Recent events in the world prove that dangerous situations can often arise unexpectedly. This leads many to feel the need to prepare for these situations. There are now many individuals and companies devoted to providing college campuses with the resources and plans needed in order to stay safe.
Kiernan Group Holdings is one of those places.
It is a “global consulting firm that innovated the Preparedness Without Paranoia™ approach and has helped advise leaders in campus safety management to prepare for a wide range of threatening situations.” Their theory involves encouraging campuses and students to prepare for danger, while realizing it does not need to be overwhelming or scary to do so.
The CEO, Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, has a wide range of qualifications, and even taught as an adjunct Criminal Justice professor at Sam Houston State University for several years. Kiernan gives advice on how students can prepare for dangerous situations, as well as the types of situations that we may find ourselves in. When preparing for these kinds of events, it is important for campuses to have emergency preparedness techniques and ever-changing technology to enhance preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
It is also essential that all members of the campus community is involved and actively exercises these emergency response plans. One of the points that Kiernan wants students to do is react to these situations and report any and all irregularity that one may see.
“Reporting anomalous behavior is acceptable and is actually a personal responsibility and obligation,” Kiernan said. “Hindsight always appears with great clarity once an incident occurs, which of course is too late.”
Kiernan stresses the importance of remaining aware of your surroundings at all time.
“The constant distraction of social engagement, social media and the invincible spirit we so treasure also makes an individual more vulnerable to those with criminal intent,” Kiernan said. Learning to be attentive to our surroundings is key to our safety.”
One suggestion Kiernan gave that SHSU already puts into practice is, “the availability and regular use of campus-wide notification and alerting capabilities, which, when regularly practiced, will increase safety and security.”
KatSafe is a key notification system that will allow you to stay informed in the case of a dangerous situation. Students are able to receive texts, phone calls and emails regarding campus-wide information through this system. It can also be beneficial for students to include their parents or loved ones in the KatSafe system so that they can also stay up-to-date.
Another resource SHSU students can use is the escorts UPD provides. Any student walking on campus that feels unsafe can contact UPD and request that they be escorted. Students can also use the “buddy system” and ensure that they are not walking alone in the dark.
SHSU’s KatSafe page also has many helpful tips on how to prepare for different situations, including active shooters, bomb threats, evacuation and natural disasters. These provide specific steps students can take to prepare for these situations, as well as how to react and stay safe when they do happen.
Kiernan brings the importance of safety to SHSU as a group effort, and that we need to learn about the threats we should be prepared for, the signs of those threats and how to prepare for them.
“Deliberate effort to learn and practice safety and security as part of everyday life,” Kiernan said. “Security sense is really common sense and should never be relegated to the first responder community alone but rather thought of as a partnership.”
Despite the progress our world has made in safety efforts, there is always room for improvement and growth as new developments occur.
“We have learned –and in some cases relearned – that preparation in advance is always key to response and recovery,” Kiernan says. “A culture of awareness, preparedness and confidence provides an advantage, best realized when accepted as part of university culture.”
If you are looking for ways to improve the safety of yourself and your fellow Bearkats, then prepare now and consider the many resources SHSU offers.
See https://www.shsu.edu/katsafe/ for a complete list of tips and resources that SHSU provides.