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March 30, 2009
With the advent of the spring tornado season, the Wellness Center at Northwest reminds all members of the University community that preparation is key to staying safe when severe weather threatens.
Northwest has procedures in place designed to protect people and property in the event of an emergency. But, ultimately, students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus are responsible for their own safety.
Dr. Gerald Wilmes, the University's medical director and emergency coordinator, recommends the Ready in 3 system endorsed by the American Red Cross and Missouri's State Emergency Management Agency as one of the best guides to use in preparing for severe weather and other threats.
Specific guidelines for taking shelter during a tornado are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Web site at www.fema.gov/areyouready/tornadoes.shtm . A detailed explanation of the Ready in 3 system is posted on the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services site at www.dhss.mo.gov/Ready_in_3/index.html .
A quick Ready in 3 reference appears below:
1. Create a plan
Develop an individual emergency plan, and determine how you will communicate with others in various crisis situations. You might want to develop different plans for different kinds of emergencies. Consider setting up a telephone tree or building an emergency e-mail list.
Make plans for both staying home and evacuating. Deciding whether it is best to stay or go depends on the type of emergency. Public safety officials may be able to tell you what you need to do, but in some cases you may have to decide for yourself. Know where to go if you have to leave.
Watch TV, listen to the radio and use common sense. Try to stay calm and keep others calm. Know where there is shelter within your residence or workplace. This should be a lower-level or basement interior room with few windows and doors.
Plan several different escape routes. If you are driving, keep windows and vents closed and the air conditioner and heater off. If you encounter a tornado while driving, exit your vehicle and lie face down in a ditch or low-lying area. Bring an emergency supply kit.
2. Prepare a kit
If an emergency happens you might not have access to food or water, or your building may be without power. Check media outlets for locations where food, water and shelter can be obtained.
At a minimum, your personal emergency kit should include the following items: battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kit, paper and pencil, canned food and a manual can opener, sleeping bag or extra blanket, money, rain coat or poncho and gloves.
3. Listen for information
Get as much information about the situation as possible. Monitor television, radio, Web sites and e-mail for news. Information specific to Northwest will be available via the Bearcat Alert text messaging system (sign up at www.nwmissouri.edu/alert ), the Northwest homepage ( www.nwmissouri.edu ) and KXCV/KRNW radio (90.5 and 88.9 FM). Be sure to have a battery-powered radio on hand along with extra batteries.
Know these terms:
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468