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February 12, 2014

Emergency preparedness training to help campus community react to major emergencies continues

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Office of Emergency Preparedness is offering its emergency preparedness training six more times this month to remind the campus community how to prepare for and react to potentially dangerous events.

The one-hour training is offered at various times and dates in order to fit schedules, said Ron Wright, Purdue emergency preparedness director. Sessions are open to faculty, staff and students.

Training sessions, all in the TERY Conference Room at the Purdue Police Department, 205 S. Martin Jischke Drive, are scheduled for:

* 10-11 a.m. Monday (Feb. 17). Register online at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6427

* 5:30-6:30 p.m., Feb. 19. Register online at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6428

* Noon to 1 p.m., Feb. 20. Register online at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6429

* 10-11 a.m., Feb. 24. Register online at

http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6430

* 5:30-6:30 p.m., Feb. 26. Register online at http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6431

* Noon to 1 p.m., Feb. 27. Register online at  http://www.itap.purdue.edu/training/registration/?offeringid=6432

"Due to the transient nature of a college campus community, our emergency preparedness message is basic: If you hear an alarm outside – the All-Hazards Outdoor Warning sirens - immediately go inside to the nearest facility for shelter; if you hear an alarm inside a building - fire alarm - immediately go outside (evacuate)," Wright said. "In both cases, you should continue to seek additional information regarding the emergency from others or official Purdue sources and adjust your response accordingly. This training will cover these concepts in more detail to include all available preparedness tools."

The training will provide reminders on what constitutes an all-hazards emergency event and how faculty, staff and students in the classroom or elsewhere on campus should react in such a situation. In the process, Wright said, emergency preparedness officials will explain how the campus community receives emergency notifications through the multi-layered Purdue Alert system, what "shelter in place" means and how to respond when they see the phrase in alerts sent out; evacuation procedures; what they can do to prepare; and available tools and resources.

"The Purdue Alert system is important in that we can communicate quickly about a given situation," Wright said. "Depending on the situation, Purdue Alert lets people know they should shelter in place, which means to seek immediate shelter inside a building or university residence, or evacuate, or avoid an area where a crime has occurred."

This training has been offered in colleges and departments for many years, including to leaders in the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center and to residence hall assistants; these open sessions are in response to requests from faculty and students, Wright said.

Purdue Alert emergency notification system

The Purdue Alert emergency notification system includes text-messaging, campus-wide emailing, posting to the Purdue home page, sirens, and Boiler TV and social media. Those who have not already registered to receive text alerts are strongly encouraged to do so. To register, 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.

Ongoing evaluation and training

Purdue emergency preparedness officials and campus police and fire leaders meet regularly with other university representatives to refine processes.

"We discuss recent events, both here and on other campuses, in order to learn from them," Wright said. "We look at what worked and what might not have worked in a given situation, try to see if there is anything we're missing and simply keep an open dialogue between numerous entities."

For instance, safety officials connect with Purdue athletics and several other groups each year before football season. Topics include how to evacuate the stadium if there is nearby lightning or tornado activity.

The regular meetings also are a venue to discuss a variety of other emergency-related topics.

One of those topics is educating the campus community. Purdue safety and security officials each September host a Safety and Emergency Preparedness Day in which they provide resources and information to students to encourage them to think about safety and conduct demonstrations. Greater Lafayette safety agencies also attend.

For more information on Purdue's Emergency Preparedness programs, see the Emergency Preparedness website at http://www.purdue.edu/emergency_preparedness/

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

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