Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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LSU develops new evacuation plans after bomb threat

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BATON ROUGE - LSU plans to study and change certain procedures in order to evacuate the campus more efficiently in the future.

Last month, the entire campus was evacuated due to a bomb threat. It resulted in traffic james which kept thousands of students sitting still for some time as they tried to leave the campus.

University police identified a number of critical intersections that were gridlocked, including Highland Road at Chimes, State Street and Aster, all of which caused major delays.

"We're trying identify some of the areas that we could have improved on to get traffic out faster," LSU Police Capt. Cory Lalonde said.

Police said having officers at each intersection isn't necessarily the answer, and plain and simple, LSU doesn't have enough officers to make that happen. In the future, LSUPD plans to use an evacuation map similar to traffic flow after a home football game, but without contraflow.

In the days after the threat, many students wanted a better evacuation map including contraflow off of campus, but without hundreds of police officers controlling traffic like on gameday, that isn't an option. 

"In a situation like a bomb threat or major evacuation, there would be issues with the child care center on campus and the lab school on campus. People would need to get on campus. Parents would need to pick up their kids," Lalonde said.

During an emergency similar to last month's bomb threat, the alert system has the capability to freeze computers on campus and only display a screen saver with the emergency message.

Last month, not all of the computers were activated of set up for such technology.

But LSU is testing the system making sure it works on all monitors and television screens in The Union, all computer labs, Middleton Library, professor work stations in classrooms and in their offices.

This does not work over a WIFI network, so students connected to the Internet while in class or on campus wouldn't get the emergency message.

And that message was limited to 140 characters. The university has increased the output to 160 characters, but the speed in which it gets out doesn't change.

More than 31,000 people subscribe to LSU's Emergency Alert System.


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