Vol 39 No 6
Nov. 23, 2006
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Crisis management plan hits the web
by Leslie Vryenhoek
There’s no disaster known to be looming on our horizon today and so no better time than now for members of the Memorial University community to familiarize themselves with the institution’s Crisis Management Plan (CMP).
A new university website details the basics of the CMP and also gives step-by-step instructions for how to respond to a number of possible (though still improbable) emergencies, as well as how authority will be delegated in a crisis and what communication procedures will occur.
“Memorial is committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone within its community, and being prepared is a crucial component of that,” explained Victoria Collins, director of Marketing and Communications, who is responsible for the university’s crisis communications activities. “It’s impossible to plan for every event, and every situation is different, but we have an overarching, flexible plan of action that establishes roles and responsibilities, and directs how information and resources will flow to all those impacted by the situation.”
The CMP webpage also contains links to information on reacting to emergencies of a more limited nature, such as a building fire or a personal injury.
Ms. Collins noted that while the website is new, key crisis management personnel at Memorial have been taking preparedness seriously for a long time. “Our emergency preparedness is continually being improved and our plan refined, through both training exercises and actual implementation during campus emergencies that occur from time-to-time,” Ms. Collins said. “But there are always new people coming to the campuses to work or study, so this website provides a place for members of the university community to get a top-line overview of the plan and related emergency procedures, and learn how they should respond in an emergency.”
While a high level of emergency preparedness is not required for everyone on campus, she stressed that everyone should familiarize themselves with the information on the CMP website and related links, and to go back over the information from time to time. “Of course, we hope that there won’t be any need to use the information, but it is so important to be prepared in case there ever is.”
Memorial’s Crisis Management Plan website is hosted by Enterprise Risk Management, and can be found at www.mun.ca/erm/emerg.