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CRISIS Document Transcript

  • 1. CRISIS COMMUNICATION PLAN LEVEL III Planning and Operations Guide for Santa Clara County School Personnel
  • 2. CRISIS COMMUNICATION PLAN LEVEL III Dear Educator, What if you experienced a Columbine-like incident at your school? Are you prepared to manage communications during such a tragic event? Don’t say, “This could never happen at my school,” because that’s just what they said at Columbine. That’s what they said at Northern Illinois University before a gunman shot and killed five people. Our Crisis Level III Communication Plan outlines action steps to take before, during and after a serious crisis, and is aligned with California’s Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS). An incredible amount of research and study went into the preparation of our plan. Melanie Margara, chief communications officer at Northern Illinois University, discussed her role and the challenges she faced during the shooting tragedy her university encountered in 2008. She emphasized the importance of a Web site as a communication tool during a crisis. Based on the template she sent to us and the information placed online by Virginia Tech after its own incident, our County Office staff set up a “dark” Web site to be activated during a tragedy (see page 38). We reviewed the Marriott communication staff’s crisis management after the 2008 bombing incident at their hotel in Islamabad. We reviewed materials prepared by Public Information Officer Mike Moskovitz regarding the challenges he faced during the Thurston High School shooting in 1998. In addition, the State of Virginia School Crisis Information posted online was extremely helpful. And Tom DeLapp, our friend and premier public relations professional who served as a communication advisor during the Columbine High School tragedy, reviewed our text and shared additional ideas for inclusion. Damage done in a crisis can have tragic consequences and a long-term impact on your school, students and staff, parents and community. It is essential that you have a clear plan in place before a crisis occurs. It is our sincere hope that this document will guide you in this process. Sincerely, Patricia C. Murphy, Executive Director, Communication Services Santa Clara County Office of Education 1
  • 3. Table of Contents Understanding a Level III Crisis Situation.......................................................................... 3 Activating the SCCOE Crisis Communication Assistance Team........................................ 4 Crisis Team Preparation & Planning ................................................................................ 5 Crisis Response Action Steps.............................................................................................. 6 Crisis Communication Assistance Team Structure............................................................. 12 Monitoring the Aftermath................................................................................................. 16 Appendix 1. What state law requires............................................................................... 19 Appendix 2. Crisis communication policy & procedures.................................................. 21 Appendix 3. List of communication personnel and others to assist team..................... 29 Appendix 4. List of internal & external audiences.......................................................... 31 Appendix 5. Sample Forms................................................................................................ 32 Appendix 6. Crisis Web site............................................................................................... 38 2
  • 4. Understanding a Level III Crisis Situation What is a Level III Crisis? A Level III Crisis is defined as a situation, event or incident meeting the following criteria: • The incident involves a serious threat to life or property. • It is likely to require the assistance and involvement of local, state, and federal agencies and organizations in managing the emergency response. • It is likely to generate high public interest and involve extensive news media coverage requiring the need for coordinated communication by the responding agencies. • It may impact a large portion of the Santa Clara County region and could affect more than one school or location. Examples of Level III incidents include: • Natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, wild fires, severe storms, flooding, etc. • Building fires, explosions, or airplane/vehicle crashes on or near school facilities • Environmental hazards, toxic spills, etc. • Violence on campus including shootings, hostage situations, riots and demon- strations, assaults and bomb threats • Death on campus, suicide or attempted suicide • Contagious disease outbreaks The Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) can mobilize quickly to establish a district or site level command center to coordinate communication services and resources to assist school site leaders. The team will augment and complement district or site personnel in areas of coordination, planning, communication, public information, and media relations. How does a Level III Crisis differ from Levels I & II? LEVEL I incidents have limited impact on the county office and can be managed effectively by a school, district or department. Examples include: student fights, power failure, or disruptive actions, anxiety or distress caused by a staff member, student or parent, etc. LEVEL II incidents have the potential to have broader impact across the county or may require enhanced coordination and cooperation between schools, districts or departments. Examples include: lockdowns, sexual assault, or weapons on campus, etc. In some cases the severity of a Level II situation may elevate it to a Level III response. Additional resources, policies & procedures SCCOE policies & procedures in Appendix 2 provide guidance for dealing with emergency situations that can elevate to a Level III status. 3
  • 5. Activating the SCCOE Crisis Team Activating the SCCOE county team during a Level III Crisis response The county’s Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) will be activated when: 1. A SCCOE administrator makes a request for communication assistance; 2. A school district official or site administrator requests county assistance; 3. The Ridder Park Office location is in need of assistance during an emergency. Criteria for making that decision Administrators in county departments/schools or in school district offices/school sites should use the following criteria to assess whether a Level III Crisis situation exists and the county’s communication team should be requested: • Is the magnitude of the situation severe? • Are multiple sites affected by or involved in the emergency? • Has a call to 911 or emergency service agencies been placed? • Are site leaders unavailable at the scene? • Does the district have sufficient communications personnel to handle public information demands? • Is there a continuing threat to safety on the campus? • Has the school been disrupted, placed in lock down, or evacuated? • Has there been violence or is there a hostage situation? • Are personal injuries or major damage to facilities involved? • Are law enforcement, the fire department or medical responders present or on their way to the scene? • Is the news media present or on their way to the scene? Once a Level III Crisis has been determined at the scene, the administrator in charge calls the County Superintendent of Schools with the recommendation that the Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) be mobilized. The County Superintendent or his designee will make the final decision to activate the county team and will confirm with leaders at the scene that the team has been activat- ed and is on its way. When activated, the CCAT will take its direction from the incident commander at the scene of the emergency. The Executive Director for Communication Services will serve as the lead person in charge of the team and will contact CCAT team members with instructions on where to assemble and how to proceed. 4
