University of Southern California launches community emergency preparedness initiative

The University of Southern California's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events launched its USC Community Emergency Preparedness Project on Friday.

The USC-CEPP objective is to extend its emergency preparedness measures to the community surrounding the campus. The program will improve emergency preparedness, safety measures and security methods of the South Los Angeles community surrounding USC.

The program is a collaboration between numerous parties with interests in the USC area, including elected officials, community stakeholders, professional emergency responders, USC Department of Public Safety, L.A. Police Department, L.A. Fire Department, L.A. Emergency Management Department, USC Civic Engagement, USC Fire Safety & Emergency Planning Office, Kid Watch, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations and schools in the community.

"This effort represents an opportunity for a national model that might be replicated and sustainable in similar environments across the country," Associate Research Director for Research Transition at the Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events Erroll Southers said. "The community-university partnership already thrives on many levels and preparedness should be part of the relationship."

The program launches with an emergency preparedness class for USC community leaders. It is also expected to hold FEMA certified CERT classes, Disaster Awareness classes led by the L.A. Fire Department and a number of other disaster awareness and emergency planning course.

"We have long wanted to help train emergency teams among our neighbors, and now we hope to be able to achieve that goal through our partnership with USC Civic Engagement, CREATE, and the community," Director of USC Fire Safety & Emergency Planning William Regensberger said. "We are really excited about working with the many enthusiastic volunteers in our community."