April 26, 2013

Good Morning:

Much of this week was devoted to ensuring that Tulane is prepared in the event of extreme weather, fire, laboratory accident, hazardous materials release, violence, terrorism or any other threat to its community or operations. Though this week's focus on emergency management was in the works for a long time, the recent tragedy in Boston gave it new relevance and urgency.

Top administrators and representatives from schools and departments across the university were involved in half-day emergency planning activities, which included a table-top exercise to introduce the all-hazards emergency operations plan for Tulane. The Office of Emergency Management, Tulane University Police Department, the Office of Insurance and Risk Management and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety also hosted a risk and safety summit for departmental safety representatives, who are the emergency response contacts for their offices and departments.

All of our emergency planning has three main components: to identify and prioritize risks, to formulate a plan for each risk and to integrate risk management into the overall culture and strategy of the university. The most important goal of our risk management system is the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

I am confident Tulane is well-prepared when it comes to emergency planning and even ahead of our peer institutions in many respects. But we always can and always must do more. The key is for us to learn from our prior experiences and the experiences of others to continually improve our policies and procedures. Even though we have dealt with several emergency situations, there are other scenarios we have not yet encountered and I pray never will. But our university leaders are devoting the necessary time and resources to plan for all possible risks. While our emergency managers, responders and departmental safety representatives play vital roles, we all need to be involved in emergency planning and prevention. This means following established safety protocols while performing our jobs and reporting any hazardous situations or suspicious activities or persons to the Tulane Police Department or other appropriate offices.

Together, I know we will continue to keep Tulane safe.

Have a good (and safe) weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638