Thursday, February 2, 2012

SMU to practice lockdown drill

By Regina Barbosa
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University is looking to schedule a practice campus-wide lockdown drill on an upcoming school day this spring.

A lockdown drill is a procedure implemented to ensure the safety of the entire SMU community during an emergency. The drill may be initiated through the use of the speakers within campus buildings and through emails and text messages from Blackboard Connect.

“A lockdown means something has happened on campus where everyone needs to stop what they are doing, close or barricade the door, stay quiet, stay away from windows and wait for further instructions or an ‘all clear,’” said Vice President for Student Life Chris Kendall.

SMU already has emergency response and crisis communications plans in place.

“The drill is meant to better prepare SMU in the event of emergency situations,” said Kendall. He added that the date of the drill has not yet been determined.

Kendall and Director of Campus Safety Phil Gaddis both said that national events, like the Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, quickened the process for the drill but did not initiate it. Gaddis added that SMU will be receiving outside help from the Winona County Emergency Response Director for the procedure.

In anticipation of the drill, it is important for SMU community members to update their personal emergency contact information on WebTools.

Questions or concerns can be addressed to Chris Kendall via email at or his office phone 507-457-1781.

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