AUSTIN, Texas—A simulated disaster drill began at 1 p.m. today (Thursday, Oct. 17) at The University of Texas at Austin) to test and strengthen the disaster preparedness procedures of the university and Austin area emergency response agencies. The drill will continue several hours through late afternoon.
Classes will continue as usual throughout campus during the drill, including classes in buildings near the site of the drill. An area near the center of campus that includes portions of Speedway Street will be involved in a 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.
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 are playing 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.
More information about the drill can be found at the Office of the Vice President for Employee and Campus Services Web site.
For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.