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Emergency Articles

In an emergency, accurate information is vital. The University maintains an emergency alert system to send information to students, faculty and staff who would be affected directly by a critical incident.  UVA will test its system on Tuesday, June 20.  After the test, an all clear will be issued. Here is what to expect: 

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On April 16, 2007, in what was then the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, 32 people were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and more than a dozen were injured.  As law enforcement and government agencies learn more about mass shooters and mass-shooting events, they have identified best practices for survival. The message is simple – RUN to leave the area; HIDE if you can’t leave; and as a last resort, FIGHT. Your survival may depend on whether you are aware of your surroundings and know what to do before a gunman attacks.

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Known by a variety of names including tornadoes, twisters, typhoons, or cyclones, these weather events devastate property and life.  A powerful storm system in Virginia last year spawned at least eight tornadoes, killing four people in a single day. Because tornadoes can occur in any part of the state and at any time of year, it's important to plan and practice how to respond to a tornado warning. To encourage your awareness, the University will participate in Tornado Preparedness Day, March 21, by testing all components of its emergency notification system at 10:50 a.m.

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Floods are among the most common hazards in the United States but not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others – like flash floods – can develop within a few minutes or hours. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, and other areas known to flood suddenly. In direct response to so many unnecessary vehicle-related flood deaths, the National Weather Service (NWS) developed a national campaign called “Turn around Don’t Drown.” The campaign aims to educate motorists of the dangers of driving across flooded roads. To learn more about the campaign and promotional tools, please visit http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/.

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The University’s Security and General Safety Committee conducted its Spring Night Tour on March 7 (postponed from February 28). During the Night Tour, committee members walked areas of Grounds in darkness to assess safety conditions in various facilities of the University.

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Punxsutawney Phil – the kindly groundhog who interrupts his hibernation every winter to foretell the arrival of spring – has spoken.  In the cold morning light of February 2, he prophesized six more weeks of winter. Although the world’s most famous groundhog is known as much for his showmanship as his accuracy, the truth is that late winter weather can hit hard in Charlottesville.  This is an opportunity to prepare or refresh your winter emergency kit for your home and car, and consider winter-weather driving safety.  

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The University will test all components of its emergency notification system on Tuesday, January 31,  between approximately 10:50 and 11:10 a.m. The test will include the siren/public address system, text messaging, email, LED and LCD screens, Alertus desktop messaging, UVA home page, and UVA Emergency page. When the test is completed, an "all clear" will be issued.

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An emergency is not the right time to make a plan.  Research shows that creating and practicing emergency responses for various scenarios provides the best approach for safety.  Take 3 minutes now to prepare how you would act in an emergency in your office, classroom, lab, clinic, or residence at UVA.

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The University monitors winter weather closely, and UVA's Severe Weather Assessment Team stands ready to assess all weather threats and their potential impact on operations.  The team provides critical information to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan, enabling him to make decisions regarding the operations schedule. Here is Pat Hogan's full communication to the University community.    

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The UVA Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, UVA Intramural-Recreational Sports and the UVA Department of Emergency Medicine are pleased to announce the placement of the first outdoor automated external defibrillator (AED) on Grounds. This device, mounted in a heated and weatherproof outdoor cabinet was installed at The Park at North Grounds. It will give better access to the AED in the event of a cardiac emergency. This is the first of several outdoor installations scheduled during the 2016-17 academic year.

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