Contact:  Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations
February 15, 2008



In the wake of the tragedy at Northern Illinois University yesterday, we want the community to know that the University of New Hampshire has a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that guides decision-making, communication, and coordination of response activities in the event of an emergency. Testing and refinement of the plan is ongoing under the leadership responsibility of UNH Deputy Police Chief Paul Dean.

The plan provides information that will save lives during emergencies or disasters, and hasten the resumption of normal UNH operations after these events. It outlines procedures for responding to and recovering from a variety of emergency and disaster situations, including fires, hazardous material spills, medical emergencies, bomb threats, or major accidents.

You can find the plan on the Emergency Preparedness website at http://www.unh.edu/emergency.

Familiarize yourself with the procedures in place. It 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.

You should know that we have contracted with an emergency notification vendor called RoamSecure, and registration is free at http://alert.unh.edu. Any time you get a text alert, you will be given a very general description of the emergency with instructions to go to the UNH homepage for updates.

As we are all too keenly aware, UNH is not immune to emergency situations, whether it is 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, and 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.

UNH Communication Systems in the Event of An Emergency

Directed Communication (DC) – UNH has the ability to send a "blast email" to everyone on the Durham campus who has a UNH email account. When an emergency occurs on campus, a DC is quickly written and sent so that faculty, staff and students know that an incident has occurred and, if warranted, provides instructions for what to do. It also directs individuals to the UNH Web site (www.unh.edu), which is updated throughout the emergency until an All Clear is issued by UNH Police.

RoamSecure – RoamSecure is a communication vehicle which sends a text message to cellphones and registered email accounts – including dot coms if that is an individual's preference – alerting subscribers that an incident has occurred on campus. Currently, the system has 3,100 faculty, staff, students and friends registered. The goal is to have the entire campus registered.

UNH Information Line – Anyone may call 603-862-0000 to hear about an emergency on campus.

UNH Web site – Working with Media Relations and the UNH Web master, UNH Police will provide updates on the university's homepage.

Whelen outdoor notification system – an outdoor notification system is installed to sound a siren when a campuswide emergency occurs. The system includes equipment to allow Police to issue specific warnings as well as an All Clear when the incident has ended.

Media – UNH Police works closely with the UNH spokesperson and Media Relations to distribute press releases to media outlets so that the public is aware that an incident has occurred and that steps are being taken to deal with the issue.

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