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Preparing for emergencies

June 11, 2007

Screenshot of the Emergency Preparedness Web siteIn response to emergency preparedness issues affecting universities across the country, various SF State entities joined forces to create a comprehensive safety resource for students, faculty and staff. The SF State Emergency Preparedness Web site is a clearinghouse of campus-specific and general safety information.

Emergency Preparedness includes links to on- and off- campus sites that provide information about preparing emergency kits and security checklists. These sites also include detailed procedures to avert and respond to a range of emergencies, from natural disasters to criminal threats. Key campus safety manuals, brochures and placards are now available online, reinforced by an online tutorial, which explains and tests emergency preparedness knowledge.

The new site emerged from concerns expressed by the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) of the Academic Senate that current safety information was not easily accessible to students, faculty and staff. Ken Fehrman, SAC chair for the 2006-7 academic year and professor of consumer and family studies, initiated discussion about uniting all campus emergency preparedness plans and helped create the Emergency Preparedness Task Force.

Headed by former Associate Vice President of Human Resources (HR) Safety & Risk Management Denise Fox Needleman, the task force is comprised of members from University Police, Environmental Health and Occupational Safety, Public Affairs, HR Safety & Risk Management, Housing and Residential Services and the Academic Senate Student Affairs Committee.

"The thing with emergency preparedness is that it really comes down to being responsible for yourself and those who are around you," task force member Bridget McCracken said.

Future SF State plans for emergency preparedness include: partnering with the Red Cross and SF Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, hiring a campus-wide emergency coordinator, establishing emergency text message alerts and implementing an internal building auditory alert system.

"In terms of emergency preparedness, it's never too early to start thinking about it. When the emergency happens is the wrong time to try to come up with a plan," University Police Chief Kirk Gaston said. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Miles Orkin


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Last modified June 11, 2007 by University Communications