Survey: Campuses React to Newtown, Other Disasters to Varying Degrees

Reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting was the overwhelming theme of the campus protection community this year, according to Campus Safety magazine’s latest research. A signif cant percentage of all educational and healthcare institutions made or plan to make at least some public safety, security or emergency management changes in response to the December 2012 tragedy.

88% of K-12 respondents say they made or will make changes to their security, public safety or emergency management programs as a result of the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.

Not surprisingly, schools and districts were the organizations most responsive. More than two in f ve (41%) Campus Safety K-12 survey takers say they made or will make many changes in response to the Newtown, Conn., active shooter incident, while 47% say they will make or have made some alterations. The total percentage of K-12 respondents implementing revisions, big or small, comes to 88%.

The reactions to Sandy Hook by hospitals and institutions of higher education, although not as dramatic, were still signif cant. More than half (52%) of both types of organizations indicate they made or will make at least some modif cations to their security, public safety or emergency management programs. Nine percent say they made or will make many changes, while 43% say they made or will make some revisions.

52% of university and hospital respondents say they made or plan to implemenThat least some modifications to their security, public safety or emergency management programs in reaction to Sandy Hook.

The Newtown, Conn., mass shooting, however, wasn’t the only tragedy that occurred this past year. Hurricane Sandy that struck the East Coast in October 2012; the Boston Marathon bombing and West, Texas fertilizer planThexplosion in April; the EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, Okla., in May; and the Santa Monica (Calif.) College mass shooting in June were all signif canThemergencies. University, hospital and school reactions to these disasters, however, were not as substantial as their reactions to Sandy Hook. That being said, a large minority of respondents (27% to 39%, depending on the incident) were prompted to make changes.

The one exception was the West, Texas, planThexplosion. Only 12% of Campus Safety readers say it prompted changes to their public safety programs. This may be due to the timing of the disaster, which was when the entire nation was focused on the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. Although the West, Texas explosion was massive and devastating, it probably didn’t receive the media exposure – or response by campuses – it warranted.

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