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Updated 7:00 AM December 7, 2009
 

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Provost's office launches faculty emergency preparedness Web site

The Office of the Provost has developed a Web site designed to better prepare faculty for emergency situations in the classroom.

The Web site, www.provost.umich.edu/safety/index.html, touches on likely scenarios that could affect the university community and offers information about how to handle a range of situations, from weather threats to violence on campus. The site also includes links to resources that can assist in training and preparation for such events.

"As key participants in achieving our goals in emergency preparedness, it is particularly important for instructors to incorporate safety into their classroom lives," says Teresa Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "We hope this new Web site will provide faculty with basic information to enable them to take control in an emergency in their classroom."

Instructors can visit the new Web site to review procedures, including what do in case of tornadoes and severe weather. For example, a tornado warning in Washtenaw County would not necessarily trigger alert messaging, but funnel clouds headed toward campus would. In this situation, designated personnel would knock on classroom doors to warn instructors and students to take shelter, and instructors would be obligated to cease teaching and follow directions.

The Web site's development is an example of the university's involvement in an initiative that is receiving attention by universities across the country to improve emergency management and preparedness on campus. An advisory committee of faculty and staff helped to develop the information and Web site content.

"The committee wanted to create one single resource for all faculty members. We want faculty members to know where to go to find information on things most likely to happen in their classrooms and find all the necessary resources to manage a situation," says Gretchen Grey, director of academic continuity and disaster readiness. "The main goal was to provide faculty easy access to essential information and training."

In addition to the emergency Web site, the university is upgrading external building access, exploring tactics for enhancing emergency alert communications through social media and assessing the value of internal classroom locks.

For more information, contact Grey at 734-647-9981.

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