Facilities Management To Hold Pre-Storm Emergency Readiness Exercise

Facilities Management is leading the Physical Recovery Emergency Planning (PREP) Team, in partnership with public safety, emergency management and emergency operations, building coordinators, executive university leadership and administration, fire marshal, environmental health and safety, communications, human resources, research, academic affairs, and the university’s disaster recovery contractor (Cotton USA).

The PREP team, chaired by Facilities Management Executive Director Melissa Rockwell-Hopkins, is working diligently to plan and conduct an emergency deployment readiness exercise on Monday, May 6, as part of the university’s pre-hurricane emergency preparedness process.

The readiness exercise is designed to create a realistic learning environment as participants experience a pre-storm / pre-hurricane preparedness activity. It has required detailed planning and coordination by the core development and design team, including from Facilities Management Jim Norcom (EDRE director / lead), Shannon Jones, Jacquie Vargas, Carlos Villarreal and Neal Smith, as well as Kelly Boysen from Emergency Management.

This dynamic emergency exercise is the culmination of many months of planning, life safety initiative development, and logistical campus-wide collaborative planning.

This all-day live event will simulate an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment and focuses on training and familiarization of roles, procedures and responsibilities in advance of a real storm emergency.

The May 6 exercise scenario will begin the emergency response when a storm center is still 36 hours away from landfall.  It will utilize a pre-storm checklist starting from the 36-hour mark, realistic pre-storm scenarios, the Facilties Management zone response model, zone response teams, radios and other vital supplies and equipment, a central operations headquarter location for communications and event monitoring, and live interfacing with all emergency reporting forms and procedures located at  www.uh.edu/plantops/about-us/committees/PREP/index.php -- all components of a real storm situation.  Response teams will be evaluated based on learning outcomes and established objectives. Feedback and after-action reports from participants will help revise and impact future storm planning policies, plans and procedures.  

For further information regarding the live event or emergency planning, direct questions to Jim Norcom, 713-743-5804, jgnorcom@central.uh.edu or Shannon Jones, sejones3@Central.UH.EDU. To view the physical recovery emergency planning process, zone model map and reporting forms, visit www.uh.edu/plantops/about-us/committees/PREP/index.php.  For information regarding Facilities Management, visit http://uh.edu/plantops/departments/fm/ or www.facebook.com/UniversityOfHoustonPlantOperations.