Creating an emergency action plan and downloading the Carolina Ready Safety App are two ways Carolina employees can be prepared for a variety of emergency situations.
“We cannot predict when something is going to impact us, but we can prepare,” says Darrell Jeter, director, emergency management and planning. “Let’s join together as a community and prepare now.”
Jeter and Justin Miller, emergency management coordinator from the Office of Emergency Management and Planning, provided an overview of the Carolina Ready Campus Preparedness Initiative tools and training during the Nov. 3 Employee Forum meeting.
“When we talk about emergency management, it’s a campus wide effort to ensure that we are protected from the implications or impacts of an emergency or a disaster that may pose a threat to our campus community,” Jeter said. “Whether it’s a natural hazard, a human hazard or technological hazard, we want to protect our people — our students, our faculty and our staff.”
What areas does the Carolina Ready Preparedness Initiative address?
Miller: We’re emphasizing three areas: We want to make sure that you are informed, that you are prepared and that you’re ready to take action. To be informed, we want you to know how the University is going to communicate to you in the event of an emergency or disaster. Make sure you are signed up to receive Alert Carolina notifications and the other means by which we share updates with you. To be prepared, we want to be sure you’ve created personal plans. You can’t help and assist others if you yourself aren’t protected. Lastly, be ready to take action when emergencies occur.
How do you build a campus culture of preparedness and resilience?
Jeter: Knowing that we can’t prevent every hazard from impacting our campus, we want to reduce this impact and then also we want to be a resilient campus so that we can bounce back and continue the great mission of teaching and research. We do so through a number of methods on an ongoing cycle, whether it be prevention, protection, mitigation and response to recovery — every core mission of emergency management.
How can Carolina community members use the University’s Emergency Action Plan?
Miller: The Emergency Action Plan gives you the tools you need to be safe during the immediate impact of an emergency so the first responders can come and take control of the scene. You’ll learn about the options to report emergencies and how the University’s emergency notification system, Alert Carolina, works. The plan includes actions to take for evacuating your building, sheltering in place and responding to potential hazards that may impact campus.
The plan also includes special evacuation procedures and guidelines for persons with disabilities.
No matter what happens on campus, if you know how to get out of a building or if you know how to shelter in place, that’s going to help in most of the different emergencies that could happen.
Is there training for emergency preparedness?
Miller: Employees can sign up for Emergency Preparedness 101 through Carolina Talent. It’s a 20-minute computer-based training that breaks down the key elements of the Emergency Action Plan. Supervisors can also assign this training to employees in their departments.
Also, you can request the Being Carolina Ready in the Office training for your building. Representatives from UNC Police, Environment, Health and Safety, and Emergency Management and Planning will provide a cross-discipline safety presentation that provide you with tools and information that empowers you to be prepared for various types of incidents in your office space.
Talk about the Carolina Ready Safety App that was launched last year.
Miller: We encourage everyone to download the Carolina Ready Safety App. The app empowers you to be prepared, mitigate danger and respond appropriately. For example, have you seen the mobile blue lights across campus? You now have one in your pocket with the Carolina Ready Safety App. If activated, it will send your GPS location to the University’s 911 center and then connect you with a call. If you’re working late at night, you can have the WorkAlone feature on the app check in with you. If you don’t check in within an allotted time, the app will call your emergency contacts. The Friend Walk feature allows you to share your location with a friend so they can remotely monitor your location while you walk to your destination and ensure you arrive safely.
Where can I go to access more resources?
Miller: Visit the Carolina Ready website for tips on making an emergency action plan and an emergency kit for yourself and for your pets. You can also find information about emergency plans and kits for individuals with disabilities.
We’ve also just released emergency preparedness guides for employees, faculty in the classroom and a student safety guide.