Minnesota School of Business-Blaine (MSB) Criminal Justice Program Chair Joe Vanasse and students from his Evidence-Based Corrections class registered for and are taking part in America’s PrepareAthon, which is a campaign presented by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), falling under the Department of Homeland Security. The campaign is a community-based initiative, and, to date, over five million people in thousands of organizations across the nation are participating and MSB-Blaine is one of them.
The campaign, ‘…is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises’ (FEMA). A harsh reminder of why this campaign is so important was in the national media spotlight recently, with the more than 30 tornado-related deaths in the southern states. As the Midwest enters the season of weather uncertainty, preparedness is imperative.
In response, criminal justice students created and will disseminate pamphlets which outline both proactive and reactive measures in the case of severe weather, and will then have a voluntary applied learning opportunity to play a vital role in an upcoming drill at the Blaine campus.
As a corrections class, students will take this stellar learning opportunity one step further and will add to the experience and knowledge of preparedness by visiting the Minnesota Correctional Facility located in Lino Lakes, which is within several miles of a tornado that touched down in May, 2008 in Hugo, Minnesota. At this facility, students will learn how the prison officials prepare for and respond to severe weather threats to keep inmates and personnel safe.
“I’m excited to learn about severe weather procedures at a prison,” said criminal justice student Jesup Stude. “It isn’t something many people think about and provides an interesting twist on the subject and ties in to our class very well!”
As for MSB-Blaine, student Sierra Washington says that she takes “…great pride in being able to help prepare other students, faculty and staff how to respond in case of a weather emergency.”