U.S. Department of Education
                        Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) Technical Assistance ...
school districts to decrease the likelihood that an       Phase 2: Preparedness
emergency will occur. Mitigation is the ac...
healing process of students, faculty and
                                                        staff, but a school’s phy...
Establishing Crisis Response                              the development of comprehensive, multi-
Teams                  ...
into consideration the universe of emergencies and
                        Sample School or School District Incident Command System

needs, backgrounds and levels of understanding;           or the activation of an automated alert system.
therefore, open ...
Stock Emergency Go-kits and                                Provide Training to Faculty and Staff
and procedures should be visibly posted in
                                                          classrooms, offices, ...
minor changes may be required as community                  Ongoing efforts and activities framed by the four
responders o...
RESouRCES (con’t.)
National Clearinghouse for                                u.S Department of Education
Educational Facil...
RESouRCES (con’t.)

    ERCM Webcast                                                         principles, procedures, proc...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

ERCM Express


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

ERCM Express

  1. 1. U.S. Department of Education Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) Technical Assistance Center ERCMExpress Emergency Response and Crisis Management TA Center Volume 2, Issue 8 CREATING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLANS To ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, to emergency management and work to schools and school districts nationwide should ensure that their plans take into account the create comprehensive, multi-hazard emergency unique needs of the school, any procedures management plans that focus on the four phases and processes already in place that could be of emergency management—prevention- improved and the benefits of adding structure to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. identified gaps. All-inclusive plans and well-executed processes will ensure the continuity of school and school Creating Plans Based on the districts’ daily business operations in the face Four Phases of Emergency of natural and man-made disasters, criminal Management activity on campuses and outbreaks of infectious The four phases of emergency management help diseases. “Schools must prepare for the expected to establish a firm foundation for successful to be prepared for the unexpected,” asserts Robert planning. The phases are all interconnected; Laird, director of school safety at the Mississippi therefore, proactive efforts in each phase Department of Education. impact the quality of the outcomes of the other three phases. The most effective plans provide The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and direction and support to the entire school Communities Act (SDFSCA) requires community and are continuously reviewed and local education agencies (LEAs) receiving enhanced through routine activities to build a SDFSCA funds to have a plan for keeping school or school district’s capacity to prevent their schools safe and drug-free that includes: and mitigate emergencies, prepare for incidents appropriate and effective discipline policies; and respond to and recover from crises. security procedures; prevention activities; a student code of conduct; and an emergency The following suggestions, categorized by the management plan for responding to violent four phases of emergency management, will or traumatic incidents on school grounds. assist schools and school districts in establishing or refining their emergency management plans. Most schools and school districts have Phase 1: Prevention-Mitigation established emergency management plans; however, they are often not comprehensive, The prevention-mitigation phase is designed practiced regularly or written in collaboration to assess and address the safety, security with the local community. It is highly and integrity of school buildings, learning recommended that schools and school districts environments and students and staff. Prevention adopt a comprehensive, multi-hazard approach is the action or actions taken by schools and
  2. 2. school districts to decrease the likelihood that an Phase 2: Preparedness emergency will occur. Mitigation is the action The preparedness phase readies schools or actions taken to eliminate or reduce risks, and school districts to respond in a rapid, damages, injuries or deaths that may occur coordinated and effective manner to an during an emergency, such as a natural disaster emergency. Examples of preparedness activities or chemical spill. that may be incorporated into a school’s Examples of prevention activities that may emergency management plan include: be incorporated into a school’s emergency  Identifying weaknesses in the current management plan may include: emergency management plan;  Establishing communication procedures for  Interpreting the data collected from the staff, parents, students and the media; vulnerability assessments conducted during  Enforcing policies related to food the prevention-mitigation phase; preparation, mail handling, building access  Developing or updating appropriate processes and student accountability; and and procedures (based on the identification  Conducting comprehensive, strength-based of weaknesses as well as the data from the vulnerability assessments—of school vulnerability assessments) to ensure the buildings and grounds, school cultures safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors; and climates, staff skills, and community  Creating and strengthening relationships resources—to help crisis response teams with community partners, including identify, analyze and profile hazards and members of law enforcement, fire safety, develop appropriate policies and procedures. local government, public health and mental Mitigation activities may include: health agencies and the media;  Delegating roles and responsibilities,  Fencing hazardous areas; including levels of authority;  Anchoring outdoor equipment that could  Establishing an Incident Command System become flying projectiles; and (ICS);  Bolting bookshelves to walls and securing  Implementing functional training exercises loose wires. for faculty and staff with first responders;  Implementing evacuation, lock-down and shelter-in-place drills; and  Coordinating emergency management plans with those of state and local agencies to avoid unnecessary duplication. Phase 3: Response When emergencies arise, schools and school districts must quickly implement the policies and procedures developed in the prevention-
