August 24,

National Center logo
The Weekly Snapshot                            
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.                       

Learn more about FEMA's 2016 National Preparedness Month.
September is National Preparedness Month
Emergencies can happen at any time, often with little or no notice, and come in many forms, from dormitory fires to severe weather to accidents. While we cannot normally control how, when, or where disasters occur, we are able to plan and prepare our campuses and ourselves before they do. September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM), a time to recognize the importance of preparedness, take action, and work together to enhance our resilience and readiness. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) national Ready campaign promotes being informed and taking specific actions to prepare for disasters and emergencies. Last year's National Preparedness Month (NPM) theme, "Don't Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today," returns this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth (especially teens), older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. Weekly themes have been established and offer graphics, videos, social media content, and related links to make sharing important preparedness information easier and ongoing throughout the month.
  • Week 1 (August 28-September 3): Promote NPM
  • Week 2 (September 4-10): Preparing Family and Friends
  • Week 3 (September 11-17): Preparing Through Service
  • Week 4 (September 18-24): Individual Preparedness
  • Week 5 (September 25-30): Lead-up to National PreparAthon! Day
In addition to the resources offered for NPM through FEMA, several other organizations are providing free information and materials in support of individual and community preparedness efforts this month.
  • 2016 National Seasonal Preparedness Messaging Calendar - Learn more about each topic month or week and get content to promote preparedness information all year.
  • Campus Ready - Colleges and universities serve as key emergency management partners to federal, state, local, tribal, territory, and private sector organizations during disasters. Through Campus Ready, FEMA provides planning, training, and resources for students, faculty, and staff, including those with access and functional needs. 
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response - This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website offers resources for protecting yourself and loved ones, including information on specific types of emergencies, for specific groups, and coping with disaster or traumatic events, as well as resources for emergency health professionals. 
  • Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response NPM - The CDC, in coordination with more than 3,000 national, regional, and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, is supporting emergency preparedness efforts during the month of September to include blog posts, social media messaging, Twitter chats, and graphics. The messaging will focus on a different topic each week: prepare globally, prepare to respond, prepare locally, prepare together, and prepare yourself. 
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) - In support of NPM, the NCTSN is offering disaster preparedness materials designed to help children, families, school personnel, and communities become more educated and prepared in the event of a disaster.
  • Weather-Ready Nation Initiative - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with FEMA and other agencies to help improve disaster readiness through campaigns such as NPM. Through this initiative, NOAA seeks to build individual and community resilience during extreme weather events.
  • Zombie Preparedness - According to the CDC, what first began as a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be an effective platform. Zombie Preparedness continues to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness. Visit the website for materials and ideas to share with your new and returning students.   
Visit the Ready campaign website and expand the sections for each week for access to resources and links.

Download the report.
Policing Off-Campus Communities at Institutions of Higher Education
College and university campuses are more than just places people go to learn. They are integral parts of their local communities, and they employ and serve populations that extend far beyond the student body. Many institutions of higher education (IHEs) embrace this role, and they spend substantial amounts of time, money, and effort giving back to the communities that surround them. For many IHEs, that contribution includes collaboration with local communities and law enforcement agencies around safety and security.
Last year, 18 campus public safety executives from 13 IHEs gathered to identify best practices in sharing campus law enforcement responsibilities with local partners and establishing and maintaining positive, supportive, and effective relationships with off-campus communities. The National Center for Campus Public Safety convened and facilitated this forum as part of our role to be a nationwide resource for addressing critical issues in campus safety. Throughout the day's discussions, a series of core principles emerged:
  • IHEs must do more to help local agencies understand the roles, responsibilities, and needs of their campus law enforcement agencies.
  • IHEs and local agencies must work together more to share crime information for the purpose of complying with the Clery Act and Title IX.
  • Campus and local law enforcement authorities that physically work together and formalize their expectations of each other are better positioned to meet overall campus and community expectations.
Participants identified pressing coordination challenges local and campus law enforcement agencies face and accompanying recommendations regarding best practices to address those challenges. Download the full report (PDF). 

September is Campus Fire Safety Month
As students arrive on campus in August, some for the first time, it is important to provide them with information about how quickly a fire can occur and spread. Campus Fire Safety Month is a nationwide effort that began in 2005 to raise awareness and educate students about campus-related housing fires. August and September are typically the most dangerous times for campus fires as many students have not received any fire safety education since elementary school.
Campus Firewatch is a widely recognized authority on campus fire safety issues that started out in 2000 as a monthly, electronic newsletter focusing on the complex issues of campus fire safety. Campus Firewatch has since evolved into a robust "social enterprise" working to improve fire safety at schools and in communities, according to founder and publisher Ed Comeau.
For the first time since Campus Firewatch began collecting data on college-related fires, there were no fire-related deaths in the 2015/2016 academic year. Comeau reports, "Since a high of 20 in 2006/2007, fire deaths have been steadily going down, with four fire deaths in both of the preceding academic years (2013/2014 and 2014/2015) ...Since 2005, every fire death has occurred in off-campus housing where a majority of the students live, making off-campus housing an at-risk environment for students."
Between 2000 and 2014, 170 people died in campus-related fires with 80% of these deaths occurring in off-campus housing. Given this, and other compelling statistics, a greater emphasis has been placed on reaching out to students who reside off-campus. Educating these students about common factors in off-campus fires is key to reducing deaths. Critical educational factors include:
  • Lack of automatic sprinklers
  • Missing or disabled smoke alarms
  • Improper disposal of smoking materials (cigarettes are the leading cause of fatal fires)
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption
  • Fires originating on upholstered furniture on decks or porches
Download the updated off-campus housing fire safety checklist (PDF).
Additional resources are available from other leading organizations in campus fire safety:  

Access our online calendar of events.
Professional Development Opportunities
Title: Building Body-Worn Camera Program Policies
Organization: The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC)
Date:  August 25, 2016 at 2:00PM ET
Location:  Online      
Fee:  Free
Title: Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response, and Recovery (MGT-324)
Organization: National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT)
Dates: September 20-21, 2016
Location: Blue Lake, CA
Fee:  Free
Title: Campus Fire Forum 2016
Organization: The Center for Campus Fire Safety
Dates: November 2-4, 2016
Location: Mesa, AZ
Fee: Registration Fee

Have a Request?     
Send us your requests for campus safety information and resources. We're happy to help!

Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Institute
Join us for one of our next scheduled Institutes!

   Emerging Issues 
Reports from our emerging issues forums can be downloaded.  


This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
Margolis Healy logo