Tuesday, September 28, 2010

U.S. Department of Education Awards More Than $9.2 Million to Institutions of Higher Education for Crisis Management Planning

Institutions of higher education in 17 new sites will be able to develop or review and improve, and fully integrate their emergency management planning efforts as a result of more than $9.2 million in Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The EMHE grant program supports institutions of higher education projects that address all four phases of emergency management: Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

Among the typical activities included in grantee programs are reviewing and revising existing emergency management plans; conducting vulnerability assessments of campus facilities and grounds; providing training to campus staff, faculty and students; organizing tabletop exercises or large-scale drills; improving on-campus communications; collaborating with local first responders and community partners; and developing or enhancing behavioral threat assessment processes on campus. 

"Sending a child off to college should be a time of looking ahead, with great anticipation, to the next stage of their journey. We shouldn't have to worry whether or not they'll be safe on campus or if the university has emergency management plans in place to help do that," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "The fact is no college or university can be a great school until it is a safe school first, and these grants will support those efforts."

The grants are housed within the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, which supports efforts to create safe schools, respond to crises, prevent drug and alcohol abuse, ensure the health and well being of students, and teach students good citizenship and character. The office also coordinates the Department's efforts in these areas with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides funding to support the EMHE grant program. For additional information on the EMHE grant program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/emergencyhighed/index.html.


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