Are You Prepared?

Posted: January 4, 2012 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: January 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

By Robin Herron

If you were on campus last August and felt your building shaking, did you know what to do?

As many people later discovered, evacuating the building was not the best thing to do during an earthquake.

And the recent December shooting at Virginia Tech made some Mason employees realize that they didn’t know what to do if someone committed a similar act on one of our campuses.

Even if you never experience one of these situations, knowing what to do in an emergency can give you peace of mind, and if you do end up in an emergency situation, you can help direct and calm other people by knowing what to do.

Fortunately, it’s the job of Mason’s Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) to know what to do and to help others prepare. EHS has developed a series of guides that everyone at the university should review. EHS even provides a downloadable poster for quick reference.

Some of the Emergency Preparedness Guides require input so that they can be tailored to your work area, and others are designed to be quick reference guides. The guides available online at the EHS website for your reference and use are:

  • Unit safety liaison
  • Bomb threat response
  • Communicable disease prevention and response
  • Earthquake preparation and response
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Medical emergency
  • Missing person procedures
  • Oil and chemical spill response
  • Power outage and utility failure response
  • Regional emergency preparation
  • Suspicious package response
  • Tornado and severe weather preparation
  • Unit fire safety plan
  • Workplace and on campus violence response

If you are interested in developing a safety manual with emergency preparedness guides for your work area, visit the website or contact EHS at

EHS provides emergency preparedness training that reviews how guides should be used and addresses individual concerns about response procedures. Register for training at the EHS website.

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