News Release: University News

Aug. 5,  2008

Emory Receives Federal Grant for Emergency Preparedness

Emory University has received a grant of $499,788 from the U.S. Department of Education to help develop and implement its emergency management plan. Emory's proposal was one of 13 awards to colleges and universities nationwide that received a total of $5.2 million in new funding.

"This is the first time that the Department of Education has provided any funding for emergency management at universities, and we're excited about having been selected from this competitive field," says Alex Isakov, executive director of Emory's Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).

He attributes the university's successful bid for the grant to several factors, including: the centralized structure of CEPAR within the university, the letters of support Emory received from community partners, the innovative approaches outlined in Emory's plans, and the university's likelihood of success in reaching its objectives.

Emory will use an "all-hazards approach" to improve and fully integrate Emory's plans with the four phases of emergency management: prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, says Robert Nadolski, CEPAR's senior administrator.

Included in Emory's plan are innovative approaches such as partnerships with other schools and agencies, new ways of communicating with students and their families, and new strategies for educating the community and creating "a culture of preparedness."

"Keeping students safe starts with planning ahead," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in an announcement on the department's Web site. "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."

The Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grants fund activities to help colleges and universities prepare for the whole range of threats that can impact a campus, including, but not limited to: natural disasters, terrorist attacks, campus violence, suicides and infectious disease outbreaks. The grants are for 18 months.

Funding for the EMHE grants was provided by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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