LU Recovery and Resilience Academy to host trainings on crime, disaster recovery

From hurricanes and tropical storms to wind events and heavy rain, the Southeast Texas region has had its fair share of natural disasters. With a series of upcoming trainings and workshops, the Lamar University Recovery and Resilience Academy is on a mission to ensure that the local community is prepared and educated not only on natural disaster preparedness, but also crime control post-disaster.

“These events were created to help our local community, especially non-profit organizations in the Southeast Texas area because those are our stakeholders,” said Dr. Cheng-Hsien Lin, associate professor and director of criminal justice. “Our community has been faced with natural disasters almost every year, or every other year. While our main emergency resource is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they don’t always have enough manpower to help those in need. So, we are trying to provide training to local community leaders that will educate them on how to better prepare for upcoming natural disasters.”
The workshops will provide a learning platform that incorporates academic findings with Southeast Texas law enforcement practices, emergency management and SETX public officials. On Tuesday, July 26  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the academy will host its first training addressing domestic terrorism, mass violence, extremist ideology, hurricanes/flooding, and school and church shootings.

Dr. Lin said this particular workshop will advise the local community on the risks and they may face when a disaster plagues the area and situations that may arise just after.

“When disaster strikes, we always think about evacuating or finding a safer place to go, but we should really be getting ready and preparing ourselves for what’s to come,” he said. “Think about it –– when we evacuate our local community, those individuals in nursing homes or those that are disabled often have to stay. There are always individuals left behind. We need to identify those people in need of help and we need to educate those people on resources, where they can go and who they can call when they are in need of help.”

Dr. Chiung-Fang Chang, the Lead PI of the academy, said this will be the first series of its kind hosted by the academy, but in the future, they are hoping to become an “informational hub” for the Southeast Texas community in times of need.

“We are hoping to get guidance from community leaders on things that we may not be aware of when it comes to disasters and to figure out how we can help,” Lin said. “We want to continue these trainings for the community and find out what it is that they need. The more that we know, the better we can prepare to assist them and we’ll be able to recover from disasters quicker.”

The July training sessions are free and open to the public. Both will be held on the 8th floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. Learn more about the Recovery and Resilience Academy or register for the upcoming emergency training workshop.