preparedness

Protect yourself against mosquitos and West Nile virus

Mosquito spraying update, Aug. 16, 2012: Dallas County has notified the City of University Park that aerial spraying for mosquitoes will occur between 8:30 p.m. today, August 16, and 2 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17. This will include SMU’s main campus. In addition, the City of University Park will begin ground-spraying the SMU main campus beginning about 8:30 p.m. today and again at 11 p.m. Friday, subject to weather conditions. Those on campus during the aerial and ground spraying should remain inside as a precaution. Read more from SMU News.

Because mosquitoes are common in North Texas this time of year, the City of University Park has been spraying for mosquitoes to diminish the threat of West Nile virus. SMU is working with area authorities in addressing the mosquito problem.

beware of mosquitoesThe SMU Health Center is prepared to test and provide immediate care for anyone in the SMU community who suspects he or she is infected with West Nile. The SMU Health Center also has the recommended DEET insect repellent available while supplies last.

To protect yourself against West Nile and other diseases carried by mosquitoes, the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you:

  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or any other EPA-approved insect repellent.
  • Wear long sleeves/pants, loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • Protect yourself especially if you go outside during dusk and dawn hours.
  • Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. SMU monitors the campus daily for standing water, removes it and treats the area. Avoid stagnant water. If you see stagnant water on campus, please report it to SMU Facility Services at 214-768-3494.

Those with questions about the West Nile virus should contact the SMU Health Center at 214-768-2141.

More health considerations during the dog days of summer:

Avoid becoming dehydrated. The Mayo Clinic urges people to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables.

Check your sun exposure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns:

  • Avoid overexposure to UV rays from both natural and artificial sources.
  • Wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, long pants and long-sleeved shirts made of tightly-woven fabric, and sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection.
  • Use a broad-spectrum (protecting from both UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater to protect uncovered skin.
By | 2012-08-16T13:29:55+00:00 August 16, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Texas DPS issues 2012 spring break travel warning for Mexico

Stock photo of travel warning signThe Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) is urging all Texas spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico.

The U.S. State Department website lists several travel alerts related to violence in Mexico. Travelers should always check that website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.

SMU News has posted the official notice from TxDPS, which was e-mailed to all SMU faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, March 6. Read the full alert.

President Turner reaffirms SMU’s commitment to campus safety

In the wake of recent allegations of serious wrongdoing by personnel at other colleges and universities, SMU President R. Gerald Turner has reaffirmed SMU’s commitment to promoting a safe and healthy environment for community members and visitors of all ages.

In an e-mail dated Nov. 30, 2011, Turner asked all individuals to become familiar with their duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect, and with the steps to report illegal or fraudulent activity of any kind:


In view of the troubling allegations of wrongdoing involving officials at institutions of higher education, all of us in the academic community must remind ourselves of our obligation – both legally and morally – to report any illegal behavior or fraudulent activity to appropriate authorities.

With regard to the safety and well-being of children who may visit our campus, I urge you to visit the Office of Legal Affairs website to familiarize yourself with the duty under Texas law to report suspected child abuse.

Our “See Something, Say Something” initiative reflects SMU’s commitment to promote a secure and healthy environment through the sharing of information with law enforcement authorities. Reports of illegal behavior can be made to the SMU Police at 214-768-3333, or anonymously through the SMU TIPS line – 214-768-2TIP (2847). Of course, any emergency situation should be reported immediately to 911.

As you know, SMU crime alerts now are sent via e-mail. Please pay attention to these notices from “SMU Aware” so that you can remain informed. The University also issues campus trespass warnings to individuals who are perceived to be a threat. The SMU Police Department reports crimes to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office for prosecution.

Our vigilance and reporting responsibility also applies to suspected illegal activity involving possible fraud or financial wrongdoing at the University. SMU’s Fraud Reporting Program provides a mechanism to report improper or inappropriate acts not discovered through other means. The dedicated phone number is 214-768-9276, and you can visit www.smu.edu/fraud for additional information.

Thank you for all you do to make this a welcoming campus in which students and visitors of all ages can enjoy our offerings of education and enrichment.


