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Use Emory resources to build resilience during National Preparedness Month
photo of CEPAR office in action

Now that the fall semester has begun and campus is buzzing again, it’s important to know how to prepare for an emergency. Each individual doing their part contributes to personal safety, the community’s safety and Emory’s community resilience.

“Emergencies are unexpected, but when one occurs, knowing what to do — or simply where to look for help and resources — can be key to minimizing danger. The better prepared we are, the more resilient we are as a community,” says Sam Shartar, senior director of operations for Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).

And September is the perfect time to learn, because it’s National Preparedness Month. The observance is scheduled each fall in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities be ready to manage the risks of critical events and disasters.

In recognition of the FEMA national “READY” campaign, the #EmoryREADY initiative focuses on promoting campus preparedness through education, training and outreach. 

“Being aware of the preparedness resources available to you and being prepared to act in the event of an emergency strengthens resiliency amongst our community, making us ‘Emory READY,’” says Amanda Mohammed, program coordinator for CEPAR. “Being prepared is everyone’s responsibility.”

There are five simple steps to become better prepared:

Be aware of #EmoryREADY and National Preparedness Month 

During September and October, CEPAR partners with student organizations across Emory to raise awareness of personal and medical preparedness. Stop by the CEPAR table during Wonderful Wednesdays and pick up an “I’m #EmoryREADY” button, available only during the month of September. Additional safety-related events can be found on The Hub.

At Emory, emergency resources are always available with the free Emory Safe app.

The Emory Safe app’s enhanced safety features include:

  • Emergency contacts: Easily contact the Emory Police Department (EPD) or other responder agencies in case of emergency.
  • Emergency guides: Readily access the Just-in-Time Guide to campus emergencies to review materials that can help you be prepared. This can be accessed even without Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  • Friend walk: Send your location to a friend through email or SMS. Once the friend accepts the request, the user chooses a destination, and the location is tracked and shared in real time. The friend does not need to have the app to participate.
  • “I’m OK!”: Send your location and a message indicating that you’re okay to a recipient of your choosing.
  • Safety notifications: Receive instant alerts and instructions when an on-campus emergency occurs.
  • Real-time weather conditions: View current weather conditions reported from weather stations at multiple Emory campuses.

CEPAR also developed the Emory University Preparedness Checklist, which provides directions for both faculty and staff and students.

The checklists offer:

  • Basic safety information and reminders, such saving the numbers for the Emory police departments and how to add an “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) number.
  • Suggestions for establishing a simple emergency communication plan with family or friends.
  • Prompts for how to exit buildings if a primary pathway is blocked and where to seek shelter during severe weather.
  • Handy contact information for campus emergency services, including health and counseling services and the Emory University Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).

“When emergencies occur, having the right information, and understanding what you need to do, is essential to making you better prepared and for keeping you safe,” Shartar says. 

He suggests saving two numbers in your phone — 226787 and 678283 — and assigning each a unique ringtone, to quickly and easily identify an Emory emergency alert.

Think about preparedness now to contribute to campus resilience

For Emory faculty, staff and students, the new semester is a great time to become familiar with the university’s emergency resources, available on the CEPAR website. Just like testing smoke detector batteries annually, reviewing Emory’s emergency procedures in Emory Safe or the Just-In-Time Guide should also be considered a yearly ritual.

The CEPAR website provides wide-ranging resources and guidance for how to be prepared for a variety of emergencies, including power failures, water and gas leaks, medical emergencies, chemical spills or laboratory accidents, and severe weather and weather-related campus closures. You will also find information about the CEPAR Office, Emory EMS, preparedness and training resources, community outreach and other programs.

Turn to Emory EMS for assistance

Emory Emergency Medical Service  (EEMS) is a volunteer EMS organization, operated by students, with oversight from CEPAR.

EEMS provides a first responder service for emergency medical care to Emory University students, faculty, staff, visitors and the surrounding community.

EEMS operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, during the fall and spring semesters. The response area includes Emory University’s Clifton Campus and the immediate surrounding facilities, businesses and roads.

EEMS works in coordination with local EMS and fire departments responding to emergency and 911-based calls in the Emory community. In addition, it provides medical standby services for university events. The program also has a strong commitment to community outreach and education.

To request EMS, call the Emory Police at 404-727-6111 or dial 911.

Learn more at Emory’s Annual Safety Fair

Thursday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cox Bridge and Asbury Circle

Stop by to learn about more than 30 safety, health and well-being organizations, resources and services available to the Emory community. There will be free giveaways, games and ice cream. 

The fair is hosted by CEPAR, the CEPAR Preparedness Ambassadors, Emory Fire Safety, Emory Police Department, EEMS, Student Health Services and the Environmental Health and Safety Office.

Check The Hub for additional CEPAR event postings and follow CEPAR on social media: Facebook: /EmoryCEPAR; Twitter: @EMORY_CEPAR; Instagram: @emorycepar.

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