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Disaster recovery considerations for academic institutions

Dominic M. Beggan (Department of Political Science, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how an academic institution may more effectively respond to a disaster. In this particular situation the issues are being investigated in the context of a hurricane event. From 2005 to 2008 two hurricanes directly hit Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. This paper examines the impact Hurricane Ike, the latter of these hurricanes, had on this academic institution. This research shares valuable insight into the vulnerabilities confronting academic institutions during natural disasters and highlights the lessons learned.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a practitioner paper which applies survey data and qualitative interviews of key decision makers.

Findings

Success in the aftermath of this disaster required serious consideration and forethought in institutional preparedness and continuity planning. Specifically, success relied on adequately prioritizing the recovery effort, effectively addressing communication and financial concerns, fostering administrative empowerment in the decision process, and devoting sufficient consideration to the development of alternative academic calendars.

Practical implications

The paper identifies issues of practical significance which academic institutions should consider when developing emergency plans related to natural disasters.

Originality/value

This paper contains new information about the impact of a natural disaster on an academic institution. The issues addressed are of value to comparable institutions in the process of developing their response and recovery plans.

Keywords

Citation

Beggan, D.M. (2011), "Disaster recovery considerations for academic institutions", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 413-422. https://doi.org/10.1108/09653561111161734

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited