University preparedness and resilience program DrexelReady at work
This year, DrexelReady, the University preparedness and resilience program, was selected by the Department of the Homeland Security as a model for a national academic preparedness. The program combines extensive preparedness planning with exercises.
In 2013, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted two major exercises that tested law enforcement response to active shooter incidents and business contingencies planning for research interruption. In addition to completion of the training objectives, the exercises were intended to raise awareness of the program among faculty, professional staff and students.
The Queen Lane Campus Research Interruption exercise took place on Nov. 19, 2013, and involved about 30 participants, including the Counter Terrorism Office of the Philadelphia Police, DPS, Allied Barton, Drexel University College of Medicine IT, VP Office of Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Health Science Campus Facilities, Drexel Environmental Health & Safety, ULAR and Departments of Neurobiology and Anatomy.
The Drexel University Queen Lane Campus is home to numerous departments whose work involves a variety of research agents and a single Cs-137 irradiator. The exercise targeted the possibility of prolonged loss of building access and tested the utility of emergency preparedness plans (playbooks) to minimize inevitable research losses. Many valuable lessons were learned and documented as business risks, with subsequent risk mitigation plans in progress.
An Active Shooter Response exercise was conducted on June 19, 2013, at W.W. Hagerty Library as part of the University’s emergency preparedness and response initiatives.
For the first time in national history, the contact team (police) was joined by a rescue team (emergency medical services) that was specially equipped through funding by the Office of Emergency Management.
The exercise included simulations of an active shooter(s) inside the library, with students and staff acting as victims. The Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments, University of Pennsylvania Police, American Red Cross and other law enforcement and emergency response organizations participated in the exercise. This exercise received excellent marks and accolades from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.