IUPUI Gets New Emergency Preparedness Grant of $448,890

INDIANAPOLIS – The following is a press release from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in regards to the federal grant it received from the Department of education.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is among the 13 recipients of a new federal grant to help universities and colleges implement plans to prevent and respond to campus emergencies.

IUPUI will receive a $448,890 Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant. The U.S. Department of Education awarded EMHE grants totaling $5.2 million to 13 universities and colleges nationwide.

IUPUI, Indiana’s premier urban research university, is the only Indiana institution to receive one of the 18-month grants designed to help ensure the safety of entire campus communities. EMHE funds can be used to prepare for the whole range of threats including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, campus violence, suicides, and infectious disease outbreaks.

“The IUPUI campus is a complex environment, encompassing hospitals, academic buildings, labs, and sports facilities,” says IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “Located in the heart of the nation’s 13th largest city, tens of thousands of students, staff, faculty, patients, and visitors rely on us, on a daily basis, to be prepared for maintaining safety and responding to emergencies. This grant will enhance our efforts and allow us to develop best practices other urban universities might follow.”

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the grants based on a detailed and peer reviewed application process.

“Keeping students safe starts with planning ahead,” U.S. Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spelling said in a July 30, 2008, press release announcing the grant and its recipients. “These new grants will help college administrators coordinate with law enforcement, health officials, and state and local governments to prevent violence and prepare institutions to respond quickly and efficiently if emergencies occur.”

Campus growth, along with incidents on other college campuses such as the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shootings, and Union University’s tornado, have added focus to IUPUI’s need for preparedness and planning, says IUPUI Emergency Preparedness Director Diane K. Mack.

“IUPUI has a brand-new emergency preparedness program, and has a fully developed, campus-wide plan for emergency evacuation. The EMHE grant will finance the creation of other campus-wide emergency plans and additional planning efforts that will increase IUPUI’s capabilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any type of man-made or naturally-caused disaster.”

Projects to be funded include: a full-scale exercise in 2009 to test campus response to a disaster and coordination with federal, state, and local authorities; a campus-wide risk assessment; the development of a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan; pandemic influenza planning; salaries to hire five emergency preparedness interns for one year; the purchase of a weather radio for each building on campus.

“The challenge of this grant is that all projects are expected to encompass the full grant term of 18 months, so all will be run concurrently,” Mack says. “In emergency management, there are many No. 1 priorities, and we are accustomed to multi-tasking to achieve all objectives that will raise our level of preparedness.”

Mack, who had been director for strategic planning at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, joined IUPUI on Jan. 2, 2008, as the emergency preparedness manager.

Campus units involved as primary partners in emergency management planning for the EMHE grant are the IUPUI Police Department (which includes the Office of Emergency Preparedness); Counseling and Psychological Services; the IU Department of Public Health, part of the School of Medicine; Environmental Health and Safety; and the Office of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. The assistant dean of students and Indiana University Bloomington personnel are also partners.

For additional grant information: www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2008/07/07302008.html.

IUPUI Aug. 4, 2008 press release

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