The June 1 start of hurricane season offers us an opportunity to review emergency preparations in general. But emergencies come in many forms year-round. In recent memory, UTMB campuses, clinics and Correctional Managed Care sites have dealt with ice storms, floods, utility or computer system outages, water shortages and other disruptions that have affected employees, students and business operations.
In an emergency, UTMB activates its Incident Command structure to make decisions based on the specifics of the emergency and how they develop. Incident Command includes leaders from a broad range of departments that have direct responsibility for critical business operations. Led by an appointed Incident Commander and in coordination with other agencies when appropriate, the group makes UTMB’s official decisions about the emergency response, including if and when to dismiss students and employees. The group’s decisions are communicated in a variety of ways depending on the severity of the emergency, including email to academic program leaders, managers or all employees; our UTMB Alerts service; the Alerts website; iUTMB; and social media, as appropriate.
But a successful Incident Command depends on a well-prepared university. We strongly encourage you to take the following actions now, before an emergency affects your work site or home, to ensure you are prepared. Consider the list a “Top 10” in which every item is No. 1:
- Become familiar with your department’s emergency plan and your role in an emergency.
- Complete the Emergency Acknowledgment Form by June 1, available in hard copy and in a new online format (login required).
- Consult your supervisor or faculty advisor if you have any questions about your emergency responsibilities or reporting to work/school.
- Become familiar with UTMB’s Institutional Emergency Operations Plan (login required).
- Enroll in Direct Deposit to ensure your paycheck can get to your bank account even if UTMB is unable to issue paper checks.
- Update your UTMB Directory information—particularly your work location (L-code) and departmental mail routing number. Go to Employee Self-Service/Personal Information/UTMB Directory Self Service. This information is vital to our ability to determine who is affected by a particular emergency and will support our efforts to better target emergency-related messages in the future.
- Update your UTMB Alerts information. Go to Employee Self-Service/Personal Information/Emergency Alert Information. We recommend listing your cell phone number as the first contact method to ensure the quickest possible notification of an emergency.
- Keep computer security in mind. Never reveal your UTMB login information to anyone, and be suspicious of emails asking you to enter your login information.
- WEAR your ID badge every day at all UTMB locations, so emergency responders will know you belong.
- Develop an emergency plan for your home that takes into account care and safety of dependents and pets.
UTMB offers a number of emergency preparedness resources to help you plan on the job and at home. Visit www.utmb.edu/emergency_plan to view materials from the 2016 UTMB Emergency Preparedness Meeting, preparedness checklists, related forms and emergency-related policies. You can also learn more about UTMB’s Institutional Emergency Operations Plan and the business continuity planning process for ensuring our ability to fulfill our mission, no matter the challenge. The HR Adverse Events Toolkit also provides a number of resources.
Thank you for your help in keeping UTMB prepared for any emergency in any of our locations across the state.
Dr. David L. Callender
Dr. Danny O. Jacobs
Executive Vice President and Provost
Dean, School of Medicine
Ms. Cheryl A. Sadro
Executive Vice President and Chief Business and Finance Officer
Ms. Donna K. Sollenberger
Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
UTMB Health System