Emergency Preparation Underscored at GW Safety Expo

The GW Safety Expo brought together agencies and organizations from throughout D.C. area.

safety expo
A member of the GW community practices using a fire extinguisher at the 12th annual Safety and Security Expo. (William Atkins/ GW Today)
September 23, 2016

By Kristen Mitchell

Members of the George Washington University community learned Wednesday how to use a fire extinguisher and basic self defense on University Yard as part of the annual Safety and Security Expo.

The expo, in its 12th year, gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn how to best keep themselves and their homes safe in emergencies. More than 20 nonprofit organizations, local and federal government agencies and university groups participated in the event.

George Nunez, director of Health and Emergency Management Services at GW, said the goal of the expo is to provide safety education and introduce members of the GW community to both internal and external resources.

“It’s really a good opportunity for partnership,” he said.

Representatives from D.C’s Metropolitan Police Department were stationed at the expo, along with mobile command centers from the FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service. It was the FBI’s first year sending a team, Mr. Nunez said, which provided students with a rare opportunity to see inside an FBI  mobile command center.

“Most of the time people either see it on TV or see the vehicles out in an emergency. Obviously, you can’t really visit them at that time,” he said. “Here you are actually able to go into the mobile command unit.”

Other organizations handed out information on the Zika virus, bicycle safety and campus security. Mr. Nunez said every year the Division of Safety and Security aims to have at least 1,000 attendees prepare their own emergency kits with bandages, a face mask, gauze, a granola bar and an emergency response handbook.

Mr. Nunez said he hopes students, faculty and staff take away an understanding of the many resources available to help them in getting educational information to prepare for an emergency and also those available in times of need.

The Safety and Security Expo for the Virginia Science and Technology Campus is scheduled for Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. in Innovation Hall.