ERIC Number: ED205078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Contingency Planning for Natural Disasters: The Mount St. Helens Experience. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
Burns, James A.; Concordia, Louis R.
The effectiveness of existing contingency planning efforts at five community colleges, three colleges, and five universities during the Mount St. Helens eruptions in 1980 in Washington state was assessed. Planning efforts in the areas of institutional policy, academic policy, business office, physical plant, residence halls, financial aid, and safety and security were reviewed. The first institutional policy activity is the assignment of broad areas of responsibility to specific departments and individuals; this should include the creation of a crisis management team. The decision to close a campus requires a policy decision on whether or not staff will be paid while the school is closed. Another consideration is enforcement of the closing: faculty on some campuses came to work undisturbed, and ash was brought into the buildings. The academic impact of institutional closure (especially in grading) should be considered, along with problems resulting to research in progress at the campuses from interruption of electrical power, violation of controlled environments, and disruption of time series experiments. The most important activity for the business office is to make sure that all expenditures are fully documented. One school caused considerable damage to their roofs by the cleanup procedure they followed. Recommendations are offered to help institutions develop contingency plans for natural hazards and disasters, and the advantage of having tested plans with mock disasters is stressed. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Mount Saint Helens; Natural Disasters
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1981).