For immediate release: April 17, 2007
BLOOMSBURG — Area residents and members of the campus community are invited to attend a meeting on the Disaster Resistant University Grant Project Monday, April 23, at 1:30 p.m. in the Schweiker Room of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Andruss Library.
The meeting, designed to gain information that will help BU plan for long-term risks from hazards, will be conducted by Peter Kroll, project manager of URS Corp., Pittsburgh. Kroll plans to review the results of the earlier disaster identification process, discuss the draft risk assessment and, with input from those attending, select three on-campus buildings where a detailed assessment of human-caused hazards will be conducted.
To comply with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, BU must formulate a plan that is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The plan, referred to as a hazard mitigation plan, will include input on the natural and human-caused hazards, such as flash floods, winter storms and hazardous material release, that may have the greatest effect on the university. With a plan in place, BU will be eligible for federal aid for technical assistance and post-disaster funding.
Hazard mitigation refers to actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property from hazards. Actions taken in advance of a hazard event are designed to break the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated damage and can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing the risk of loss.
The hazard mitigation planning process consists of:
- Public involvement through a series of meetings.
- Identification of hazards that could affect the university.
- Assessment of the university’s vulnerability to these hazards in terms of the number of structures and people affected.
- Identification of mitigation actions that can reduce the risk from these hazards.
- Development of an implementation strategy identifying roles and responsibilities.
At BU, members of the Disaster-Resistant University Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee are preparing the plan that will guide the university toward greater disaster resistance and be part of ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable university community.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.