The storm action plan (above) is posted near all HERO mass warning system devices, part of the emergency notification system. Familiarize yourself with designated shelter locations, marked on the fire exit floor plans that are posted in primary public spaces across campus. Download the established guidelines and recommended procedures (PDF) in the event of tornado watches and warnings received on campus as determined by the National Weather Service. These guidelines and recommendations come from information provided by FEMA, the American Red Cross, and NOAA. It is important that campus community members understand that EMU does not have onsite tornado “safe rooms” as defined by FEMA.
When a warning is activated, seek shelter in the lowest portion of the building, at the identified shelter locations. Monitor storm activity, determine weather conditions, and leave the shelter location only as the crisis subsides. The most important part of tornado safety in schools, and in similar logistical arrangements such as nursing homes, is to develop a good tornado safety plan tailored to your building design and ability to move people.
NEW CONSTRUCTION: Although this guide is intended for existing facilities, many of the same concepts can be applied to making tornado-safe schools from the blueprint stage.
DANGER - GYMS and AUDITORIUMS: Large, open-span areas, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums and most lunchrooms, can be very dangerous even in weak tornadoes, and should not be used for sheltering people.
The next photo shows the inside of the Childress (TX) High School gym after a May 2006 tornado.
A carefully developed tornado drill should be run several times a year to keep students and staff in good practice, and to work out any kinks in the drill before it is needed for real. Keep students assembled in an orderly manner, in a safe area away from broken glass and other sharp debris, and away from power lines, puddles containing power lines, and emergency traffic areas. The life of the Delbert Meier House, an American System-Built Home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As the wind howled outside the Dream House last night, I had a flashback to my youth in rural Indiana and Ohio.

In the event of an emergency, it is the primary responsibility for the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Emergency Risk Communication Board to make certain that health protection information is promptly shared with the public. To help in the efforts to further the outreach, the CDC PR team created an Emergency Preparedness and Response Facebook Page. As in public and media relations, there is a desire and a need to understand how and why an audience reacts to and finds information. Since individuals are not passive information sponges and they have the ability to seek out the information in whatever form they enjoy the most.
All in all, this has proven to be a successful campaign and the CDC has engaged and diversified the people that are actively seeking out its media now.
In a nutshell, I am an optimistic woman who has found her soul mate, taken on going back to school and I work as an Events Coordinator for a local nonprofit organization. When a warning is activated, seek shelter in the lowest portion of the building at the identified shelter locations. Since 1950 fewer than 10 tornados have occurred in Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg. Suggested shelter locations are marked yellow in the fire exit floor plans posted in primary public spaces across campus.
Online maps and weather sources can be valuable, but if the power is out, it helps to have paper maps. Tornado watches and warnings were a common occurrence along the flat landscape in that part of the Midwest. All we need now is an emergency radio and a big jug of water and we’ll be prepared for an emergency. Check out the tornado preparedness section of for more tips on preparing for the worst. With the wild craze of zombie shows like, “The Walking Dead” and “Zombieland”, the CDC inventively decided to couple their core mission with a campaign about ‘Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness’.
From this media channel the CDC can get their information into the hands of a younger generation to educate them on value of emergency situation preparedness.

The CDC took that understanding and utilized it to play off the trend of the apocalypse and catchy infographics, clearly demonstrating the public relations, ‘Uses and Gratifications Theory’. The word has gotten out there about how to prepare for emergency situations and all due to some ingenuity and out of the box thinking to the communication professionals at the CDC. In the interest of trying to insure that anyone who may be on or using the EMU campus be provided with some degree of possible safety, we provide this information.
View sample fire exit floor plans: Campus Center, second floor and Maplewood dormitory (PDFs). The goal of fusing their public relations (PR) objective with this intentional promotion and dissemination of information is in hopes of capturing a wider audience to prepare for emergency situations.
The page has a steady stream of information coaching people about the dangerous situations and preparation strategies that come with: heat stroke, wildfires, tornadoes, tsunamis and much more.
The core of the Uses and Gratifications theory states that the public actively seeks out the media source which most fits their personal needs. The PR experts at the CDC realized that in an effort to reach out to their stakeholders from old to young they had to diversify their channels and make sure to create a sticky Facebook feed. When I moved to the city seventeen years ago, I knew that I had pretty much evaded twisters.
Channels of media will have the tendency to be used more by an individual when that source provides them with more satisfaction. This campaign spread like wildfire when the CDC released the website and it was a revolutionary way to get people thinking about how to prepare for fires and hurricanes, even if they did it in a stimulating context, like zombies. After all, in the city you’re far more likely to have your iPhone stolen on the subway than to experience a tornado. Clearly as can be seen with Facebook, many people use it not only for entertainment which directly correlates to satisfaction, but now through efforts of organizations such as the CDC, it is being used as a mass media channel to send information and news to the general public.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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