GCC Granted ‘Hub’ College Status in FEMA Community Preparedness Program

Friday, June 17, 2011

As the recent tornadoes in western Connecticut and Massachusetts showed so clearly, New England is not immune from natural disasters. Now Gateway Community College (GCC) will be an important partner in helping greater New Haven prepare for emergencies like tornadoes, which are often random and unpredictable, making an informed and prepared citizenry vitally important to residents’ survival and well-being.

GCC has been named a “hub” college under the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE)/ Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) Community College Citizen Preparedness Program (3CP2).
This designation will allow two staff members to participate in a 2½-day “Train-the-Trainer” program that will involve at least 80 staff members from 40 colleges each year.

Upon completion, participants will be qualified to teach a FEMA-approved two-hour 3CP2 Citizen Preparedness Course to students, faculty, employees and their families, as well as local businesses, community organizations and local governments served by the college and the public at large.

“We believe becoming a hub college for this program clearly supports Gateway’s educational mission,” said Vicki Bozzuto, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. “It also underscores our commitment to strengthen our community, engage our students and our fellow citizens and make Greater New Haven a better — and safer — place to live and work.”

The Citizen Preparedness Course curriculum will help participants learn how to preserve life and minimize injuries during and following a disaster. It will cover a wide variety of topics, including threat awareness and assessment and how to prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

GCC students and staff will participate in the course during fall and spring orientation each year. Other target groups in the college’s service area are families from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, families of first-generation college students, and English language learners.

In addition, 3CP2 training will enable hub colleges to perform a number of key tasks, including:

  • Assessing local disaster emergency needs;
  • Reviewing community capabilities to deal with disasters; and,
  • Developing partnerships with other community emergency preparedness organizations.

The opportunity for academic institutions to apply for hub college status is a result of a partnership between FEMA’s Citizen Corps and the American Association of Community Colleges, the goal of which is to promote and improve community emergency preparedness, disaster response and training for the public and volunteer service.