School Emergency Management: An Overview. Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) U.S. Department of Education (ED).
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Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center
Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS)
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
U.S. Department of Education (ED)
A school emergency management plan
Is the first step to securing our schools;
Addresses a wide range of events (e.g., natural, man-made) that can disrupt teaching and learning; and
Addresses events that occur in and outside of the school day.
Prevention is the action schools and districts take to decrease the likelihood that an event or crisis will occur.
Mitigation actions are steps that eliminate or reduce the loss of life or property damage for events that cannot be prevented.
Many hazards have both and components.
Fencing hazardous areas
Anchoring outdoor equipment
Installing building access control measures
Conducting school vulnerability assessments
Establishing wellness programs
Establishing policies promoting health, safety, and security
Roofing – structurally sound? Materials fastened securely?
Awnings – will they hold up in a storm?
Outdoor utility connections protected?
Positive culture & climate = Less likelihood of violence
Useful for violence prevention and other important objectives
Culture and climate improvement requires a long-term strategy
Includes program-based solutions, e.g. anti-bullying program
Include district special needs experts on your planning team to address needs:
Visual and hearing
The National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Used by all first responders, at all levels
Creates a common operating picture and mutual goals
Puts forth the Incident Command System (ICS)
The Incident Command System (ICS)
Put forth by NIMS
Uses a single management system
Facilitates effective response
Public Information Officer
Finance & Administration
Mental Health Response Team
Facility and Materials
Requires extensive planning – and a planning team
Conducted in collaboration with community partners including law enforcement and fire personnel
Focuses on specific elements of an emergency scenario
Used to help identify and address gaps that may exist in current plan and identify training needs
Public Information Officer –reports directly to the Incident Commander responsible for communications during an emergency
Template media statements
Prior communications with parents/guardians
Staff and students
Need for accurate contact information
Define notification procedures
Need for clear instructions to parents/guardians – photo identification
Use when locations outside the school are safer than inside the school
Identify multiple evacuation routes in coordination with community partners
Determine how teachers will account for students
Ensure teachers, staff members, and administrators have appropriate “Go-kits”
Use when there is an immediate threat of violence in, or immediately around, the school.
Lock all exterior doors, if safe to do so
Ensure public safety officials can enter the building
Follow predetermined policy about closing blinds, turning off lights, and using status cards
Move all staff and students to an area not visible from windows or doors
Use when students and staff must remain indoors during an extended period of time
Close all windows and turn off all heating and air conditioning systems
Plan for interrupted class schedules with substitute activities
Provide accommodations for eating, sleeping and personal hygiene
Have staff activate family emergency plans
Purpose: Promote coping and support resiliency for students and staff following an emergency
Key steps to take with community partners:
A = baseline functioning
B = event
C = vulnerable state
D = usual coping mechanisms fail
E = helplessness, hopelessness
F = improved functioning
G = continued impairment (PTS)
H = return to baseline
I = post-traumatic growth
When bad things happen children and adolescents are the most vulnerable victims.
“The day before I started high school my mom found my brother and his wife, dead.”
“There was a man who had a gun and ran into our school. We had to put the school on lockdown.”
“The water came through the house and I was drowning, and I didn’t see my parents nowhere.”
“Sometimes I talk to some of my teachers because I have my favorites, they ones I feel comfortable talking to.”
Every Adult On Campus
Plays an Important Role
Psychological First Aid after School Crises
What you can do: