The Emergency Operations Center

UA Recognized Again for Commitment to Safety

The Emergency Operations Center
Having an Emergency Operations Center is one part of EMAP accreditation.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama has once again been recognized by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program for its emergency preparedness and response activities.

“EMAP accreditation signifies that the University’s emergency plans, procedures, training and resources meet national standards and demonstrates the University’s commitment to safety,” said Dr. Donald Keith, director of UA’s Office of Emergency Management.

EMAP is the only accreditation process for emergency management programs and is sought by federal and state agencies, counties, cities and universities.

Originally accredited by EMAP in 2015, UA is one of only eight institutions of higher education in the nation, and the only one in Alabama and the Southeastern Conference, to receive the distinction. UA is also the only university to ever receive a consecutive accreditation.

”We applaud The University of Alabama’s leadership and congratulate you on your commitment to achieve accreditation,“ wrote Nicholas Crossley, chairperson of the EMAP Commission, in a letter notifying UA of the designation. “More importantly, we recognize the dedication to the safety and security of the residents that it represents.“

To achieve accreditation, an applicant must demonstrate, through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment validation, that its program meets a set of 66 industry-recognized standards. The standards address various emergency preparedness mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery.

“Emergency management is not possible without whole community collaboration,” said Sarah Johnston, manager of the Office of Emergency Management. “To achieve accreditation, our office worked with both internal and external stakeholders on numerous planning initiatives, exercises and training.”

“While accreditation is led by our office, our efforts to meet the standards extend into every area of The University of Alabama. Every college and every essential service at UA developed and enhanced continuity of operations plans over the past several years. This required countless work hours across campus,” Johnston said.

Emergency Management Staff stand together
UA Emergency Management staff (from left to right): Ken Horst, Megan Campbell, Sarah Johnston and Dr. Donald Keith.

“Receiving EMAP accreditation takes rigorous planning and collaboration to demonstrate an exceptional overall emergency management program, which is stringently reviewed by some of the top emergency managers in the country,” said Ralph Clayton, associate vice president for public safety. “Very few colleges and universities have achieved this accreditation.”

“Our community can be proud that there are dedicated professionals striving to keep the University prepared for emergencies,” Clayton said. “This distinction is recognition of their hard work and dedication. It is an honor working with such a dedicated group of professionals who are committed to campus safety.”

Accreditation is valid for five years, and the program must maintain compliance with EMAP standards. Learn more about the Office of Emergency Management by visiting its website.




Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications,


Dr. Donald Keith,