Colleges Earn Emergency Preparedness Status

Sep 22, 2014

It's a new college recruitment tool: a logo that certifies a school as "Campus Ready" for an emergency; be it a natural disaster, or a violent situation, like a shooting.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken says student safety is a primary concern for parents when they send their kids off to college. 

Two Illinois schools have achieved the designation: Richland Community College in Decatur, and the University of Illinois's Urbana campus. 

Monken says the program is rigorous, and requires a student outreach component. "Far too many schools really make the mistake of thinking that students are just victims in whatever might potentially happen. When in reality, they're force multipliers. They need to be people that are involved in the education and awareness and training.” 

Nine Illinois schools went through the Campus Ready pilot program; Monken says several more of those should be ready for certification this fall. 

He says other campuses have expressed interest in the initiative, including Northern Illinois University.