UNO ready for disaster scenarios

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PHOTO BY ARTHUR NGUYEN
PHOTO BY ARTHUR NGUYEN

Jared Kennedy

News Editor

The mass murder plague in the United States is prevalent, dangerous and it’s happening all around us. Active shooter scenarios can happen anywhere and college campuses have often fallen target to these terrible acts of violence.

University of Nebraska at Omaha takes these matters seriously, and regularly updates its active killer
response plan.

According to the UNO website, students should react to an active shooter in three ways, run, hide and fight.

“Run: Have an escape route and plan in mind, evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow, leave your belongings behind (take your cellphone) and help others escape if possible,” the site states.

“Hide: lock the door, blockade the door with heavy furniture, silence your cellphone, turn off any source
of noise, spread out and hide behind large items, develop a plan of action should the active killer enter
and remain quiet.”

As a last resort, the site says students should act as aggressively as possible towards the assailant. Throw things, improvise weapons and commit to your actions.

Charlotte Evans is the UNO director of public safety, she says since 2012 UNO has trained over 4,000 people on campus on how to be prepared for an active killer incident.

“UNO department of Public Safety and Environmental Health and Safety provide varying training opportunities to students, staff and faculty to help them feel more comfortable reporting troubling
behaviors and offer skills that affect their personal safety in the event of a crisis,” Evans said.

Not only does UNO take rapid response seriously, but prevention is also built into the plan. Evans says the university has a behavior review team in place to assess students of concern.

“We also encourage students if they see something they believe to be concerning, to report it to Public Safety so we can investigate,” Evans said. “Students can call (402) 554-2911, our anonymous U-Tip text line at 50911 or any of the Blue Emergency phones on campus.”

Evans says anytime an incident like this occurs the university works closely with Omaha police, Omaha fire and other rescue services.

“Any event is responded to as quickly as possible in order to ensure the safety of those on campus,” Evans said. “We also have systems in place, like the e2campus alert and overhead paging, to make sure any threat to campus is communicated to students immediately.”

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