MSU becomes 5th university in nation accredited in emergency planning

EAST LANSING, Mich. — After more than a two-year process spearheaded by MSU Police that included creating and revising thousands of pages of emergency plans with individuals from across campus, Michigan State University has become the fifth higher education institution in the nation to become accredited in emergency planning.

MSU is just the second entity in the state, the other being the state of Michigan, to receive the prestigious designation from EMAP, the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. EMAP is an independent nonprofit that has established and maintains credible standards in emergency planning. Organizations can apply to begin the accreditation process.

MSU’s Emergency Management Unit helps the university prepare for, anticipate and react to crises and emergencies, from natural disasters to active violence situations. The university’s accreditation efforts were led by Capt. Penny Fischer, who pulled together an advisory and planning committee that included more than 25 professionals from across the university.

That committee met regularly beginning in fall 2015, reviewing plans, developing and participating in drills/exercises, conducting training and evaluating MSU’s submission to EMAP. An on-campus accreditation review was held in early 2017.

The next steps, according to Fischer, will include training sessions for leadership and planning more drills in 2018 to keep MSU at the forefront of emergency management.

“A successful emergency management program requires planning, training, exercising and constant evaluation,” she said. “It is anticipated that exercises to test our plans in 2018 will build on lessons learned from our full-scale campus exercise from August 2017.”

That exercise focused on a campus-wide response to an arson and chemical release in a residence hall. For more information on MSU Police’s Emergency Planning Unit, please visit http://police.msu.edu/field-services-bureau/support-services-division/emergency-management/.