Reinforced by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans colleges, U.S. campuses are taking more deliberate approaches to planning for emergencies, including accidents, epidemics, natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist attacks.
In line with these efforts, emergency preparedness on campus is the focus of Catalyst, a 12-page newsletter recently published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention (HEC). The center is operated by EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs.
“We decided to highlight emergency preparedness in order to support the efforts of the many campuses moving so quickly to get up to speed in this area,” says EDC’s Virginia Mackay-Smith. “Since many emergencies affect residents beyond the campus, college officials have to coordinate responses with surrounding communities, which is difficult to arrange in the midst of the crisis.”
Included in this issue of Catalystare articles on the U.S. Department of Education’s perspective on campus emergency preparedness, the four elements of a comprehensive preparedness plan (prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery), how students can contribute in emergencies, and a list of resource materials.
Originally published on April 30, 2006