The Pratt Community College Trustees support PCC joining a mutual aid agreement with other colleges and universities across America.

Natural disasters such as floods and tornados and storms that cause damage and knock out power plus other emergencies like campus shootings can disrupt the day-to-day operations of colleges and universities.

As part of a nation wide effort to lend assistance, wherever it is needed, Pratt Community College has signed the National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement that makes help available if they need it and PCC can lend assistance to other schools if necessary. The PCC Board of Trustees said they would support PCC being part of NIMAA.

The NIMAA is a consortium of higher education institutions that have joined together and have volunteered to become a resource for other institutions if a disaster happens, said PCC President Michael Calvert.

On Oct. 1, 2015, a 26-year-old Umpqua Community College student, Chris Harper-Mercer, shot and killed an assistant professor and eight students and injured 7 others in a shooting that targeted Christians. Harper-Mercer committed suicide after being wounded by law enforcement. Umpqua Community College is near Roseburg, Oregon. Some students, staff and faculty were so scared, they would not come to campus after the shooting, Calvert said.

Another college president went to UCC to take over the day-to-day operations of the college while the UCC president attended to the necessary matters associated with the shooting.

This is what NIMAA is all about, providing a helping hand when a college or university has to deal with a crisis situation, Calvert said.

There is no fee to be part of NIMAA. Participating colleges and universities sign an inter local agreement to be a resource in the event of a disaster.

According to the International Association of Emergency Managers, colleges and universities typically do not have the resources to deal with a large-scale crisis without some kind of help. Government support may be overwhelmed and may not have the necessary assistance needed for colleges and universities.

Mutual aid from NIMAA has been used in many cases over the years: Cal State Northridge after the 1994 North Ridge Earthquake; Universities of Miami, Tulane, Loyola New Orleans, LSU, Texas A&M, NYU, SUNY Stone Brook after hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita and Sandy; Shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, Northern Illinois in 2008, UC Santa Barbara in 2014 and UCC in 2015; California wildfires for multiple years; multiple institutions received assistance after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing; meningitis outbreaks from 2013-2016 at Princeton, Providence College, UC Santa Barbara, U. of Oregon, Santa Clara University: and other events.

Some 28 colleges and universities belong to NIMAA with another 20 to 25 institutions expected to become members, according to information from the International Association of Emergency Managers.