  • 6. Crisis Team Preparation and Planning Crisis Communication Assistance Team preparation & planning The Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) will develop and maintain the fol- lowing communication support services that can be utilized during a Level III Crisis: • Brainstorm possible Level III disaster and emergency scenarios and formulate event-specific response plans. • Identify and create optimal formats and mechanisms for communicating with targeted internal and external constituencies and audiences. (See Appendices 3 and 4 for a list of contacts.) • Create an “Emergency Information” crisis communication Web page that can be activated and accessed during a designated emergency. A crisis-only Web site URL has been purchased for this purpose (www.sccemergency.org). • Create and place on the crisis-only Web site templates, generic e-mails and phone message scripts, sample news releases, parent and community letters, updates, fact sheets, public notices and links for community, law enforcement, medical and responder resources. (See Appendix 6.) • Ensure that the SCCOE server is available and is powerful enough to handle thousands of hits during a 24-hour period. As of December 2008, the SCCOE prototype site is available to handle the demand. • Assemble a list of volunteers to staff telephone banks and secure a designated “hotline” telephone number that can be used by county staff. • Create a mutual assistance arrangement with public information officers in the area to assist the team as needed. • Provide awareness and training about Level III Crisis response procedures and expectations with affected county office and school district personnel. • Review and update as needed any SCCOE policies, regulations, and manuals implementing crisis response procedures. 5
  • 7. Crisis Response Action Steps The Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) will follow an eight-step action response. Step #1 – Make the district/school/department decision that a Level III Crisis exists It is critical that site administrators first apprise the district office of emergency situations on a campus. The first response by a staff member should be to alert the administrator in charge of the school site or location who then calls the District Superintendent’s office to alert them that an emergency exists at that location. The District Superintendent or his/her designee will make the final decision to request the SCCOE crisis response team. If the District Superintendent is not immediately available, the site administrator should call the SCCOE County Superintendent of Schools office directly at 408-453-6511 with a request for crisis assistance. Step #2 – Mobilize all CCAT team members and have them report to the Emergency Operations Command Center at the incident scene Once the activation decision has been made, the County Superintendent of Schools or designee will notify the SCCOE Executive Director of Communication Services who mobilizes CCAT team members to proceed to the identified command center location. Emergency Operations & Communication Center Location ____________________________________________ Phone _________________ Call the site administrator at the incident scene to confirm that the CCAT is in route. The designated Incident Commander at the scene is: Name ____________________________________________ Title ________________________ Phone ___________________________________________ SCCOE Crisis Communication Assistance Team Members Assignment Name Phone (Primary) Phone (Back-up) Executive Director Community Relations Media Relations Technology Support Command/Call Center Research & Writing 6
  • 8. Crisis Response Action Steps Step #3 – The CCAT team should perform the following tasks immediately: • Locate this Crisis Manual and take it with you. • Contact any personnel at SCCOE who will need to provide logistical support to the team (tech support, technology vendors, risk management, webmaster, etc.). • Cancel any immediate appointments and meetings for the day. • Bring any personal medications, health items, glasses, etc. • Alert family members regarding changed responsibilities for child care, car pools, etc. • Gather cellular phones, battery charger cords, car phone charger jacks, phone directory, and contact information for key vendors, PDAs, pagers, business cards, digital cameras, technical manuals you might need, office supplies, and laptop computers. • To reduce parking problems at the scene, car pool if possible to the designated command center. Have at least two cars available to the team at the site. Step #4 – Within the first thirty minutes the CCAT team should assemble at the scene to perform the following tasks: • Quickly confirm each team member’s immediate tasks and priorities. • Locate the site administrator in charge and ensure that the site’s School Safety Plan is being implemented. • Work with site personnel to understand procedures being used to secure the facility and assist in evacuation and security. • Identify the early responders (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) and establish protocols for information exchange and coordination of emergency response actions. • Work with site staff to create the Emergency Evacuation & Assembly Area where students can rendezvous with parents and family members. The school site’s Emergency Evacuation & Assembly Area should be located away from potential harm. If possible it should be enclosed and covered. If that is not possible then it should at least have seating such as bleachers. There are four main areas that need to be established within this staging area: Counseling Center, First Aid Station, Student Sign-In/Sign-Out Desk, and Commissary/Food Service. Especially in elementary grades be aware of the need to maintain security and limit access to students only by identified parents or guardians. 7
  • 9. Crisis Response Action Steps • Work with site personnel to establish the Incident Command Post. This is a designated private, secure area for use by the Incident Commander (designated person in charge) and responding agencies to make decisions and coordinate actions by the crisis response team. It should have telephone access and be shielded from the news media, parents and non-responders. • Establish and test all telephone and power connections at the Emergency Operations and Communications Center (EOCC) and Incident Command Post. • Log-in to SCCOE Web site, e-mail system and MySpace and Facebook accounts to confirm accessibility. • Activate the crisis-only Web site; test uploading and posting capabilities from the site. Step #5 – Set up Emergency Operations & Communications Center (EOCC) The EOCC is located at: Address: ________________________________________________________________________ Telephone Number: _____________________________________________________________ Location description: _____________________________________________________________ The EOCC should maintain two bulletin boards on which you post notes and data that continuously track and update “What We Know So Far.” One bulletin board should be titled “What We’ve Heard.” This tracks rumors, single pieces of information, and media reports that are not corroborated. The second is titled “What We Know For Sure.” Information should only be placed on this board when it is confirmed by at least two independent sources. WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR What We Have Heard What We Know For Sure Rumors, speculation, news accounts, Data, eye-witness accounts, information unverified information, etc. corroborated from two sources, etc. The Executive Director and the Communications Coordinator should be the only ones with authority to move an item from the rumor board to the fact board. If possible, the district command center should be equipped with an oversize copier for making poster sized prints of key data and information that can be posted on the walls of the center so volunteers can easily see and refer to them. 8
