Plan for emergencies and know how to respond.
Families and communities expect schools to keep their children safe from a range of emergency events, like crime, natural disasters, and accidents. Emergencies can happen at any time, and planning for different emergencies can be challenging for schools. A key component of emergency planning is creating an Emergency Operations Plan (school EOP), or a document that outlines how a school will prepare, respond, and recover from an emergency.
Every district or school should develop and implement comprehensive school EOPs that describe the actions that students, teachers, and school staff should take before, during, and after emergency events, and everyone should have a common understanding of what will be expected of them. Any reduction of time between the beginning and end of an incident can save lives.
As an important part of emergency planning, training teaches staff and faculty about the policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities in their school’s EOP. It also gives them the information they need to train their students on emergency procedures. Tabletop exercises allow schools to discuss their plans, policies, and procedures in an emergency scenario. Drills provide everyone with the chance to practice the actions they will take before, during, and after an emergency. Training and exercises are an essential component of school safety plans.