September is the Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month, and SMU is asking the campus community to take an active role in learning how best to respond to potential campus emergencies. Information will be shared through email, web and social media messages focused on recommended emergency responses to different threats.

Quick Response Codes printed on table tents in Umphrey Lee’s Real Food On Campus will make it easy for students, faculty and staff to use their smart phones to link directly to videos that teach when to Evacuate, Seek Shelter or Lockdown. The “Know What to Do” videos also are located at

As an extra incentive for watching the videos during National Preparedness Month, the University will Tweet (via @SMU) contest questions drawn from the three “Know What to Do” videos. Winners will earn $25 Starbucks gift cards for the first correct answers.

“Preparedness is a partnership,” said Anita Ingram, SMU associate vice president and chief risk officer.  “The world we live in demands that students, faculty and staff take an active role in learning the best possible responses to emergencies ranging from police actions to weather emergencies.

“First, I recommend that you update your contact information in access.smu so we can reach you in an emergency.  Then, I encourage you to watch the videos that explain when to EvacuateSeek Shelter or Lockdown.   These simple steps could save your life,” Ingram said.

Here’s what to expect this month:

  • Testing of the emergency notification system at various times, including outdoor sirens, internal fire panels and mass notification systems
  • Drills conducted by building managers
  • Email, web and social media messages focused on different emergency responses

Read important SMU dates below: 

Sept. 5:  The first Wednesday of every month is the date for the mid-day, monthly siren test.  Sirens are activated in the event of outdoor emergencies such as tornado warnings or large chemical spills with wind blowing in the direction of campus.

Sept. 10-14:  Learn about when to “Lockdown.” An alert to “Lockdown” will occur if an active shooter or other violence is detected on campus.

Sept. 17-21: Learn when to “Seek Shelter.”  A message to “Seek Shelter” will occur when the outdoor sirens are activated to indicate an outdoor hazard.

Sept. 24-28: Learn when to “Evacuate.” A message to “Evacuate” will occur inside campus buildings through bullhorns or recorded messages indicating an emergency has occurred inside the building.