ways community members can prepare themselves for an emergency situation on campus:
- Become familiar with the information posted on the university’s emergency website, emergency.wustl.edu.
- Keep personal contact information up-to-date in HRMS or WebSTAC/SIS. The university uses the information in HRMS and WebSTAC/SIS to contact individuals when necessary in an emergency.
- Read the website and emergency signs in university buildings and learn “Where to Go” and what to do before, during and after an emergency.
- Report emergencies, suspicious behavior or suspicious persons to campus officials. On the Danforth Campus, call (314) 935-5555. On the Medical Campus, call (314) 362-4357. While off-campus, call 911.
For more information on emergency preparedness at WUSTL, e-mail Bagby at firstname.lastname@example.org.