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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, December 03, 2023

UW disaster committee describes new plan to public


A small audience said they were satisfied with a UW committee’s newly proposed unified university disaster management plan to respond to a variety of potential hazards at an open meeting Tuesday.

Potential incidents include natural disasters, such as severe weather and floods, technological dangers including cyber-bullying, and political threats such as terrorism.

The UW Disaster Resistant University began formulating the plan two years ago when the university received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help it adhere to a congressional ruling in 2000 that requires all large corporations, including universities, to have a cohesive disaster relief plan.  Upon completion, the university will be among the nation’s first to meet the congressional ruling.

While the current disaster relief plan, called the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), entails different disaster responses for various campus facilities, UW Professor and DRU member Stephen Ventura said the new plan will be unified across campus and will address a number of different dangers.

In creating the plan, DRU project manager Tom McClintock said the committee ran disaster simulations, including a tornado and a chemical explosion, to project their potential effect on campus facilities.

“We try to recreate historical events to see if we can make a model,” McClintock said. “It’s almost like a worst case scenario, like running a tornado right through campus.”

At the end of the meeting, committee members gave attendees a “brainstorming worksheet” to provide additional feedback. Once DRU analyzes their responses, it will revise the plan, which will then require campus, local and national approval to receive the necessary fund

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