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Emergency Prep 101

BU offers online courses detailing what to do in a crisis


Imagine yourself in a nightmare turned real: a gunman is stalking the campus. What should you do?

That’s just one scenario in Managing Emergencies, an online, two-course package now available to BU students, faculty, and staff. It is the first such training offered to the entire University community from BU Environmental Health & Safety.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility,” says Stephen Morash, BU’s emergency response planning director. “There are several departments that work alongside government officials and are trained to respond to emergency events. However, effective emergency response requires everyone to do their part.” Some supervisors may enroll their departments in the online courses, he says.

The first course is applicable to the entire community. At roughly 25 minutes long, it runs through various potential emergencies and includes information about what people should do initially, whom they should notify, and what basic actions they should take. The second, shorter course is for emergency responders and delves into command structure and specific responsibilities in a crisis. Two videos—the aforementioned shooter scenario and another about campus fires that includes some BU students—come at the end of the package and are viewable by anyone taking either course.

The courses are on Blackboard Learn, the University’s online learning management system. The 65,000 community members with access to Blackboard Learn can take the emergency courses by logging onto learn.bu.edu and clicking the “All Blackboard Courses” tab. The Managing Emergencies course is in a box in the upper left corner. Those without access but who would like to take the courses can email ithelp@bu.edu to be enrolled. Morash estimates that the two courses take the typical viewer up to 40 minutes, total, to watch.

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Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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