March 1, 2003
Westmont officials are aware of the devastating fires that are ravaging Southern California. So far, the conditions in Santa Barbara County have been such that there is no imminent danger of fires near the college. However, we are in frequent contact with local fire officials, and we would activate our preparedness plan if a fire threat approaches the campus.
Thankfully, we have not experienced the winds that are fueling the fires south of us, and fire officials do not expect similar winds here in coming days. If conditions change, we will alert the campus community and take appropriate steps to respond.
Fire officials have requested that all students — and others – stay out of the trails in the backcountry behind the college because of the extreme fire hazard. If you have any questions, contact your resident directors and/or residence advisers.
Additionally, Westmont is aware of the heightened concern nationally and internationally over potential terrorist activities and has an emergency response plan and a team of top-level managers who are prepared to deal with various kinds of disasters and accidents. This includes coordination with local and state emergency response agencies.
While we do not anticipate that Santa Barbara is a likely target for terrorist activities, we do recognize the need to be prepared to respond to any situation that may arise. Our team includes the college’s vice president for administration, who reports directly to the president; an associate dean of student life; our public safety personnel; and others who are trained to respond to emergencies.
We are continuing to monitor news reports and national advisories, and will respond appropriately should the need arise. Our emergency plan includes contingencies for housing and feeding all of our students, if necessary, should there be an emergency affecting the Santa Barbara area. Westmont has a full-time doctor on staff as well as nursing and counseling professionals. The campus also has generators should power fail, and our residence life staff have all been trained in how to respond in an emergency.
The college will regularly update its Web site http://www.westmont.edu to keep parents and others informed in the event of an emergency. We also have an emergency hot line that would provide the latest information should an accident or disaster affect the campus. The hot line number is (888) 565-7911.