Student challenge creates awareness for disaster prevention

BY BRITTANY BEVIS

SOU will host a “student challenge” to help promote emergency preparedness on campus. Projects will present proper procedures to use during a disaster. Winners will receive a $500 dollar check and have their project used for the university’s emergency preparedness promotion.

Students can present entries as posters, charts or interactive web activities. Last year’s winner created an informative video about the SOU alert system, which uses e-mail and telephones to alert students about possible dangers.

The contest is funded by a 2009 grant from the Federal Department of Higher Education and will end in April.  Students will then have the chance to showcase their work in a 30 minute panel presentation to communication, English, and art professors.

Although the contest is months away, three information sessions will be held this month for students to learn more about the contest.

“This award would be a great addition to any portfolio or resume,” said Disaster Preparedness Grant Director Heather Freiheit.

The first information session will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Hannon Library Room 329.

SOU will host a Community Emergency Response Team training course this winter and spring terms to further promote safety awareness. The Ashland Fire Department and CERT Director Richard Randalman will teach basic emergency response techniques to students.  The class will cover topics like light search and rescue, mapping evacuation routes, and rapid life saving.

Students have the option of taking the course for granted. Students wanting credit will have to complete online coursework in addition to the training.

More information about SOU’s emergency preparedness program can be found online at sou.edu/emergencypreparedness.

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