The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Safe and Drug-Free Schools awarded Rochester Institute of Technology a grant to support several emergency management and planning initiatives on campus. The university will use the $392,523 grant for programs to prevent and respond to campus violence, natural disasters and infectious disease outbreaks.
“Of the 260 who applied, RIT was only one of 13 higher education institutions to receive an award,” says Lynn Daley, director, business continuity, RIT global risk management services. “The grant funds will be used for several projects and activities that support emergency management at RIT. The grant will now allow us to do many things that we’ve talked about over the past 18 months.”
One of the specific programs targeted is Student Early Intervention, a program to train faculty and staff to recognize disturbing behavior by students and to utilize the proper channels for reporting these behaviors. Other programs covered by the grant involve improving emergency communications for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, administering comprehensive vulnerability assessment, incident command system training, building emergency action planning and pandemic response planning and training.
In response to recent campus incidents or to better prepare for natural disasters, the U. S. Department of Education allotted more than $5.2 million in 2008 to support campus programs within the four phases of emergency management: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. The grants are for 18 months. RIT’s grant extends from fall 2008 through February 2010.
RIT has an established critical incident management team consisting of staff from its public safety, business continuity, risk management and information security departments, as well as information technology and communications teams.