June 22, 2024

Dates and Info From Emergency Management & Safety

UMW is committed to the welfare of students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Emergency Management Program is designed to respect this commitment, maximize human safety, minimize danger, preserve property and restore normal working conditions at UMW and within the broader community. Check out the Emergency Management & Safety newsletter, which is chock full of important dates and information. Read the newsletter.

Announcement of New Emergency Management Director

The following email is from UMW Student Affairs.

Dear UMW Community,

I am pleased to announce that after a comprehensive search process, Brandy Ellard will be joining the University of Mary Washington as the next Director of Emergency Management and Safety. Ellard currently works for Fairfax County Government as the Safety Manager overseeing day-to-day operations for the safety, security, and emergency management of the Lorton Landfill. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Science degree in safety and environmental management. In addition, she has certification as an IAEM Associate Emergency Manager and VEMA Professional Emergency Manager.

At UMW, the Director of Emergency Management and Safety is the institution’s chief safety officer, responsible for an all-hazards approach to the coordination and management of risk assessment, disaster planning, and continuity of operations. The Director oversees the institution’s safety programs, including fire alarm and sprinkler systems, and enforces state and federal safety codes. Ellard brings to this role nearly two decades of safety and emergency management experience, with ten of those years in educational settings, including Fairfax County Public Schools and George Mason University. She also volunteers for the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps, Spotsylvania Fire Rescue and Emergency Management (FREM), and COVID-19 clinics at George Mason University.

Ellard will report directly to me as the Vice President for Student Affairs and will work closely with the Department of Public Safety led by Chief Michael Hall. She is scheduled to begin at Mary Washington on January 10, 2022. Please join me in giving her a warm UMW welcome.

Thank you to the students, staff, and faculty who participated in the search process. I hope you have a wonderful holiday break.


Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Mary Washington

Seeking members for the UMW Safety Committee

The following message is from the Office of Emergency Management & Safety:

The University of Mary Washington Safety Committee brings together many community voices to elicit their insights and to foster transparency regarding campus safety. More about the committee, including its mission and responsibilities, can be found here.

The UMW Safety Committee is seeking faculty and staff from all three campuses as members to help develop and promote a healthy work environment. 

The committee’s responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in safety inspections of buildings, grounds, and work sites on a periodic basis.
  • Reviewing regularly all safety-related incidents, injuries, accidents, and illnesses on campus. This includes investigation, recommendation of corrective action, follow-up, and compliance.

Members are expected to serve a one-year term, devoting about five hours a month to the committee, including a meeting of approximately one hour via Zoom. 

To review the committee procedures and fill out an application, please go here.

Any questions should be addressed to the Director of Emergency Management & Safety, Mike Muckinhaupt, at mmuckinh@umw.edu. 

Campus notification regarding second UMW staff member to test positive for COVID-19

The following message is from the Office of Public Safety. 

We are writing to inform you that the University learned this morning of a second member of our Lee Hall staff with a confirmed case of  COVID-19. The source of the infection is unknown.

Appropriate public health protocols have been followed. The University has been in contact with the Virginia Department of Health, which has the responsibility of tracing potential exposures based on the timeline of this incident. VDH will be notifying and offering guidance to those who had been in direct contact with this individual.

We are proceeding with the plan of keeping Lee Hall closed, in an abundance of caution, for thorough cleaning by a licensed firm skilled in CDC guidelines.

We continue to emphasize the great importance of staying away from campus and teleworking if at all possible. The CDC- and state-issued health guidelines regarding COVID-19 are designed to ensure not only your own well-being, but the well-being of others as well:

·         Engage in physical distancing. Do not go to work or school. Keep at least 6 feet from other individuals.

·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

·         Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.

·         Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

·         Watch for cough, troubled breathing, or other signs of respiratory infection.

·         Monitor temperature for a fever above 100.4 degrees F.

·         If you develop a cough, fever, and/or difficulty breathing, call a healthcare provider or dial 911. You may also call the Virginia Health Department at 877-ASK-VDH3.

·         If you test positive for COVID-19, please inform your supervisor and/or Human Resources. All such communications are strictly confidential.