  3. 3. healing process of students, faculty and staff, but a school’s physical (buildings and grounds), fiscal (daily business operations) and academic (a return to classroom learning) recuperation. Strong partnerships with members of the law enforcement and public and mental health communities are essential for effective recovery efforts. Examples of recovery activities include:  Outlining service delivery systems;  Providing mental health services or offering referral services; mitigation and preparedness phases to effectively  Developing letter templates for emergencies; manage the crisis and protect the school community. Throughout the response phase,  Predetermining strategies for accepting efforts focus on deescalating the emergency donations following a death or an incident; and taking accelerated steps toward recovery.  Establishing a policy for standing or Examples of response activities include: temporary memorials and ensuring that it is consistent for all events;  Delegating responsibilities;  Ensuring that a process is in place for  Deploying resources; soliciting and receiving parental consent  Activating the communication, for such activities as providing medical accountability and decisionmaking treatment or receiving counseling services; procedures outlined in the predetermined  Establishing a process for screening and emergency management plan; registering volunteers; and  Documenting all actions, decisions and  Developing and practicing a Continuity of events (e.g., what happened, what worked Operations Plan (COOP) at the school and and what did not work); school district levels.  Holding debriefing meetings; and  Reviewing after-action reports to determine recovery activities and necessary revisions to the emergency management plan based on lessons learned. Phase 4: Recovery The recovery phase quickly restores educational and business operations in schools and school districts following an incident. Recovery is an ongoing process that includes not only the mental, emotional and physical
  4. 4. Establishing Crisis Response the development of comprehensive, multi- Teams hazard emergency management plans. The process of developing and maintaining Align Plans and Procedures an emergency management plan is complex; therefore, before a plan is developed, district School and school district crisis response crisis response teams and individual crisis teams should collaborate with local, state, response teams should be assembled. These regional and federal agencies (before a crisis teams are composed of a variety of professionals occurs) to integrate processes and determine with expertise in emergency management (e.g., what resources may be shared. As an incident police, fire and emergency medical services escalates, well-aligned response procedures will personnel) and include community partners facilitate a smooth transfer of command, ensure (e.g., public and mental health professionals) the effective activation of additional resources, and school-based staff (e.g., facilities and and promote clear communication among cafeteria managers, nurses, disability specialists, responders, crisis response teams and members counselors, teachers and administrators). Partner of the local community. agreements, or memoranda of understanding, The National Incident Management System should be created by the school and school The U.S. Department of Homeland Security district crisis response teams to clearly delineate (DHS) manages the National Incident team members’ roles and responsibilities. Management System (NIMS), a unified national Crisis response teams are typically system for managing domestic incidents. responsible for: The NIMS, made up of six components— Command and Management; Preparedness;  Establishing relationships with community Resource Management; Communications partners; and Information Management; Supporting Technologies; and Ongoing Management  Coordinating vulnerability assessments; and Maintenance—specifies the standardized  Developing training activities and conducting methods all emergency responders should exercises to support and improve the follow to plan, coordinate and carry out emergency management plan; responses to a variety of incidents. It also allows  Establishing and enforcing a school and schools and local agencies to jointly manage school district’s emergency management incidents. The NIMS Integration Center (NIC), plans; and available at http://www.fema.gov/nims/, offers guidance and resources to schools and school  Guiding and supporting the development of districts nationwide on all phases of emergency individual schools’ crisis response teams. management planning. Developing a Multi-Hazard Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Plan The Federal Emergency Management Agency School and school district crisis response teams (FEMA) also supports local collaboration, should incorporate the following steps to ensure steers state preparedness efforts and provides guidance and resources to schools and school
  5. 5. into consideration the universe of emergencies and responses, choose a few that are more likely to happen than others … prepare a response and train until [they respond] well.” Assessment data must be routinely gathered and analyzed by the team, with corrective actions put into place and resources stored for the future. When assessments are performed repeatedly, crisis response teams can better enhance their existing plans and protocols. Establish and Institutionalize the districts on managing incidents. FEMA’s Web Incident Command System (ICS) site, http://www.fema.gov, offers information As part of the preparedness phase, schools in English and in Spanish to assist individuals and school districts should establish an in preparing and planning for emergencies. In Incident Command System (ICS). The addition, FEMA’s Emergency Management ICS, housed within the Command and Institute provides training based on the four Management component of the NIMS, is phases of emergency management—prevention- the response infrastructure that facilitates mitigation, preparedness, response and effective and efficient incident management. recovery—to equip first responders, government It utilizes five functional areas—Command, officials, private and public sector personnel Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance- and school administrators and staff to reduce the Administration—to manage all major incidents, impact of a crisis. More information is available integrate facilities and resource management, at