  • 10. Crisis Response Action Steps Command Center inventory The Center must be self-sufficient. It needs to be stocked with the following minimum items: q Local telephone directories of schools and the community q Manual typewriter or battery operated laptop computer (with extra batteries) and portable printer q Computers for volunteers linked to a common server for easy access by all stations q Cellular telephones with chargers and extra batteries q Public incoming phone lines (at least three or four) q Private outgoing phone lines (at least two) q School district street map noting locations of emergency services q Master keys to buildings q Staff and student rosters and attendance sheets q Copier (if possible also a poster-size duplicator) and inventory of paper and toner q Sufficient television sets to cover the four major networks, CNN, MSNBC and independent stations, with recording capability q Battery operated radio to receive all news stations q Office supplies and school/district letterhead q Flashlights and spare batteries q First aid kit, including Tylenol, antacid, etc. q District logo or banner for news conference back drop q Bottled water and paper cups q Cots, blankets and pillows (or couches if available) q Portable microphone/sound system/megaphone for news conferences and events q Release forms 9
  • 11. Crisis Response Action Steps Step #6 – Limit access to the campus by non-district personnel Pending arrival of the CCAT, site leaders should take steps to secure the facilities and ensure that no unauthorized individuals are allowed to come onto the campus. A staff member or parent volunteer should be placed at major access points to the campus to keep parents, community, and the media from gaining access to the site except through the central office or designated evacuation site. Parents and others should be directed to the evacuation and assembly area identified in the site’s school safety plan. Remember: it is almost impossible to undo access once it is granted to the news media or parents. The news media may actually get the word about your crisis before you do because it goes over the police scanner as a 911 call. Students will text message and call on cellular phones alerting parents to the situation. Some parents will arrive at the scene before the CCAT. Time is critical if you are going to control and contain the situation. Step #7 – Begin interacting with the news media q Identify the spokespersons for law enforcement and agree to initial protocols for talking with the media. q If necessary, begin to serve as the district’s public spokesperson. If the district has a spokesperson (principal, superintendent, public information officer, etc.), provide support. q Establish and cordon off either a room or a roped off area near the scene as a designated news media area. Reporters and news film crews should be directed to this area. q Work with law enforcement to restrict access to the campus by onlookers, news media and parents. q Create a designated parking area for TV trucks and other news media vehicles. Make it accessible to the news media area. q Reporters should be asked to sign in and wear district passes so they are clearly visible. Know who is there covering your story. q It is important from the outset that we frame the issues and establish that school personnel are on top of the situation. Do not issue “official” state- ments to the news media until the district public information officer or designee has arrived. 10
  • 12. Crisis Response Action Steps Tips on handling media requests for access to school facilities q Reporters believe that under the constitution they have blanket rights to come into schools. Penal Code Sec. 627 allows us to ban outsiders from campus, but it specifically exempts reporters. q However, the California Education Code lets you exclude the media if they are “disrupting normal educational operations.” Err on the side of excluding them from the scene during the initial stages of a crisis because it is almost impossible to deny them access once you have allowed them in. q Send the media to an area where you can control and contain their access. Assign a staff member to monitor them and assist them. Keep this area separate from the staging area for parents and students. q Always escort reporters on campus, help them get the story, give them a knowledgeable contact, don’t leave them alone. Do not assume they will honor your request to stay off campus grounds. You need to watch them. q Photo releases aren’t needed for “news,” except from students with disabilities; have pre-release forms from parents. (See Appendix 5.) q Police agencies and the fire department have far more authority to exclude or re- strict access of the media at a crime scene or a natural disaster. Rely on and encour- age law enforcement to limit access. 11
  • 13. Crisis Response Action Steps Step #8 – Assess the situation quickly The Executive Director of Communications reports to the Incident Commander and the District and County Superintendents within 30 minutes on the status of the situation, and hourly thereafter for the first 24 hours. Begin to gather information and intelligence to prepare the first 30-minute report. Work with the Superintendent to prepare initial public statements. Reconvene the CCAT at the end of the first 30 minutes for a very brief status update. The CCAT leader conducts a daily debriefing at the end of each day with all team members including school site leaders. Status updates should cover these basic questions: q Who? How many people are affected? Have you accounted for everyone? Do we have names of injured, captives, perpetrators, etc.? Who in law enforcement is in charge at the scene? q What? What happened? Provide as many details as possible. Is the situation under control or is it still in process? q Where? Know locations accurately because people want to know if their loved ones are safe or were affected. Where can people go for information or to make contact? Provide maps or diagrams. Where is the Command Center going to be set up? q When? Be precise on times. When did it happen and when did you first find out about it at the site or district office? Who was informed and when? Did you delay notifying law enforcement or parents? q How? How has anyone responded so far, such as setting up phone trees, staging areas, calls to law enforcement, etc.? Are you following your crisis plan? q Why? The blame game starts immediately and not just by people on the outside. Know where you’re vulnerable. Watch your credibility and long-range reputation! Can you formulate an answer as to why or how this could have happened and whether the school was prepared? 12
  • 14. Crisis Communication Assistance Team Structure ����� The Santa Clara County Office of Education Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) The Level III Crisis Communication Assistance Team will include: • Executive Director for Communication Services • Public Information Coordinator, Public Relations Assistant and Administrative Assistant • Regional Technology Center Chief Information Officer Using district, school site and volunteer personnel, this team will help coordinate and operate the following communication response system. The shaded areas reflect functions of the CCAT team. EMERGENCY RESPONSE STRUCTURE EMERGENCY RESPONSE STRUCTURE SUPERINTENDENT LEGAL COUNSEL County or school district SCHOOL BOARD FIRST RESPONDER & EMERGENCY COUNSELING SERVICES INCIDENT COMMAND POST CALL CENTER Liaison with victims’ families Incident Commander Employee hotline Counseling & family Parent hotline resources coordination News media call desk Liaison with law enforcement & medical personnel at site EMERGENCY OPERATIONS & Volunteer & donation coordination Liaison with FEMA, OES, CDF COMMUNICATION CENTER ADMINISTRATIVE & COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY LIAISON LOGISTICAL SUPPORT Information gathering & monitoring system Resource expeditor & logistics/operations management Maintain incident status board Incident safety officer, risk management News media liaison, news conferences Facilities, transportation, food service & maintenance Webmaster & technology support for phones, Finance reporting & record keeping computers, printing, fax, and radio communications Liaison with Santa Clara COE support services, other school Employee information network districts, city government officials, state & federal agencies Donations & memorials Coordinate community forums & public meetings SITE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM STUDENT EVACUATION OPERATIONS & EMPLOYEE ON-SITE ASSEMBLY AREA PHYSICAL PLANT RESPONSIBILITIES COMMUNICATION First aid station/triage Site facilities Lock-down/hold-in-place District spokesperson Student/parent pick-up area Traffic & parking Evacuation Liaison for news media at incident scene Sign-in/sign-out process Utilities Student monitoring Counseling center Campus security Employee buddy system Parent information center 13
