A Disaster Strikes Central City. What’s the Plan?

Jonathan Ehret and Chase Worthington

This is the question contemplated by EKU homeland security students recently during a joint disaster management exercise conducted with the Madison County Kentucky Emergency Management Agency.

Students enrolled in two EKU disaster management courses worked with county and university personnel in thinking through problems and alternatives if an earthquake happened to devastate a populated area in the United States. The exercise combined all facets of response and recovery into one exercise for the students’ benefit.

Dr. Joanne McGlown, Assistant Professor at EKU stated, the “Students have performed in progressive disaster management skill development through in-class exercises over the semester. Starting with a chemical release Shelter-in-Place drill, and culminating with the four hour simulated earthquake disaster, the students now have real-life experience addressing the problems and critical issues they may face as they work in the fields of emergency and disaster management.”

In the photo above, students Jonathan Ehret and Chase Worthington are using a map of Central City and reported damages to craft initial response measures. The Madison County Emergency Operations Center provides state-of-the-art technologies to support planning for all phases of emergency management.

In the photo above, students Jonathan Ehret and Chase Worthington are using a map of Central City and reported damages to craft initial response measures. The Madison County Emergency Operations Center provides state-of-the-art technologies to support planning for all phases of emergency management.  

 

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In the picture above, student Charles Patrick is role playing an appointed official in Central City while briefing on the objectives for the extended response to the earthquake, which would entail reconstituting infrastructure and caring for displaced residents.

 

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Pictured above (and looking well beyond the near horizon), Kevin Hagerman, Jacob Peoples, Taylor Cochran, and Matt Thomas are hard at work identifying and evaluating long-term community recovery projects, some of which may take months and years to implement.  

 

Working in teams, the students got a firsthand look at the different emergency support functions required and the tasks and responsibilities associated with each role. Equally beneficial is the opportunity to interact with county officials and other professionals in the field. “It’s incredibly valuable for the students to connect with people in the field and work through these processes. We are fortunate to have professionals in Richmond who want to share their knowledge and experiences,” says Dr. Chad Foster, an assistant professor at EKU.

 

For more information on the EKU Homeland Security program, visit www.homelandsecurity.eku.edu.

For more information on the Disaster Management minor / certificate within the EKU Homeland Security program, visit:  http://homelandsecurity.eku.edu/disaster-management-concentration

Published on May 03, 2017

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