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Broward College Offers Bioterrorism and Disaster Education Tips

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (July 9, 2014) – 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, disruptive, and have a negative social and economic impact. That is why during Bioterrorism/Disaster Education and Awareness Month, 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 in which they might occur or cause 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 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 television or radio. For added involvement, business owners can join network and support community preparedness efforts, as well as work with other businesses to develop solutions and even provide education for employees so that they can be better prepared. Hauss recommends visiting or as a helpful guide in creating a plan.


Broward College is ranked as one of the top ten community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. Serving more than 68,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit
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