Page 19 - IU Southeast Summer 2012 Mag

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IU Southeast
Summer 2012 17
From top: IU’s Regional Campus Director for Emergency Management and Continuity Joe Romero
surveys damage in Marysville.
The former Henryville Auto Body Shop.
Diane Mack, IU’s Director of Emergency Management and Continuity, headed the Emergency
Operations Center.
Water bottles collected for distribution to victims.
The public information officers at the command center.
Henryville Jr./Sr. High School received extensive damage.
operations. The state team, including
the IU directors, was on the ground
in Henryville for nine straight days.
Romero and Garcia stayed on for just
under two weeks.
The Henryville tornado was the first
time that IMAT was deployed. It proved
to be a critical success.
“This is the smartest and most effective
use of assets that the state has created,”
Garcia said. “The primary success is
owed to the fact that we had this state
team and used it to the full extent.”
Lessons learned
Henryville is just 11 miles from the
IU Southeast campus, and several
students, staff, and faculty members
were affected. IU Southeast offered
various means of assistance to affected
students, such as grants to replace
books and supplies, and help with
tuition. Nineteen students accepted the
offer and were given assistance specific
to their situation.
As Mack and her team closely
monitored the weather on March 2,
they kept IU Southeast in their sights.
If the tornado had struck IU Southeast,
they would have come to campus
instead of deploying with IMAT.
In this instance, the campus was safe,
but the lessons learned from their time
in Henryville can and will be applied to
future disaster management efforts at
“This is probably the largest incident
I’ve been a part of,” Fletcher said.
“Anytime we get the opportunity
to learn and see anything work it
helps. After seeing the (Emergency
Operations Center) working at full
capacity and for multiple operations at
once, we came back and made some
changes in the way IU plans.”
The experience the IU team received
was invaluable, according to Mack.
“It goes back to the question ‘does the
incident command system work,’” she
said. “In this case, we were completely
validated. It worked like a charm. Now
we feel like we can handle anything
that could happen at IU.”
“And in the most simple terms,”
Romero added, “it is just good to be
able to help a community that was so
devastated get back on its feet.”
came from
to help their
Debbi Fletcher