-Illinois
5:54 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Illinois Universities To Practice Disaster Plans

Credit state of Illinois

Universities will have to go beyond creating a disaster plan, they'll have to practice implementing it. The schools are participating in a new Illinois Emergency Management Agency program. Five years ago - five students were killed when a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University. Don Kauerauf heads the Illinois Terrorism Task Force:

"We feel that the campuses provide their own, unique opportunities.  Some of these campuses in Illinois are almost their own cities.  And they really don't fall - specifically - under a community planning. They have their own police departments, they have their own outreach programs." - Don Kauerauf

Kauerauf says the year-long Campus Ready program will include a risk and threat assessment. It takes into account a school's location near a highway or nuclear power plant, and if it's prone to flooding.

Participating colleges are:

Augustana College (Rock Island), Columbia College (Chicago), Heartland Community College (Normal), Parkland College (Champaign), Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills), Richland Community College (Decatur), Southeastern Illinois College (Harrisburg), Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), and the University of Illinois (Urbana/Champaign).