Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Robert Bosselman


The purpose of this research study was to examine whether high schools across Iowa were effectively prepared in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Students learn more effectively when they feel safe. An electronic survey was sent to all accredited high school principals across Iowa in an effort to obtain data on their school's emergency preparedness plans and to ascertain their attitudes on the importance of policies to deter violence.

In addition to questions regarding development and completeness of plans, frequency of school incidents and perceived importance of policies, principals were asked to identify eight independent variables associated with demographics: (1) participant title; (2) gender; (3) years of experience; (4) Area Education Agency (AEA); (5) type of accredited school (public, charter, nonpublic, or other); (6) grade levels; (7) enrollment size of high school; and (8) urbanicity of school campus (rural, town, urban fringe of a large city, or city).

Nearly all of the 72 Iowa high school principals who participated in the survey have an emergency preparedness plan in place, and approximately 75% of these Iowa high schools have two or more copies of their emergency preparedness plan placed throughout their school. Approximately 75% of the Iowa's high school principals participating in the survey have had at least one practice drill at their school during the last five years, and nearly 42% of these principals believe their high school is at risk for an act of terrorism.

Overall results showed urban fringe and city high schools participating in the survey had more safety and security measures in place in their high schools. It is recommended that further studies be conducted to analyze high school emergency preparedness include middle school as well as high school principals to broaden the researcher's survey base and strengthen statistical reliability. It is also recommended the Principal Questionnaire School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS), a national survey sent out by the U. S. Department of Education, be utilized to compare national statistics on middle and high school principal safety measures and procedures to state and local statistics.


Copyright Owner

Julie Marie Tigges



Date Available


File Format


File Size

168 pages