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Continuity of operations planning in college athletic programs: The case for incorporating Federal Emergency Management Guidelines

Stacey A. Hall, PhD, MBA, Brandon L. Allen, PhD, Dennis Phillips, PhD


College athletic departments have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for student-athletes; however, most colleges do not have a crisis management plan that includes procedures for displaced student-athletes or alternate facilities to perform athletic events. Continuity of operations planning ensures athletic programs are equipped to maintain essential functions during, or shortly after, a disruption of operations due to possible hazards. Previous studies have identified a lack of emergency preparedness and continuity planning in college athletic departments. The purpose of this article is to illustrate in detail one approach to disaster planning for college athletic departments, namely the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continuity of operations framework. By adhering to FEMA guidelines and promoting a best practices model, athletic programs can effectively plan to address potential hazards, as well as protect the organization's brand, image, and financial sustainability after a crisis event.


continuity of operations planning, college athletics, emergency preparedness

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