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September 5, 2013

Purdue Safety and Emergency Preparedness Day includes information, interaction and alert test

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University and Tippecanoe County safety officials will collaborate again in an effort to educate students on campus safety and preparedness as the academic year gets into full swing.

The university's fourth Safety and Emergency Preparedness Day is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 11) on Centennial Mall. The event will include interactive activities and information booths. A test of the Purdue Alert notification system for campus emergencies also will take place.

"This is an initiative that allows our police, fire and safety and security team to interact with the students, encourage them to always think about their own safety and, if ever needed, let them know the myriad resources available to them," said Ron Wright, Purdue Emergency Preparedness director.

The Purdue Alert test is scheduled for around 10 a.m., and will include the campus outdoor all hazard warning sirens. The test will be used to ensure that the various layers of the system are working properly and to provide the opportunity for practice, Wright said. The alert system includes campus-wide emailing, text messaging, the Purdue home page, sirens, and alert systems in the residence halls and on Boiler TV.

If there is inclement weather, the siren test will be canceled, but other layers of the Purdue Alert will be tested.

To register to receive emergency text message notifications, go to http://www.purdue.edu/securepurdue, click on "Change My Emergency Contact Number," enter your Purdue account name and password, click on "Emergency Contact Information" and enter your cell phone number.

Safety Day activities and displays include information on the upcoming Rape Aggression Defense - RAD - class; Purdue's Safe Walk program, which provides walking escorts throughout campus; and bicycle registration. Subaru of Lafayette will provide a driving under the influence simulator, a Purdue police dog demonstration will take place, and the Tippecanoe County bomb squad's truck and robot will be on hand.

Among other planned participants, activities and information tables:

* The Purdue police;

* The Purdue Fire Department;

* Purdue's emergency planning office;

* Purdue Radiological and Environmental Management - REM;

* The Tippecanoe County Red Cross, Department of Health and Emergency Management Agency;

* Purdue Office of the Dean of Students and residence halls will have information, and the recreational sports center will promote CPR/lifeguard classes, athletic training and learn to swim programs;

* and, the Department of Agriculture will have information on grain bin rescue.

Wright recommends that the campus community take time to do four things to help prepare for emergencies:

* Review the Emergency Procedures Guide (EPG) that provides "how to respond" information for natural and human-caused incidents. An electronic version is located on the Emergency Preparedness website (www.purdue.edu/emergency_preparedness). Additionally, the EPG is also on the Purdue smartphone app under the safety section.

* Review their Building Emergency Plan to ensure they know evacuation routes and shelter-in-place locations.

* Review the Purdue Alert procedures.

* Develop an individual plan. 

Purdue police Chief John Cox also reminds the campus community of the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the police department at 765-494-8221, police@purdue.edu, or the WE TIP Hotline at 800-782-7463. If it is an emergency, call 911 or use any of the more than 300 emergency telephone boxes (blue light phones) on campus.

Purdue's police department advocates the Department of Homeland Security's "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign in reporting suspicious behavior and situations like an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to access a restricted area or any other situation you feel is not quite right.

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu 

Source: Ron Wright, 765-494-0446, rdwright@purdue.edu