September marks National Preparedness Month

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | Sep. 9, 2013

Would most people at Emory be prepared in the event of an emergency?  

Would you?  

September marks the 10th annual National Preparedness Month — an opportunity to review campus resources that can help individuals better prepare for emergencies, accidents or catastrophic events, according to Emory's Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).  

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month encourages households, businesses and communities to take time to better understand the risk of accidents and disasters and to create a preparedness plan, which may address anything from weather-related emergencies, fires or blackouts to earthquakes, hazardous material spills and terrorism threats.  

Advance knowledge of campus resources — or simply knowing where to look for them — can make a big difference to the safety of the Emory community in the face of actual emergencies, says Alexander Isakov, CEPAR executive director and associate professor of emergency medicine.  

"Nobody really knows how they would react in a crisis or emergency immediately evolving in front of them," Isakov says. "The preparedness and disaster resilience of our community depends, in large part, on the preparedness and disaster resilience of each of us as individuals."  

 "Understanding the risks, being aware and dedicating even a little time to prepare for emergencies makes you disaster resilient and can save lives," he adds.  

For directions on what to do during a campus emergency, check out information and links available on the CEPAR website, including:  

  • "Just in Time" Guide to Campus Emergencies, for both Atlanta and Oxford campuses.

  • Emory's Emergency Notification Program, which offers options in signing up to receive weather or law enforcement emergency alerts via email, text messaging, Twitter or Facebook.

  • Preparedness Checklist, which provides handy reminders for advance actions to take and numbers that can be called in the event of an emergency or campus accident.

  • "Run, Hide, Fight" video, which offers safety tips on what to do in the event of an active shooter in the workplace or classroom.

In addition, there are simple steps individuals can take now that will pay off when severe weather or unexpected emergencies strike down the road, says Sam Shartar, CEPAR senior administrator.  

Shartar suggests adding these tasks to your own safety preparedness plan:  

  • Enroll or update your personal contact information in Emory's Emergency Notification Program.

  • Program the emergency numbers for the Emory (404-727-6111) or Oxford (770-784-8377) police departments into your cellphone.

  • Enter an "In Case of Emergency" number into your personal cellphone.

  • Establish a personal communication plan. Do friends and family know how to contact you in the event of an emergency?

  • Know how to exit your building if the primary pathway/door is blocked.

  • Follow new campus signage to locate shelters, in the event of severe weather or tornados.

  • Consider taking a basic first aid or CPR class. Your ability to respond in a crisis could help those around you.

  For more information, visit the CEPAR website at emergency.emory.edu.