to the Editor
Updates Emergency Response Management Procedures
September is National Preparedness Month, and I want to provide
you with a series of updates on the issue of emergency response
management at the University of New Hampshire.
The goal of National Preparedness Month is to increase public awareness
about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage
individuals to take action, and given the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina, this increased awareness could not be more timely.
I recently approved the University’s Emergency Operations
Plan which has been in development for more than a year. The plan
facilitates decision making, communication, and coordination of
response activities in the event of an emergency. It specifically
addresses how we respond to various levels of emergencies and is
comprehensive in its scope because, the more complex the emergency,
the more offices and municipalities will be involved. The plan was
developed under the able leadership of William Conk, Director of
Housing, and I thank him for his excellent work. The responsibility
for the implementation and regular updating of the plan has been
assigned to Brad Manning, Director of the Office of Environmental
Health and Safety (OEHS).
To assist campus departments in emergency planning efforts, OEHS
has developed a comprehensive Emergency Procedures Program (EPP).
The purpose of the EPP is to provide information that will save
lives during emergencies or disasters and hasten the resumption
of normal UNH operations after these events. The document outlines
procedures to be followed by the campus community for responding
to and recovering from a variety of emergency and disaster situations.
These events may include fires, hazardous material spills, medical
emergencies, bomb threats, or major accidents. Evacuation drills
for all campus buildings will be scheduled as a preparedness exercise.
Individual University departments looking for assistance should
contact OEHS at 862-4041.
Environmental Health and Safety has created an Emergency Preparedness
website that the campus community can access for information and
guidance. This site provides information on the steps UNH has already
taken for disaster preparedness, what our community can do to prepare
for emergencies, and how UNH will communicate disaster or emergency
information to the community. It can be viewed at: http://www.unh.edu/emergency.
I urge you all to go to the site so that in the event of an emergency
- you are familiar with navigating around the site so that you can
implement emergency recommendations for yourself and colleagues
in your area. The site covers a broad range of examples from inclement
weather to bomb threats.
Jennifer Murray, Vice President for Communications and Marketing,
has finalized a crisis communication plan. This communication plan
will be rolled out to first responders this month with the assistance
of UNH Media Relations and OEHS.
As we have learned from the past year, the campus is not immune
to emergency situations, whether they are fires, student life issues,
snowstorms, or chemical spills in one of our science laboratories.
We have competent and experienced first responders and other staff
who are specifically trained to address these emergencies. It is
our hope that with an emergency operations plan approved and in
place, along with Web resources for our community, we will be prepared
in the event of an emergency.
Ann Weaver Hart, President