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NMSU Safety & Security Initiatives for Fall 2007

    TOPICS: Emergency Preparedness, Alerts & Evacuations, Fire & Safety Training, Safety & Health Fairs

    Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) in collaboration with NMSU Fire, Police and Health Centers are pleased to announce the following Safety and Security Initiatives on the NMSU Las Cruces campus this fall.

Department and Division Heads are asked to the review the following safety information and events with their staff.

  • How to get emergency alerts and information
  • Emergency Management & Preparedness
  • Departmental Emergency Action Plans
  • Emergency Alert System testing
  • ‘No Notice’ Fire Drills of Academic Buildings, Residence Halls and Greek Housing
  • Fire Safety information and mock room fires
  • Safety Orientation for new students and graduate assistants
  • Safety Training requirements for employees
  • Safety and Health Fair
  • Personal Safety Training

How do I get emergency alerts and information?
There are several tools that Emergency Managers may use to alert and inform NMSU students, faculty and staff of potentially hazardous events or situations. The nature of the emergency determines which tool(s) will most effectively communicate information to the target population. When the situation or event is specific to NMSU, emergency alerts and instructions can be delivered in a matter of minutes via university phones to specific building(s) or Official University Offices.

    Department personnel must follow their emergency action plan to effectively communicate the information to faculty, students and staff. As additional information regarding the event becomes available, updates will be communicated through any of the following: NMSU homepage news at, NMSU email, voicemail, and University information line at 646-1000. Regional alerts such as weather bulletins and road closures can be obtained through existing local radio and television news networks.

NMSU Emergency Management and Preparedness
A new web page devoted to helping NMSU departments prepare for and respond to emergency situations can be found at This site has general emergency preparedness information, templates and guides for developing emergency action plans, continuity of operations plans, local and regional weather alerts, and a listing of emergency alert system messages.

    There is a specific tab devoted to the intense efforts and progress made by the Communicable Disease Planning Committee (CDPC) over the past year. The CDPC has developed and made available on the web, NMSU emergency response plans to protect personnel and ensure continuity of essential operations in the event of any new, highly transmissible and/or severe communicable disease outbreak. Each of the 25 departments involved in this planning are completing Continuity of Operations Plan (CoOP) using the template provided on the emergency management web page. The CoOPlans identify key missions carried out by the unit and mechanisms for continuing to meet them during or after a disaster.

    The NMSU All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan for Las Cruces and Dona Ana campuses was recently updated and posted at This model plan can be adapted to fit the local needs of the other NMSU campuses.

    New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson established the Task Force on Campus Safety to review the preparedness level of the State’s higher education institutions and develop recommendations for actions. The Emergency Management Public Safety subcommittee described policies and actions that follow an All Hazards approach to disaster planning rather than focus on just a single incident type. The Governor’s NM Task Force on Campus Safety brief can be reviewed on the web: LINK.

Departmental Emergency Action Plans
Each department is responsible for having and updating an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and discussing the plan with their employees. This plan is established to provide information on what employees are expected to do in an emergency, where to go in an evacuation and identify how each department will disseminate emergency alerts to their faculty and staff (phone tree, email, personal notification). We will be conducting unscheduled building evacuations on the Las Cruces and Dona Ana campuses to test some of the Emergency Action Plans. Guidance is provided under the Policies section on the Safety website (at ) and at the web page listed below. Emergency Planning and Employee Safety/Hazard Communication classes are provided by EH&S to assist in developing an EAP and procedures for general safety and preparedness.

    Once your department has updated and posted the plan, the department coordinators should take a moment to update the emergency contact information on the Emergency Plan web database at . Building monitors should also check and report any emergency safety devices such as exit signs, fire extinguishers, smoke doors, etc., that are damaged, missing, out-of-date, or not operating to the Office of Facilities and Services for repair or maintenance.

Emergency Alert Testing and ‘No Notice’ Evacuations
This year at least one of the numerous ‘No Notice’ Fire Drills will be expanded to include a brief tabletop exercise. Fire Department and EH&S will conduct fire evacuation drills at residential buildings, Greek housing, and several academic buildings during September. We will also test the Emergency Alert System, which can be used to automatically call phones in specific campus buildings or used to notify the Official University Offices when an alert is necessary. Additional information and a video on the Emergency Alert System can be viewed via the Safety website at

Fire Safety Information and Mock Room Fires
NMSU’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will provide emergency response and extinguisher training to residence hall assistants and run fire information booths at the Residence Halls, Greek Complex and Corbett Center during first few weeks of the fall semester. On three different dates, the NMSU Fire Department will furnish and burn a full-size model of a residential room inside an 8-by-20 foot metal shipping container. The model room will be set on fire in a scenario that could occur in a residential room or apartment, such as a cigarette in a wastebasket or tipping a candle over on a table. These mock residential room fires will take place by the Fire Station, east of Alumni and east of Greek Complex.

Safety Awareness and Training Requirements
A general safety orientation will be provided to all new student and incoming graduate and research assistants this year with a focus on emergency preparedness. In addition, we offer a regular schedule of 20 (twenty) different safety training classes throughout the year. Classes in Emergency Planning and CPR are available at the start of the Fall semester and as requested. All regular safety classes will be held in the Safety Training Facility, room 110 of Academic Research Center, Building C, located near the intersection of Locust and Standley Drive. Registration is requested for all safety classes; please sign up online at

    For information on required training for new faculty, staff and student employees, please check the Training Requirement section at

Safety Fair
A Facilities Safety Fair will be held at the Intramural Field at Wells Street in October. This fair will feature vendor booths with the latest in personal protective equipment, shop safety, ergonomic equipment and first aid kits. Recycling information and waste battery collection will also be available. For more information please visit the NMSU Safety website at or contact OFS Training & Safety at (505) 642-7025.

Mini Health Fairs
Employee Health Center now provides free, on-site health screening including blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels. These and other health education activities are available to departments and are scheduled upon request by calling Employee Health Center at 646-6600.

Personal Safety Training
The dynamics of human confrontation and use of individual protection devices is provided by the NMSU Police Department. For more information please call (575) 646-4533.

Event schedule can be found in the attached file: EVENT SCHEDULE LINK


Departments are request to POST or DISTRIBUTE the notice and event schedule for employee and student information.