Administrators have both a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that their schools have emergency protocols in place. All personnel should be trained and familiar with these strategies in the case of a natural disaster or security threat. In the case of an emergency, every second matters; a prepared team with an efficient plan can prevent injuries and save lives. Here are a few emergency preparedness tips for your school to make sure it is ready to handle any situation in the safest and most effective way possible.
Know what you’re up against
Every school faces unique challenges depending on their location, size, and population. The first step is to assess the risks that already have or could potentially affect your institute. This may include but is not limited to:
- Winter storms & extreme cold
- Extreme heat
- Bear/wild animals
- Building fires
- Burst pipes
- Gas leaks
- Bomb threats
- Terrorist threats
- Active shooter situations
- Health/medical emergencies
Some natural disasters can be predicted, but often they come on suddenly. It’s important to take precautionary steps against the most likely emergency situations.
Utilize your community resources
Every community has a number of professionals and volunteers who have dedicated their lives to keeping the community safe. Police agencies, fire departments, paramedics, rescuers, and other first responders are all excellent resources of information and can help you prepare for difficult situations.
Hold training seminars and conduct emergency-specific drills
Your entire faculty should receive recurrent training for emergency situations. Everyone should be familiar with emergency protocol and be prepared to fulfill their role in any given situation. Once your training is complete, drills should be conducted regularly so that students can be brought into the loop. This way in the case of an emergency, administration, personnel, and students can work together to make sure everyone stays safe.
One of the most difficult parts of an emergency is making sure that parents are informed and conduct themselves in alignment with the protocol. Everyone should be familiar with evacuation routes, staging areas, and relocation sites. Emergency contact lists also need to be updated frequently to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
If you have any questions about school emergency preparedness or would like to find out how Kidio can help your school prepare and respond to emergency situations, give us a call at 813-649-8028, or schedule an appointment with one of our experts.