  • 15. Crisis Communication Assistance Team Structure The Crisis Communication Assistance Team (CCAT) will organize its tasks and workload into five functional working groups using available staff and volunteers. These groups will report to the Executive Director for Communication Services and the Incident Commander at the scene of the emergency. Research & Writing Team Lead person __________________________________________________ • Prepare all written communications including documents, advisories, bulletins, updates, mass e-mails, auto-dial telephone scripts, receptionist and call-center scripts, FAQs (answers to Frequently Asked Questions), fact sheets, stakeholder letters, Web page copy, talking points, speeches and news releases. • Maintain information posted on the Incident Status Board in the Command Center. • Create, categorize and maintain a clearinghouse of information collected from the scene. News Media Relations Team Lead person __________________________________________________ • Maintain liaison with reporters and editors for print and electronic media. • Handle and schedule all interviews and arrange for the use of appropriate spokespersons. • Arrange news conferences and reporter briefings. • Monitor and record news media and Web-based coverage of the incident. • Staff the Media Call Desk in the Command Center to handle media inquiries from reporters not at the scene. • Serve as spokesperson at the scene of the incident. Communication & Community Relations Team Lead person __________________________________________________ • Coordinate internal communication network of information to classified employees, principals, teachers, administrators and school board members. • Coordinate external communication with parents, stakeholder groups, community- based organizations, and key communicator networks. • Schedule and support community leader briefings, town hall forums, and parent meetings. 14
  • 16. Crisis Communication Assistance Team Structure Technology Team Lead person __________________________________________________ • Provide hardware and software technical support services to the response team. • Activate and maintain the crisis-only Web site. Posts updates on the Web site. • Ensure server capacity to handle influx of contacts, e-mails and information processing. • Establish and maintain cellular, radio and land telephone line connections for response team and Crisis Command Center telephone banks, hotlines and call desks. • Support auto-dial telephone systems and maintain liaison with appropriate vendors. • Assist with equipment maintenance in the Command Center (computers, lap- tops, printers, facsimile machines, scanners, duplication, and energy sources). Command Center Logistics Team Lead person __________________________________________________ • Supervise and maintain the schedule for volunteers staffing the call center, reception desk and other areas of the Command Center operations. • Coordinate the physical set-up and re-stocking of materials and supplies in the Command Center. • Maintain security and access protocols for volunteers and staff using the Command Center. 15
  • 17. Monitoring the Aftermath The Three Rs of Crisis Management While the SCCOE Crisis Communication Assistance Team will mobilize in less than an hour, the decision to stand down from emergency status will probably be done gradually in phases. The team leader will advise the Superintendent on when the Command Center should be dismantled and assignments shifted back to employees in their regular job roles. It may be necessary to maintain a very small cadre of people in the Command Center for awhile to field calls. The team leader should assemble the team for a final debriefing to handle the final Three Rs of crisis response management: For the crisis team Rest Many members of the team will probably have gone without sleep for many hours if not days. They should be directed to take some time off (at least one full day). Regroup Team members will need to get back to normal and figure out their on-going tasks and assignments that have been placed on hold during the crisis. Reassign This may be a gradual process of redirecting some people back to their permanent jobs and merging some of the crisis management roles for those that remain in the Command Center. For the Command Center Restock It is important to be prepared for another crisis situation immediately, so efforts should be made to replenish any supplies, repair equipment, recharge batteries, etc. Reassemble The crisis plan and supporting documents like campus maps, rosters, and other materials need to be gathered and inventoried so they are ready at a moment’s notice for the next crisis. Refine From the experience in handling the crisis you will learn what things worked and what things didn’t. Now is the time to correct any procedures, forms, and logistical items so they function better in the next incident. 16
  • 18. Monitoring the Aftermath For the crisis plan Reassess The team should review very carefully all of its response procedures to learn from the experience and make modifications to the crisis plan. Continuous improvement is essential if the plan is to remain flexible, adaptable and current. Redefine It may be necessary to redefine some of the roles of staff and volunteers based on the actual way the crisis response worked. Holes and gaps in the plan may be discovered, and some staff may be better suited for another assignment in the response plan. Restructure The actual hierarchy of the plan may need to be modified, or aspects of the plan such as evacuation staging areas or site communication center locations may need to be shifted or changed. The final step in closing down the Command Center is to make sure that parents, the media, staff and the public are notified through letters and announcements that the Command Center is closed and that inquiries about the crisis should be directed to the appropriate district office. Letters and certificates of appreciation should be sent to all volunteers and staff who worked on the crisis response. 17
  • 19. Monitoring the Aftermath There are many long-term aspects of the crisis that will need to be dealt with. Counselors will need to monitor the healing process and watch for key events and situations that may trigger negative reactions among staff, students, parents and the community. The Crisis Communication Assistance Team may continue to be involved in communications activities as the district or school deals with repercussions and memorials. Here is a checklist of things to watch for in the aftermath of a crisis: q Long term counseling needs of employees, families and students q Filing of any police or FBI reports at the conclusion of any investigation q Major staff events such as in-service training and district meetings q Reopening of the school after the incident q Graduation ceremonies q Birthdays of any victims q The one-year commemoration of the tragedy q Political reactions to the crisis, including introduction of legislation, resolu- tions, and campaign statements q News features that focus on the situation q Adoption of the district budget and any financial implications resulting from the crisis q Copycat incidents or tragedies occurring in other schools that remind us of our crisis q Release of campus or district safety reports or data q Internet traffic and Web pages referencing the situation q Criminal trials, sentencing and parole hearings 18
