Members of the HMS and SPH local emergency management team (above) participate in an all-school 'table-top' drill held at the Business School Oct.
Sitting in isolated rooms in Spangler Hall on the Business School campus, representative teams from each of the University's 10 schools waited for the latest developments in the crisis to be revealed to them via e-mail.
Leaning and Watkins reminded the group that the most effective way to prepare for a crisis is to anticipate the kinds of things that might happen and develop effective responses which can be put together like building blocks to suit the particular set of circumstances. Rosenthal also suggested that in any serious crisis, administrators must plan early on for providing psychological counseling for those affected.

Joe Wrinn, director of the Harvard News Office, also on the Incident Support Team, said that communication is often initially out of the control of those managing the crisis, which is all the more reason to avoid conflicting statements by establishing one official place for disseminating accurate information. Francis "Bud" Riley, chief of the Harvard Police Department and a member of the Incident Support Team, said that in an actual crisis like the one described in the exercise, and given the increased awareness of potential terrorist activity, the University would soon be forced to relinquish management of the situation to state and federal authorities. Friday's exercise was one of what are becoming frequent, precautionary practice sessions conducted at the University, school, departmental, and building level across campus. Teams from each of Harvard's schools worked out of individual rooms at the Spangler Center in responding via e-mail to hypothetical crisis developments that escalated every 15 minutes.

Summers mandated that Harvard's emergency response procedures be evaluated and structured for optimal coordination. The Incident Support Team assists the schools in their response and advises the "Crisis Management Team," which is chaired by the provost, and is convened if the emergency escalates beyond school boundaries.

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