The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Campus Safety Awareness Week to provide resources, education about emergency preparedness

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Campus Safety Awareness Events educate students on how to prepares for fires and other emergency situations. 

Whether it be a fire in the dorm, a natural disaster or simply a quick navigational decision while riding a bike, Campus Safety Awareness Week will help students learn how to prepare for any emergency situation.
For the eighth year in a row, Campus Safety Awareness Week will provide education through interactive events. This week-long event was made to coincide with National Preparedness Month, National Campus Fire Safety Month and National Campus Safety Awareness Month. 
Monica Martinez, the emergency management coordinator in the Office of Safety and Security, said that Campus Safety Awareness Week was part of other September initiatives. 
“[There’s] lots of safety initiatives in September, so we think it’s a good idea to try and get some emergency preparedness out to the campus community,” Martinez said. “It’s a nice way to highlight some of the different emergency procedures and other types of things that we have here on campus to make sure our campus community can stay safe through the whole year.” 
To begin the week’s events, the nationwide initiative “Coffee with a Cop” began at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 . Lieutenant Bobby Richardson of the UPD said that this is his favorite event of the week, where he and other UPD officers have the opportunity to meet with the community and talk about a wide range of topics from law enforcement to Aggie Football. 
“We will have free coffee there for faculty, staff, students, visitors, we’ll have some pastries,” Richardson said. “It’s just a good time to visit with our community.” 
One of the more visual events of the week will be the dorm burn on Thursday evening, where the fire department maintains a controlled burn of mock dorm rooms side by side on Simpson Drill Field.
“On Thursday evening on Simpson Drill field, we will bring out to the field these two rooms that we build on a trailer,” Martinez said. “One of them has a sprinkler system like all our dorms have on campus, and most all of our facilities on campus. Then the other one is not sprinkled.” 
The fire department and fire and life safety on campus create the controlled burn, according to Martinez. This can provide opportunities for students to watch how a fire takes over a room, as well as how the sprinkler systems work rapidly to put out the fire.
“We talk about fires, how they progress, what happens and then how to get out, the importance of crawling on the floor, closing doors, things like that,” Martinez said. “We light both of those rooms on fire and show people how quickly fire can spread and then how quickly our sprinkler systems work.”
Elizabeth Thomas, a public service and administration graduate student and student worker with the Office of Safety and Security, said that this is a part of the educational outreach of the office.
“We’re looking to press students to learn a little bit more about emergencies,” Thomas said. “Every time you think about it, whenever a disaster happens everybody’s like ‘Well, what should we do?’ You start panicking, and this is our way to get ahead of it and try to teach people and promote education of emergency management, just in general.” 
Martinez said that although students, faculty, and staff have access to emergency resources, it is often useful to have information about what to do immediately when an emergency situation arises.
“We wanted to be able to give the campus community the tools that they need to be able to respond effectively until first responders can arrive,” Martinez said. “It doesn’t matter how quickly a police officer can get there, or an ambulance or a firefighter can get there, there’s still things you can do personally to either try and help yourself or try and help others in an emergency.”

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