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Emergency Response, Violence Prevention Guidelines

Northwestern establishes Emergency Response and Violence Prevention Plans

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September 23, 2013

EVANSTON, Ill. --- September’s National Preparedness Month provides the University an opportunity to familiarize students, staff, faculty and visitors with the University’s safety programs and to raise awareness regarding preparedness and readiness for responding to emergencies.

The yearly campaign led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is designed to encourage all Americans to take steps to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Northwestern University is committed to the safety and security of its students, faculty, staff and visitors. The University has prepared for dealing with a variety of emergency scenarios, from natural disasters or power failures to terrorism or an active shooter.

To that end, the University has established an Emergency Response Framework (ERF) and Violence Prevention Plan (VPP) as guidelines for managing threats, incidents, disasters and associated events that threaten our people, property or programs.

As part of our National Preparedness activities, Northwestern University and its medical partners will participate as an educational exhibitor in the 2013 Emergency Preparedness Expo being held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), 251 E. Huron St., Feinberg Pavilion, third floor, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. The University is a charter member of the Chicago Emergency Medical Collaborative, which is participating in the event coordinated by NMH and the Chicago Healthcare System Coalition for Preparedness and Response. Get more information on the "Resolve To Be Ready" EXPO.

Realizing that an active shooter situation is perhaps one of the most disturbing and traumatic of all emergency crises that could occur on a university campus, the University has taken a proactive approach in preparing for this type of emergency through a variety of prevention, preparedness and response strategies. Being prepared can make a great difference for you and others around you. It is important that members of the University community familiarize themselves with the following prevention and preparedness information:

  • A comprehensive violence prevention plan that provides information on numerous policies and programs dedicated to the prevention, reduction and management of acts of violence.
  • A Behavioral Consultation Team that conducts threat assessments; addresses aberrant, dangerous, or threatening behavior that might affect the safety or well-being of the campus community; and provides guidance and best practices for preventing violence and providing support services. 
  • A Crime Prevention Committee that coordinates campus-wide violence prevention education, programs and services that are designed to create a campus culture and climate of safety, respect and emotional support.
  • A Web-based 30-minute video, titled "Shots Fired," that provides individual community members with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter situation.

More than ever, it is important that the entire campus community know how individuals can respond in advance and help maintain good security and safety procedures. The University has an emergency training program that provides the individual community member with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter. Community members are encouraged to schedule a presentation by contacting Lieutenant Ron Godby by email or phone at (847) 467-0654.

For more information on preparedness and readiness for responding to emergencies, contact Commander Shaun Johnson or Clement Stokes of Northwestern University Police. For information on business continuity planning, contact Sharlene Mielke