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College outlines procedures for Red Alert crisis situations

In light of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in response to the President’s call for increased security in public areas, the College has responded with an outline of procedures to follow in the event of a national emergency.

On March 20, an e-mail went out to all College students and staff promising that the College would ensure the safety of everyone on campus in case of an attack.

Jesse Rosenblum, associate vice president for College Relations, said that while he was not at liberty to go into detail about the College’s plans for security if the nation was to go to Red Alert status, he assured the campus community that the College is well prepared to deal with a crisis situation.

Red Alert status has been defined by Homeland Security as the anticipation of an imminent attack upon U.S. soil. Since the announcement of the conflict with Iraq, the nation has been upgraded to Orange Alert, which is defined as a condition when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks.

Some of the considerations made by officials include coordinating necessary security efforts with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and appropriate armed forces organizations and taking additional precautions at public events and possibly considering alternative venues or even cancellation.

Other options include preparing to execute contingency procedures, such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing their workforce and restricting threatened facility access to essential personnel only.

Rosenblum said that the campus Web site gives a complete outline, and that a second e-mail went out to students on March 25 with a link to the Web site, where concerned students and staff can view the majority of the plans laid out by the College to assist those on campus in the presence of a crisis.

Rosenblum said, “In the interest of security, I cannot fully divulge the exact details of the plans the College has for the protection of those on campus (in the event of an attack).”

“But plans are definitely in effect, including methods of contacting students with instructions on measures to be taken.”

He also said that there would be provisions for all students, including those who commute and find themselves on campus in the midst of a crisis.

Rosenblum said that Kathy Leverton, director of Environmental Services, was instrumental in helping bring these plans to fruition.

The Administrative and Environmental Services advised students and staff in its first e-mail that knowledge is the best defense and protection in the event of emergency. It urged everyone to read the information posted on the new Web site, and to take necessary precautions.

Members of the campus community should pay particular attention to learning what to do before, during and after an emergency, developing an emergency plan with their families, and preparing a disaster supply kit, which should include non-perishable food and water, batteries, flashlights, basic first-aid supplies and medications.

These would be used for a situation the College calls “shelter in place,” where resident students must stay within their residence for the duration of an emergency.

The College also advises students to stay informed about possible threats, and to keep monitoring the news media, including Web sites that offer free e-mail news subscriptions with the latest developments.

For complete details of the plan, access the Web site at http://cr.intrasun.tcnj.edu/securityhome.html.


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