Here is how we approach the planning for each identified hazard
Our mantra is "Go to the Gym". Here's why:
- The Gym is a prominent gathering point. If there's time to leave campus and the route is clear, this is a good place to coordinate everyone.
- The Gym is a designated safe zone. If it's safest to stay, the gym has proven to be a good shelter.
- The Fire Department will advise us. They will know if the route and timing support going or staying.
- If time is short you’re safer here. Leaving late can be dangerous. Lives have been lost elsewhere fleeing fires too late.
For more specifics about our wildfire plan, click here.
Because the disaster planning experts often say, "The first 72 are up to you", our target is to provide the basics (life-sustaining shelter, nutrition, hydration, and medical care) for up to 1,200 people for up to three days. Most of the required supplies are already in place, yet we constantly increase our inventory and expand our training.
- Supplies include shelter, hydration & nutrition, sanitation & hygiene, basic medical, communications, lighting and office material.
- Plans are based upon the national standard Incident Command System, and include key elements of shelter mobilization and management as practiced by the American Red Cross.
For more specifics about our earthquake plan, click here.
While we have an idyllic setting and a terrific cadre of high quality students, we don't believe that "It can't happen here." We maintain a very good finger on the pulse of our student body, but we still want to be poised to guard our students' safety as much as possible. To that end, our preparations include the following:
- Set up a coordinated review plan so that our Student Life, Residence Life, Campus Life, Health Center and Counseling Center (along with our College Counsel) collaborate to identify and support students who may need extra encouragement and guidance
- Established a Area Response Team (ART) to promptly take advantage of available security in all major buildings
- Invested in the Regroup Notification System for rapid distribution of alert messages
- Offer students ready access to the training video titled "Shots Fired on Campus", an excellent primer on how to respond if the unthinkable occurs
- Maintain ongoing awareness of evolving recommendations for how to cope with the shooter phenomena, adapting our plans accordingly.
The media attention to "swine flu" (aka H1N1) has raised concerns about how communities can work together to minimize its impacts. Westmont's Student Health Center has taken the lead in coming up with recommendations to help the college respond appropriately.
- Personal hygiene is key. It is the single most important factor in preventing infection. Everyone should wash hands often, and use the sanitizers found in public gathering places all over campus.
- A cold & flu kit is recommended for all students to assemble/purchase and keep in their dorm room.
- Vaccinations will be offered at the Student Health Center when available from suppliers. Details can be found at the link just below here.
- Social distancing is the new byword for having people keep their bugs to themselves. When feasible for students to be cared for by family at home, that's preferable. When there's no where else to go, students should remain in their room until 24 hours have passed with no fever (and no fever-reducing medication). The Residence Life staff will assist in coordinating meals.
One of our five key mission aims is that our students become global citizens. To encounter and process one's experience of other cultures is a vital part of achieving that aim. Hundreds of students are outside the US every year. Among the ways we guard their safety are these:
- Pre-travel orientation programs for students and faculty, dealing with safety, cross-cultural sensitivity, and so on
- Special insurance policies designed for foreign travel exposure
- Advance arrangements for assistance with medical or political evacuations
- Expectation management through use of participation agreements, travel manuals, health care forms
- An eight-party network of advisors to assist with whatever situation may arise (international assistance provider; security consultant; crisis management team; and others)
Our Emergency Operations Plan references the essentials of business continuity planning (to enable swift post-incident recovery). We continuously enhance our readiness for a wide range of eventualities, including:
The descriptions above relate primarily to the Montecito campus. The Westmont Downtown and Westmont in San Francisco Program facilities participate in regular emergency response training and education, and are equipped with supply inventories designed for their populations.