UB enhances website for crisis and emergency information
By CHARLES ANZALONE
Published February 28, 2013
News of the Feb. 17 carbon monoxide leak in the Richmond Quadrangle residence hall in the Ellicott Complex and the quick response by university officials was the latest chance to put to good use UB’s recently expanded emergency website, a place where the campus community can get up-to-the-minute details on events that disrupt routine life at UB.
The emergency website posts official reports and authorized information about emergencies and other extraordinary events. The university maintains and has consistently improved the site as the one-stop, go-to place where students, faculty, staff and the public can look for the most current news about emergencies, public safety issues and other non-routine events, including those that need urgent attention. UB officials first established the site in 2006 and have upgraded it frequently since then.
“The university website—www.emergency.buffalo.edu—is the most accurate place to obtain information regarding events that disrupt scheduled operations at the University of Buffalo,” says James Reger, emergency manager, University Police. “The timeline of the events, starting with the university response to full recovery, will keep the UB community informed.”
The emergency site also contains a litany of other pertinent crisis information, including the latest UB Alerts, information regarding signup for the UB Alert notification program, campus bulletins about events of interest to the university’s North, South and Downtown campuses, links to additional assistance during a crisis, changes in scheduled operations due to weather conditions and planning information for future events that need university-wide coordination.
Also featured is a section under “Emergency Procedures” that instructs those on campus how best to react to a hostile intruder, including a video produced by the Department of Homeland Security. The posting follows special University Police training in January during which officers learned how best to respond to hostile intruders. The nine UB police officers who took part in the course will train others on the UB force, according to Lt. Mark Gates, who coordinated the training for UB police. This training is now part of the Police Academy curriculum.
“We started this site because we wanted a quick, easy-to-access and, most of all, accurate source for our campus community to go when there is a need to deal with extraordinary and sometimes dangerous situations,” says Dennis R. Black, vice president for university life and services.
“We’re hoping everyone in the university community becomes familiar with this site and uses it to stay informed about what’s going on throughout our three campuses.”
UB officials also urge everyone in the community to enroll in the UB Alert program, which notifies subscribers of emergency situations. An easy-to-find link with simple instructions to enroll can be found on the emergency website’s home page.
“This site is part of what makes us a community,” Black says. “We also hope as many people as possible will sign up for the UB Alert program.”
The emergency website includes several sections to supply this information. Among the online features:
- UB Alerts, which are sent during an “active emergency that poses an immediate danger/and or disrupt campus operations.”
- Another site location where officials post bulletins about campus incidents, smaller incidents that do not pose an immediate danger.
- Campus alerts that announce changes in scheduled operations due to weather conditions.
- Policies and procedures that guide university officials through these unusual events.
- Documents and contact information to help other offices plan and prepare for emergencies.
Many versions of emergency UB communications—whether they are on Twitter, Facebook, emails, written releases or texts messages—will drive subscribers back to the emergency website.