Prepare now at home and work—before an emergency
Every year as hurricane season approaches, the Gulf Coast region goes into preparation mode. But we all know—especially in this year of pandemic COVID-19—that emergencies affecting our work, families or homes can happen at any time and at any of our locations throughout the state.
Please review the following information on how UTMB prepares for and communicates during emergencies, and the list of actions you should take now to be ready at work and at home.
In an emergency, UTMB activates its Incident Command structure (login required) to make decisions based on the specifics of the emergency as it develops. Led by an appointed Incident Commander and coordinating with other agencies when appropriate, the group determines UTMB’s response to the incident, including if and when to dismiss students and employees.
Our Incident Command team has been meeting since early this year to lead our COVID-19 response. We will continue to meet weekly for the time being, to continue our work on COVID-19 and to plan for any other incidents, including the potential for adverse weather.
We communicate emergency response decisions in a variety of ways, depending on the type and severity of the emergency. These include:
What You Can Do Now
- Become familiar with your department’s emergency plan and your role in an emergency.
- Talk with your supervisor or faculty advisor about your emergency responsibilities and/or procedures for reporting to work/school during an emergency.
- Become familiar with UTMB’s Institutional Emergency Operations Plan (login required).
- Visit Employee Self Service/Personal Information (access via “Employee Self Serv/Paycheck” link on iUTMB) to check and update the following information, which is vital to our ability to determine who is affected by a particular emergency, on or off UTMB property:
- Your UTMB Directory information—particularly your work location (L-code)
- Your personal information, such as home address and home contact information
- Your emergency contacts (the family members or friends UTMB should contact if you become seriously ill or injured at work or if we are unable to reach you during a large-scale emergency)
- Check your contact and location information in the UTMB Alerts emergency notification system here (login required). Add your mobile number to receive UTMB Alerts messages via text and/or mobile phone call, to ensure you get notifications as quickly as possible. List a minimum of two contact methods.
- Keep computer security in mind. Never reveal your UTMB login information to anyone, and be suspicious of emails asking you to enter your login information.
- Wear your ID badge every day at all UTMB locations, so University Police, members of the public and, if needed, emergency responders will know you belong.
- Enroll in Direct Deposit and MyChart, to ensure access to both your paycheck and your UTMB medical records in an emergency.
- Develop an emergency plan for your home that takes into account care and safety of dependents and pets.
- Stay tuned for information regarding the 2020 Emergency Classification and Acknowledgment Form and instructions for completing it, including this year’s deadline. (At this time, UTMB is on Emergency Status due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all employees are currently considered Essential.)
Thank you for making your personal safety a priority and also for your help in keeping UTMB prepared for any emergency in any of our locations across the state.
Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP
President ad interim
Gulshan Sharma, MD, MPH
Institutional Emergency Preparedness Officer
Vice President, Chief Medical & Clinical Innovation Officer