An emergency can strike at any time. Whether it’s a man made event, a natural disaster, or a simple accident that evolves into something much larger, emergency response teams must be ready to take action quickly. Pre-planning is a critical stage of the Critical Communications Cycle. Fortunately, you can effectively prepare for many types of emergencies long before a crisis occurs.
After identifying your unique risk profile, assemble your decision makers to discuss how you can best respond to each kind of potential emergency. Once your response plans are formulated, drills, table-top exercises, and full scale exercises can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your plans, protocols and response. They offer a fun, challenging way to test your assumptions and train your personnel.
The safety team at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore are masters of pre-planning for emergencies. Founded in 1886, the school is located near the Chesapeake and Atlantic beaches on 776 acres in Princess Anne, Maryland. They have approximately 4,500 students, with 2,500 living in resident housing, and 32 major buildings- plus 41 other units. UMES has 16 officers in their police force.
Interim Chief of Police, Kenneth A. Collins, has to make sure his people are ready for all types of emergencies – from active shooters to hurricanes. Here’s a video featuring one of his department’s full-scale hazardous material (HAZMAT) response drill. This classic exercise utilizes the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) protocol as mandated by Maryland State Government and Federal Government.
We hope Chief Collins will never have to respond to a real hazmat emergency, but thanks to drills like this the administration, students, and staff can trust that his team will be ready if they do.