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Monday, Mar 18, 2019

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OHIO staff learn and practice emergency preparedness


On Tuesday, Nov. 27, a group of Ohio University staff gathered in Baker University Center for a lunchtime business continuity training session entitled, “Playing with Disaster,” led by Bev Wyatt and Jill Harris.

Business Continuity Coordinator Bev Wyatt coordinates the brown bag lunch series and noted that by practicing for emergency situations through table-top exercises, departments can increase staff awareness and readiness, remind units of vulnerabilities, mitigate problems, and more.

Wyatt and Harris introduced participants to a card game, using a standard deck of cards, which provides scenarios representing different types of emergencies that might affect departments on campus. This game poses questions for department faculty and staff to consider and respond to as they consider their plans for business continuity.

According to Wyatt, a Business Continuity Plan includes a collection of resources, procedures and information that is developed, tested and held ready to help minimize disruptions to business operations in the case of an unforeseen emergency.

“The sessions have been well attended and participants tell me that they most always gain insight on how to better prepare for a critical incident,” Wyatt said.

Emergency Programs Manager Jill Harris told participants that she and Wyatt are available to help facilitate planning exercises. She said those exercises can help provide a no-fault environment in which to discuss and prepare potential threats and vulnerabilities. She also said table-top exercises can help drive a department’s Business Continuity Plan.

Wyatt shared practical advice with participants. She encouraged attendees to implement tools like a phone tree and evacuation plan, and to practice using those tools on a yearly basis. Additionally, she suggested that once a department develops a Business Continuity Plan, it should be reviewed regularly in staff meetings and share with all staff via email so that they are familiar with the plan.

Erin Murphy, associate chair of Biomedical Sciences attended the brown bag session with Jamie Remy, an administrative specialist in Biomedical Sciences who has worked on developing a Business Continuity Plan for their department. “It got me thinking about how we can spread the word to faculty and bring up emergency planning at staff meetings,” Murphy said.

A new lineup of Business Continuity Planning trainings will be available Spring Semester. The Office of Emergency Programs, in collaboration with Ohio University Police, also offers Active Shooter Training. One more session is scheduled for this month.

ALiCE (Active Shooter) Training
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter & Evacuate (ALiCE). The goals of this training are to encourage and promote discussion and to help OHIO staff to be more prepared should an active shooter incident occur. Test your readiness, learn about options and gain confidence in your abilities to react by attending these sessions.
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 1 – 2:30 p.m., Baker University Center 230

RSVP to Bev Wyatt for these sessions.

The Emergency Programs Office conducts table-top exercises for departments and offices who want to dedicate one-two hours to a simulated critical incident. Please contact Bev Wyatt to schedule this interactive exercise for your team. Information and resources on Business Continuity Planning at OHIO are available on the Emergency Programs website.