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 professions.

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 buildings.
  •       Campus Resources

     • Police Department
     • Tips for Parents
     • Tips for Faculty/Staff
     • Dean of Student Life
     • Parent Liaison
     • Student Housing
     • Counseling
     • Psychiatric Services
     • Office of the Chaplain
     • Emergency Management

  • 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 County Health.
  • 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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