STARKVILLE, Miss.--A series of public meetings over the next several months will invite comments and suggestions as Mississippi State, local and state officials work toward the university's designation as a Disaster-Resistant University.
Co-chaired by Kacey Strickland and Jim Jones, the effort is under the auspices of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning. Strickland is MSU's director of regulatory compliance; Jones, director of sustainability and campus planning.
Funding is provided through a grant to IHL by the Mississippi Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management agencies. "The goal is to involve stakeholders and ensure that universities have appropriately identified, prepared for, and, to the extent possible, mitigated potential man-made and natural hazards," Strickland explained.
More information about the effort will be made available Feb. 18 during the first session at the Franklin Center for Furniture Manufacturing and Management, located on the western edge of campus at 100 Blackjack Road. The come-and-go sessions will take place 3-7 p.m.
The DRU designation promotes a proactive approach to reducing and managing a university's vulnerability to hazards, Jones said. "It ensures that universities have conducted a detailed analysis of potential hazards and ways to minimize them, as well as involving the necessary local officials and agencies in planning appropriate responses."
The Feb. 18 event is featuring a series of visual displays explaining the scope and mission of the project, as well as campus personnel who can answer questions and take comments. It will be first of four to be held through September.
In addition to various campus units, the committee includes representatives from the Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Agency, City of Starkville, county and city law enforcement agencies, Oktibbeha County Hospital, and response agencies such as the Red Cross.