Testing Your Emergency Response Plan

Campus in Crisis: Image of red "Emergency Pull" button
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Testing your campus's crisis response plans frequently and rigorously is key to ensuring that you can protect campus resources and recover speedily following a crisis, and as of July 1, 2010, annual testing is mandated under the updated Clery Act. Nonetheless, annual testing represents a significant shift in practice for many institutions. Nearly a quarter of higher education administrators polled in an Academic Impressions survey in January 2010 reported their institutions had not tested their campus crisis response plan in over five years. Another 13% said their plans had not been tested within the past two years.

"This finding indicates that a sizable subset of colleges and universities may be unaware of their crisis response plan's actual ability to effectively address a modern campus emergency -- a salient gamble in the wake of a series of high-profile campus crises."
Marla Whipple, Academic Impressions

To help institutions that are preparing for annual testing of their emergency response plans, we turned to Hamilton College's director of campus safety, Francis Manfredo, who shared with us lessons learned from his college's recent drill. We also want to share strategies from Steve Charvat with the University of Washington, Cindy Lawson with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Eugene Zdziarski with Roanoke College.


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