WCSU participates in statewide emergency simulation exercise
Western emphasizes preparedness as critical in emergency response
DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University staff participated in a statewide emergency preparedness exercise on July 30 and 31, 2012, organized by the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Public Protection as part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative.
WCSU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Walter Bernstein, in consultation with President James W. Schmotter, coordinated the university’s participation in the simulation exercise for response to a simulated Category 3 hurricane emergency immediately before and after the storm’s landfall in the state. Participants in the exercise included representatives of the University Police and key university departments including Environmental and Facilities Services, Student Affairs, Housing and Residence Life, University Computing and University Relations. The statewide drill was designed to test the effectiveness of communication links among state agencies, local governments, utility companies, relief organizations and other key responders in the event of a disaster causing extensive natural and infrastructure damage.
The university administration, staff and faculty have taken a proactive approach to emergency preparedness and response planning in anticipation of a wide range of potential emergencies. For the past two years, Bernstein and Vice President for Finance and Administration Paul Reis have chaired an Emergency Planning Team of university faculty and staff who have undertaken the task of drafting a new unified Emergency Operations Plan. The EOP, rooted in principles established in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, sets out planning and operational procedures appropriate for implementation in the event of a natural, technological, hazardous material or human-caused emergency.
“WCSU takes emergency planning and preparedness very seriously,” Bernstein observed. “We have worked with representatives from the university and Danbury communities to develop an Emergency Operations Plan designed to provide a common protocol for preparedness and response to all possible hazards.”
For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.