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September is National Preparedness Month. This effort, held each year, is to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, and communities. The goal of the month is to raise public awareness about the importance of being prepared for emergencies of any size and to take action.

The Gallaudet University Crisis Leadership Team (CLT) would like to recognize this event and take this opportunity to reach out to our community to remind everyone to take steps to be prepared and inform you of what we are doing to prepare Gallaudet for any unforeseen incidents. The CLT is a proactive team that meets monthly and consists of representatives from university departments and divisions to discuss emergency response plans, recovery plans, training, and matters that impact the university as a whole.

As an illustration of our efforts, the CLT is currently planning several events to raise awareness with our students, faculty, and staff. Our team will be conducting training for Floor Captains; on Thursday, October 30. Floor Captains are chosen to represent a floor, department, or general area and are trained to assist the university during an incident by learning building utility shut-off systems, ensuring areas are safe, and leading evacuations among other responsibilities. If you wish to be a floor captain, please contact Director of Public Safety, Theodore Baran, or Karen Evans in the Office of Student Affairs and Academic Support.

To end the calendar year, this November the CLT will be conducting an in-house tabletop exercise in response to a campus emergency. This exercise will test internal procedures and responses. This is the second tabletop exercise within the last year as we conducted a large exercise with several outside agencies last November that tested our response in an active shooter scenario. It was a learning experience for many governmental agencies as to how to deal with our unique community. This October the Clerc Center will be conducting an internal tabletop exercise as well.

As the month progresses we ask everyone to review their own emergency plans and update any supplies you may have. The CLT maintains a website on emergency preparedness and we encourage you to visit the many pages that inform our community as to how to respond to weather emergencies and other disasters. We also have information regarding supply kits and what to do to prepare you and your family in case of an emergency. It has more information on the Crisis Leadership Team and you can contact individual members for further questions.

Be prepared and be safe.

The Gallaudet University Crisis Leadership Team

Dwight Benedict, Dean of Student Affairs and Support Services (Chair)
Theodore Baran, Director of Public Safety (Vice-Chair)
Alan Hurwitz, President
Carol Erting, Provost
Paul Kelly, Vice President, Administration and Finance
Fred Weiner, Assistant Vice President-Administration
Nicole Sutliffe, Executive Director, Clerc Center Administration and Operations
Catherine Murphy, Executive Director, Communications and Public Relations
Meloyde Batten-Mickens, Executive Director, Facilities
Yoshiko Chino- Executive Director, Gallaudet Interpreting Services
Earl Parks, Executive Director, Gallaudet Technology Services
Lauri Rush, Director, Counseling and Psychology Services
Susan Hanrahan, Director, Residence Life and Housing
Cary Barbin, Director, Clerc Center Operations
Pam Rypkema, Manager, Risk Management & Insurance
Tim Frelich, Manager, Business Services and Enrollment
Mary Hufnell, Faculty Representative

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