By | 2011-12-06T14:05:42+00:00 December 1, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Health Center offers remaining Fall 2011 flu shots during clinic hours

Stock photo of a man getting a flu shotSMU’s Memorial Health Center has concluded its flu shot clinics for Fall 2011, but individuals can still get their annual injection at the Health Center building while supplies last.

Immunization hours are Tuesdays 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25. The Memorial Health Center accepts cash (exact change) and checks made out to the SMU Health Center.

Students who need a flu shot may pay $25 or charge their SMU account. Students who have SMU Aetna health insurance pay a $5 copay with Aetna paying $20.

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

> Keep up with the latest flu information at smu.edu/flu
Visit the SMU Health Center online

By | 2011-11-14T11:30:38+00:00 November 14, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Health Center offers additional Fall 2011 flu shot clinics

Stock photo of a man getting a flu shotSMU’s Memorial Health Center will offer several more Fall 2011 flu shot clinics during October. The next available clinic is for faculty, staff and students and will take place 2-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in the Health Center building.

This year, the Health Center will offer both the new needle-free flu shot and the conventional needle shot.

> Learn more about the needle-less flu shot in this segment from NBC News 5

Two more clinics for faculty, staff and students will take place at the Memorial Health Center, scheduled for 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, and 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Flu shots will also be available from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the 2011 Human Resources Fair in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

A clinic for faculty, staff and students at the SMU-in-Plano campus will take place 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Building 3.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25. The Memorial Health Center accepts cash (exact change) and checks made out to the SMU Health Center.

> Visit the SMU Health Center online

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at smu.edu/flu.

2011 Clery Act report now online

SMU students on the Main Quad in the shadow of a treeSMU is committed to fostering a safe learning and working environment for our campus community. As part of that commitment, the SMU Police Department prepares and distributes an annual security report for the University’s main campus, the SMU-in-Plano campus and the SMU-in-Taos campus.

This report is published by Oct. 1 each year in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Under this federal law, colleges and universities must disclose specific information about campus crime and security policies.

The SMU reports contain three calendar years of crime statistics, including incidents occurring on campus, at public areas adjacent to campus and at certain non-campus facilities, including Greek houses and remote classrooms.

Information also is gathered from the University Park Police Department, Highland Park Police Department, Dallas Police Department, Plano Police Department, Taos County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico and other University officials who have significant responsibility for students and campus activities.

The report is available online at the SMU Police Department website.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its accompanying regulations (HEOA) established new requirements for colleges and universities in the areas of personal safety and crime reporting, and also require for the first time that institutions issue an Annual Fire Report, similar to the crime and incident reporting in the Clery Annual Security Report.

“As you know, safety awareness and practices are a major focus of student orientation programs each year, complementing ongoing educational programs throughout the year. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be partners in enhancing security on campus and sharing responsibility for each other’s safety,” wrote SMU President R. Gerald Turner in an e-mail dated Sept. 30, 2011. “We must remain mindful, too, that while SMU’s campus engenders a comfort level one would expect of a collegiate setting, our location in a major metropolitan area brings with it challenges as well as opportunities.”

To request a paper copy of the University’s annual security report, call the SMU Police Department at 214-768-1348 or e-mail Officer Linda Perez.

> Read SMU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report online

By | 2011-10-05T16:02:41+00:00 October 5, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Fall 2011 flu shot clinics begin Sept. 19-20

Stock photo of a man getting a flu shotSMU’s Memorial Health Center has scheduled several Fall 2011 flu shot clinics for September and October, beginning with a student clinic 2-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

This year, the Health Center will offer both the new needle-free flu shot and the conventional needle shot.

> Learn more about the needle-less flu shot in this segment from NBC News 5

Faculty, staff members and students can get their shots 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Dedman Center, as well as from 11 a.m.-1 p.m and 4-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 at the Law School Pit in the Underwood Law Library lobby.

Two clinics for faculty and staff members will take place 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Expressway Tower; and 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the 2011 Human Resources Fair in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

A clinic for faculty, staff and students at the SMU-in-Plano campus will take place 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 in Building 3.

The University pays for flu shots for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty and staff members, as well as spouses, may purchase shots for $25. The Memorial Health Center accepts cash (exact change) and checks made out to the SMU Health Center.

