Emergency Response Preparation

Dear Saint Mary’s College community,

Last week's incident in Oregon created a heightened awareness in our community around the issue of school shootings. Unfortunately, this incident is not an isolated one. A recent FBI study reviewing data from 2000-2013 reported that about 8 percent of 160 "active shooter" events occurred at institutions of higher education. That is an average of about 4 college shootings per year.

How do we prepare for such an unpredictable incident? First, educate yourself by engaging with the information and instructional video provided on the Public Safety section of the SMC website. You’ll learn there that individuals must prepare themselves to act based on their strengths and experts advise there are 3 basic options: run, hide or fight. Remember that each situation is different depending on your location and how the event unfolds; your best bet to survive is to prepare a response.

The ability to act greatly impacts your success in an emergency. Make sure to program Public Safety's number into your cell phone: 925-631-4282. Cell phone calls to 911 are often routed to the Highway Patrol, which could delay response. In the event of an incident on campus, the Incident Management Team will use Gael Alert to communicate available information and directions by text, email and phone. Please take the time to update your Gael Alert profile by going to the "GaelXpress" link from the My Saint Mary's portal.

We encourage you to discuss in your areas your individual and group responses to an active shooter incident and do not hesitate to contact Public Safety or Adán Tejada directly to assist you in developing an emergency response plan. 

For more information on campus safety policies and procedures, as well as crime information for the last three years, please see The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Sincerely, Jane Camarillo, Ph.D.
Incident Management Team Commander
Vice Provost of Student Life

Adán Tejada
Chief & Director Department of Public Safety