What You Can Do to Prepare for Emergency Situations at School
Emergencies can occur at any time, and they can come in the form of active shooter events, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, fires or any other situation that can put the safety of teachers and students at considerable risk. If there is no plan to contend with emergencies as they arise, staff and students can find themselves in grave danger. To minimize the negative impact that emergencies have on faculty and students, it is critical to have a plan in place that will prepare all involved for dealing with emergencies that arise while at school. If you are a school faculty or administrator, then you will want to pay rapt attention to the below three steps for handling school emergencies.
Have an Emergency Action Plan
The first step to handling emergency situations while at school is to have an emergency action plan in place. The plan must address every conceivable type of emergency. If your school is in an area where natural disasters are prevalent, then your emergency plan must include the types of natural disasters that may occur.
For instance, if your school is in an area where there are earthquakes, then your emergency plan must include steps for helping students get to safety when an earthquake happens. Students will need to learn to hide under their desks or stand in doorways until the earthquake passes. Supplies will also need to be available in the event it is too dangerous to leave the building, and everyone must shelter in place. YOU will also need to run students through drills so they will know what to do and not panic.
Your emergency action plan also needs to include detailed steps to prepare for active shooter situations, fires, terrorist attacks, violent crimes, or any type of emergency that is prevalent in your locale. At various times throughout the school year, students will need to run through drills to help them prepare for the different types of emergencies that can transpire. At the beginning of the school year, topics about a variety of emergencies must be covered during class.
Have a Messaging System in Place
Once an emergency plan has been constructed, it is vital to have a messaging system in place. The messaging system needs to alert teachers and other school staff as soon as the emergency is known, and parents must also be notified about the emergency. A simple and effective system that can be put in place is to utilize a tool that will send out mass text messages. Group texts are great for communicating with large groups of people. Not to mention, most people carry their mobile devices with them, so they will receive information quickly. One messaging system should be set up to provide alerts to teachers and other school faculty, and another system should be set up to alert parents.
Tweak Your Plan as Needed
Even after you have a system in place to handle emergencies in school, you will need to tweak things as you go. Watch drills as they are happening and make note of any changes that need to be made. When new changes are made, inform everyone of the protocols.
When you are prepared to cope with emergencies that occur in school, you can ensure the safety of yourself, fellow faculty and students. Additionally, the emergency will have little impact, and things can get back to normal a whole lot quicker.
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