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The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has been named to the Great Value Colleges ranking of the 30 U.S. colleges that are best prepared for disasters. The only Maryland higher education institution to make the nationwide list – CSM ranked 22nd and was one of only three community colleges to earn the recognition.

“The foremost goal of institutes of higher learning is to provide a top-quality education for the generations that will lead us into the future,” reported Great Value Colleges in its recent announcement of rankings. “In order to accomplish this, students need to know that they are safe and secure in this increasingly dangerous world. Student (and faculty/staff) safety takes many forms and having a solid disaster preparedness plan is among the most important. The schools listed on this ranking have gone above in beyond to ensure the safety of those that live and work on campus.”

Of CSM, the Great Value Colleges’ website cited that “several times, Administration & Society refers to the continuity of operations plan that College of Southern Maryland has created as a strong example for other colleges to follow. Part of what makes CSM’s emergency preparedness plans strong is its After Action Report. This report allows college community members who have participated in emergency exercises or events to suggest improvements to the efforts on campus. Additionally, the college also has evacuation chairs on all of its campuses, which help people with disabilities escape emergency situations.”

“The depth and strength of CSM’s emergency response plan was certainly put to its test with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CSM Vice President of Operations and Planning Bill Comey, who leads CSM Emergency Management Operation Team. “We are proud to be recognized for our in-depth planning; as well as for our ability to self-assess and improve our efforts to keep our students, staff and faculty safe during natural, technological and human-caused risks.”

Great Value Colleges compiles the rankings to provide pertinent, unbiased information for prospective students and working professionals to aid them in making more informed decisions as they seek to further their education. The criteria for this final ranking included: evidence of an effective natural disaster plan, number of mentions in the methodology sources, evidence of being able to overcome the long-term effects of a natural disaster, evidence of helping students in the event of a natural disaster, commitment to improving natural disaster planning/preparedness in the future and evidence of innovative planning.

To learn more about CSM’s Emergency Operations Plan, visit https://ready.csmd.edu/EOP.html.

To review the full list of U.S. colleges and universities recognized as best prepared for natural disasters, visit https://www.greatvaluecolleges.net/disaster-preparedness-plans/.


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