The Threat of Terrorism
Mount Vernon Nazarene University, recognizing the potential consequences of an unspecified terrorist attack either upon the University or within the central Ohio region that may affect the University, has prepared the following action guidelines for those who comprise the MVNU community.
Our prayer is that these guidelines will never be needed. In the event of an attack, the individual decisions you make will impact your chances of survival more than any plan we could design. Think ahead an anticipate how you would respond to a catastrophic event.
The variations of possible attack are many but the most likely are categorized as follows:
Biological or Chemical
The introduction of a gas/chemical agent into the atmosphere or the heating/air conditioning systems of the University.
A "dirty bomb" that has a relatively small but powerful radius of "blast" effectiveness, but is laden with radioactive material.
A nuclear detonation at a site near Mount Vernon or elsewhere in the central Ohio area.
In the event that one of these methods is used to attack our land and specifically the central Ohio area, some general assumptions should be made by everyone:
- Seek out any disabled or injured persons in the area and give assistance.
- The probability that phone lines will be unusable should be recognized.
- Cellular telephones will probably be unusable as well due to significant overloads.
- Confusion and rumors will be prevalent.
- Seeking and receiving medical help may be extremely difficult.
- Streets and roads may be clogged with motorists seeking to escape the area.
Depending upon conditions that cannot be fully anticipated in conjunction with any of the three listed attack methods, MVNU will attempt to provide information to all members of the MVNU community through all available avenues of campus communication, including e-mail.
Biological or Chemical
- Should a chemical/biological agent be introduced into the atmosphere, members of the MVNU community are advised to remain in whatever building they happen to be in or to seek shelter immediately in a nearby building. Ideally, an interior portion of the building with no windows is preferable.
- Campus Safety, if conditions allow, will drive through the campus making announcements on the public address systems with regard to the situation and advising people to stay sheltered. Depending upon prevailing winds, the cloud or agent may be diminished by the wind.
- Should a gas or "cloud" be released some distance from the campus, Campus Safety will drive throughout the campus making announcements on the public address system to advise people of the situation.
- A radiological device, commonly known as a "dirty bomb," is a device that generally has a relatively small "blast impact area." It may be fairly small and simple as a stick or two of dynamite to create the blast. Upon detonation, the radiological materials are dispersed into the air and are moved by the wind. The greatest value of the device to the terrorist is the panic is creates. The actual blast area will not be very large, but the distribution of the radioactive material will be the greatest concern.
- Should a blast occur in the Mount Vernon vicinity, faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to depart the area and go in a direction OPPOSITE the prevailing wind. No barriers or internal areas of buildings are considered to be a safe haven from the effects of a "dirty bomb."
- In the event of a nuclear explosion, it is expected that the most likely location will be a major city, such as Columbus or Cleveland, or a military base. Should that be the case, the MVNU community would have a very short window of opportunity to depart the area in an effort to escape the effect of the radiation.
What do do if a terrorist attack occurs?
- First, we encouraged everyone to make it a point to stay informed of current world events at all times.
- Ensure you have access to a portable radio and fresh batteries.
- In the event of a chemical/biological or "dirty bomb" attack, the Hyson Campus Center will be designated as a gathering point.
- This will be a place to gather for information and to seek comfort and advice with regard to decisions that each individual will have to make.
- Hyson Campus Center should not be considered a "safe place."
Develop a plan with your family as to how and where you will meet should an incident occur. We recommend a pre-determined location away from a major city be established as a "meeting place" for families to gather should all communications be disrupted. By setting a time to meet within 24 hours of an "event," family members would know that loved ones will be congregating with a predetermined time and location.
FEMA Terrorism Information Pages
Red Cross Advisory System Recommendations