LSU upgrading emergency plan - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

LSU upgrading emergency plan

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Students get onto an off campus bus at LSU, on Sept. 17, 2012, after an emergency text was sent out telling students and faculty to evacuate campus after the police received a bomb threat. (AP Photo) Students get onto an off campus bus at LSU, on Sept. 17, 2012, after an emergency text was sent out telling students and faculty to evacuate campus after the police received a bomb threat. (AP Photo)
EMILY BELL
The Daily Reveille

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU officials say they are updating the university's emergency text messaging system and emergency management plan to provide for speedy campus-wide evacuations in the case of emergencies such as the Sept. 17 bomb scare and Hurricane Isaac.

LSU Police Department spokesperson Corey LaLonde tells the Daily Reveille that the plan currently in place for campus-wide threats is similar to the one used for home football games.

That plan centers on the flow of traffic exiting campus when an evacuation is ordered.

"Obviously our largest event that we have on campus is football. And we do have an evacuation plan for football," LaLonde said.

LaLonde and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communication Kristine Calongne said with campus-wide bomb threats, LSU police cannot enact contra-flow as they would for a home football game because of the LSU Child Care Center and Lab School on campus.

"We have parents who wanted to get to those children and pick them up. So we have to let people in," Calongne said.

Also, for football games police officers are assigned to specific locations on campus. An event such as a bomb threat isn't predictable and complicates deployment of officers.

Interdisciplinary studies senior Billie Jones said she didn't see police directing traffic until "at least an hour after the bomb threat text."

The LSU Emergency Operations Center sent a mass text message warning faculty and students within its Emergency Notification System about an hour after authorities allege suspect William Bouvay Jr. allegedly phoned in a threat that three bombs would detonate on campus within two hours. No location was cited by the caller.

LaLonde said it took approximately 80 minutes from the time the EOC issued the evacuation order for the majority of traffic to move off campus and out of the surrounding areas of campus. But LSU officials say some sections of the campus were not cleared for almost two hours.

LaLonde said the university is considering adding resources to deal with an evacuation order.

Calongne said her office is looking into refining language in the 140-character emergency text messages.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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