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Northwestern Takes Part in Emergency Preparedness Month

Campus alert test, programs and guidelines in place for emergency response

EVANSTON, Ill. --- September is National Preparedness Month, and Northwestern University is taking part by providing safety workshops and resource fairs, raising awareness and conducting a campus-wide test of its emergency notification system.

Northwestern’s goal is to provide the highest level of preparedness and readiness for responding to emergencies. Preparedness month provides a forum for educating the University about community programs and individual responsibilities.

Northwestern will test its emergency alert system at 12:20 p.m. Sept. 30. The system, which sends messages during campus emergencies, will reach students, faculty and staff via text message and email. The test also will include a reminder to review and update personal emergency contact information.

Northwestern is committed to the safety and security of all members of the University community in case of various emergency scenarios, from natural disasters or power failures to terrorism or an active shooter. To that end, Northwestern has scheduled a series of educational activities this month, and it has created numerous guidelines filled with prevention and preparedness information.

Campus Preparedness and Safety Workshops

Comprehensive training workshops on the Evanston and Chicago campuses will be conducted by the Office of Risk Management, University Police and Business Continuity planning. The Evanston workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 29 in the Northwestern Room at Norris University Center. The Chicago workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Searle Seminar Room at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. Individuals are welcome to walk in.

Family and Student Resource Fairs

The University Police emergency service division also will participate Sept. 16 in the parent and family resource fair and Sept. 19 in the new student resource fair. In addition to general preparedness awareness, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will participate to provide program awareness and recruitment. The Northwestern CERT educates students, faculty and staff about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the University community. Volunteers are welcome.

Guidelines Regarding Active Shooter Situation

Realizing that an active shooter situation is perhaps one of the most disturbing and traumatic of all emergency crises that could occur on a university campus, the University has taken a proactive approach in preparing for this type of emergency through a variety of prevention, preparedness and response strategies. Being prepared can make a great difference for you and others around you. It is important that members of the University community familiarize themselves with the following prevention and preparedness information:

  • Comprehensive violence prevention plan that provides information on numerous policies and programs dedicated to the prevention, reduction and management of acts of violence.
  • Behavioral Consultation Team that conducts threat assessments; addresses aberrant, dangerous, or threatening behavior that might affect the safety or well-being of the campus community; and provides guidance and best practices for preventing violence and providing support services.
  • Crime Prevention Committee that coordinates campus-wide violence prevention education, programs and services that are designed to create a campus culture and climate of safety, respect and emotional support.
  • Web-based 30-minute video, titled \"Shots Fired,\" that provides individual community members with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter situation.

More than ever, it is important that the entire campus community know how individuals can respond in advance and help maintain good security and safety procedures. The University has an emergency training program that provides the individual community member with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter. Community members are encouraged to schedule a presentation by contacting Lieutenant Ron Godby.

For more information on preparedness and readiness for responding to emergencies, contact Commander Shaun Johnson or Clement Stokes of Northwestern University Police. For information on business continuity planning, contact Sharlene Mielke.

National Preparedness Month is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Topics: Emergency

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