Emory Report
November 10, 2008
Volume 61, Number 11



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November 10
, 2008
Students train as crisis educators

By Carol Clark

Several dozen Emory students recently devoted an entire Saturday to undergo American Red Cross disaster training on campus. Some of the students learned how to set up emergency shelters and assist with case management of people affected by a crisis, while others focused on becoming certified disaster community educators.

“The University is developing a disaster preparedness plan, but it’s individuals who will be implementing that plan, so it’s important that students be prepared and know what they need to do during an emergency,” says Jennifer King, an epidemiology graduate student in Rollins School of Public Health.

King is president of ResPECT — the Response Preparedness and Emergency Communication Team — that organized the Red Cross event, along with SORT, the Student Outreach and Response Team. The two groups are among the student efforts to promote Emory’s culture of preparedness.

SORT formed in 2002, to enlist public health graduate students to assist with responses to public health emergencies. The students work in collaboration with the DeKalb County Board of Health and the CDC.
“Our goal is to educate students who are going to be future public health leaders. We want them to receive training and hands-on experience in emergency response, from the local level all the way up to the federal level,” explains Shauna Mettee, SORT president, a graduate student in nursing and public health.

ResPECT formed last year to focus on education and outreach for emergency preparedness. Although currently made up of public health students, the group hopes to expand in the coming year to include students from throughout the University.

“We’d like to get as many students as possible trained in disaster preparedness, so that we will have more opportunities to share that knowledge throughout the Emory campus and the surrounding community,” King says.