Students are the one of the most vulnerable when it comes to school related emergencies. They must be properly guided and directed once an emergency situation occurs. One notable yet highly disturbing event were the mass shootings in the US which injured and claimed innocent lives. Incidents like this had prompt schools to revise and update their school emergency action plan to continuously ensure the safety and security of the lives of their students, faculty and school property. Read more about this in our article below and if you want to start developing an emergency action plan scroll down, check out our free school emergency action plan samples.
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What Is a School Emergency Action Plan?
A lot of factors can trigger a school related emergencies such as accidents, natural calamities, terrorism, intentional and unintentional incidents. As emergencies can happen any time or anywhere the key in trying to elude any fatalities or damages is to be prepared in advance. A school emergency action plan will help the school administration establish a set of action plans that can lessen the risk an emergency poses in a school environment. And since there all sorts of emergencies and different levels of risk, each must be covered accordingly. Although the burden of relaying the emergency action plans lies in the school’s faculty members, it is also highly suggested the students are well aware and prepared of the risks should an emergency situation occurs.
How To Develop a School Emergency Action Plan?
To make sure that you have everything covered in your school emergency action plan, it is highly important to conduct a risk assessment of the schools’ property and the surrounding areas. In doing so, schools will be able to identify the different risk and threats that can disrupt the school’s peaceful environment. Examples of such are, for instance the school is located near a river area which is susceptible to flooding, or in state which is well known to have of tornados. These and other factors are possible threats which can instigate emergencies. Once you have established the possible threats around the school’s premises here are some of the major factors that can help you develop a school emergency action plan:
I. Roles and Responsibilities
For school emergencies, the responsibilities of ensuring the safety of the students falls into the hands of the faculty members. You will need to define each of their roles, how are they to respond and what they are to do when different sorts of emergency occurs. This would entail training your staff on how to deal with emergencies as well as getting them acquainted with the various exit and excavation sites.
II. Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Part of your emergency action plan is to create an emergency evacuation procedures that so members of the staff will be able to direct the students when a situation occurs. This will include procedures on what to do when an alarm sounds off and how direct students to a designated safe area. Evacuation procedures should also be more or less specific in nature as there are different sorts of emergency situation such as fire, earthquakes, human threat and etc.
III. Emergency Equipment and Routes
It is crucial that staff are prepared to use any emergency equipment around the school’s premises and are aware of the escape routes. Dealing with such is also part of training the school’s staff. Ensure that all equipment such as fire extinguishers are working well, exit signs are clear and alarms system are clearly audible in all areas throughout the school. It is quite important to regularly conduct fire drills and school evacuation practices ensure that even students are visibly aware of what to do when an emergency happens.
IV. Building and School Property Security
Regular school property maintenance must be conducted to ensure that there are no underlying damage that may lead to accidents of any kind. Also ensuring the all areas of the school are properly secured as to refrain intruders from going in and out of the school.
V. Outside Communication
It should be established between the school’s management who will be responsible for communicating and disseminating outside information during and after an emergency. During an emergency it should be properly determined who shall contact any local authorities and after the incident occurs media will catch wind of the news so, dealing with them will pose another issue. As much as possible as not to create misunderstanding and false information, all queries must be directed to the most senior member of staff in school.
What Is Disaster Preparedness?
As the name suggest this is are various measures undertaken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters.
Why Is Planning Early for Emergencies Important?
Because emergencies or disasters strike when we least expect it, so it is important that we know how to deal with such. This can save lives and minimize any damages incurred.
What Is Crisis Communication?
Crisis communication is to enable seamless communication during crisis within an organization.
A lot is at stake whenever school emergencies take place, that is why it should be mandatory for every school to develop a school emergency action plan to ensure the safety and security of the staff and its students.
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