Events such as 9-11 and the Virginia Tech tragedy serve as powerful reminders of the need for universities nationwide to be prepared for various types of emergencies. Harding University has taken steps to ensure that any emergency that could potentially occur on campus has been carefully considered, and that appropriate plans have been devised to cope with any such emergency.
An Emergency Management Committee was formed in the fall of 2001 after the events of 9-11. The committee was charged with revising existing emergency response plans and creating new ones to better enable the university to respond to various types of emergencies should they occur on campus.
The committee is comprised of faculty and staff members from various departments and areas on campus. Some of the roles of the committee include planning and enacting disaster drills on campus, reviewing and revising emergency response policies and procedures, reviewing, updating, and implementing emergency communications, and providing emergency preparedness training for the Harding community.
Information about specific emergencies can be found by tuning to TV 16 television station or KVHU Radio Station (95.3 FM), by calling the Harding University Emergency Information Hotline 501-279-INFO (4636), by checking Pipeline, or by opting in to the optional text messaging service provided by Harding University. Emergency information may also be relayed through building managers, faculty, and staff and may be broadcast over loudspeaker throughout the center of campus.
To opt into the Harding University Emergency Text Message notification system, log in to Pipeline.
In an effort to better coordinate emergency response to different types of emergency situations, the Emergency Management Committee began conducting annual disaster drills in the spring of 2002. The drills have included both full-scale “live” drills and tabletop simulations.
The purpose of emergency drills is to:
- Test and refine existing policies and procedures
- Give local emergency responders better knowledge of campus needs and challenges
- Provide opportunity for University and community departments to practice and work together in a training environment
- Provide educational opportunities for University students
- Identify problems and make improvements in emergency response plans
More About Disaster Drills
Disaster Drills Conducted
- Fire in a dormitory
- Earthquake in an academic building
- Tornado exercise in a dormitory
- Fire in an administrative building
- Table-top exercise for IT Department
- Table-top exercise for Office of Student Life
Participants typically include students from:
- PA Program
- PR & Journalism
There have been numerous improvements made as a direct result of lessons learned from disaster drills. These improvements include:
- Better coordination between Harding University officials and local emergency response agencies
- Ongoing and closer working relationships with local emergency response agencies
- Better internal emergency response policies and procedures
- Physical improvements to campus including the addition of Knox Boxes to every dormitory, classroom, and administrative building on campus that allow the Searcy Fire Department easy access to each building for search and rescue operations.
- Better informed Harding community and emergency responders
Mel Sansom - Vice President of Finance/CFO
Craig Russell - Director, Public Safety Department*
Danny DeRamus - Director, Physical Resources Department
Karen Kelley - Assistant Professor of Nursing
Zach Neal - Assistant Dean of Students
Lynn McCarty - Director, Student Health Services
David Ross - Director, Human Resources
Lora Fleener - Director, Student Technical Services
David Crouch -Director, Public Relations
Craig Zeringue - University Insurance Coordinator
Kevin Davis - Deputy Director of Operations, Public Safety Department
Dana McMillion - Director of Maintenance
* Emergency Management Committee Chair
Emergency Contact Info
White County Medical Center
Searcy Police (non-emergency)
White County Sheriff
Ark. State Police
Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM)