Grant to help prepare for threats

Missouri Southern became the only university or college in Missouri to receive a U.S. Department of Education Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant this year.

Friday, Oct. 1 Sandra Lovett, Southern Grant Writer, announced MSSU’s receipt of an EMHE grant in the amount of $401,981.

The EMHE grant program was created to provide resources to higher education institutions to prepare for many different disasters and threats.  The grant helps for development, improvement and integration of campus-based emergency management planning.

“We are very excited about this major grant that will help make our safe campus even better prepared for a variety of emergency contingencies,” Dr. Bruce Speck, University president said.  “I appreciate the many hours of work by our staff who have made this grant possible.  Universities are cities unto themselves, in many respects, with unique safety and security issues.  This grant will help us meet our obligations to our employees, students and visitors.”

The funds will be used to purchase equipment and provide training to better prepare the campus for natural disasters, chemical accidents, terrorist threats and other emergencies.  

“Recent threats to university campuses across the nation highlight the need to take additional steps to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Ken Kennedy, Chiefs of Campus Police and Director of the campus Public Safety Department said.

With the funds the University plans to accomplish several goals including: review, improvement and integration of a campus-wide all-hazards emergency management plan; training students, faculty and staff in emergency procedures; and development of a written plan with emergency protocols for medical, mental health, communication, mobility and emergency needs or other unique needs such as language barriers or cultural differences.

“This grant gives us significant resources to provide necessary training, create essential planning documents and secure critical emergency resources, such as emergency kits for all of our buildings,” Kennedy said.

Activities in grantee programs include: review and revision of existing emergency plans; conducting vulnerability assessments of campus facilities and grounds; organizing large-scale drills; and developing or enhancing behavioral threat assessment processes on campus.