SMU recognized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security for antiterrorism preparedness, effectiveness under the SAFETY Act

emergency preparedness

SMU recognized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security for antiterrorism preparedness, effectiveness under the SAFETY Act

DHS Designated SAFETY Act sealThe SMU Police Department & Emergency Management Program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for antiterrorism preparedness and effectiveness.

In the process, SMU has become the first university in the United States to receive the SAFETY Act Designation, conferred to providers of “qualified antiterrorism technologies that could save lives in the event of a terrorist attack.”

The University was recognized for “employ[ing] exceptional efforts to promote security/safety on campus.” The SMU Police Department submitted its antiterrorism preparedness program to the DHS Office of SAFETY Act for evaluation.

The DHS evaluation focused on two factors: the effectiveness of the program to substantially reduce risks of harm; and its demonstrated substantial effectiveness upon deployment or use.

SMU initiated antiterrorism planning after Sept. 11, 2001 and has built upon the effort in each successive year. The program was tested in preparation for the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremonies, as well as during the event itself, when all five living U.S. presidents visited the SMU campus.

The Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. To attain SAFETY Act Designation, an entity must submit extensive documentation of its anti-terrorism program, including training, drills and exercises, planning, and partnerships with other terrorism response agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

August 4, 2014|For the Record, News|

In wake of tornado warnings, SMU thanks community for its patience

SMU appreciates the patience of its students, faculty and staff during today’s fast-changing severe weather as emergency personnel worked through technical problems with a new alert system. The emergency preparedness team is reviewing the alert system to identify and address the problems. SMU takes campus safety very seriously and will correct this situation.

April 3, 2012|News|

SMU observes Emergency Preparedness Day Sept. 16

SMU campus cinematic shot

September is National Preparedness Month, and SMU has joined in its observation by scheduling Emergency Preparedness Day for Sept. 16. The details were shared in the following e-mail sent to students, faculty and staff members on Sept. 14-15:

As a part of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month, SMU has designated September 16, 2009 as Emergency Preparedness Day.

We encourage SMU students, faculty and staff to do the following:

  • Orient yourself to Lockdown procedures by viewing the video, “Shots Fired on Campus.”
  • Update your personal contact information, especially your cell phone number, in Access.SMU so you can be notified in the event of an emergency.*
  • Know What to Do in emergencies on campus by reviewing the safety actions: evacuation, shelter-in-place and lockdown. Look for posters in classrooms or review them online.

* Please Note: A test of the SMU Emergency Notification System will be conducted on September 16. The test will consist of cell phone messages, text messages and e-mails that read: “This is a test of the SMU Emergency Notification System.” No action on your part will be necessary.

September 15, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Safety performers show ‘What To Do’

Safety skit comicsDo you know what to do in the event of an emergency inside or near a campus building? A group of SMU performers, acting out on the Main Quad Oct. 1, used comedy to demonstrate the four steps required by students, faculty and staff during an evacuation:

  • Leave the building (don’t use elevators).
  • Assist the disabled.
  • Take valuables and cell phones with you.
  • Proceed to an assembly area outside.

Launched as part of the SMU Aware emergency preparedness program, skits will be performed several times throughout this academic year. In addition to evacuation, they will address situations that involve lockdown and shelter in place.

“In addition to the training drills we hold on campus every year, we’re presenting students crucial information in an interactive style to gain their attention,” says Lee Arning, director of emergency preparedness. “We hope to impress upon them the importance to ‘Know What to Do’ on campus. This way, they will not only be prepared for crises, but ideally will take ownership during potential situations.”

More about emergency preparedness at the SMU Aware website

October 15, 2008|News|
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