Kent State University releases emergency guide outlining
Last summer, after the shootings at Virginia Tech, the department of Public Safety started re-evaluating the university’s emergency management plan, which details the university’s response to various emergency situations.
The department released a new emergency guide to go along with the management plan on the university’s Web site Feb. 29. Students and faculty were notified of the guide through a FlashLine message sent yesterday.
Dan Fitzpatrick, associate director of public safety, said the guide was supposed to come out sometime before the end of the semester, but after the shooting at Northern Illinois University in mid-February, the department chose to release it early.
“Hopefully students will take the time to read it,” he said.
The guide lists quick tips for what to do in case of various potential emergencies.
Fitzpatrick said the types of emergencies listed in the guide are only the ones that affect a large number of people.
The old guide listed emergencies such as fires, severe weather, hazardous material spills and bomb threats, while the new one also emphasizes more recent concerns such as an active shooter, a biological threat or a pandemic. Also, it has more detail about what to do in particular situations and links to further information from government Web sites.
John Peach, director of public safety, said the emergency management plan lists the university’s response to emergencies as an institution, while the emergency guide has safety tips for individuals in the university community.
He said each of the eight Kent State campuses will have separate emergency management plans. The guide released in February is specifically for the Kent campus.
Fitzpatrick said the previous emergency response handbook was last updated in 2003.
“In essence we did keep what worked,” Fitzpatrick said, “We started with a clean slate.”
A series of presentations on the material will be offered to faculty and staff during April. Fitzpatrick said the faculty could then inform students.
Addressing Faculty Senate yesterday afternoon, Peach said the plan will make Kent State a leader in emergency preparedness.
“The plan that we’re currently going with will put us in the top 1 percent of the country,” he said.
Carlie Rowland, freshman fashion design major, said she didn’t know the emergency guide existed.
“It’s good to have a plan,” she said. “It’s only useful if everyone knows what to do.”
David Hess, a senior international relations major, said he was interested in what the guide had to offer.
“I’d like to know what they want us to do in the case of a shooter,” he said.
The department will continue updating and expanding it, and the plan will be revised every year.
What to do in case of …
…an active shooter on campus
Call 911 as soon as it is possible to do so safely. If inside and not near the shooter, stay there, locking all doors and windows. If you find yourself outside near the shooter, remain calm, hide behind a safe barrier and get away as soon as safely possible.
You should be familiarized and comfortable with escape routes. Make sure smoke alarms are installed and operable. Should you find yourself in a fire, crawl low under the smoke to an exit. Be sure to check closed doors for heat before opening them, and close them once you’re through. Once out, stay out and call 911.
…hazardous materials emergency
If outside, immediately leave the affected area if possible, going to a location that is upwind and uphill and at least one-half mile from the source. If inside, turn off air conditioning and ventilation systems. Seal gaps in doors and windows with plastic wrap or wet towels. Should gas or vapor enter the building, take short, shallow breaths through a wet cloth.
DOWNLOAD a copy of the emergency guide.
Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected]