Link on CUPD website leads to Department of Homeland Security emergency preparedness site
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched the Ready Campaign, a combination of advertisements, public service announcements and resources to guide Americans in preparing themselves for future emergencies.
Part of this campaign is a Web site, ready.gov, which lists the three steps every American must take before he or she will be ready in the eyes of the authorities.
Commander Brad Wiesley of the CUPD explained the existence of the link to ready.gov on the CUPD Web site.
“That’s a remnant to 9/11,” Wiesley said.
Wiesley added that former chief of the department Jim Fadenrecht made the decision to post the link a few years ago. Since then, Wiesley has opted to keep it on the Web site, echoing Streeter’s contention that the information made available to the public via the Ready Campaign is vital to American security and safety.
In recent years, CU has been active at preparing for disaster.
“We practice for the kinds of emergencies a person might reasonably expect at a campus like ours,” said university spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
In cooperation with the Boulder Police Department, CUPD, Boulder firefighters and emergency response personnel, the university has participated in several joint exercises involving hypothetical scenarios, such as a gas leak at the UMC or a catastrophic flooding of Boulder Creek.
A key focus is placed on emergency communication, Hilliard said, and it was with this focus in mind that the University Communication Action Team was specifically designed.
This team was deployed during the campus-stabbing incident on the first day of this semester.
Erin Streeter, Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, said the Ready Campaign was launched in 2003 as a response to the events of 9/11, in order to prepare America for “any type of emergency … from a power outage to a terrorist attack.”
There are three essential steps in the Ready America plan: get a kit, make a plan and be informed. Each step is followed by explanation and examples.
The Ready Kids section contains essentially the same information, presented in more juvenile and interactive forms.
The Ready Business section differs from the other two. Instead of personal safety measures and guidelines, this section consists of information to help small to medium businesses minimize time and money lost after a major emergency.
“Businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Streeter said.
It is the reopening of the businesses after an emergency that brings the economy back to life, Streeter said.
Currently, there is a large banner on Ready.gov about hurricane preparedness. This banner has been posted for the duration of the hurricane season for the past few years.
When asked whether this addition to the Web site came before or after the large-scale media coverage of Hurricane Katrina, Streeter was ambiguous.
“I can’t speak to that,” Streeter said, explaining that she has been with the department for less than a year. Streeter then said that there was no one in the department who could speak to the issue.
Most of what the university does to ready itself for emergencies does not relate directly to the Ready Campaign, Hilliard said.
However, the main goal of university preparedness parallels the advice published on Ready.gov.
“We want to get everybody in good practice,” Hilliard said. “The exercises in emergency response on campus are toward precisely that end.”
Streeter says that there is still much work left to do.
“We have a long ways to go,” Streeter said. “Many Americans tend to be complacent. They think nothing will happen to them, or they just think they can deal with it when it does happen.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Andrew Frankel at firstname.lastname@example.org