  • 20. Appendix 1: What state law requires Be sure that staff members understand that under state law their first obligation as district employees is to serve as emergency services workers in a crisis. Oath or affirmation of allegiance for disaster service workers and public employees Government Code Chapter 8 of Division 4 of Title 1 (as amended by the Statutes of 1972, Chapter 590) 3100. It is hereby declared that the protection of the health and safety and preservation of the lives and property of the people of the state from the effects of natural, man-made, or war caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or in extreme peril to life, property, and resources is of paramount state importance requiring the responsible efforts of public and private agencies and individual citizens. In furtherance of the exercise of the police power of the state in protection of its citizens and resources, all public employ- ees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers subject to disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law. (Stats. 1950 3d Ex. Sess. Ch. 7 as amended by Stats 1971, Ch. 38) 3101. For the purpose of this chapter the term “disaster service worker” includes all public employees and all volunteers in any disaster council or emergency organization accred- ited by the California Emergency Council. The term “public employees” includes all per- sons employed by the state or any county, city and county, state agency or public district, excluding aliens legally employed. (Stats. 1950 3d Ex. Sess. Ch. 7 as amended by Stats 1971, Ch. 38) Earthquake Emergency Response System (Katz Act) (§ 35295-35297 of the California Education Code) This law requires schools to develop disaster plans that outline responsibilities and procedures for students and staff in the event of an earthquake. The law also requires schools to provide emergency response training including conducting “drop and cover” drills once a quarter in elementary schools and once a semester in secondary schools. The law designates public schools as possible community shelters following a disaster. Comprehensive School Safety Plan (§ 35294.2 of the California Education Code) This law requires school districts and county offices of education to ensure that compre- hensive school safety plans are written and implemented for all K-12 schools under their jurisdiction. The plans must include strategies and programs designed to maintain a high level of school safety. Specifically plans must include procedures for: disaster response; safe ingress and egress to/from school sites; reporting child abuse; sexual harassment; school discipline; school wide dress codes; and policies regarding student suspensions and/or expulsions. Plans are to be updated by March 1 of each year. 19
  • 21. Standardized Emergency Management System (§ 8607 of the California Government Code) This law requires cities, counties, state agencies and special districts, including school districts, to comply with the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) devel- oped by the state Office of Emergency Services. SEMS must also be used as the basis for all planning, training and exercises in emergency response. (California Code of Regulations § 2400-2450). The SEMS structure must be reflected in a district emergency in order to qualify for state reimbursement of expenses and personnel costs associated with an emergency. The California Office of Emergency Services has developed the SEMS Incident Command System calling for an emergency response plan that covers all five basic functional ar- eas called for in state regulations: command, planning/intelligence, operations, logistics, and finance/administration. Specifically, the OES requires that school district and county office plans contain four identified positions: • Incident Commander to direct the response; usually the principal at a site • Public Information Contact to handle the media and communication with the public • Safety Officer to oversee the response activities to ensure that they are safely performed • Liaison Officer to coordinate with responding state, federal and local agencies The Santa Clara County Office of Education has adopted a SEMS compliant crisis response plan. This communications plan provides more detailed response procedures that can used by the SCCOE to assist school sites, departments and school districts in dealing with com- munication issues in a catastrophic or Level III Crisis situation. 20
  • 22. Appendix 2: Crisis communication policy & procedures All crises must be reported to the Superintendent and direct supervisor immediately. • Only the spokesperson is authorized to release information to the public and media. All other staff will assist the media by directing them to the spokesperson. • All comments should be guided by professionalism and transparency, and serve to mitigate the crisis while reinforcing the leadership role of the SCCOE/district. • “No comment” is never acceptable. If the question cannot be answered immediately, tell the inquirer you will be get back with a response If the question cannot be answered due to policy (example: sharing personnel information), let the inquirer know. • The SCCOE values its relationship with the media and recognizes the important role the media plays in the time of crisis. A positive relationship with the media will ultimately bolster public confidence in the SCCOE. Please review the following SCCOE Policies and Procedures dealing with emergency situations. • Workplace Violence (AR 2324) • Emergency Preparedness (BP 2340 & AR 2340) • Safe Ingress and Egress (AR 2341) • Emergency Meetings (BB 8331) In addition, each school district is required by law to have a Safe School Plan. 21
  • 23. 2000--ADMINISTRATION 2000--ADMINISTRATION 2300--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE 2300--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AR 2324 Page 1 of 2 WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AR 2324 Page 1 of 2 1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE 1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE It is the goal of the Office to have a workplace which is free from acts or threats of violence and to effectively respond should such acts or threats of violence occur. Towards this end, the Office It is the goal of the Office to have a workplace which is free from acts or threats of violence and seeks to provide a safe environment at all of its sites, to the full extent required by law. to effectively respond should such acts or threats of violence occur. Towards this end, the Office seeks to provide a safe environment at all of its sites, to the full extent required by law. This regulation has been established to help define and provide examples of workplace violence; to give direction to Office employees or other affected individuals if they believe that an act or This regulation has been established to help define and provide examples of workplace violence; threat of violence has occurred; to address the Office's investigation of all alleged incidents; and to give direction to Office employees or other affected individuals if they believe that an act or to specify the sanctions that may be imposed and the legal remedies that may be sought by the threat of violence has occurred; to address the Office's investigation of all alleged incidents; and Office to discourage acts or threats of violence in the workplace. to specify the sanctions that may be imposed and the legal remedies that may be sought by the Office to discourage acts or threats of violence in the workplace. 