Does Hendrix have an emergency plan?
Yes. The 56-page plan is quite extensive, describing specific emergency procedures during time of fire, hazardous material leaks and spills, earthquakes, crimes in progress, bomb threats, terrorist assaults and severe weather. Hendrix reviews its procedures yearly and updates the plan throughout the year when necessary.
Who is in charge during an emergency at Hendrix?
The college’s president is responsible for the overall activation of emergency operations during all emergencies and disasters. Additionally, each member of the senior staff and other administrative personnel have assigned duties during all emergencies and disasters.
How does Hendrix notify students during emergency situations?
Since no two emergency situations are exactly alike, Hendrix doesn’t have one set method of notifying students. What we do have are a variety of alternatives and, in a situation like the tragedy at Virginia Tech, we would use multiple channels to communicate with students. Our most extensive method, however, is our H-Alert system, which notifies students, faculty, staff, and parents of emergency situations through e-mail and/or text messaging.
In what ways are the Hendrix Community notified of an emergency?
Specifically, in addition to the H-Alert notification, Hendrix would send an e-mail message to the entire community and continue updates by e-mail and through our Web site as things change. We would use our campus voicemail system to simultaneously notify all faculty and staff who could then help us notify students face-to-face. We would ask students we make direct contact with to help us spread the word by phoning or messaging their friends, using word-of-mouth to spread the information.
What if students don’t receive the message electronically?
In addition to e-mails, the Web site and telephone communications, Hendrix would additionally notify "building coordinators" in each office and classroom building and resident assistants in the residence halls by phone, again asking for their help to spread the word. If telephoning is ineffective, the Hendrix campus is small enough that a team of "runners" can reach every building on campus to deliver information personally in less than 10 minutes.
Is Hendrix considering an upgrade to emergency communication methods?
Although these are the methods of communication currently in place, Hendrix is continuously re-evaluating its emergency plans to utilize the latest notification technology in the event of an emergency. We will no doubt add other communication channels to the mix. Specifically, Hendrix is studying the use of Facebook and other social media to speed notification.
Has H-Alert taken the place of the previous response system?
The key point is that we would never rely on any one system of notification. We feel it is important to use as many channels as are open to us to spread the word quickly. All upgrades to the communication methods have been implemented in addition to the communication methods previously in place.
What about alerts through the media?
Hendrix has a campus radio station that would be asked to broadcast emergency information during emergency situations. Additionally, Hendrix has the ability to directly communicate with all central Arkansas newsrooms and television and radio stations.
Are media off campus notified of emergency situations?
We would also use local media to help us get messages out.
Do students know what to do in case of an emergency?
The Residence Life staff explains emergency procedures to campus residents during mandatory meetings every fall. An outline of emergency policies and procedures is posted in every building.
How can those off campus receive information?
Along with H-Alert, Hendrix’s emergency personnel would immediately set up a command post through which all information would be routed. Our emergency personnel are connected by radios and by cell phone.
Does Hendrix have a police force?
The Hendrix Department of Public Safety includes a director and seven officers who patrol the campus 24/7. These officers are professionals who are well-prepared to handle emergency situations, including quickly identifying those instances when off-campus assistance is needed. In addition, the Conway Police Department, the Conway Fire Department and the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office stand ready to respond to emergency situations at Hendrix. The City of Conway employs a well-trained SWAT team, which would be called upon during a terrorist situation.
How many of the public safety officers are on campus at a time?
The number of public safety officers on campus at a time varies with the day and time of the week and with the activities happening on campus. However, there are always at least two officers on duty at all times.
Can authorities respond quickly?
Aside from the Hendrix Department of Public Safety officers already on campus, Conway city police officers are already continuously patrolling the streets adjacent to campus and could respond quickly in case of an emergency. Hendrix is fortunate to be located centrally in Conway and Faulkner County, meaning officers could be on campus to assist Hendrix officers in less than five minutes.
What about tornados and other natural disasters?
The City of Conway and Faulkner County, where Hendrix is located, have excellent warning systems in place. The tornado warning sirens can be heard clearly in all parts of the campus. Our emergency personnel have completed drills on responding to tornado warnings. Weather-related events are the kinds of emergencies we are most prepared to deal with currently. The events of this past week have made us realize that we must be equally prepared to deal with other kinds of crisis situations.
How would Hendrix officials communicate during an emergency situation?
Members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) have phone numbers and cell numbers for key campus personnel and would use those to stay in contact. The ERT also has emergency radios that would be used if cell phone or land lines weren’t working. These would supplement the radio system used by Public Safety and by the Physical Plant.
Will students be able to receive counseling during traumatic events?
Hendrix has two very well trained trauma support officers on our ERT – Director of Counseling Mary Ann Siebert and Chaplain Wayne Clark. Additional counselors would be brought in during times of extreme crisis.
Campus Safety page
Student Handbook – (See page 29.)