http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/ establish equipment standards and create a crslist.asp. common incident management organization. Conduct Assessments To establish an effective ICS in a school or School and school district crisis response teams school district, crisis response teams should: should conduct vulnerability assessments to determine the strengths and weaknesses of: school  Identify key team roles and functions; buildings and environments; schools’ social,  Assess staff members’ skills; emotional and cultural climates; community  Assign staff to each ICS area; and staff resources; and the unique concerns of individuals with disabilities and special needs. Crisis  Assign key individual roles and functions; response teams should also take into consideration  Create lines of succession (backup) for all the possible effects of natural, biological or man- key positions; and made disasters on schools and the surrounding  Coordinate with community partners to community. William Waterkamp, safety and identify roles and responsibilities. security administrator for St. Paul Public Schools in St. Paul, Minn., recommends that schools “…take
  6. 6. INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM Sample School or School District Incident Command System Incident Commander and Incident Command Team Public Information Officer Operations Planning Logistics Finance-Administration Health Services-First Aid Documentation-Recorder Transportation Insurance Claims Search and Rescue Facility and Materials Food Services Personnel Student Supervision Student-Parent Reunification The ICS should also include an experienced must remain in a school building for extended public information officer to be the primary periods of time during an event such as a chemical liaison for relaying timely and accurate spill or terrorist attack. information to the public. (See “Establish a Communications Plan” for more information on Emergency procedures must integrate the the role of the public information officer.) needs of the entire school community—faculty, staff, visitors, students and individuals with Develop Policies and Protocols disabilities and special needs (such as limited English proficiency). These procedures must be Crisis response teams should develop multi-hazard put in writing, communicated to team members response policies and protocols in collaboration and practiced through drills and exercises. with community partners using the ICS and assessment data gathered in the prevention- Establish a Communications Plan mitigation phase. Emergency management plans must include procedures for the three primary The delivery of timely and accurate information responses: evacuation, lockdown and shelter- before, during and after an incident is a critical in-place. An evacuation occurs when it is safer component of emergency management. When outside the school than it is inside the school. A crisis response team members, community lockdown takes place when there is an immediate partners, school and school district personnel, threat of violence in a school or on school grounds. students, parents and the media is crucial. Each Shelter-in-place occurs when students and staff group needs information that is tailored to their
  7. 7. needs, backgrounds and levels of understanding; or the activation of an automated alert system. therefore, open lines of communication should Schools and school districts should disseminate be established in advance. Prior planning builds these policies—in numerous languages if trust in the school and school district and assures necessary— before an incident occurs through the public that the appropriate actions are being school Web pages, e-mail blasts, letters to taken to ensure the safety and security of students parents and guardians and Parent-Teacher and staff. In addition, emergencies may pose Association (PTA) meetings. limitations on communication due to power outages, downed phone lines or an overwhelming School Emergency Cards number of cellular calls. It is recommended that School emergency cards for parents (see the schools and school districts have alternative sample below) are one option for schools to methods of communication that are not connected provide parents with critical information in one to a city or county’s main power source. easy-to-access location. During an emergency, the public information officer is responsible for providing the public, School Emergency Card for Parents the media and local, state and federal agencies with incident-related information. This KEEP THIS IN YOUR WALLET OR CARRY AT ALL TIMES. individual relays timely, accurate and complete When an emergency has occurred at school, parents and guard- ians may obtain critical information by doing one of the following: information about an incident’s location, status,  Call the school emergency hotline at (555) 555-5555. cause and size, which must be approved by the  Check e-mail frequently for news bulletins and alerts. ICS’ designated incident commander. Before  Visit the school’s Web site at www.yourschool.edu. a public information officer assumes his or  Tune in to local television stations A (Ch. 2) and B (Ch. 4).  Listen to local radio station 000.0 FM. her position, a communication plan should be developed in collaboration with the incident commander and emergency management team. “During a crisis, parents need to be given This plan should detail policies for relaying meaningful information about their children— information to the public (including identifying when and where they can connect with them,” a media staging area), using plain language and insists Laird. “While schools needs to be firm in communicating to staff during an emergency. their policies, they must also be compassionate to the needs of parents. Parents and guardians Create a Student-Parent need alternatives if they cannot reunite with Reunification Plan their children.” When a school’s population has been evacuated to an alternate site, or if the safety of the Accurate student emergency information is vital neighboring community is threatened, school to the success of student-parent reunification administrators or the crisis response team plans. This confidential information must be will implement a school’s student-parent stored in a protected but accessible location. In reunification plan for releasing students to addition to basic parental contact information, the their parents or guardians. This plan outlines a cards should list the student’s medical issues, any school’s parental notification methods, such as family custody issues and special needs. the use of calling trees, local media channels