2.0 DEFINITION AND EXAMPLES 2.0 DEFINITION AND EXAMPLES Workplace violence includes conduct which is sufficiently severe or intimidating so as to alter working conditions or to create a hostile, abusive, or intimidating environment for one or more Workplace violence includes conduct which is sufficiently severe or intimidating so as to alter employees or visitors to the Office. working conditions or to create a hostile, abusive, or intimidating environment for one or more employees or visitors to the Office. Examples of workplace violence include, but are not limited to, the following types of conduct: Examples of workplace of violence occurring are Office premises, regardless of the relationship • All acts or threats violence include, but on not limited to, the following types of conduct: • All acts or the Office violenceparties involved in the incident;regardless of the relationship between threats of and the occurring on Office premises, • between the Office andviolence occurring off of Office premises involving someone who is All acts or threats of the parties involved in the incident; • All acts or the capacity of a representative of the Office; acting in threats of violence occurring off of Office premises involving someone who is • All acts or capacity violence occurring off of Office acting in the threats ofof a representative of the Office; premises involving an Office employee, • All actsactsthreats of violence occurring offinterests ofpremises involving an Office employee, if the or or threats affect the legitimate of Office the Office; • if All acts or threats of violence occurringinterests of thepremises of which an Office employee the acts or threats affect the legitimate off of Office Office; • All acts or threats of violence occurring off ofincidentpremises of which an Office employee is a victim, if the Office determines that the Office premises; and Office may lead to an incident of violence on is a victim, if the Office determines that the incident may lead to an incident of violence on • Office premises; and violence resulting in the conviction of an employee or agent of the All acts or threats of • All acts under anyindividualcode provisionthe convictionOfficeemployee or agent of the Office, or of an basis, performing services for the or threats of violence resulting in criminal of an on a contract or temporary relating to acts or threats of violence which Office, or of an individual performing services for the Office on a contract or temporary adversely affect the legitimate interests and goals of the Office. basis, under any criminal code provision relating to acts or threats of violence which adversely affect the legitimate interests and goals of the Office. References: California's Workplace Violence Act of 1994; BP 2320 References: California's Workplace Violence Act of 1994; BP 2320 Approved: 05/22/95 Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Approved: 05/22/95 Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools 22
  • 24. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AR 2324 Page 2 of 2 Conduct which may be considered an act or threat of violence includes, but is not limited to: • Engaging in physically harmful attacks or assaults, including hitting, shoving, or using a firearm or other weapon against an individual; • Carrying weapons of any kind on Office premises; • Threatening an individual or his or her family, friends, associates, or property with harm; • Intentionally destroying or threatening to destroy Office property; • Making harassing or threatening phone calls; • Engaging in harassing surveillance and/or stalking activities; • Suggesting or intimating that violence is appropriate; and • Endorsing the inappropriate use of firearms or other weapons. 3.0 RESPONSES TO INCIDENTS An employee or other affected individual who feels that he or she has been subjected to an act or threat of workplace violence should call "911" in emergency situations or directly contact law enforcement authorities if his or her personal safety appears to be in jeopardy. An employee or other affected individual who feels that he or she has been subjected to, has witnessed, or has knowledge of an act or threat of workplace violence should immediately report the incident to the Office's Human Resources Division. (In the case of an Office employee, this notification should be made via the employee's immediate supervisor, if possible.) The employee or individual will then be required to file a written report and to assist Human Resources in the subsequent investigation. 4.0 INVESTIGATION OF INCIDENTS Human Resources will investigate all incidents of alleged workplace violence and will coordinate its investigation with any investigations being conducted by law enforcement authorities. 5.0 SANCTIONS AND LEGAL REMEDIES Any employee who, as a result of Human Resources' investigation and/or the investigations of law enforcement authorities, is found to have engaged in or endorsed the acts or threats of violence defined in section 2.0 of this regulation may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or dismissal. In accordance with federal and state law, the Office, acting on behalf of an employee who has suffered from unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence, may seek a restraining order against the perpetrator of the violence, and, if the perpetrator violates the conditions of that restraining order, may seek further legal remedies as appropriate. 05/22/95 23
  • 25. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AR 2324 Page 3 of 2 6.0 COUNSELING Human Resources will encourage affected employees to participate in the Office's employee assistance program for counseling. 05/22/95 24
  • 26. 2000 - ADMINISTRATION 2300 - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS BP 2340 It is the policy of the Board that the Superintendent shall develop written plans which ensure the Office's preparedness to meet disasters, which conform with the emergency and disaster plans of Santa Clara County, and which comply with the State’s Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). 1.0 Emergency Preparedness Plans These plans shall provide all Office staff and all pupils enrolled in the schools operated by the Office with the instruction they need to be fully informed regarding all phases of emergency and disaster preparedness. The plans shall include the responsibilities each person is to assume and the actions that must be taken should a disaster occur. References: Government Code, §§3100-3101; Title 5, California Administrative Code §560; AR 2340; SEMS Approved: 02/05/75 Santa Clara County Revised: 04/04/84, 11/07/01 Board of Education 25
  • 27. 2000 - ADMINISTRATION 2300 - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AR 2340 1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE In compliance with the State’s Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and Board Policy, Disaster Preparedness Plans have been developed for the Ridder Park facility and individual school sites. The purpose of this regulation is to provide for the annual review of those plans and the implementation of emergency preparedness drills. 2.0 REVIEW AND UPDATE OF DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS All Disaster Preparedness Plans shall be reviewed and updated annually as outlined below: • The Emergency Operating Center Director or designee(s) shall review and update, as necessary, the Disaster Preparedness Plans for the Ridder Park facility and individual school sites. • Designated members of the Office's Administration who are responsible for SEMS functions (see Figure AR 2340-1) shall ensure that Emergency Teams reporting to them are fully staffed and have received appropriate training and shall also ensure that personnel with emergency response responsibilities at individual school sites have received appropriate training. 3.0 EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DRILLS The Ridder Park facility and individual school sites shall test each portion of their plans at least twice a year or as required by legal codes. A record of each drill (showing the date, time, and type of drill, as well as the drill coordinator's name) shall be retained and a copy of the record forwarded to the Emergency Operating Center Director or designee(s). References: Government Code §§3100-3101; Title 5, CAC §560; BP 2340; SEMS Approved: 07/02/84 Santa Clara County Revised: 04/29/91, 10/04/99 Superintendent of Schools 26
