AUSTIN, Texas—A simulated disaster drill will be held at The University of Texas at Austin on Thursday (Oct. 17) to test and strengthen the disaster preparedness procedures of the university and Austin area emergency response agencies.
Classes will continue as usual throughout campus during the drill, including classes in the buildings near the site of the simulation. Pedestrian traffic near these buildings will be routed around the drill site.
The drill will begin at 1 p.m. and will continue through late afternoon. An area near the center of campus that includes portions of Speedway Street will be involved in the drill that will include numerous campus, local, state and federal agencies.
Students and other volunteers from the Austin community will play the role of victims of the simulated disaster and will be seen lying on the ground at the site undergoing simulated treatment by emergency personnel. Student volunteers will meet in a parking lot on the east side of campus Thursday to be bandaged and painted to simulate injuries.
Some students will be wearing bandages and paint to simulate various kinds of injuries. Because drill coordinators are trying to create a sense of realism, some people on campus may find themselves emotionally affected by the scene. The Employee Assistance Program (471-3366) is available for consultation for faculty or staff members who find the drill especially disturbing. Students emotionally affected by the drill may contact the university’s Counseling and Mental Health Center at 471-3515 for consultation. A 24-hour telephone counseling service also is available at 471-2255.
Student volunteers from the College of Communication will play the role of print and broadcast news reporters and photographers covering the event.
University officials said the drill is designed to determine how well prepared area emergency response agencies are to deal with a major emergency in the Austin area and how their procedures and those of the university can be improved. The drill also provides an opportunity for the agencies to train together and establish stronger working relationships.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.