After a nationwide search with more than 130 candidates, the University of Utah and Department of Public Safety hired Jeffrey L. Graviet as the new director of emergency management for campus operations. A Utah native, Graviet has had 31 years of experience in public safety and emergency management. As a National Emergency Management Executive Academy graduate and Certified Emergency Manager, Graviet is well suited for the position.
His previous work includes 23 years with the Utah Department of Public Safety. During his tenure with the department, Graviet served as the bureau commander of the Utah Highway Patrol and the deputy director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. After leaving in 2008, Graviet took over as the director of Emergency Services for Salt Lake County where he worked for the past eight years.
Graviet recently spoke with me about the importance of emergency management and the university’s emergency management app U Heads Up!
@theU: What drew you to public safety and emergency management?
I’ve been providing public service for the past 30 years. My father was a state trooper and my hero growing up. His example charted my path into law enforcement and emergency management. It has also provided me this incredible opportunity to lead Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety at the university. I believe my experience can and will enhance the great work that has already been done here at the U.
Our mission is to do everything reasonable to provide for the safety of our students, staff, faculty and visitors. Emergency Management contributes to this mission by educating, training and preparing everyone on campus on ways to be individually prepared for disasters.
@theU: What tools do you use to fulfill that mission?
Behind the scenes, we operate the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) which is used as a central command and control facility to coordinate campus resources during emergencies and disasters with the goal of getting our campus back to normal as soon as possible.
In the public spotlight, our tools include the annual ShakeOut exercise, the Campus Alert emergency alert notification system, and we are putting a lot of attention on our mobile app called U Heads Up!
@theU: I want to follow up on the app, but people are asking about ShakeOut this year. Has the program changed?
ShakeOut is a great state-led program, and the University supports it. While the program hasn’t changed at its core, the timing and level of campus participation has changed.
On April 21, 2016, at 10:15 a.m., we’ll send out Campus Alert notifications as in past years, but we won’t expect students, staff and faculty to evacuate. Some departments we’ve spoken to will be holding their own evacuation drill, but the Emergency Assembly Points (EAPs) that you’ve seen in past years won’t be setup. Instead, we are moving our larger scale evacuation exercise to a time in the academic calendar that doesn’t impact final exams.
What we do hope for is that all students, staff and faculty participate in the Drop, Cover and Hold On drill when they receive the text message from Campus Alert, no matter if they are in class, in the office, outside or off campus. The drill builds muscle-memory for the best protective action you can take in an earthquake.
@theU: That’s great to know, thanks. Now, about the app…
Right. One of our more recent key tools is our mobile app called U Heads Up! This is an app available to anyone on campus and provides valuable information on preparedness tips and instruction.
Our emergency management plan relies on every individual to be prepared. By downloading U Heads Up! users are able to get quick information on what to do in emergencies. Eventually, all of our emergency plans will be available on the app to include tips on how to create an emergency kit and the elements of a creating a good communication plan.
@theU: How do I download and use the app?
Visit utah.edu/headsup on your mobile phone. On that page you’ll find links to the Apple Store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices. You’ll also find instructions on how to download and install the University Emergency Response Guide and the “See Something/Say Something” feedback tool.
For health sciences and hospital employees, please see pulse.utah.edu/site/em for which of the plans apply to your job.
@theU: How do I notify the university about a possible emergency situation?
Always dial 911 if it is an emergency. If you want to report a possible emergency, contact the police department at 801-585-COPS (2677). For safety concerns, you can call 5-COPS or, if is not an emergency and you’d like to report it from your mobile phone, use “See Something / Say Something” in the U Heads Up! app.
@theU: Does the university have an emergency plan for students, faculty and staff?
Absolutely. The basic emergency plans are in U Heads Up! under the University Emergency Response Guide. For other details, like our Emergency Assembly Points, visit em.utah.edu/eap. We’ll be updating that page, and the U Heads Up, to include changes to EAPs because of construction. Again, download the app and the response guide, and when a new plan is published, the app will prompt you to update the plan, and you’ll have the most recent emergency plans in the palm of your hand.
@theU: How do I find the university’s emergency plan?
The University of Utah Emergency Operation Plan is located at emergencymanagement.utah.edu.
@theU: Anything else you would like to add?
We just want to emphasize the importance we place on the safety of students, faculty and staff at the U. Senior administration is concerned. Public Safety is concerned. And Emergency Management is concerned.
But even with all of our efforts, we can’t keep each person on campus safe without a personal investment – by being aware of these tools we’ve talked about. So, we encourage you to download “U Heads Up!” today, get the Response Guide in the app, and then join is in the Drop, Cover and Hold On ShakeOut exercise on April 21.