In retrospect, it is clear that the preparedness and readiness of institutions of higher education in New Orleans regions did not prove to be at level with that that of corporate industry. This is due to many fundamental factors explored in this study. Specifically, this study will examine the attitudes and perceptions of higher education leaders towards disaster recovery planning for natural disasters. The research investigates actual and perceived strategic issues and factors in order to identify whether or not funding issues may hinder academic leaders from implementing a thorough disaster recovery plan to protect their institution from business disruption caused by natural disasters. In addition, this study outlines steps and a checklist to determine the preparedness and readiness of higher education institutions for a natural disaster.
The data collection instrument is a survey of higher education institutions� senior administrators (sample size of 250 to 500 for higher education leaders) on the East Coast of United States. In addition to the survey, individual interviews will be conducted with eight to ten higher education administrators leading institutions in the New England Region, to discuss natural disaster recovery planning concerns, issues and nuances. The key findings of the survey and individual interviews will be used to infer the degree of preparedness higher education institutions have for natural disasters.