The 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.
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.
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.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner provided details of the University’s response to cases of flu and flu-like illnesses on campus in an e-mail to the entire community dated Sept. 4, 2009. The e-mail listed procedures for faculty, staff and students and included links to more information.
• Read the entire text at the SMU News site
• Visit the SMU flu site
Do 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
As colleges and universities mourn the tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University, SMU is reminding the campus community about emergency procedures.
The University is constantly monitoring and updating procedures as we continue to learn from each other in the higher education community and from the security and law enforcement professions.
The SMU Aware poster (at right – click for a larger version) has been distributed to classrooms and major campus buildings, containing instructions for lockdown, evacuation, shelter in place and severe weather emergencies.
Find preparedness links and more information from SMU News.
September is National Preparedness Month, and in the wake of Virginia Tech, universities are looking to learn from past crises. Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Business Services Bill Detwiler and Director of Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Lee Arning answer questions about SMU’s new initiatives and capabilities for responding to emergencies ranging from severe weather to active shooters – and what faculty and staff members can do to help these programs succeed. Read more.
Continue reading “Be prepared: How SMU will respond to the next emergency”
Statistical Science Chair Wayne Woodward was honored as the 2006-07 United Methodist Church University Scholar/Teacher of the Year at SMU’s fall General Faculty Meeting Aug. 29. President R. Gerald Turner updated the faculty on important developments in campus life and the status of the George W. Bush presidential library complex. More under the link.
Continue reading “Woodward honored at Fall General Faculty Meeting”