Mayor Karl Dean and Belmont University President Bob Fisher today announced a partnership agreement between the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Belmont University to help the city establish a Joint Information Center (JIC) in the event of a major disaster in Davidson County. The administration filed an ordinance on Friday requesting the Metro Council to approve the memorandum of understanding (MOU).
The MOU guarantees a site on the Belmont University campus for the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management to establish a Joint Information Center in the event that a major disaster strikes Davidson County, requiring a full activation of the Emergency Operations Center. The Joint Information Center becomes the primary location for local, state and federal government leaders to disseminate emergency information to the public through the news media.
“Nashville is not immune to natural disasters, and our ability to respond effectively is based upon a high level of preparedness,” Dean said. “Belmont University’s generosity will allow us to quickly establish a central location to disseminate critical information to the public in the days and weeks following a natural or manmade disaster.”
Belmont University has agreed to provide Metro an on-campus location to establish a JIC at no cost to the city, as well as the necessary equipment and work space to support the operations. Two alternative campus sites have been identified to be used by OEM should a pre-planned event have one location already occupied.
“It’s important to our students, faculty and staff that Belmont University makes significant contributions to our neighborhood, the broader city of Nashville and the region,” Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said. “I can think of no better way for Belmont to practice good citizenship than to donate some of our resources to help keep our community safe and informed in the event of a crisis. We’re honored to partner with Mayor Dean and Metro on this project.”
Laura Hokenstad, director of the Office of Emergency Management said: “As witnessed during the devastating ice storm in Kentucky earlier this month, there is an immediate need for jurisdictions to provide residents and visitors with a steady stream of information following a disaster. Belmont University is a perfect location to set up a Joint Information Center in an expeditious manner due to its close proximity to our Emergency Operations Center.”