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Volume 31, Issue 1

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Sunday, 18 November 2007 06:16

Crisis Management Planning: An Essential Component of Campus Safety

Written by  Michael D. Ballard, Susan M. Smith, Horace F. Johnson, Jr., and James Range

Each year colleges and universities across the United States must respond to a myriad of natural, man-made, or technological disasters. According to government sources, "in the United States the cost of all natural disasters has doubled in the past decade, from nearly $25 billion a year to $50 billion a year" (Parfit, 1998). During the 1998 spring semester, Western Kentucky University (WKU), was forced to respond following the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, hail storms, torrential rains, and accompanying flash flooding that affected the local community and severely impacted the campus and its ability to execute its educational mission.Thursday, April 16, 1998 began as a typical day in the lives of 13,664 college students and 1,529 faculty and staff at WKU in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This changed, during the afternoon hours, when tornadoes touched down and severe thunder storms struck the area. The storm system that passed through the