Emergency preparedness at UCOP
Each October, people throughout the world — particularly in “earthquake country” — celebrate the Great Shakeout. On the same day, Oct. 17, Risk Services conducted a test of UCOPAlert, our internal emergency alert system. About a week earlier, UCOP leadership, response support staff and members of the crisis communications team participated in a simulated disaster response exercise. Learn about these efforts, and find out about the new MyShake app.
2019 UCOPAlert test
With the UCOPAlert system, UCOP can contact you with important alerts about situations that pose a safety concern, may cause significant disruption to normal UCOP operations (outside of work hours) or that require your immediate attention. These situations include natural disasters, transportation or power outages, civil unrest or unplanned building closures. UCOPAlert is an opt-in system. In order for notifications to be sent to your home phone, cellphone,and/or email address, you must enter your information on the UCOPAlert website.
This year’s successful test contacted 1,545 devices (phones and email addresses) — about 40% of UCOP staff. This represents more than a 23% increase over last year’s participation and a 41% increase since 2017. This participation rate indicates that more UCOP staff understand the value of this tool and have chosen to take advantage of it.
If you haven’t already, please enroll in UCOPAlert now. And, if you’ve already signed up, please double-check that you have entered your preferred email and phone contact info, and selected SMS if you prefer to receive text message alerts.
To make sure that you can identify future emergency messages from UCOPAlert as non-suspicious, please save the UCOPAlert phone number, (866)-609-8026, and SMS number, 246-39, in your phone contacts.
Simulated disaster exercise
How would UCOP respond if Northern California experienced a major earthquake that caused widespread destruction? How would we ensure staff safety? What would happen if we were unable to locate the university president? How would we support campus response and recovery? These are just a few of the disaster scenarios that UCOP executive leadership, UCOP and systemwide response support staff, and crisis communicators encountered during an emergency exercise on Oct. 11.
Designed to mimic a realistic disaster — with staff volunteers role-playing campus leadership, members of the public and media — the exercise helped participants learn how to work together to collaboratively, professionally and swiftly respond to a variety of disaster-related issues and challenges. Upon completion, leadership learned how to leverage the team’s strengths, as well as areas in which further refinement was needed.
MyShake: Early earthquake warning
When it comes to California disaster preparation, UCOP plays a major role. We serve on the California State Earthquake Early Warning Advisory Board, which in October helped launch the new MyShake mobile app. This app can provide seconds of warning before the ground starts to shake from a nearby earthquake, giving users valuable time to seek cover and hold on. Learn more and download the app.
Questions? For more information related to emergency preparedness at UCOP, please contact Bob Charbonneau, director, Environmental & Emergency Services at Robert.Charbonneau@ucop.edu or (510) 987-9594. Bob is also available to provide in-person work and personal preparedness presentations at local department meetings.Tags: earthquake safety, emergency preparedness, Great ShakeOut, UCOPAlert