University responds to raised Homeland Security level, Dec. 21

Dec. 21, 2003 2:08 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Sunday, Dec. 21, raised the national security threat level to "orange" (high) from "yellow" (elevated), citing an increased risk of an imminent attack during the holiday season. The level change marks the first since last spring.

Princeton University has maintained heightened security measures and the University is well prepared to respond to emergency situations. The University has not been a specific target of terroristic threat.

The University's Emergency Preparedness Task Force has reviewed and instituted a number of procedures that ensure the security of students, faculty and staff.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to keep informed of important University alerts by regularly checking the Princeton University home page and their personal e-mail and voice-mail systems. The Emergency Info link on the home page provides access to the most up-to-date information and important news alerts. This section also includes links to external news sources, such as Web and broadcast media; federal, state and international government resources; and travel advisories.

In the event of an actual emergency, the campus community will be notified and instructed through the Web, e-mail and voice mail.

Members of the University community wishing to familiarize themselves with emergency procedures, planning and prevention tips can review the task force guidelines. Natural disasters, fires and hazardous material spills are among the types of emergencies that are covered in the University's emergency preparedness plans.

Princeton University will remain vigilant in monitoring changes in current local and national conditions. All essential University units -- including the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, University Health Services and the Departments of Facilities -- have taken active measures to create, update and maintain emergency plans and procedures. University officials also have established a network of reliable local, state, regional and national authorities whose services may be enlisted depending on the nature of an actual emergency.

Public Safety has issued guidelines on what the heightened state of security means, along with tips and procedures for noticing and reporting suspicious behavior or circumstances. For more information about safety and security at Princeton University, contact Public Safety at (609) 258-3134.