  • 28. 2000 - ADMINISTRATION 2300 – GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLIANCE SAFE INGRESS AND EGRESS AR 2341 1.0 PURPOSE AND SCOPE In compliance with State requirements for site level safety plans, this regulation has been established to identify the responsibilities and requirements for developing plans for safe ingress and egress at all Santa Clara County Office of Education student facilities. 2.0 RESPONSIBILITIES It is the responsibility of site administrators, principals, and designees to develop and maintain site-based procedures for the safe ingress and egress of all authorized individuals. 3.0 REQUIREMENTS Plans should address immediate concerns for the safe movement of individuals and provide for resolution at each site as the concern. The plans should include procedures for entering and leaving campuses, buildings, and vehicles to ensure safety and security at all locations and should be reviewed regularly with staff. References: EC 32282 Approved: 12/10/07 Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools 27
  • 29. 8000 - BYLAWS OF THE BOARD 8300 - MEETINGS 8000 - BYLAWS OF THE BOARD 8300 - MEETINGS EMERGENCY MEETINGS BB 8331 InEMERGENCY MEETINGS BB 8331 an emergency situation, the Government Code allows the Board president or designee to dispense with an emergency situation, the Government Code allows the BoardBoard members by whatever means In the 24-hour notice requirement for special meetings, contact president or designee to dispense are most feasible, and convene a meeting. The Board may hold an emergency meeting when prompt with the 24-hour notice requirement for special meetings, contact Board members by whatever means action is necessary to avert disruption to SCCOE business or facilities because of the following: are most feasible, and convene a meeting. The Board may hold an emergency meeting when prompt action is necessary to avert disruption to SCCOE business or facilities because of the following: 1. A work stoppage or other activity which severely impairs public health, safety, or both, as 1. determined by a majority of the membersseverely impairs public health, safety, or both, as A work stoppage or other activity which of the Board. determined by a majority of the members of the Board. 2. A crippling disaster which severely impairs public health, safety, or both, as determined by a 2. majority of the members of severely impairs public health, safety, or both, as determined by a A crippling disaster which the Board. majority of the members of the Board. The Board president or designee shall give notice of the emergency meeting to the local media which have requested notice or designee shall giveby telephone,emergency meeting to thethe meeting.which The Board president of special meetings, notice of the at least one hour before local media Such notice shall specify the of special place of the meeting and aleast one hour the business to be transacted. have requested notice time and meetings, by telephone, at statement of before the meeting. Such If notice shallservices the timefunctioning, the one-hour notice requirement is waived,to be as soon telephone specify are not and place of the meeting and a statement of the business and transacted. aftertelephone services are not functioning, the one-hour notice requirement is waived,the emergency If the meeting as possible, the Board shall notify those media representatives of and as soon meeting and shall describe the the Boardof the notify those media representatives thethe emergency after the meeting as possible, purpose shall meeting and any action taken by of Board. (Government Code describe the purpose of the meeting and any action taken by the Board. meeting and shall §54956.5) (Government Code §54956.5) If a fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency renders the Board Room at the SCCOE headquarters If a fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency renders the Board Room at the SCCOE headquarters unsafe, an emergency meeting place may be designated by the Board president or designee, who shall unsafe, an emergency meeting place may be designated by the Board president or designee, who shall so inform all news media that have requested notice of special meetings, by the most rapid means of so inform all news media that have requested notice of special meetings, by the most rapid means of communication available at the time. (Government Code §54954) communication available at the time. (Government Code §54954) References: Government Code §§54954, 54956 & 54956.5; References: Government Code §§54954, 54956 & 54956.5; BB 8330 BB 8330 Approved: 06/06/01 Approved: 06/06/01 Santa Clara County Santa Clara County Board of Education Board of Education 28
  • 30. Appendix 3: Lists of communication personnel and others to assist the team A list of public information and communication personnel is available from the SCCOE Communication Services Department at (408) 453-6514 or communication_services@sccoe.org. 29
  • 31. Police and Fire Departments Police Police Police Fire Fire Fire City Emergency Non-Emergency Main Line Emergency Non-Emergency Main Line Campbell* 378-8161 866-2101 866-2121 378-8161 299-2503 378-4010 Cupertino* 299-3233 808-4400 868-6600 299-3233 299-2503 378-4010 Gilroy 842-0191 846-0350 848-0350 842-0191 846-0350 846-0310 Los Altos* 650-947-2779 650-947-2770 650-947-2770 650-947-2779 299-2503 378-4010 Los Altos Hills* 650-299-3233 650-522-7700 650-522-7700 299-3233 299-2503 378-4010 Los Gatos* 354-8600 354-8600 354-8600 354-8600 299-2503 378-4010 Milpitas 263-1212 586-2400 586-2400 998-7212 586-2800 582-2800 Monte Sereno* 354-8600 354-8600 354-8600 354-8600 299-2503 378-4010 Morgan Hill* 779-2101 779-2101 779-2101 779-2101 299-2503 378-4010 Mountain View 650-903-6395 650-903-6395 650-903-6395 650-668-1661 650-903-6395 650-903-6365 Palo Alto 650-321-4433 650-329-2413 650-329-2406 650-321-2231 650-329-2184 650-329-2184 San Jose 277-8911 277-8900 277-8900 277-8911 277-8950 277-4444 Santa Clara 296-2236 615-4700 615-4700 296-1515 615-5580 615-4900 Saratoga* 299-3233 741-2092 741-2092 299-3233 299-2503 867-9001 Sunnyvale 736-6244 730-7100 730-7110 736-6244 730-7181 730-7181 Unincorporated 299-3233 299-3233 299-3233 299-3233 * Contracts with Santa Clara County Fire Department For updates visit the Santa Clara County Fire and Police Departments online at http://www.sccfd.org/forms/telephone_tips.pdf 30
  • 32. Appendix 4: List of internal and external audiences When you are working on a crisis consider what the most effective method of communication will be for each of the groups below. Ensure that you communicate with each group that is part of your audience. Internal audiences • SCCOE and school sites • Superintendent • Assistant superintendents • Board members • Site principals • Students, staff and parents • Feeder school staff and students • Principals and superintendents from districts where COE sites are located • Union leaders • Parent leaders/groups External audiences • Media • Local, state, and national (List provided by SCCOE Communication Services) • Local, state and national officials • Police and Fire • Mayor and City Council • County Board of Supervisors • Legislative – state and national • Community where employees live • Santa Clara County School Board Association • 6th District PTA president • Neighborhood coalitions • Community organizations • Chambers of Commerce • Communities-at-large Counseling services Maintain a list of grief counselors and others who can assist staff during this trying time. • Center for Living with Dying, 1265 El Camino Real, Suite 208, Santa Clara, CA 95050. 408-243-0222 • Teen and Family Counseling Center, 307 Orchard City Drive, Suite 206, Campbell, CA 95008. 408-370-9990 • Other listings available on the Santa Clara County Mental Health and Counseling Services Web site. 31
