Hamaker fills new emergency management post at UNK

Michelle-Hamaker2_pp-webBy SARA GIBONEY
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – Michelle Hamaker is director of the newly-created emergency planning and management position at University of Nebraska at Kearney. She began her duties Monday.

She is responsible for updating, developing and managing UNK’s Emergency Operations Plan, and conducting exercises and drills to test UNK’s response to crisis situations. Her responsibilities also include coordinating disaster response or crisis management activities such as developing building and department emergency evacuation plans, ordering evacuations and coordinating emergency alert notification systems.

Hamaker works closely with UNK departments such as police and parking, facilities and risk management, as well as City of Kearney, Kearney Police Department and Kearney’s emergency management team. She also is responsible for participating in emergency preparedness meetings with local, state, regional and federal agencies.

Hamaker has worked in police and parking services at UNK as an officer, crime prevention officer, law enforcement corporal, parking corporal and director since 1997. She served as director of police and parking services since 2002.

“One of the things I enjoyed as a police and parking services crime prevention officer was getting out with people and training them on how to be prepared and implement safety plans,” Hamaker said. “Emergency management can’t prevent emergency situations, but we can teach people to be prepared and be safe. I’m excited about that training piece.”

UNK has had an emergency management plan since 2002. Since then, all duties have been assigned to members of emergency operations committees. There are five committees – training, drills and exercises, communications, planning and the executive committee. There are nearly 50 people serving among the committees.

“The emergency management operations team has done a great job with training, but we haven’t gotten out to the rest of the campus,” Hamaker said.

She hopes to increase communication across campus.

The committees have created emergency plans for large campus events such as commencement, but emergency plans also are needed for music and theatre performances, events run by students and non-UNK events hosted on campus, Hamaker said.

Hamaker also hopes to strengthen and create relationships with community organizations that will be instrumental in emergency situations.

Jim Davis, a longtime law enforcement officer and administrator, replaced Hamaker as the new director of police and parking services.


Source: Michelle Hamaker, 308.865.8517, hamakerm@unk.edu
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, giboneys2@unk.edu

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