Class offered on disasters

The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology offers a class called “disaster preparedness” to engineering majors and other NIU students when there is sufficient demand.

Technology Professor Frank Gruber said the class is usually offered every three semesters. One section of the class is taught during these semesters.

Dennis Stoia, interim department chair, said the class is not geared entirely toward industrial safety. The main objectives of the class are to study, evaluate and analyze natural and manmade disasters, environmental effects of the disasters and components of a disaster plan.

Gruber said the class was first offered in the late 1970s because the federal government felt it necessary to “train people in disaster preparedness skills.”

Many people leave the work force to complete their master’s degree in safety because they lack adequate safety training, Gruber said. He said people in the work force should know how to plan safety programs because their jobs often demand supervision and management.

Gruber said safety classes should be more widespread to fields such as school administration and business management, because safety hazards can occur in any occupation.