Emergency Preparedness promotes UT Ready campaign with new resources this semester

Emily Hernandez

Emergency kit giveaways and emergency preparedness pocket guides are a few of the resources Emergency Preparedness is distributing this semester as part of their new UT Ready campaign.

UT Ready is a public awareness campaign based on the national Ready.gov campaign. Both programs educate people on how to prepare for small- and large-scale emergencies. UT Ready promotes new Emergency Preparedness resources, including the kits, pocket guides and classroom emergency guides. 

Jonathan Robb, director of Emergency Preparedness, said the campaign and pocket guides were developed in the spring and were pushed out over the summer at freshman and transfer orientations. However, this fall is when the majority of campus can see and understand the brand’s purpose.

The teal and orange pocket guides are about the size of a UT ID and offer nine pages of information on what to do in specific emergencies, such as lockdowns, active shooters and evacuations. They also include general safety tips on emergency kits and safety hubs around campus.

“We used to have an emergency desktop reference guide, and we felt that was a great resource, but it was hard for you to take with you because of how big it was,” Robb said about the previous book-sized guides. “Finding something to take that same information (and) put it in a smaller, easy to use, easy to carry guide for all students, faculty and staff was the way to go.”

Psychology freshman Ericka Torres said she was not given a pocket guide at the July 8-10 orientation, but it would be something she would keep on her person.  

“Something that’s small and mobile makes a bigger impact than PowerPoints because I don’t remember half the stuff that was presented at orientation,” Torres said. “I’m not going to remember information and the numbers of different organizations.”

Biology senior Teja Sebastian said while she was not aware of the pocket guides, she thinks they would be a useful resource for students. 

“As college students, we lose things a lot, so that might be one problem with it,” Sebastian said. “I remember my freshman year when the (Harrison Brown) stabbing happened, and no one had any idea what to do, so I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Emergency Preparedness has placed classroom emergency guides by the doors of every room on campus. 

The guides outline what to do during classroom-specific emergency protocols such as shelter in place, Robb said.

“When you’re in that classroom, and they say ‘lockdown’ or ‘shelter,’ some people don’t understand exactly what they (are) supposed to do,” Robb said. “It may have been a while since they had that information, so we have it readily available.”

To encourage students to create their own emergency kits with enough supplies to sustain a person for three days, Emergency Preparedness will give away premade emergency kits through tabling events and social media in the coming months, Robb said.

“We want everybody to understand that in order to prepare for an emergency, they need to utilize the resources that are available and understand that it all starts with each and every one of you,” Robb said. “That resiliency towards the emergency starts with you through our help.”