A tornado. A flood. A campus shooting.

    All are topics often considered taboo from everyday discussion, but they're dangers that colleges must be willing to face head-on.

    The expectation that colleges should be prepared for tragedy led the Dodge City Community College's Board of Trustees to review what emergency services are in place.


    A tornado. A flood. A campus shooting.
    All are topics often considered taboo from everyday discussion, but they're dangers that colleges must be willing to face head-on.
    The expectation that colleges should be prepared for tragedy led the Dodge City Community College's Board of Trustees to review what emergency services are in place.
    Rick Druse, director of marketing and public information, said in a statement that the reappraisal of the college's emergency management had been a long time coming.
    Bev Temaat, associate dean of students, told the trustees on Wednesday that the college had completed an internal security review before the Virginia Tech massacre.
    Druse said based on that review, college officials decided to expand the campus security coverage by hiring another full-time guard. The campus now has two full-time guards.
    Security cameras were also added in an effort to make high-danger areas more visible.
    What could happen in the event of a shooting wasn't the only emergency to get a once-over Wednesday night.
    Druse said the trustees discussed an agreement with National Catastrophe Restoration Inc., a company dedicated to the restoration of infrastructure after natural disasters.
    Temaat told trustees the college had chosen the company after trolling for opinions from other colleges in disaster-prone areas. The hope, she said, would be that the company could aid the college's restructuring if it were to be destroyed by some sort of natural disaster.
    The college is also contemplating an emergency alert system, which would make it easier for officials to notify students who might be affected by any potential disaster on campus.
    Each building will also be equipped with "emergency notification boards," under-glass message boards with constantly updated information.
    Trustee Terry Malone said Thursday he felt it was extremely important not only for the college to re-evaluate its emergency plan, but also to provide protection for the students.
    "I think we need to develop a plan to construct tornado shelters out there for students and staff," he said. "I think that's very important."

Reach Mark Vierthaler at (620) 408-9932 or e-mail him at mark.vierthaler@dodgeglobe.com.