ET app will be released soon
ETSU has upgraded its emergency-preparedness webpage to allow for easier site navigation.
The upgraded "Staying Safe on Campus" webpage still offers detailed information on emergency preparedness, but in a more manageable and more easily accessible format.
"The old site wasn't very user-friendly," said Daniel O'Brien, director of environmental health at ETSU. "It was an older site; it was actually the original 'Staying Safe on Campus' site. We agreed that there needed to be a new website. It was just getting to be way too busy."
The new site, which can be accessed directly from the ETSU homepage, as well as from the ETSU app, offers information for the appropriate actions to be taken in emergencies on campus, such as fires, tornados, bomb threats and active shooters.
Kathy Kelley, associate vice president for administrative services and a leader in ETSU's emergency preparedness efforts, said that being aware of the campus's emergency procedures is something that every member of campus should be concerned about.
"More and more, people are becoming aware of it," Kelley said. "As a community, we need to understand that emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility."
Aside from being aware of the procedures and actions involved in the event of a campus emergency, there are several resources on the upgraded website that allow students to shoulder their part of this shared responsibility. One of these is the capability to submit a CARE report, which students can submit regarding concerns medical situations, possible mental health issues, and non-disciplinary violations observed in fellow students. Another is the "Run, Hide, Fight" document that explains the best options for students' actions in the event of an active shooter.
O'Brien said that it's up to students to educate themselves on what to do in an emergency situation.
"We want students to know from the first day they come to campus that we have safety measures in place," O'Brien said.
O'Brien said that the lack of awareness in the campus' student body is a concern. He said that many students are unaware of what terms like "shelter in place" or "evacuation" really entail, and that terms like these could appear in mass notifications in the event of an emergency
O'Brien also said that few students have asked themselves key questions about emergency preparedness, such as what evacuation route they should take or where they should hide in the event of a disaster.
Another facilitator of the new webpage has also witnessed firsthand how uninformed the campus community can be about what to do in an emergency situation. Michelle Bradburn, a graduate student who initiated the design for the website, minored in emergency management during her time as an undergraduate student at the university. She recalled a conversation that she had with her sorority sisters in those days.
"I did a severe weather safety program for the sorority," Bradburn said. "None of the girls even knew that we could have a tornado in this area."
But information on all different types of campus emergencies, from natural disasters to criminal activity, can now be more easily retrieved by students via the new safety site. According to Bradburn, being aware of the possibility of emergencies happening is the first step in being prepared for them.
"It's totally possible that it could happen here," Bradburn said. "People just don't think about it, or maybe they don't want to think about it."
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