Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Jennifer Collins

Keywords

Campus Emergency Management, Disasters, Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression Analysis, Student Vulnerabilities

Abstract

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in southern Florida, in an area vulnerable to hurricane strikes. At FGCU, The Office of Housing and Residence Life (OHRL) is responsible for three locations on- and off-campus where students reside in apartment or suite-style housing. Due to the large number of students with varying backgrounds, the OHRL staff members have become essential personnel during severe weather events that may cause safety concerns for the residents living in OHRL housing locations. This study's purpose is to assess the Residence Life staff on their level of preparedness in the event of a hurricane strike, including carrying out severe weather procedures and maintaining the safety of residents. After running multiple regression analyses, bivariate correlations, and t-tests, this study indicates that those with a higher hurricane knowledge and experience score were more likely to be females and that one's preparedness confidence was the single independent variable found to have a relationship with, and was considered a predicting variable for, the dependent variable (preparedness as an RA/RD). Further analysis was done to consider specific answers on RA's and RD's knowledge of FGCU procedures in comparison to recent campus emergency management studies to consider the overall effectiveness of their procedures. Findings indicate that improvements can be made in the areas concerning their knowledge of when to evacuate, their duties for evacuation, and how the university communicates information. This study and survey can be adapted further to expand on student vulnerabilities to include a more broad range of students, schools and teacher's vulnerabilities, and expanded to include more natural hazards.

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