  • 33. Appendix 5: Sample Forms Please review the following sample forms dealing with emergency situations. • News Release • Team Debriefing • Media Inquiry Response • Public Inquiry Response • SCCOE School Photograph/Interview Permission Form The SCCOE Communication Services Department has sample letters, as well as additional forms such as: Bomb Threat Report, Students/Staff Who Need Special Assistance During Evacuation, and Staff with Medical Skills. 32
  • 34. Sample News Release For immediate release Contact: Name and title Date Phone number A (what happened) at (location) involving (who) occurred today at (time). The incident is under investigation and more information is forthcoming. • You can add a time for the next news conference or release of information. • You can add information such as how many casualties there are or other pertinent information. Remember, though, the information must be defini- tive, not speculative. Give only the facts gathered from reliable sources and confirmed. • If you do nothing more than show concern for your employees and the public in your first media interaction, you are on the right track. • If one is not already in place, a generic fact sheet about the school/district should be created and made available. • As the crisis progresses and new information and facts become available, develop prepared statements to be made by the spokesperson at the onset of each media interview, briefing or news conference. • Always do what you can to make a complicated issue as simple as you can for reporters. If the crisis was caused by a piece of equipment consider bringing in a similar item to show reporters. At the very least provide a schematic or drawing. If you give them a visual that may keep them from seeking one out themselves. 33
  • 35. Sample Team Debriefing Form Day: ______________ Date: ______________ Time: ______________ q a.m. q p.m. CCAT team leader summary of the situation at this moment: Reports from liaisons and advisors: q Administrative logistical support q Communication and public information q Legal advisor q First responder/agency liaison q Assembly area/evacuation manager q Executive assistant q Site facilities and operations manager q Principal/incident commander q Web master q Counselor/victims assistance q Site communication School site leader report: Tomorrow’s Action Plan Key events, activities or situations that will occur: Resources that we need to provide: To whom ____________________________ Our highest priority tasks: Assigned to __________________________ Key messages we need to stress: Review the calendar for the next week: Advice to the team during the debriefing session: q You’re all tired and a little stressed, try to relax. q Be methodical, go through the agenda and don’t wander across topics. It will conserve your time. q Be brief and to the point. Each report should last no more than five minutes. q Prepare your written reports so they can be summarized into a daily report. q Allow for emotional release and sharing anecdotes after the business portion of the meeting is completed. q Make sure there are refreshments (not just coffee) available to the team during the meeting. q Try to close the meeting by remembering anything odd, humorous, unusual or touching that happened today that you can share with your colleagues. 34
  • 36. Sample Media Inquiry Response Form q No further action needed Day: ______________ Date: ______________ Time: ______________ q a.m. q p.m. Caller’s name: _________________________________________________________________ q Reporter q Producer/Editor q Stringer/Freelancer q Clerical/Assistant News organization/Affiliate: _____________________________________ City/State: ______________________ q On site q Remote q Local news media Telephone # ______________________ fax # ______________________ e-mail ____________________________ Type of interview requested: q on telephone q live q taped Who they want to talk with: ____________________________________________________________ When: ____________________ Where: ____________________________________________________________ Is this a follow-up to an earlier call? q Yes q No How we responded: q Faxed press statement q Faxed media policy q updated over the phone Is a return call needed? q Yes q No Additional questions from the reporter: Call was returned by: ______________________ Date: ___________ Time: __________ q a.m. q p.m. Response given to questions: __________________________________________________________________ Person filling out this form: _____________________________________________ Date: _______________ 35
  • 37. Sample Public Inquiry Response Form Day ______________ Date: ______________ Time: ______________ q a.m. q p.m. Contact’s name _________________________________________________________________ Source of the interview q Telephone call-in q Personal interview q Referral Who is the contact? q Agency or official responder q Administrator q School employee q Parent q Student q Community member Major points made in the conversation: q Follow-up required (specify) ______________________________________________________________ q Referred to _____________________________________________________________________________ q Contact report taken by (your name) _____________________________________________________ 36
  • 38. School Photograph/Interview Permission Form Dear Parent/Guardian: On occasion, representatives from the media, from the Santa Clara County Office of Education, or from other education-related groups wish to photograph and/or interview students in connection with school programs or events. Educating the public is one of our school’s objectives. The entire community benefits from knowing about the needs and abilities of our students and about the programs we offer to children and families. In order to release student photos and comments, we need written permission from you. To give your permission, please complete the form below and return it to school with your youngster. Sincerely, Patricia Murphy, Executive Director Communication Services Department ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I, _________________________________, parent/guardian of _________________________________ (please print) (please print) give permission for my child to be photographed, videotaped, and/or interviewed by representatives from the media, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, or other education-related groups for the purpose of publicizing Office of Education programs, development of educational materials, or reporting on events of community interest. I fully relinquish right or interest in any film, tape, or photograph which may be used for any legitimate purpose. ________________________________________________ _______________ Parent/Guardian Signature Date (Please obtain student signature, if applicable.) I, ________________, agree to the above statement. I understand that I can change my mind at any time. (student's name) _________________________________________________ ________________ Student Signature Date Student photo and interview release guidelines: All students enrolled in Santa Clara County Office of Education programs must have written permission on file prior to release of photographs or comments. In order to preserve the students' rights, we may, in some instances, require interviewers and photographers to take special precautions to preserve the identity of the students. Such precautions may include, but are not limited to, obscuring the photo of the student's face and using no name or only first names when quoting students. 37
  • 39. Appendix 6: Crisis Web Site www.sccemergency.org 38
  • 40. Santa Clara County Board of Education Leon F. Beauchman • Joseph Di Salvo • T. N. Ho • Jane Howard Grace H. Mah • Craig Mann • Anna Song County Superintendent of Schools Charles Weis, Ph.D. 1290 Ridder Park Drive San Jose, CA 95131- 2304 www.sccoe.org Communication Services: 3/10