SMU Emergency Preparedness
All of us in higher education share the grief of the
Virginia Tech family and send our heartfelt condolences to all those touched by
this tragedy. In view of this tragedy, SMU is providing the
campus community with some general information related to emergency procedures. We are constantly
monitoring and updating our procedures as we continue to learn from each other in the higher education community and from the security and law enforcement
Students, faculty and staff gathered Tuesday at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center for a prayer service for Virginia Tech. See reports by WFAA News and
CBS 11 News.
- The campus police department is on duty 24-7, and
senior command-level officers are experienced former military officers with
emergency training. All officers are licensed and certified by the State of
Texas and have full police authority.
- SMU also works closely with
surrounding local and regional police and fire departments, including
University Park, Highland Park, Dallas County, City of Dallas, Texas
Department of Public Safety, and various federal agencies.
- SMU has conducted training and has procedures for
active shooter scenarios, among others.
- SMU has created a new position of Director of
Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Planning, dedicated to
preparing SMU for emergencies and the recovery from them, while maintaining
campus operations. The new director is a seasoned professional from a
similar office for Dallas County.
- The University maintains a
fully equipped Emergency Operations Center with trained staff members who
routinely participate in drills with local, state and federal agencies. Its
data base supporting emergency operations includes occupant listings for all
- To aid surveillance, SMU has a closed-circuit TV system.
- Communication technology used
in case of emergency would be website, bulk e-mail and voicemail to
communicate en masse to the campus community. A hot line is maintained at
214-768-4636 (SMU-INFO) to provide current information on emergencies. SMU
also has designated call centers that would be activated to answer parent
and community questions and to provide immediate alerts and instructions to
the campus community if needed.
- Each building has a designated manager who is trained
in emergency procedures to be shared with building occupants.
- Regular building evacuation drills are conducted to
ensure familiarity with procedures.
- SMU has designated triage and
quarantine facilities under its Emergency Operations Plan. SMU has conducted
large casualty training involving multiple jurisdictions, including Dallas
- To augment security measures,
SMU personnel educate students on safety precautions such as keeping doors
locked in residence halls and being aware of their surroundings. Training
includes discussions in residences, posting of campus alerts, publications
and web resources.
The Employee Assistance Program
is a confidential resource available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week to provide
support and counseling for SMU faculty and staff.
There is only so much an institution can do to protect
against the type of tragedy that occurred Monday, but those of us in higher
education are focused on remaining as vigilant as possible, continually adding
to our knowledge and updating our procedures.
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