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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

University releases revised emergency procedures

Following inquiries from parents and students about Texas A&M’s emergency preparedness after the heightened terror alert, the University has updated its emergency procedures and made them readily accessible on the Web.
The Texas A&M University Emergency Protocol Quick Reference Guide, located online at http://finance.tamu.edu/ehsd, consists of 13 pages covering issues such as what to do in a bomb threat or a severe weather episode, where to go if a chemical or radiation spill occurs and what to do upon receipt of a suspicious-looking letter or package.
The complete version of the emergency plan is about 60 pages.
“The plan is quite detailed, covering all the bases, and is accessible on the Web, making it very straightforward and readily available to any student or parent concerned,” said Bob Wiatt, director of the University Police Department.
Although a University emergency plan has existed for nearly a decade, it lacked information intended for anyone who is not a member of an emergency crew, such as students, staff and faculty, said Chris Meyer, director of the Environmental Health & Safety department.
The plan went through a lengthy review cycle in the fall and underwent revisions so that it would be accessible to the general population, Meyer said. The new plan addresses some terrorist-related issues not present in the previous document, he said.
According to the section of the emergency protocol entitled “Suspicious Letter/Package/Substance,” any package or letter should be treated with suspicion and must be handled without shaking or bumping. It is also important to avoid opening, smelling or tasting the package.
If a bomb threat occurs, the receiver of the call should immediately hang up and dial #91 (trace/trap procedure) before calling 911, according to the protocol.
Meyer said the emergency protocol does not apply solely to terrorist-related issues.
“The topics covered are intended to be for a variety of emergencies, including severe weather or chemical spills. They are most definitely not specific to terrorist attacks,” Meyer said. “It is important that we do not lose focus and think of only terrorist threats when spring weather is coming with tornado watches, a far more likely event than any terrorist threat.”
Meyer compiled the information, but the plan was a joint effort between EHSD, UPD and the state officials responsible for risk management, Meyer said.

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