Message from Chief Jeff McCracken about Emergency Drill

Read this letter by Chief Jeff McCracken, Director of Public Safety, about the Emergency Drill on Manning Drive on Aug. 11.

August 4, 2014

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

The University will conduct an emergency drill on Manning Drive on Monday, August 11, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Our Department of Public Safety is coordinating the exercise, which will include local law enforcement and response agencies.

The drill will focus on how the University works with local emergency responders if there is an actual emergency on campus, particularly if the situation occurs in a high-traffic centrally located area and involves road closures and detours.

Actors will portray campus community members and victims to simulate a response to an actual emergency on campus. Emergency vehicles and personnel will be visible along Manning Drive, especially near the intersection with Ridge Road. Uniformed responders will react as they would in an actual emergency.

University officials conduct emergency planning exercises regularly as part of ongoing efforts to enhance campus safety. Planning for this exercise began several months ago, and the date was chosen because it falls between the end of Summer School and the beginning of the fall semester when there typically are not as many people on campus.

The recent tragic death of Dr. Feng Liu, a research professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, underscores the importance of emergency preparedness and response across our campus. While we understand that seeing emergency responders and actors portraying victims could be difficult for people just a few weeks after Dr. Liu’s death, it is vital that we do everything possible to keep our campus safe for students, faculty, staff, visitors and patients. That is why we are proceeding with the emergency exercise as planned.

The N.C. Department of Transportation (http://www.ncdot.gov/) has approved the closure of a portion (http://bit.ly/1nwdTmw) of Manning Drive (except to emergency vehicles), between the intersection of Manning Drive and Ridge Road and the intersection of Manning Drive and Skipper Bowles Drive, while UNC officials conduct the emergency drill. Motorists are encouraged to use the posted detour route (http://bit.ly/1nwdTmw) along Bowles Drive. Chapel Hill Transit service (FCX, HU and S routes) will be detoured along Bowles Drive.  The U route will use Bowles Drive (from Ridge Road), right on Tar Heel Boulevard to Family Medicine, left on Bowles Drive to regular route. Additionally, the bus stops on Manning Drive at Ehringhaus Residence Hall and Horton/Hinton James Residence Halls will be closed during the emergency drill.  Customers may board detoured buses at the bus stop on Manning Drive at Public Safety.

Unfortunately, we have seen tragedy unfold on our campus firsthand. That’s why emergency planning exercises are a key part of the University’s efforts to enhance campus safety. It’s crucial that we are prepared to deal with a worst-case scenario. As a result of what we learn during regular siren tests and emergency drills, the University continuously updates communication plans.

Be sure to check alertcarolina.unc.edu for the latest information about this drill and other important information about campus safety.

Sincerely,

Chief Jeff McCracken, Director of Public Safety