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Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Academic Emergency and Disaster Management Degree Programs

NCJ Number
Journal of Security Education Volume: 1 Issue: 4 Dated: 2006 Pages: 39-49
Janet McClellan
Date Published
11 pages
This overview of higher education's response to the training and educational needs of the emerging field of emergency and disaster management explores the evolving associations between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and higher education.
One of FEMA's goals is to encourage and support the inclusion of emergency management-related education in colleges and universities across the United States. As of the fall of 2005, FEMA pursued this goal by providing a Web site under the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) governmental Web address. The Web site distributes reports and curricula that encourage higher education initiatives. FEMA does not, however, provide institutions of higher education with substantive support in the development of FEMA goals and objectives. FEMA and EMI, unlike other public service entities, have not received funding for the development of education/training programming. The outcomes of Hurricane Katrina should impress upon society in general and higher education in particular that there is a need to learn what human actions and inactions contributed to the failures and faults that magnified the number of Katrina's victims and the harms they experienced. Higher education programs--particularly those that focus on rescue, public service, the environment, public administration/government, political science, economics, and emergency and disaster management--should take the lead in learning from the past and preparing their graduates for the future. This paper describes the goals and objectives of the program of Emergency and Disaster Management at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton. SUNY's degree program in Emergency and Disaster Management is designed to prepare graduates for employment in this field and provide training and skill enhancement in emergency and disaster management for those already employed in business, industry, and government. 4 notes and 5 references