General Preparedness

Eductional Institutions

Whatever work is being done, whether at the local, state, or federal level, it must include educational institutions as an participant. Often, educational institutions have tremendous resource pools that will assist with all areas of preparing for, responding too, and recovering from incidents and will posses some of greatest risk potentials.

Nation-wide, there is a push to incorporate private sector assistance into All-Hazards incidents, which includes grant funding and I applaud this effort. At the same time, educational institutions, depending on their “classifications” (i.e. state institution, private college, public school, etc) may be overlooked. Some argue that educational institutions are "part of the bigger picture" and are “represented” by their surrounding community; this is not always the case. In reality, their mere size, though used to help justify grants for surrounding agencies, leave them autonomously perched when trying secure resources to handle their own emergency management needs.

As I previously mentioned, I believe that participation must be drilled to the “working level” and I offer the following to support this statement. Locally, we have a very active UASI working group and I recently read the following statement on the site that listed the awards (monies) received by that group:

• States must ensure that the identified Urban Areas take an inclusive regional approach to the development and implementation of the UASI program and involve the contiguous jurisdictions, mutual aid partners, port authorities, rail and transit authorities, campus law enforcement, State agencies, Citizen Corps Council(s), and MMRS jurisdictions in their program activities.

We are the largest University in our state/ UASI area and other than having our geographical statistics used by surrounding communities to apply for said grants; we have not been involved with any UASI processes. I realize this example is not an accurate depiction for all areas across the country or even within my own state but I am confident I am not the only person that has identified this “gap” within their local jurisdiction and a push must be made at ALL levels to change this behavior.

In closing, I will reiterate that the example given above was used to stress the need for “local” or “working level” involvement by education institutions. Relationships and involvement from educational institutions, similar to what is being created with the private sector and already established with Non-Governmental Organizations must be embraced and expanded.


Allen Clark

Assistant Chief of Police

Arizona State University Police Department; 480-965-6328


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Similar Ideas [ 1 ]


  1. Comment
    Becky Koch

    Yes, educational institutions are a great resource often left out of the mix. Land-grant institutions are home for each state's Extension Service, which is an outreach and engagement arm of the institutions. County agents/educators in nearly every county of the U.S. carry out informal education in their communities. The state's institutions work together to share resources through the national Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). See for the educational resources the land-grant institutions are already making available and carrying out.

  2. Comment

    Successes are being created by Teen SERT programs in high schools throughout the country, but they are under valued and under funded. Incorporating this program into PE or Health classes has trained thousands of our youth, yet their skills are not recognized or utilized.

  3. Comment
    Laurie Thomas

    e are a small private educational institution that has an extremely active environmental health and safety program. We have the most active maritime security training program in the Great Lakes area. Our contacts reach across the country. we are extremely under-utilized and often end up inviting ourselves into opportunities that will benefit the security of the country. Maybe educational institutions (both state AND private) need to join together into an organization that can showcase and organize resources, outside of the DHS Center of Excellence format.

    Laurie Thomas

    University of Findlay