UVMOEM takes emergency preparedness very seriously
We live in a wonderful and safe city but emergencies happen everywhere and we do our best to be ready to respond to anything. One of the best ways to prepare is to have a plan and we have developed a comprehensive All-Hazards plan for the University. A plan isn't worth much if it sits on the shelf which is why follow the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program to ensure that we are constantly evaluating, testing, and updating our plan to ensure we are using the latest best practices and are ready for emerging hazards and threats.
One measure of an organization's strength is its ability to respond well in an emergency. Since every scenario cannot be predicted, an emergency response plan must be able to quickly adapt to events as they unfold. The University of Vermont's Emergency Response & Recovery Basic Plan is an “all hazards” plan that designates areas of responsibility and defines for the University of Vermont the framework necessary to respond to emergency situations. It is imperative that individual departments develop response plans for unique situations under their purview. The University response needs to be quick, professional, supportive, and meet the emerging demands of any incident, emergency, or crisis situation.
The plan has four major sections:
- Executive Authority;
- Situations & Assumptions, including the Levels of Emergency Response;
- Concept of Operations, which defines the Phases of an Emergency;
- Organization & Assignment of Responsibilities;
We are constantly evaluating the hazards to our campus and developing plans and procedures to respond to those hazards. By understanding the risks that UVM face, we can ensure that we have the training, experience, and equipment to respond to those threats. Vermont's biggest threat is severe weather. UVM is a Storm Ready University which means that we coordinated our efforts with the National Weather Service and they have certified our efforts to protect and prepare the campus for severe weather. Despite all of our efforts, the most effective preparedness tactic is self preparedness. Understanding how you can keep yourself safe and having some basic knowledge and equipment can make a huge difference in the outcome of an emergency. Ready.gov is an excellent resource to understand how to prepare for various disasters. UVMOEM also provides individual preparedness training on campus and will provide guidance during events through our CAT Alert System.
UVMOEM is responsible for development and maintenance of the University Emergency Operations Plan. UVMOEM can also provide emergency planning support for any UVM organization to include development of event plans, response plans, standard operating procedures, or any other emergency planning need. All plans are developed to be integrated in the a training and exercise cycle to ensure that organizations are familiar with their plans, have used them prior to an emergency, and that plans are kept up to date based on the latest threats and hazards identified.