Higher Education Opportunity Act
Much of Messiah College’s crisis management planning and protocols have been guided by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The HEOA is a broadly encompassing piece of federal legislation that, in addition to including the Clery Act and other requirements, mandates that all colleges and universities must have crisis management and evacuation plans that are reviewed/updated on an annual basis. The HEOA also requires that colleges and universities conduct an emergency preparedness exercise at least once a year.

In April 2012 the Crisis Management Team and the Department of Nursing staged a mock medical disaster—a bleacher collapse at Starry Athletic Field—that provided invaluable triage training for senior nursing students and helpful emergency management training for administrators. This mock incident also met compliance standards required in the Higher Education Opportunity Act.