Hazard mitigation plans needed; process debuts March 17

Every W/SU facility, campus or extension office will soon be part of a systemwide predisaster hazard mitigation plan, explains Christopher Tapfer, WSU emergency management coordinator. For that plan, the first formal outreach to the county Extension Office system will be through a videostream Web broadcast on Friday, March 17.

“This is the start of the process,” Tapfer said. 

Through the planning process, Tapfer hopes to identify hazards specific to all WSU properties statewide. The hazards can come from many sources, including volcanoes, terrorist attacks, hazardous materials spills, and floods. 

“We expect the result will be an over-arching plan that will indicate how WSU can effectively invest in hazard mitigation projects,” Tapfer said. “Once our plan is approved, we are eligible for federal or state funding to complete the plan.”

He provided an example of a WSU building constructed in a flood plain.  Identification of the problem and suggested protection for that building would be included in the mitigation plan. Following the completion of the plan, if the building was then protected, there would be reduced loss if a flood occurred.

Tapfer described the March 17 broadcast meeting as an effort to gain assistance in identifying local hazards and to begin to educate the public about local hazards. He said there is no preparation required for those attending the meeting.

The March 17 broadcast will be of a panel discussion of the project before a live audience from 10 to 11am in FSHN T-101 on the Pullman campus. The broadcast will be available via videostreaming from http://caheinfo.wsu.edu using RealPlayer of WindowMedia player. 

The panel will include Tapfer, Linda Fox, dean of WSU Extension, Mike Gaffney and Nick Lovrich of the Division of Governmental Studies and Services.

Tapfer will reply to questions by email at <tapfer@wsu.edu> or phone at 509-335-7471.

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