These are unsettling times, and our thoughts are with each member of the community. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Emergency Management Director Mike Muckinhaupt at mmuckinh@umw.edu or 540-654-2108.

Collection of Protective Gear

Due to shortages from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Office of Emergency Management and Safety is collecting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from buildings throughout campus. This is to assist in an accurate inventory of these items, as well as to store these items in a central location. We will be collecting the following items:

  • Gloves
  • N95 Masks or Surgical Masks
  • Procedure Gowns
  • Tyvek Suits
  • Face Shields
  • Any other PPE pertinent to Field Operations pertaining to COVID-19

Please contact Mike Muckinhaupt, Director of Emergency Management & Safety by e-mail at mmuckinh@umw.edu to schedule a pickup of these.

Severe weather warning for Oct. 31

The following message is from the Office of Emergency Management & Safety.

Later today, a Halloween storm is expected to bring an enhanced risk of severe weather for the Greater Fredericksburg area. The main hazards associated with this storm will be heavy rain and damaging wind gusts. An isolated tornado is also possible. There may also be localized flooding in areas, as well as damage from falling tree limbs or power lines.

 The severe weather may have an impact on evening Halloween activities. Be weather aware tonight by following these safety guidelines:

  • When thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If you see a flooded road, turn around and find an alternate route. It is difficult to tell how deep the water is.
  • Get in, get down, cover up.  If a tornado warning is issued, go inside a sturdy location. Head to the lowest level away from windows, and cover up with anything to protect yourself from debris.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, If wind increases in the area, stay away from trees and power lines. If you hear cracking from a tree, move away as quickly as possible. 

Everyone is encouraged to update their UMW Alerts settings to include text messaging. This is the fastest way to receive warnings for the area. You can update your settings at https://www.getrave.com/login/umw.

The Office of Emergency Management & Safety will continue to monitor the situation throughout the day and evening until the threat has passed. Updates will be sent to the community if the threat increases. Questions or concerns should be sent to safety@umw.edu

UMW Alerts to the Rescue

Help spread the word and do your part too!

UMW is launching a new emergency alert system, but faculty, staff and students must register with the new system to customize their emergency notices—by text, phone or email—the way they want to receive them.

Please check your UMW email next week for a message from UMW Emergency Management with step-by-step instructions to sign up. Please encourage your colleagues and students to sign up too.

For more information, please contact Chris Cash in Emergency Management and Safety at ccash@umw.edu.

Sign Up Now for UMW Alerts

Be the first to know about emergencies on the UMW campus with UMW Alerts. You should have received an email from UMW Emergency Management with instructions on how to create an account in the UMW Alerts system at your UMW email address.

The step-by-step process allows you to sign up for customized alerts so that you will be among the first to learn about an emergency at UMW.

For more information, please contact Chris Cash in Emergency Management and Safety at ccash@umw.edu.

Be the First to Know with UMW Alerts

Be the first to know about emergencies on the UMW campus. UMW is developing a new emergency alert system. The name, UMW ALERT, will remain the same, but the new system will provide a higher level of service to the UMW community.

In the coming weeks, the Office of Emergency Management and Safety will send you an email with step-by-step instructions on creating an account in UMW Alert.

Why register?

  • Be among the first to learn about an emergency. 

Notification systems often see a surge in registrations during a crisis from people who missed the first emergency messages.

  • Customize your alerts.

Registering for UMW Alert allows you to add additional contact information –cell, text, personal email– and customize your alert priorities.

  • This is a new system. You must create a new account before logging in.

Please sign up and update your profile when you are contacted.

For more information, please contact Chris Cash in Emergency Management and Safety at ccash@umw.edu.

Message from the Office of Emergency Management and Safety

With the recent power outages in the Fredericksburg area and at UMW we would like to revisit the purpose of emergency lighting.

  • Emergency lighting will operate for a period of 1 1/2 hours in the event of failure of normal lighting and are arranged to provide illumination for safety purposes only;
  • Emergency lighting systems are not capable of illuminating a building for occupancy.

These systems are only used for effective and efficient evacuation.

Feel free to contact the office of emergency management and safety with any questions.