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"First Response" in the Educational Environment (Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, 2012)

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Center for Civic Engagement

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of "First Response" in the Educational Environment (Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, 2012)

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) Response The Disaster Hits Phase II: Dealing With Disaster Phase I: Immediate Response Course: Community in Recovery Phase III: Ongoing Community Rebuilding "First Response" in the Educational Environment: An Immediate Learning Opportunity Following a Natural Disaster Outcomes Community in Recovery: Southern Tier NY after the Flood of September 2011 Why? Following flood disaster, students, faculty & staff felt confusion, fear, despair, and helpless
While thousands provided service, many felt a need to really understand
Decided to offer a course to increase students’ understanding and sense of empowerment
Residents needed help to survive and recover from the community catastrophe
Important opportunity to apply the best the University has to offer to help our community-faculty expertise, student assistance, and other resources Course Structure Instructors: Dr. Allison Alden & Dr. Donald Loewen

Format: Service-learning internship with 6 seminar sessions & 30 hours of required community service; 2 credits; pass/fail

Time frame: October 12-November 16, 2011

Open to public and other faculty, students & staff
25,000 people in Binghamton lose power
State of Emergency declared
Mandatory evacuations begin
Emergency Shelters established
Relevant state officials are deployed to assist with emergency response efforts
New York Army and Air National Guard helicopters are sent to assist with evacuations
600 State Police Officers also deployed to affected areas
20,000 people are evacuated from their homes in Binghamton
1,900 people housed in Emergency Shelters at Binghamton University for 2 weeks
Dozens of nurses and students from the University’s Decker School of Nursing volunteer to care for evacuees
Sodexo Food Services supplies free food to emergency shelters
Office of Residence Life provides emergency housing for off-campus Binghamton University students affected by flooding
Campus offices, departments and student groups hold dozens of service events The CCE starts developing a process for managing and disseminating flood-related information
Student/faculty/staff volunteers are directed to the Events Center and West Gym shelters to assist evacuees Binghamton University Response Binghamton University Response (con't) Course: Community in Recovery Course: Community in Recovery Objectives 1. Provide current information on how to assist community members who had been impacted by the flood Objectives
3. Promote and recruit volunteers for the events and activities developed by staff, faculty and students Information Acquisition & Verification Guiding Students Clean Up Crews:
Recruitment & Coordination Formal Course Goals Educate students about community disasters and their vital roles in helping with recovery efforts
Help students cope with uncontrollable events through understanding and action (empowerment)
Assist community members with flood recovery Seminar Topics
• Psychological Impacts of Natural Disasters
• Socio-Economic Implications
• Emergency Response & Recovery
• Implications of Flooding Factors &
Environmental Impact
• NGO Response to Community Crises
• Leadership During Crises Service At least 30 hours of community service related to flood recovery required
direct service to individuals
resource drive
support to community organization or agency
Service opportunities provided by CCE
Flood recovery webpage
Class announcements
Student-initiated projects Seminar Presenters 8 BU faculty/staff members used expertise and research to frame issues from a variety of different disciplines
11 community professionals from local government, churches, state and county agencies, United Way, foundation, Red Cross, and other non-profits spoke about the disaster and response within local context
2 students

For example, Dr. Steven Lynn discussed his research on the psychological impacts on victims of disasters & Keith Leahey, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, explained the strategies used to reach out to and counsel local residents. Assignments 1-2 assigned readings per seminar (selected by faculty)
Students reflected on new information and their experiences through class discussions, short response papers that corresponded with seminars, and final paper (application of what they learned)

Final Paper: Imagine that it's 2021. You have graduated and taken a job in Broome County as the newly appointed County Disaster Commissioner. On August 31, Hurricane Jake hits the east coast and the local rivers flood to the September 2011 level. As County Disaster Commissioner, you must outline your plan for the immediate response to the flood as well as the longer term recovery.
Develop a document that explains how the community should respond to the crisis. Base your plan on what you learned ten years earlier in the 2011 "Community in Recovery" internship course class sessions and readings, and take into account your own experiences as a volunteer. Include answers to the questions in the following four areas in your paper as you describe your plan to help people in the crisis and then after the flood waters recede (immediate response, volunteers, application of lessons learned, partners). Challenges Setting course up quickly
Into registration system
Classroom space
Speakers (faculty & professionals)
Course promotion
Tracking service hours
Having students start service early in semester Course Management
Responding to media requests Outcomes
Student reflections gathered during class & from papers indicate that:
course was successful in helping students understand natural disasters and impact on communities
students gained better understanding of crucial role of volunteers in recovery efforts
students reported feeling more empowered and better connected to community
many reported that course and especially community service were life-altering experiences
some indicated that they were considering changing their majors based on this experience

