Administrators, faculty, and staff are realizing that improving their campus’ resistance to disaster will not only protect their own lives and those of their students, it will also safeguard the campus’ instruction, research, and public service. Higher education institutions are themselves communities in many ways, and they can draw on important lessons from the efforts of counties and municipalities to reduce disaster risks...
Higher education institutions are engaged in and skilled at planning exercises for a wide range of issues; consequently, the addition or improvement of campus-based hazard mitigation planning will yield substantial benefits. Moreover, steps taken to become more disaster-resistant can complement the long-term sustainability of the campus and improve the overall quality of life.
· Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
· Build partnerships for risk reduction involving [stakeholders on and off campus];
· Identify long-term, broadly-supported strategies for risk reduction;
· Align risk reduction with other [institutional] objectives;
· Identify implementation approaches that focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
· Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.
From a truly pragmatic perspective, having a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan is a prerequisite for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. That alone would be reason enough.