Updates Emergency Preparedness Procedures
Lori Wright, Media Relations
UNH has updated its emergency response and preparedness procedures,
and is asking the university community to familiarize itself with
the new plan.
Detailed information regarding what to do in the event of an emergency
is available on the new Emergency Preparedness Website at http://www.unh.edu/emergency/.
The site provides specific information about how to address a bomb
threat, fire, hazardous materials spill, inclement weather and medical
“Prior planning and preparedness is critical due to the nature
of situations that occur at any time with little or no warning.
This document outlines procedures to be followed by the campus community
for responding to, and recovering from, a variety of emergency and
disaster situations,” according to Brad Manning, director
of environmental health and safety.
“While UNH has developed and implemented a campus Emergency
Procedures Program, we had not developed a means of communicating
this information to the campus community. The Emergency Preparedness
website should bridge this communication gap,” Manning said.
Colleges and universities nationwide have increased their emergency
preparedness efforts since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“One of the specific challenges in dealing with emergencies,
in an academic environment, is that the execution of the emergency
response goes counter to the normal consultative and collaborative
nature of a university. During an emergency specific individuals
have to be in charge and often times need to make immediate decisions
that effect the university community. It is not only important to
establish an organizational structure where these decisions can
take place in an informed manner but for everyone in the university
community to be aware of this potential dynamic,” said Bill
Conk, coordinator of university emergency planning.
The more common emergencies that occur on campus include inclement
weather (blizzards, ice storms and hurricanes), power outages and
medical emergencies. Less common are hazardous material spills,
bomb threats and fires.
Members of the university community should report all suspicious
activity and criminal offenses to the university police. Call 911
during an emergency. “In an emergency, people should first
take steps to protect themselves and keep themselves from becoming
a victim. Second, they should notify emergency authorities of the
emergency. Third, they should listen to emergency authorities and
respond as directed,” Conk said.
All 911 calls are routed to the UNH Police Department through the
UNH-Durham Communications Center. The center is staffed 24 hours
a day, by eight full-time professional dispatchers. All full-time
dispatchers are State Police Online Telecommunications System Certified
and receive a variety of in-house and specialized training annually.
The center serves as dispatch for UNH and the Town of Durham Police
Departments; the Durham, Lee, Madbury and Barrington Fire Departments;
and the Durham Ambulance Corps. After normal business hours, UNH
Security, UNH Maintenance and Durham Public Works are reached by
contacting the dispatch center.
Emergency call boxes are located at the center of university residential
halls and in all major parking lots. Emergency blue phones also
are located throughout the campus. “The UNH Police Department
is committed to keeping the members of the campus community safe
and has developed several safety links that provide information
for crime prevention as well as general information about personal
safety,” according to Manning.
The safety links can be found at http://www.unh.edu/upd/Information.html.
“An effective emergency response depends on informed campus
communities, whose members are familiar with campus procedures and
understand their personal responsibility for emergency preparedness
and response,” Manning said.
University departments interested in conducting an emergency evacuation
drill or receiving further training in emergency preparedness should
contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety at 2-4041.