Is Your School Prepared in the Event of an Emergency?

As we approach the end of the school year, administrators, educators, students and parents are looking for actionable ways to mitigate and prevent emergencies for the upcoming school year. In this post, we will cover five things schools can do over the summer to improve emergency planning for next year.

We will also cover the time it takes to implement these measures (some can be accomplished in as little as an hour) and illustrate how SafePlans’ emergency preparedness technology and active shooter response training can simplify the process.

This post will discuss:

• How schools can reinvent lockdown procedures
• The benefits of updating emergency plans
• How shared site maps can improve emergency response
• The value of reporting and tracking anonymous concerns
• How to establish and implement family reunification procedures
• The time it takes to implement these action items
• Tools you can use to streamline the emergency planning process

5 Things Your School Can Do this Summer to Improve Emergency Planning

1. Re-Learn Lockdown

Active shooter attacks continue to illustrate that lockdown (or lock out) is not an effective active shooter response plan. Sadly, most educators still view a lockdown plan as their only option and their understanding of its pros and cons are woefully inadequate. Therefore, is time to reinvent lockdown and focus on when it is, and is not, an effective active threat option.

SafePlans recently released a new active shooter response system, known as “AlerT,” which stands for “Assess, lockdown, evade, resist, and Tell.” The system is based on the concept of situational awareness, and trains educators and students to assess the situation and determine the best course of action.Implementing SafePlans' AlerT Active Shooter Training can improve emergency planning and response for schools.

We recently hosted a webinar introducing the AlerT system and have made these resources available for free. You can use these resources to reinvent lockdown and ensure your school complies with best practices.

Time to Implement: Two to four hours per school
Resources: AlerT Active Shooter Response Training

2. Update Emergency Plans

Many states have changed emergency planning requirements for schools. In order to maintain compliance across your school’s district, it is recommended that emergency plans be updated to ensure they are compliant with new state standards. Updating plans also provides an opportunity for schools to identify gaps in previous emergency planning.

Emergency Preparedness SimplifiedBy using SafePlans ERIP system, schools can easily craft, update, and implement all-hazards emergency plans that provide standard response terminology and are easily customized for each school – think Turbo-Tax meets school emergency planning.

Time to Implement: Four hours per school
Resources: Emergency Planning for Schools

3. Share Site Mapping Data

Site mapping provides your local emergency response agencies with secure access to life saving information. With this access, emergency response teams can quickly identify the location of the situation and help determine where resources should be allocated.

In ERIP, Intelligent Floor Plans are searchable and also help response agencies locate and view site-specific information that can include people with special needs, utility shutoffs, live camera feeds, class rosters and much more.

Time to Implement: Dependent on school size and number of buildings
Resources: Intelligent Floor Plans

4. Make “See Something, Say Something” Mean Something anonymous reporting tool

Anonymous reporting enables students, school staff, and community members to report concerning or suspicious behavior that could lead to the harm of individuals or acts of violence. Additionally, this ability to communicate concerns in this way, works to better establish a community focused on safety.

SafePlans’ SAFE Reports module is a customizable and comprehensive anonymous reporting and case management system. Easy to implement and monitor, SAFE Reports provides your district with a proactive solution to prevent and mitigate a broad range of safety concerns including:

• Threats of violence
• Suicidal thoughts
• Suspicious behavior
• Bullying and cyber-bullying
• Abuse

Time to Implement: One hour per school
Resources: SAFE Reporting and Tracking Tool

5. Implement Reunification Plans

Family Reunification is often an overlooked part of the emergency planning process, and ironically, it is often times the first step towards recovery. Additionally, proper family reunification planning benefits schools by involving parents and guardians in the emergency planning process. Secondly, these plans can work to alleviate some strain on first responders and school staff.

As part of our 1Plan all-hazards system we provide Family Reunification Site Assessments, detailed guides, interactive eLearning and even parent familiarization training.

Time to Implement: Two hours per school
Resources: SafePlans’ 1Plan Framework

Contact SafePlans To Improve Emergency Planning for the Upcoming School Year

While the nature of an emergency is often dynamic, taking the above steps to improve emergency planning for your school could significantly mitigate the amount of damage an emergency is capable of, or prevent it completely.

While we hope incidents like this never occur, we encourage you to take advantage of all the resources SafePlans has to offer to better prepare your school for these types of events.