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The NDSU Ready Campus Initiative is funded by the Department of Education (ED)  Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant program. This competitive grant is awarded only to Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) which exhibit a progressive vision for the integration of emergency management practices into their operational structures and demonstrate the capabilities and drive to successfully execute goals and objective unique to each IHE’s established needs.

The overall objectives of the Ready Campus Initiative at NDSU are to:

  • Increase the number of staff and faculty with NIMS training;
  • Complete a comprehensive emergency management plan for the institution;
  • Conduct a series of exercises to test plan assumptions;
  • Integrate emergency management policies into University publications and communication channels;
  • Implement a four-phase plan of prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery that will include Continuity of Operations Plans, and extensive collaboration with community partners; and,
  • Provide easily scalable emergency management ideas, plans, and practices for local, state, and national IHE’s that have not had the localized capabilities to develop planning initiatives.

Visit ED EMHE for additional information.  

Grant oversight is offered dually by the NDSU Department of Emergency Management and the NDSU University Police and Safety Office. This structure ensures all objectives and goals are both theoretically driven and practically applied.


The Higher Education/Practice Link

The Ready Campus Initiative has provided an opportunity to connect emergency management higher education and practice in several ways.

  • The Department of Emergency Management and University Police and Safety Office collaborated to secure the grant and increase awareness of the need for emergency management on campus.
  • The Ready Campus Initiative team has relied heavily on the emergency management literature and research when approaching and carrying out grant-related activities.
  • Emergency management graduate students have applied what they have learned in their coursework in practice through four grant-funded part-time positions.

New Ready Campus Initiative Training Opportunities

The Ready Campus Initiative has added two training and planning assistance opportunities available to staff, faculty and administration to make the campus safer for students, staff, faculty, administrators and visitors.

The opportunities are as follows:

"Scale-to-Fit" Strategic Emergency Training
Overview: To better prepare our Staff and Faculty, the Ready Campus Initiative Team is available to develop department centric "Scale-to-Fit" strategy sessions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  1. Armed Intruder/Active Shooter
  2. De-Escalation of Violent Behavior in the Workplace
  3. Emergency Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place Procedures
  4. Natural Hazard Procedures (Fire, Tornado, Winter Weather

Suggested Audiences:
Executive: Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Chairs.
Staff and Faculty: Department Staff, Faculty, Principal Investigators and Supervisors.
Students: Student Groups or organizations.
Open: Applicable to all members of the university community.

"Scale-to-Fit" Emergency Planning:
Overview: The RCI Team will meet with staff, faculty and administrators to assist with hazard identification and emergency plan development.

If interested in taking advantage of the above training opportunities please fill out and submit the ***RCI Training Request Form via campus mail (Send to: Department 3300, P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo ND 58108-6050) or electronically (Via email to: If you would like more information on the above offerings or would like to suggest additional topics please contact Dustin Jensen at 701.231.8598 or via email at

Ready Campus Initiative Activities

In addition to facilitating the development of an Emergency Operations Plan for the campus, the Ready Campus Initiative has conducted activities in campus awareness, training, exercises, and certifications.

Campus Awareness

  • Developed detailed evacuation maps for use in NDSU Campus facilities
  • Placed NOAA Weather radios in all NDSU buildings
  • Developed Hazard Specific Public Service Announcements for university publications (e.g. The Spectrum, Bison Information Network, and Thunder Radio)
  • Assisted with dissemination of NDSU Personal Safety and Security Hand-books and Emergency Action Guides


Thus far the RCI has had the opportunity to provide open trainings to NDSU Students, Staff, Faculty and Community/Regional Partners on topics pertinent to emergency management.

Open trainings:

RCI also continues to provide ongoing closed trainings to the NDSU Crisis Management Response Team (CMRT) with the goal of increasing the salience of the Emergency Management Continuum and focusing on specific activities each department should accomplish during each phase.

Closed training activities by EM phase include:

  • Mitigation Measures and Interrupt Alternative Training
  • Preparedness Activities Responsive Procedure Identification
  • Recovery Measures (COOP)


The RCI has had the opportunity to conduct a series of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant Drills, Table Tops, and Functional Exercises to test planning initiative assumptions and potential knowledge gaps.


StormReady Campus Certification: Department of Commerce (NOAA/NWS) Hazardous Weather Planning.

 Ready Campus Summit

The Ready Campus Initiative (RCI) sponsored the Ready Campus Summit for Higher Education on Thursday September 30 and Friday October 1, 2010. The free conference focussed on the importance of comprehensive emergency planning efforts and relationship building within a Higher Education framework. The conference also provided attendees with helpful planning strategies and materials to better protect lives, property, and sustain operations during a campus crisis. More than 80 individuals representing emergency management and higher education from 27 institutions/organizations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana attended. 

Ready Campus Initiative Contact

Carol Cwiak, Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Management
North Dakota State University
Department 2351
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, North Dakota 58108-6050
PH. (701)-231 – 5847


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:48:42 PM
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