Based on experience with toy drive:
"One person REALLY can make a difference!" Course: Community in Recovery 50 students registered
About 20-25 other visitors at seminars
Nearly perfect seminar attendance
All students completed at least 30 hours of community service (many completed over 40)
Total of about 2,000 hours of service
At least 5 student-initiated projects Outcomes (cont.) 2. Assist with student-initiated activity design and development to address community needs and ensure that the resources and/or assistance produced by student-initiated activities addressed genuine community needs 4. Serve as the liaison between campus personnel, students, and the wider community
Rain finally subsides
Schools, roads & bridges remain closed
Evacuations continue

City of Binghamton estimates that 2,000 buildings are severely damaged, projected cost= $1,000,000,000 September 8, 2011 (con't) September 7, 2011 September 8, 2011 Gov. Cuomo requests emergency and major disaster declarations from federal government
The New York National Guard sends 350+ troops and 44 vehicles September 9, 2011 Broome County Emergency Response Center
NY Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Flood Control Center
Weekly Meetings with BC-COAD (Broome County Community Organizations Active in Disasters) Information Management Information Management (cont.) 5 Point Plan 1. CCE Flood Recovery Web Site:
With assistance from the Communications and Marketing office a comprehensive flood recovery website was launched (www.binghamton.edu/cce/flood-recovery/) by the second week following the disaster. 2. Special Edition Newsletters:
The weekly CCE e-newsletter, “Campus and Community Connections”, was re-formatted to address flood recovery needs and sent out as a separate Flood Recovery Issue starting September 15th. 3. Social Media Outreach
Social Media & Marketing Interns posted frequent and regular updates to Facebook, Twitter 4. CCE Weekly Radio Show
CCE Graduate Assistant hosts half-hour weekly public service show on student radio station (WHRW 90.5fm) dedicated to CCE activities. 5. Traditional On-Campus Communications
b-line, Dateline, fliers hung on bulletin boards, Service Ambassadors Partner Collaboration in
Johnson City Developmental process
Identified campus & community partners
Provided support with planning, logistics, event
promotion, volunteer recruitment

At least 20 resource drives (food, money, clothing, furniture, household items) were held on campus. In conjunction with community partners:
Identified projects (homes, businesses, nonprofits)
Provided training, materials, support
Student teams cleaned out water-logged belongings, removed destroyed appliances, shoveled contaminated mud from cellars, power washed walls and floors, applied decontamination chemicals, and consoled people Volunteers were recruited via:
CCE Newsletter
Social Media, Web Site
Word of Mouth Masks, gloves, Purell provided by Broome County Emergency Response (from Red Cross)
Training by Southern Baptist Conference
Transportation by Broome County Council of Churches
Project identification & supervision by NOAH
Lunch and water by Presbyterian Church

CCE student clean up teams worked 9 weekends in a row, many other groups coordinated their own clean up efforts Established in Sept. 2010
Campus-wide hub
Works with students, student groups, staff, faculty, alumni
Purpose is to expand University's involvement in the community
Spent our first year building the organizational and communications infrastructure Center for Civic Engagement Broome County COAD
New York Campus Compact Education Award Program
Southern Tier Regional Volunteer Center Board
Ongoing relationships with nonprofits, churches and community organizations 1,100 students volunteer at Emergencey Shelter
20+ resource drives conducted
140+ bags of clothing collected
Thousands of $ worth of food collected
40+ events coordinated (including many fundraisers for Broome Co. United Way)
275+ students volunteer to clean out homes
$7,000+ raised by students
10,000+ hours of service contributed
Many faculty engaged students in flood recovery via courses (service-learning and otherwise) cce.binghamton.edu
cce@binghamton.edu QUESTIONS? Find this presentation at www.prezi.com
Search: "First Response" in the Educational Environment September 6, 2011 Tropical Storm Lee hits NY's Southern Tier
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