> Visit the SMU Health Center online

To shorten your wait at the flu clinic, take these steps:

Keep up with the latest flu information, including upcoming clinic schedules, at smu.edu/flu.

> More news: Memorial Health Center achieves national accreditation

SMU raises safety awareness during 2011 National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and SMU is planning several events to raise awareness of proper emergency procedures.

The University will focus on three major preparedness themes throughout the month:

  • Lockdown Awareness Week, Sept. 6-9
  • Shelter Awareness Week, Sept. 12-16
  • Evacuation Awareness Week, Sept. 19-23

Provost Paul Ludden asked faculty and staff members to review campus safety procedures with students when possible in an e-mail dated Aug. 22, 2011:

This September marks the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States and, as such, it has been proclaimed National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is also a time for all of us to reflect on the importance of strengthening the security and safety of our campus community.

SMU will observe this occasion during the month of September by hosting a series of events that are intended to orient students, faculty, and staff to various aspects of SMU’s emergency plan. The theme for Emergency Preparedness Month is “A Time to Remember, A Time to Prepare.”

If you feel it is appropriate, please take a few moments during class time to review with students the three principal emergency response mechanisms for all emergencies: Evacuation, Shelter, and Lockdown. For your convenience, a summary of these actions entitled “Know What to Do” is attached and a poster has been placed in each classroom.

Thank you for your support.

Watch SMU’s new “Know What To Do” video on lockdown emergency procedures by clicking the YouTube screen above, or click here to open the SMU lockdown procedures video in a new window. video

> Review the “Know What To Do” emergency document
> Download the Emergency Management calender of educational events (PDF format)
> Bookmark SMU’s Emergency Management homepage at smu.edu/emergency
> Read more about National Preparedness Month at ready.gov

Texas DPS warns spring break travelers to avoid Mexico

Stock photo of road warning signThe Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) is urging all Texas spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico.

The U.S. State Department website lists several travel alerts related to violence in Mexico. Travelers should always check that website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico.

The official notice from TxDPS:

March 1, 2011

DPS discourages Spring Break travel to Mexico
Reminds boaters of dangers on Falcon Lake

The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence – and reminding boaters to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake.

Falcon Lake has been the scene of several robberies and a U.S. citizen’s murder, and DPS is again warning boaters to steer clear of the Mexican side of the lake. Cartel activity remains high in that area.

“While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well,” said DPS Director Steven C. McCraw. “Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished.”

So far this year, an ICE agent was killed and another injured in a suspected ambush near San Luis Potosi February 15. Two El Paso teens were gunned down February 5 in Ciudad Juarez. In January, a Texas missionary was shot in the head when she and her husband ran an illegal road block in Nuevo León.

In addition to U.S citizens killed so far this year, preliminary figures show as many as 65 Americans were killed in Mexico in 2010. Kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and carjacking also are threats in parts of Mexico. Suspects have not been prosecuted in many of the cases. Meanwhile, more than 30,000 Mexican citizens have died in drug-related violence since 2006, and the violence shows no signs of abating.

“Drug violence has not discriminated – innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties. Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students,” said McCraw. “Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”

DPS acknowledges that many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.

Travelers should always check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information related to security issues in Mexico. (See http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html or http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html.)

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Mexico are urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through their website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.

> Read more, including safe spring break tips, from SMU News

SMU urges inoculation as the 2011 flu season continues

Stock photo of a person receiving an immunizationAlthough SMU is not experiencing a large number of flu cases at this time, it is still flu season and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says there are widespread cases in Texas, as well as neighboring Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Since flu can spread easily from person to person, the University urges all community members to take these preventative measures:

  • Get a flu shot. The shots are available at the SMU Health Center or local pharmacies. The Health Center offers immunizations on Tuesdays (1:30-3:30 p.m.) and Wednesdays (9-11 a.m.). Complete the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Form (PDF format) and bring it with you, along with your SMU ID.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow or sleeve and avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

The University provides the shots at no cost for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff. Other faculty, staff and spouses may purchase shots for $25. Please bring cash or a check made out to the SMU Health Center.

> Visit the SMU Flu Preparedness site at smu.edu/flu
> Learn more about the Health Center’s flu shot program

By | 2011-02-07T16:01:14+00:00 February 7, 2011|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |
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