New emergency preparedness office launched

Steve Green/Vanderbilt University

September is National Preparedness Month and Vanderbilt is marking that occasion with the launch of a new office that will develop and coordinate emergency planning for the protection of the students, faculty and staff within the university community.

The new Vanderbilt Office of Emergency Preparedness, led by Johnny Vanderpool, is a joint venture between Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety and the Vanderbilt University Police Department.

“The Medical Center is already up and running with an Emergency Preparedness office, and so my focus will be the academic campus,” Vanderpool said. “My time will be fully devoted to improving and developing new emergency preparedness initiatives that will help equip the campus community with the tools to respond when an emergency takes place.”

Such emergencies could include severe weather like tornadoes (April and November are the most dangerous months in Tennessee for tornadoes, he said), power outages, earthquakes, in addition to local and national emergencies of all kinds.

“I will be collaborating with the Vanderbilt Police Department on several new projects,” he said. “A long-term goal is to create departmental emergency plans so that when emergencies do happen, everyone knows what to do and who to contact.”

The program’s website will be a gathering place for campus emergency guides, tips such as building a family emergency plan, how to assemble an emergency kit, and becoming more informed for emergencies.

Contact: Johnny Vanderpool, (615) 343-4804