Southern administration to test emergency procedures

Southern Adventist University will conduct a tabletop drill on Thursday, Nov. 14. Tabletop drills are safety drills that test an organization’s emergency response preparedness during a crisis such as a fire, shooting or civil unrest.

According to Campus Safety Director Kevin Penrod, procedures such as communication, resource needs and employee coordination for appropriate response will be tested.

“Each drill the university performs will be a specific scenario. …Within that scenario, we are evaluating how well first responders, Campus Safety and the Emergency Operations Center are communicating information and needs to each other,” Penrod said. “The drill participants are not given prior knowledge. This allows us to test our crisis management plan and judge appropriate responses based on the scenario.”

Procedures for tornadoes, fires and the emergency text system have been tested in the past. Depending on what scenario is given, this drill can last up to two hours.

The drill will be conducted inside the Emergency Operations Center, which is usually a room in Wright Hall or in the Campus Safety building. According to Campus Safety Associate Director Shawn Haas, the emergency operations center can be any room that President David Smith deems appropriate. The drill will be conducted within that room and will not affect daily campus activities.

Tabletop drills have been performed annually at Southern for over 12 years in order to meet the Clery Act requirement. According to the Campus Safety website, the Clery Act is “a federal mandate requiring all institutions of higher education to disclose information about crime on their campuses and in the surrounding communities.”

Students can be better prepared for an emergency by knowing emergency evacuation routes, assembly points and shelter locations, listening for and following instructions and signing up for text message alerts.

More information and safety guidelines can be found on the Campus Safety website at https://www.southern.edu/administration/campus-safety/

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