Manfredo’s goals as the Emergency Management Director

October 25, 2019

UPDATED 10/31 9:15 p.m.

In many cases when emergencies strike, terror and uproar are created in the community. Individuals then have to deal with the aftermath of the emergency and must work together to mend it. To prevent these emergencies from happening in the first place, steps need to be taken in order to create back-up plans so that individuals do not have to deal with loss and heartache. 

In college, many students are living on their own for the first time in their life. As a result, they often take their safety for granted and may not be educated on how to manage emergency situations. Students should be familiar with the Campus Safety Office, be careful at night, learn how to defend themselves and have safety and security supplies available. In addition, students should always walk in groups at night and be aware of their surroundings. 

Specifically here at Brandeis, in January 2019 Josh Manfredo was elected to the new position of emergency management director. This position includes anything from writing emergency planning documents, meeting with individuals to discuss any concerns and finding solutions, talking to members of the community about what to do before, during, and after an emergency and creating exercises for emergency drills. 

Manfredo explains that there are three basic steps to being prepared for an emergency. The first step is to be informed. Individuals must be aware of their surroundings. Specifically, individuals must know their exits, any evacuation plans and where any fire extinguishers or automated external defibrillators are found. In addition, individuals must know if something in the environment does not seem right and about how to report it. Staff members or the Public Safety website are good resources to approach to learn about reporting methods.

The second step is to plan ahead. In every situation, individuals should have a communications plan in which they are able to communicate with someone during an emergency. Individuals should also have an emergency kit which includes essentials such as food, water, medicines, clothing, a flashlight and a radio. The website www.ready.gov provides methods for creating plans and preparing emergency kits. 

The third step is to take action. Individuals can participate in training sessions provided by Public Safety. These training sessions include topics such as CPR and how to respond to an active threat. Individuals can visit www.brandeis.edu/emergency-prepare to find information on how to act in specific scenarios that could occur on campus. Individuals should also register for the Brandeis Emergency Notification System (BENS) which provides information about snow days and other emergencies. 

Manfredo explained that as the Emergency Management Director, his short term goal is to have more discussion-based training. He has spoken to groups on campus about what to do during emergencies, however he wants to speak to more individuals. He also wants to create a short survey in which he can understand the community’s awareness of emergency management. Based on that survey, he will work towards educating the community on emergency management. 

Manfredo’s long term goal includes changing the perception of emergency preparedness activities. Specifically, Manfredo wants to “be more proactive” and mitigate future emergencies from happening.  

Overall, at one point in their life, individuals will be put in an emergency situation in which they must learn to think on their feet and devise a solution to the situation they are in. To prepare for this situation, individuals can take training sessions, create an emergency kit and in general more thoroughly educate themselves. It is important to always be aware of one’s surroundings and remain calm. Together, individuals can work together to mitigate future emergency situations by being prepared for whatever life may throw at them.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that individuals can work together to prevent future emergency situations. Manfredo’s goal is for the community to be more proactive in mitigating their risks. While individuals cannot prevent future emergency situations, emergency management preparation can lessen the impacts and minimize vulnerability.

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