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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Emergency Preparedness

When thinking about disaster preparedness and recovery, colleges and universities are no different than traditional businesses - they should not operate without a disaster plan. In developing your institution's plan, keep these three elements in mind: the human toll, physical resources, and business continuity. The following are resources to help you develop or refine your plan, respond to and recover from an emergency, and reduce risk through mitigation.


Business Officer Magazine Articles


  • Florida Atlantic University Continuity of Operations Plan
    This report contains the planning required to restore operations and maintain continuity of essential University functions, subsequent to an occurrence which results in damage to University facilities or interruption of services, support systems or the academic mission.
  • UC Ready 
    The University of California, Berkeley has made its robust web-based business continuity planning tool freely available to all colleges and universities.
  • Building a Disaster-Resistant University
    This report builds on the experiences of six universities to provide a how-to guide to help colleges and universities identify hazards, assess risks, and plan mitigation strategies.
  • FEMA Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry
    Download this step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes.
  • Partnerships in Preparedness - Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management
    In this four-volume compendium (1995 - 2000), FEMA compiles creative ways and means to better utilize the resources that are available at the Federal, State, and local levels of government, as well as in the private and volunteer sectors.

Model Campus Emergency Response Plans

The Disaster Resistant University Project is a matching grant program begun by FEMA as an outreach of that agency's Project Impact to help universities improve life safety and continuity of operations in the event of a natural disaster. Plans from two of the five institutions selected are listed below.

The following are additional plans or procedures, geared toward smaller colleges and universities.

Response and Recovery


Human Resources

Disaster Recovery Resources

  • Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages. This reference publication, compiled by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), is designed to assist in putting your organization back together after a crisis. A nationwide listing of over 2,000 vendors in over 180 categories such as drying and dehumidifying paper and microfilm records, smoke odor counteracting services, trauma counselors, emergency rental of computer equipment, etc.

Preparedness and Response for Libraries and Archives


Mitigation is the cornerstone of emergency management - it's the ongoing effort to lessen the impact disasters have on people and businesses.

FEMA Publications on Mitigation


Tadu Yimam
Director, Online Learning