Would University of Texas leaders be ready for a 'worse case' scenario?

Local 2 investigates threat, evacuation during football game

AUSTIN - Thousands of University of Texas students were evacuated when someone called and said several explosive devices were on campus.

Local 2 Investigates looks into just how prepared school leaders would be if this incident, which happened Friday, happened during game day.

With these types of threats seemingly on the rise across the country, are university leaders prepared for the worst?

As Friday's situation showed, evacuating a campus of more than 50,000 students is no easy task. But if it happened during a football game at Darryl K. Royal Texas Memorial stadium, it would be even more daunting.

More than 101,000 fans usually pack the stadium. Parking lots across campus are also packed with tailgaters. Add on stalled traffic with nowhere to go, and student and employees call the entire situation unthinkable.

"I don't how they would organize it in an orderly manner, " said UT student Sam Lane. "If it was a football game, that would have been a bad deal."

"There would just be people going everywhere," said UT employee Cheryl Patterson. "It would be chaos here."

How would everyone get out? Where would they go?

The stadium's fan guide instructs the crowd to follow public address announcements, ushers and police. But could officers and workers possibly control the chaos?

"We do practice drills for game day," said UT Chief of Police Robert Dalhstrom. "We have agencies already here for emergencies like that. We handle those situations as they come."

UT administrators would not comment on specifics of how they would handle the stadium scenario or any other hypothetical situation needing evacuation.

However, UT President Bill Powers said the school is as prepared as it can be for similar situations.

"We train both our police, our response team, and we train jointly with the Austin Police Department," Powers said. "So, we do prepare for a variety of scenarios."

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