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UMFK to host satellite broadcast session to help local schools be better prepared for possible terrorism event

January 31, 2003

NR03016

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host an informative, hour-long satellite broadcast session that will look at the issue of school terrorism on Wednesday, February 5, at 2:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

The program, which is being offered by the Emergency Education Network of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is aimed at helping local school districts better prepare themselves for a possible terrorism event.

Incorporated into the broadcast will be highlights of an exercise conducted by FEMA in May 2002 in Dutchess County, New York. Coordinators hope to use lessons from the simulation to provide valuable information on how local community and school officials can benefit from staging similar exercises to test available resources.

Suggestions will be provided on various types of exercises and drills that schools can conduct or participate in, and how the schools can manage and evaluate the exercises. Also discussed will be the relationship of school emergency planning and community emergency planning and coordination.

"This will be a very valuable session for local school and community officials. The information provided will help better prepare local communities in the event of a tragic occurrence. More importantly, for a small rural area like the St. John Valley and Aroostook County, the session will elaborate on how school and community groups can collaborate to more effectively and efficiently respond to a possible disaster," said Allen Shoaff, UMFK assistant professor of rural public safety administration.

Shoaff is encouraging students in his public safety degree program to attend this workshop, along with students in UMFK's education program. The UMFK professor has a long and distinguished career in the area of public safety.

The session is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Shoaff at 834-7563.