Time to Talk About Emergency Preparedness

As I continue my work on the West Coast, today’s FYI and subject for both parents and students to consider reading and talking about is emergency preparedness.  This is one of those topics that few people want to think about or talk about, because it can sound or feel scary.  But the best time to think about emergency preparedness is BEFORE you need to know it.  So now, at home, in a calm time, you (and ideally your Deacs), should take a look at the following resources and be sure students know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Wake Ready is our web site for emergency preparedness.   The menu items on the left side of the web site show more information about alert methods, what to do for building evacuations, emergency situations, etc.  Also, the term “shelter in place” was a phrase I did not know a couple of years ago – and if your students were ever told to shelter in place, they need to know what that means.

Students are requred to sign up for text alerts.  Parents and family members, note that you are not able to sign up for text alerts.  Our reasoning is this: if an emergency happened, we want to get the message to our campus community members first (students, faculty, and staff).  That’s probably around 5,000-6,000 campus community members.  If we included parents in that text message system, that might double or triple the number of texts to send, and we don’t want a parent in Philadelphia receiving the text before their daughter in Bostwick Residence Hall gets it.  So for speed and efficiency, students only receive the texts.

We do have an emergency alert page, Wake Alert.  The Wake Alert website is the primary information source during an emergency at Wake Forest.   You can follow Wake Alert on Twitter and get updates that way.

Again, this is not intended to cause anyone to feel concern – rather it is meant to give your students tools they need (in a non-emergency moment) so they would be prepared.  And to help you, as parents and families, know the university has plans in place for addressing emergencies and situations that are significant.  Universities are like the communities any of us live in – your town/city/township/county most likely has emergency preparedness plans in place too.

This is not just intended for incoming freshmen and parents, by the way.  I encourage all families and their students to browse Wake Ready and Wake Alert at least once a year (ideally once before each semester) so you can be informed.

— by Betsy Chapman

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