Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Emergency management--Iowa--Cedar Falls; University of Northern Iowa--Buildings;


Natural hazards afflict many parts of the United States each year, including Iowa. Iowa sees a variety of natural hazards and disasters, both meteorological and geological. Because of the threat posed by these hazards, disaster preparedness and mitigation is essential to protect life and property. Universities are like small cities; however unlike cities, universities do not have the same requirements for natural disaster preparedness. Studies also show that unless a university has been impacted by a major natural disaster, they are unlikely to have developed an in-depth plan. Most universities also put a much higher emphasis on preparing for campus violence and very little on natural hazards. This project explores university preparedness for natural disasters using the University of Northern Iowa as a case study. The study investigated the types of natural hazards that could affect UNI and their impacts, reviewed the university’s current plans, suggested ways to improve preparedness, and developed a tool that could be useful in preparedness. A web mapping application was created in collaboration with UNI Facilities and Planning to display and convey information relating to natural hazards for UNI campus. The project demonstrates that more can be done to prepare for natural hazards at the UNI. UNI, like many universities, lacks a detailed plan regarding natural disasters and gaps need to be filled to improve safety. Due to various factors, the web mapping mitigation tool yielded mixed results; it provides a proof of concept but lacks critical information needed to be fully functional due to data limitations, uncertainty if proper updates and expansion could be implemented, and lack of institutional buy in.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Geography

First Advisor

Patrick P. Pease, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xii, 227 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download