Colleges and universities along the eastern seaboard are bracing for the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Sandy. In addition to the steps institutions will take over the next several days, including preparation and perhaps response and recovery, Margolis Healy & Associates offer the following recommendations to aid in future emergency management planning no matter where you're located:
1. Review crisis communications plans and adjust/improve to optimize the flow of critical (health, safety and welfare) information between all constituents.
2. Assess ongoing food service capacity in the context of catastrophic incidents by reviewing food service contracts, wet/dry food storage capacity, and supply chain limitations.
3. Coordinate with local first responders and surrounding institutions of higher education to review memoranda of understanding and related agreements for assistance during states of emergency.
4. If the institution uses the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to functionally manage mitigation, preparation, response and recovery, document the efforts.
5. Use the experience to remind affiliates of the importance of enrolling in the institution's emergency and mass notification system.
6. Review the institution's emergency management training, education and communications for faculty, staff and students.
7. Use the Hurricane Sandy experience to conduct a systematic after action review of the institution's response and recovery efforts with an eye on what can be learned to improve "the next time."
Margolis Healy and Associates, LLC is a professional services firm specializing in campus safety, security, and regulatory compliance for higher education. With more than 15 years each of providing consulting services to clients in the education, public and private sectors, Dr. Gary J. Margolis and Mr. Steven J. Healy have positioned MHA as a leading professional services firm for safety and security needs at universities and colleges.