​The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Emergency Management Division hosted its first campus-wide preparedness event on March 18.  More than 350 students, faculty and staff attended Take Preparedness by Storm in the Richard D. Krugman Conference Hall.

Representatives from numerous CU departments, public-sector agencies and local businesses provided participants with information and hands-on activities related to safety and preparedness. The event was registered as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National PrepareAthon! campaign.

Mark Livingston,  campus emergency preparedness coordinator and event organizer, stressed the importance of being prepared. At his exhibit, discussions center on not only the value of creating a kit, but also the importance of the individual items selected for an all-hazards emergency preparedness kit. “As with many life events, preparation is key to success.  Take Preparedness by Storm highlighted tools and resources necessary to better prepare for disasters both on campus and away from campus,” Livingston said.

The three-hour event culminated with a university-wide tornado drill where the campus community was asked to voluntarily participate in locating an appropriate shelter location in an interior area, away from windows, on the lowest floor of a building. Students, faculty and staff from across the campus received an emergency alert through the campus Emergency Notification System along with overhead announcements in each of the buildings indicating the start of the drill.  An “all clear” was given after 10 minutes.

Essi Ellis, emergency manager for CU Denver and CU Anschutz, is looking forward to an even bigger event next year.  “We were very pleased with this year’s turnout.  We received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement for this event,” Ellis said.

By Wendy Grover, University Police Department Communications