KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo is one of six IU campuses to share a $642,847 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to assess and further develop comprehensive, all-hazards emergency preparedness programs.
David Selby, IU Kokomo Chief of Police, said he would like to see sirens and a public address system installed on campus for emergency situations, costing about $20,000. However, a final determination of the campus’ needs will be made after meeting with IU's director for Regional Emergency Management and Continuity, Joe Romero.
“This grant will help us plan and execute additional safety measures at a much faster pace,” Selby said, adding that the grant dollars will be divided among the campuses based on need.
Currently, the campus community receives notifications of emergencies – weather, campus closings, etc. – through IU Notify, which alerts students, faculty, and staff through e-mail, text messaging, and telephone.
“IU Kokomo is committed to providing a safe and emergency-prepared campus for faculty, staff, and students,” said Chancellor Michael Harris. “We are continually looking to make improvements.”
The new grant was one of 17 awarded to institutions of higher education in 2010 to develop or review and improve, and fully integrate emergency management planning efforts on campus. The other IU campuses to receive part of the grant money include IU Bloomington, IU East, IU Northwest, IU Southeast, and IU South Bend.
Among other activities, IU will use the grant to conduct a full risk assessment on all six campuses. The funding will assist with improving existing plans such as the comprehensive emergency management plan, training campus staff, faculty and students in emergency management procedures, and ensuring coordination of planning and communication across all relevant components, offices and department of the campus.
The grant will provide for the creation of a system-wide incident management team and the development and implementation of training exercises and drills for campus personnel. It also will support a broad, intercampus awareness effort and IU's coordination with local, state and federal government emergency management efforts.
The Emergency Management for Higher Education grant program, now in its third year, supports institutions of higher education projects designed to develop, or review and improve, and fully integrate campus-based all-hazards emergency management planning efforts. A program funded by the program must use the framework of the four phases of emergency management -- prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
A comprehensive emergency plan provides for business and educational continuity in the event of a campus emergency, establishes short-term and long-term protocol in preparation for an outbreak of infectious disease on campus, and defines emergency protocols to provide for emergency needs of persons with disabilities and special or unique needs, including those arising from language barriers or cultural differences.
IU Kokomo’s emergency preparedness plan can be found on the campus’ Web site at www.iuk.edu/campus/safety_security/emergency_preparedness.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.