Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the compliance of colleges and universities in the United States with nationally published guidelines by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Education for emergency and disaster preparedness at institutions of higher education. Methods: A questionnaire was electronically distributed to the director of security personnel of 1167 institutions between January 2010 and August 2011. Results: Two hundred twenty-three questionnaires were available for analysis. Although 96% of the institutions had an official emergency and disaster plan, 10% do not practice the plan, 27% have not conducted tabletop exercises, and 20% do not perform after-action reports. Ninety-two percent of the institutions have a campus-wide communication system. Approximately half of the institutions include disaster preparedness as part of student/faculty employment orientation. Sixteen percent of the institutions have not included their local fire/police/emergency medical services in the development and implementation of their plan, and 31% of the institutions have not discussed preparedness with their local hospital. Whereas 96% of the institutions have established evacuation procedures, 19% have never practiced these procedures, 24% have not designated safe locations on campus, 44% have not designated safe locations in the surrounding community, and 50% do not have methods of transportation in the event of a campus-wide evacuation. Conclusions: Although most of the institutions in our study reported having an emergency and disaster plan based on national recommendations, areas for improvement were identified.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine