University of South Florida Emergency Management Program Achieves Nationally Recognized Accreditation
USF was recently recognized for maintaining a high quality emergency management program, achieving accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). This places USF among the best higher education institutions in the country for emergency preparedness.
EMAP is a voluntary accreditation program that uses peer review of other emergency management professionals around the world to assess the strength of an emergency management program. USF is now one of less than 10 universities in the country with this national recognition for emergency preparedness, which is typically only achieved through national and local emergency management programs. It is also the first university with a multi-campus structure to receive this accreditation. USF joins the ranks of institutions such as the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis, and Michigan State University as institutions that hold this prestigious designation.
The USF Emergency Management Program began working towards this accreditation in 2015, when Jennifer Fleischman, USF Emergency Management Director, developed a needs assessment of the program. Fleischman has identified many areas on which to build to better align with the international standard used by EMAP for assessments, which includes 16 main categories and 64 standard areas.
Emergency management programs include more than the emergency management service and staff. Programs encompass all activities that mitigate, prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from any type of disaster or emergency, such as an active threat, hurricane or pandemic. At USF, thousands of employees are included in this program as essential personnel. University policing, information technology, business and finance, facilities management, student success, academic affairs, housing, parking and transportation services, and sports are some of the areas that have contributed to obtaining this accreditation on the three campuses. EMAP accreditation underscores the university’s commitment to a safe and prepared campus.
“This accreditation is truly the result of years of hard work on the part of the emergency management staff on all campuses and our emergency operations staff,” said Fleischman. “This shows that USF is prepared for what could happen and should make the community feel safer and more confident on our campuses.”
USF will maintain accreditation for five years, after which a re-accreditation process will take place.