RA Ministry of Emergency Situations Hosts Disaster Preparedness Drill at AUA
YEREVAN, Armenia – On March 4, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) was selected by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia to host a disaster preparedness drill, which involved all related professional services, including the police and fire departments. The goal of the drill was to check the ministry’s preparedness for disaster situations, such as an air attack, employ their corresponding services, and raise awareness of civil defense importance among the AUA community and the public at large.
The drill included a complete evacuation of the university and various rescue demonstrations. Volunteers from Unison NGO, an Armenian non-profit organization whose mission is to support people with disabilities by promoting their human rights and providing various services, were present to showcase AUA’s accessibility and services for people with disabilities.
AUA was recently recognized by Unison NGO and the OSCE Office in Yerevan as the only university out of a survey of 29 higher education institutions to have developed policies for organizing the educational process for students with disabilities and to have a campus physically accessible for those with disabilities.
Since its inception in 1991, AUA has made a special effort to ensure that its former Soviet-era Main Building can accommodate people with disabilities. The campus currently has ramps outside and inside the building, reserved handicap parking spaces, and renovated restrooms for easy use. Moreover, the state-of-the-art Paramaz Avedisian Building is fully designed to meet the needs of people with physical disabilities.
Evacuation drills are performed annually at AUA, but this is the first year that the ministry has selected the university for a disaster preparedness demonstration. Local media stations were invited by the ministry to capture the demonstration and disseminate to their audiences.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.