Hazard Mitigation Planning on Campus

The destructive power of severe storms can be immense. “Superstorm” Sandy and the intense winter storms that pounded the northeastern U.S. were a clear reminder that when a natural disaster strikes, we are all at its mercy. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to take more control of our fate and reduce the potential for damage from severe storms and other disasters if we plan ahead.

The University of Massachusetts System took that message to heart and obtained a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to write Hazard Mitigation Plans for four of its campuses.

Developing these plans requires analyzing the risks posed by various natural disasters and the vulnerabilities of each campus and developing a list of projects that can reduce those risks and vulnerabilities. The projects are prioritized and the plan becomes the basis of an ongoing hazard mitigation program. A Hazard Mitigation plan that has earned FEMA approval also opens the door to grant opportunities to fund project implementation.

UMass has undertaken the Hazard Mitigation Planning process because it believes it is the best way to protect students, faculty, and staff on its campuses. The fact that it makes them eligible for financial support is an added benefit.

This is just one example of an organization working to be better prepared. Across the country, other universities and communities are following the same path, and confirming the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Mary House Director of Technical Practices Environmental Services

View All Posts

Scroll back to top of the page