Saint Louis University

Tabletop exercise
A.J. Lehmen, right, exercise program manager with the state's Emergency Management Agency lead the tabletop exercise, which simulated a tornado touchdown at the University. Photo by Danielle Lacey

As part of the annual safety requirements for colleges and universities, the Department of Education requires an exercise be held each year that tests emergency response and evacuation plans. The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness hosted the 2012 exercise Dec. 18 and brought together several University stakeholders and first responders from the State of Missouri, the St. Louis City Emergency Management Agency and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Participating University departments included Service Operations, Facilities Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Housing and Residence Life, Marketing and Communications and DPSEP. 

The exercise, lasting just over 2 hours, simulated a tornado touchdown with a hazardous materials situation arising from the touchdown. The exercise was facilitated by A.J. Lehmen, exercise program manager with the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency, and Connie Tillman, emergency preparedness coordinator with DPSEP. The tabletop exercise gave participants an opportunity to visualize and discuss various components of response from immediate necessary actions to addressing emerging events triggered by the initial incident.

"The exercise highlighted our respective roles in response to an incident of the magnitude exercised and identified the challenges that will be faced by the University and public first responders," said Roland Corvington, assistant vice president for the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. "The exercise also provided the participants with an appreciation of the impact of multiple events on private and public resources."

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness website or contact Connie Tillman at