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Broward College Expert Offers Tips for Bioterrorism and Disaster Education and Awareness Month

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (June 30, 2015) – South Floridians are familiar with preparing for the annual hurricane season, but it is important not to discount the severity of man-made threats, which are just as dangerous and disruptive, and have a negative social and economic impact. That is why during Bioterrorism and Disaster Education and Awareness Month, observed in July, Broward College is offering tips to business owners and professionals on how to safely respond to any kind of emergency.

“For a business person, it is especially important to have an all hazards approach, since it allows for continuity of operations,” says Debra Hauss, workforce development clinician and emergency nurse specialty coordinator at Broward College. “An adaptable plan that can be updated as things change will make your business more resilient to even the most unthinkable disasters.”  

The goal in crafting an adaptable plan is first taking into account the different types of threats, both natural and man-made, and analyzing the probability it might occur, causing injury, property damage and business disruption. South Florida business owners, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about earthquakes as much as hurricanes, but they do need to worry about terrorism. After all, according to Hauss, anything ranging from a nuclear power plant, to a tourist attraction or vulnerable cruise port can become potential terrorist targets.

Remember to stay aware and follow the federal government’s campaign of ‘if you see something, say something,’ such as a person behaving strangely, vehicles where they don’t belong or the discovery of a strange substance,” said Hauss. “Man-made threats, unlike natural disasters, can be avoided, but only if they are promptly reported.”

In addition, a successful preparation plan should outline proper protocol and what to do in the midst of an emergency. “In the event of a chemical release, you should know how to secure the facility and quickly evacuate the premises, if recommended by authorities, as well as who to contact,” said Hauss.
Hauss suggests building a kit which would include an updated contact list for employees, procedures for successfully backing-up information, as well as information on whether there will be an evacuation order or if the business will be used as temporary shelter.  

It is advisable to stay informed on the status of any danger through media outlets. Business owners can join community preparedness efforts and work with other businesses to develop solutions. Businesses should also provide disaster preparation training so their employees can be better educated in the event of an emergency. 

For more information, contact Angela Nicoletti at 954-201-7939 or 


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