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University to develop hazard mitigation plan


BLACKSBURG, Va., July 20, 2005 – Virginia Tech has begun the process of developing a University Hazard Mitigation Plan and will involve many members of the university community in the development of this important document.

The mitigation plan will identify hazards that affect the university, assess the university’s vulnerability and risk associated with the identified hazards, and recommend a course of action to eliminate, reduce, or manage the effects of the hazards on the university.

Over the course of its 133 year history, Virginia Tech has been subjected to both natural and man-made hazards. For example, three major floods occurred on campus in the past 60 years. Losses sustained during the last flood exceeded $4 million, excluding losses incurred due to loss of business. Man-made hazards, such as small-scale fires in campus buildings, continue to occur.

To address these and other risks, the university received a Disaster Resistant University grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a University Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan will be comprehensive in nature and will include natural hazards such as flooding, high winds, and winter storms. In addition, the plan will look at the vulnerability of the university to building fires and hazardous materials spills among other man-made hazards.

The university has convened a University Advisory Committee to develop the mitigation plan to help the university identify ways to protect its students, faculty and staff as well as the physical infrastructure of the campus. The committee welcomes all comments and suggestions as to specific hazards that affect people and how best Virginia Tech can reduce or manage the effects of such hazards and improve quality of life on campus.

Anyone who would like to be a part of this process, provide any information, or receive additional information about the University Hazard Mitigation Plan should contact Zachary Adams, co-director of Environmental Health and Safety, at (540) 231-5985 or adamsz@vt.edu.



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