With the 2011 hurricane season in its first month, we want to make every member of the UTMB community aware of several important developments related to emergency planning and communication.
UTMB Emergency OperationsFirst, we are pleased to announce a new Emergency Operations website. The redesigned site is the online home for the UTMB Emergency Operations Plan, the Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Readiness Plans and other related documents, such as the 2011 City of Galveston Hurricane Preparedness Guide. You also will find the presentation materials from last month’s annual “All Hands” hurricane preparedness meeting. We encourage you to review the site and become familiar with this important information. 
Second, we want you to know that UTMB’s emergency notification system is in transition. The current system, FirstCall, will be replaced with a soon-to-be announced alternative that offers greater reliability, flexibility and customization. Expect to hear more information about this new system in the near future.
In the meantime, to ensure that every member of the UTMB community is alerted in the event of a major issue or emergency, and to fulfill a UT System request that all UT institutions adopt an opt-out approach to emergency notifications, employee and student directory information (UTMB phone number and/or email) will be automatically entered into the existing system. The same information will automatically transfer to the new system when it is put in place. If you wish to opt out of receiving important emergency messages, you can do so by deleting all of the fields in the Institutional Emergency Alert Contacts under your name in the online directory. You can also add additional contact information, such as your cell phone or home email, if you prefer to receive alerts that way.
Finally, we strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to review your general employee information—particularly your physical location—in the online directory and make any necessary additions or revisions. This should be a priority to ensure that you receive timely notice in the event of an emergency and that we have proper records of who works in which buildings. The importance of an accurate online directory cannot be emphasized enough. For more information on updating general and emergency information in the online directory, see the How To Guide.
Thank you for taking the time to review UTMB’s and your department’s emergency preparedness plans and procedures. Doing so will help keep yourself, your family, your colleagues, our students and our patients safe — and enable us to continue fulfilling our mission — in the event of an emergency.
David L. Callender, MD, MBA, FACS
Garland D. Anderson, MD
Executive Vice President and Provost
Dean, School of Medicine
Donna K. Sollenberger, MA
Executive Vice President,
Chief Executive Officer
UTMB Health System
William R. Elger, CPA
Executive Vice President,
Chief Business and Finance Officer