Feelings mixed on weather drill success

Oklahoma is known for the storms that happen in late spring and early summer. To be ready for inclement weather the OCCC campus police and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) assisted students, faculty and staff in conducting a severe weather drill on Wednesday, April 11.

Community Development Administrative Assistant Virgil Teter said that the campus would be trying some new procedures and locations in this drill. The opinion of the effectiveness of this drill is divided between participants and facilitators.

“It annoys me when we do these drills,” said Ethan Burchett, Math Lab tutor.

“I was on the Communications Task Force a few years back, and we talked seriously about what to do,” Burchett said.

“I’m disappointed in how we decided to funnel students into the first floor of the SEM center,” he said. “I’m disappointed that there are signs that say ‘Safer Area’ near exits with glass doors, and I’m disappointed that for many of us we did not find out our location until 10 minutes before the drill.”

In the area in the Main Building set aside for the drill, premed major Dennis Tran-Vu said the drill was not very organized.

“It took too long to get here,” Tran-Vu said. “Some people were still on their laptops in the coffee shop, several minutes into the drill.

“A lot of people didn’t know where to go, and I think some people went out to their cars.”

Campus Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said that until the compliance brief with Emergency Planning and Risk Management Director Lisa Teel, the overall success of the drill will not be known. He did however comment from his own perspective.

“I’m satisfied with the response I saw from students,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think people need a reasonably safe area and there are hardly any in Oklahoma City.”

For more information about emergency procedures or general information about the school’s preparedness contact Lisa Teel in the Emergency Planning and Risk Management office at 405-682-7158.

To contact Mike Wormley, email staffwriter4@occc.edu.

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