Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Emergency Management and Business Continuity at Universities - An Amazing Lecture

When is the last time that you sat at the edge of your seat listening to a guest lecture?!

This morning, I had the privilege and honor of hosting Mr. Jeff Hescock, the Director for Emergency Management and Business Continuity at UMass Amherst. This is just one of his titles since he also continues in his role at the President's Office (the UMass President, that is, Dr. Robert Caret, who oversees our 5 campuses).

Mr. Hescock was a guest lecturer in my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class at the Isenberg School and today he spoke on Emergency Management.
 His lecture was so fascinating that I asked him for permission to post his slides, which he gave, and which you can download and view here.

Mr. Hescock spoke on the various phases of emergency management and then discussed his experiences after the Boston marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, when it became known that one of the suspects was a UMass Dartmouth student. He spoke on the evacuation of that campus and also on the ultimate capture and arrest in Watertown and how Boston and surrounding areas were, literally, on lockdown. I will never forget this terrorist attack and blogged about it since I knew two runners at the marathon and also Dr. Pierre Rouzier, a UMass Amherst doctor, who has assisted in multiple Boston marathons, was at that one, too, and saved lives. He will be speaking to my students in my class later this month.

Mr. Hescock spoke about how important it is to protect the academics, research, and reputation of a university and the roles that emergency management plays in these. We learned so much from him and how he acts as a coordinator with student services, housing, food services, UMass police, etc., in the case of an emergency. He spoke about "table-top" planning and scenario exercises and also real-life simulations.. There will be a shelter simulation at the Mullins Center in April and we hope to be able to attend and experience that.

Interestingly, he also spoke about grant-writing in order to cover costs of various training exercises, which are so important. I also found it fascinating to hear him speak about cybersecurity -- clearly critical for business conitnuity in a university.

If you have a chance, do look at his presentation.

The photos below were taken this morning during and post his lecture.
 Many, many thanks to Mr. Hescock for sharing with us today his incredible expertise and practical know-how in keeping universities safe and secure.