Safety cards offer ‘how to’ during crisis

January 27, 2011 | UToday
By Kim Goodin

webse-630-safety-card-cover-onlyIn the matter of campus safety, UT follows the simple motto: “Be aware. Be alert. Be safe.”

This week, wallet-sized cards designed to help members of the campus community function during crisis situations will be distributed throughout Health Science and Main campuses. The goal, according to Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity, is to offer instruction during a time when calm may be lost.

“They’re situations we don’t like to think about, but they’ve happened at other institutions,” Burns said, referring to acts of violence, weather emergencies and structure hazards. “We wanted to offer a useful tool with step-by-step procedures to help our community function in the event of an emergency.”

The cards, similar to those containing athletic schedules, will be available at several key locations on both campuses, including Skyview Food Court on Health Science Campus and the Student Recreation Center, Rocket Hall and the Student Union on Main Campus. Departments on Health Science Campus will receive them through interoffice mail. In addition, cards will be distributed throughout residence halls and during various student meetings.

UT Police contributed the information, which includes action plans during scenarios that include tornado warning, structure fire and violence, including gunfire on campus. Emergency telephone numbers are included.

“People are used to carrying schedules of this size,” University Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “This card contributes to our objective of keeping our campus safer by encouraging our community to practice safe habits and know what to do during an emergency.”

The cards will be re-distributed to the campus community each year and included in Rocket Launch orientation materials for incoming students.

“We want every member of the UT community — faculty, staff and students — to have access to this important tool,” Burns said, noting those who don’t receive one through planned distribution may contact Lindsay Ackerman in the Office of External Affairs at 419.530.1273.

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