OCTOBER 19, 2005

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UCO officials meet to discuss weather preparedness

Officials from every corner of the University of Central Oklahoma gathered recently to discuss multiple aspects of the university’s plans in the event of severe weather, such as a tornado or flooding.

Representatives from the Department of Public Safety, Student Housing, Safety Management, Information Technology, Parking and Transportation, the Nigh University Center, Athletics, the Physical Plant, Student Affairs, University Relations and more all gathered to discuss a variety of actions that would be implemented if the campus were hit by severe weather or other disaster.

Also present was a representative of the Edmond Emergency Management Office to share ideas and plans with university officials.

“We met to discuss resources available and to remind the university community that we are prepared to both protect the people on campus and to ensure their needs are met through any kind of disaster,” said Jeff Harp, director of the UCO Department of Public Safety.

“Shelter, power outages, communications, injuries and potential medical needs and structural damage on campus are just a few of the things we discussed,” Harp said.

UCO is the first college or university in Oklahoma to receive a federal Disaster Resistant University grant to implement programs to reduce the risk of loss to students, faculty, facilities and research assets by disasters.

“If a community or institution is prepared for potential hazards, they can more successfully get through those hazards and recover with fewer government dollars to effect recovery,” said Dr. Don Powers, UCO disaster resistant university coordinator.

UCO is working with Edmond officials, county and state organizations, other colleges the public and the UCO community to identify likely hazards and reasonable mitigation measures that can be applied in the event of a disaster.

Contact: Charles Johnson, UCO News Bureau Director, 405.974.2315