The Disaster Resistant University (DRU) Project is a Federal Grant Program from FEMA
The mission of Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) Disaster Resistant University (DRU) Committee and the Office of Risk Management (ORM) is to protect the college’s assets from the consequences of loss posed by threats from all natural and man-made hazards as well as to serve as a resource to provide a safe, disaster-resistant college for campus stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders, including government, nonprofit, and private constituencies
In addition, the SWCC DRU Committee’s and ORM’s mission is to provide development and continuance of the SWCC DRU Plan by
• assisting the College in reducing its vulnerability to natural and manmade disasters
• implementing those pre-disaster mitigation actions that provide and insure the greatest benefit to the College’s stakeholders
• and assisting the College in achieving its purpose of teaching and public service by enhancing disaster safety, resistance, and resilience.
The ultimate goal is a safer college environment and experience while ensuring that any interruption to the College’s mission during a disaster and the subsequent recovery period is minimized.
Project Management Plan:
Project Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop the college’s mitigation plan using an all hazards approach to organize resources and conduct hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA). The final plan will be sufficient for VDEM and FEMA approval. This project will consist of three primary activities.
Project Scope: Activity 1 will consist of a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Based on past history and experience, the use of forecasting techniques, subject matter expert judgment, and available literature, a list of hazards of concern to the SWCC community will be developed.
The identified hazards will be given context by describing the conditions under which they might occur. By using time, season, potential location and other local factors to describe hazard conditions, SWCC can assess the community’s vulnerability to the various identified hazards.
Potential consequences to the SWCC community for each identified hazard will be estimated and then used to establish capability targets through the lens of national core capabilities. The results of the HIRA will be used to manage risk by identifying mitigation and preparedness activities.
The capability targets that are developed will be used to determine resource needs and identify resource gaps.
Project Scope: Activity 2 will consist of the prioritization and development of detailed hazard profiles. We will analyze collected data to determine which assets are subject to the greatest potential damages. This will aid in determining whether significant elements of the community are vulnerable to potential hazards. The analysis will also help determine whether certain areas of historic, environmental, political, or cultural significance are vulnerable to potential hazards. We will focus on particular hazards because of their severity, repetitiveness, or likelihood of occurrence. These data will help justify the expenditure of college or grant funds for mitigation initiatives.
Project Scope: Activity 3 will consist of the development of SWCC’s Mitigation Plan. During this activity, HIRA results will be reviewed with other local and regional plans to identify and develop mitigation goals, strategies, and projects. The goals, strategies and projects will be prioritized and then shared with public and private partners to solicit and receive feedback which will be used to improve the planning effort. The loss estimates form the foundation upon which to develop the college’s mitigation plan. With it, SWCC should be able to identify what areas of the campus are susceptible to each hazard, where the highest losses would occur, how much a hazard may cost were it to occur, and how the lives and quality of life at the college might be affected in the aftermath of a disaster. The plan contains a factual basis for developing a mitigation strategy for the college. These will be important data necessary to support future mitigation decisions.
Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) has been awarded the FEMA approved project titled “Disaster Resistant University Plan (DRU).”
Funding is provided through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Natural and man-made disasters have increased the number of injuries, deaths, property damage, and interruption of businesses, governmental organizations and educational institutions throughout the country. The initial DRU project for SWCC will utilize an all hazard approach to organize resources; conduct hazard identification and risk assessment; develop the college’s mitigation plan; and adopt and implement the plan.
SWCC’s service region is in an area that is subject to severe winter storms, flash floods, tornadoes, wild fires, mining disasters, earthquakes, transportation incidents, other man-made and technological hazards. The hazard mitigation plan will seek to identify the hazards, estimate the potential losses the SWCC could incur due to these hazards, and propose mitigation actions that could begin the process of reducing SWCC’s vulnerability.
“Hazard mitigation” is a phrase that describes actions taken to prevent or reduce the long-term risks to life and property from hazards. Pre-disaster mitigation actions are taken in advance of a hazard event and are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing the risk of loss.
The college will collaborate with both on and off campus stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, government (local, state, and federal), nonprofit and private constituencies to identify appropriate resources.