  8. 8. Stock Emergency Go-kits and Provide Training to Faculty and Staff Supplies Emergency management training should Every school should store emergency supplies be developed based on a school and school and “go-kits.” A go-kit is a self-contained, district’s prevention and preparedness efforts, portable stockpile of emergency supplies. prioritized threats and identified issues derived Some schools may choose to create two types from assessments. Routine, multi-hazard of go-kits: one for administrators and one for training should be scheduled and noted in classrooms. Administrative go-kit supplies may emergency management plans. The sessions include utility turn-off procedures, a calling tree, should also be conducted in conjunction with a whistle, the parent-student reunification plan community partners to capitalize on responders’ and a first-aid kit. Classroom go-kits may include expertise and ensure consistent learning. a student attendance roster, a first-aid kit, age- appropriate student activities and a vest or hat General crisis training must be provided to all for teacher identification. Examples of go-kit staff (i.e., administrative and custodial staff, checklists may be found at the DHS Web site, teachers, nurses, bus drivers and substitutes) www.ready.gov. and students. When appropriate, parents and community partners should also receive Go-kits are often stored in backpacks or duffle this training. School staff and emergency bags and placed in readily accessible and secure management team leaders may receive additional locations. A school’s crisis response team in-depth training, including courses required for should select supplies that address the needs of NIMS compliance through FEMA’s Emergency the school, as well as its population, climate, Management Institute. School districts receiving facilities and resources. Because emergency Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 federal emergency supplies are critical to a smooth response, a preparedness funds are required to take: IS-700; school’s emergency management plan should FY06 emergency preparedness fund grantees are reference both the supplies needed and the required to take: IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS- staff members responsible for stocking and 800. Course information is available at replenishing items. http://www.training.fema.gov/emiweb/IS. Conduct Functional Exercises Functional exercises are simulations of emergency situations and are integral to the development of an effective emergency management plan. When conducted in collaboration with first responders, the exercises provide opportunities to not only strengthen working relationships and put into practice the emergency management plan, but eliminate weaknesses in it. Exercises may range from basic fire and shelter-in-place drills to full- scale communitywide drills that realistically portray a crisis and activate the ICS.
  9. 9. and procedures should be visibly posted in classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, cafeterias and auditoriums. School staff members, students and parents should familiarize themselves with the plan they receive and ensure that they have a firm grasp of how they may work to enhance the safety and security of the entire community. Emergency Management Plans are Fluid The development of an emergency management Publishing and Disseminating plan is not a one-time task; instead, it is an Emergency Management Plans ongoing process. The plan must be continually updated or it becomes ineffective. Lessons Some districts may opt to publish two versions can be learned through the continued use of of a school and school district’s emergency vulnerability assessments, functional exercises, management plans—a comprehensive version debriefing meetings and after-action reports and a condensed version. The summarized (following real events and exercises). After- version might include the basic procedures for action reports should emphasize needed a variety of target audiences (e.g., faculty, staff modifications; however, a well-designed plan and parents) and could highlight procedures should not need major revisions as long as a regarding evacuations, lockdowns, shelter-in- school’s building layout and a school district’s place responses and visitor policies. Everyone policies remain stable. It is more likely that should understand that a comprehensive plan exists; however, it should also be explained that for security reasons, the details of that version might not be widely publicized. Key district and community officials should determine the level of detail included in the abbreviated plans. When published, the summarized version should include user- friendly access, language and instructions. Schools and school districts may choose from a variety of methods to disseminate the procedures outlined in their emergency management plans, such as school Web sites, posters, flipcharts, formal announcements, in-service days and special classroom presentations and activities. General provisions
  10. 10. minor changes may be required as community Ongoing efforts and activities framed by the four responders or school districts initiate new or phases of emergency management—prevention- modified policies on opening or closing blinds mitigation, preparedness, response and during a shelter-in-place drill or posting recovery—coupled with NIMS compliance, will placards on external windows to indicate that yield new wisdom and allow schools and school everyone in the room is safe and accounted for districts to continually strengthen their capacities during a lockdown. to effectively maintain the safety and security of the school and local community. RESouRCES Federal Emergency Management for developing emergency management plans. Agency The guide also includes a comprehensive The Federal Emergency Management Agency section regarding trauma and recovery. (FEMA) Web site, www.fema.gov, offers The publication is available at http://www. information in English and in Spanish to assist kycss.org/clear/EMGpage.html. individuals in preparing and planning for emergencies. In addition, FEMA’s Emergency Model Safe School Plan: A Template Management Institute provides training based for Ensuring a Safe, Healthy, and on the four phases of emergency management— Productive Learning Environment, prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response Volume 2—Emergency Procedures and recovery—to equip first responders, The Model Safe School Plan reviews government officials, private and public sector emergency preparedness and response in light personnel and school administrators and staff to of the California Standardized Emergency reduce the impact of a crisis. Management System (SEMS), which centralizes More information is available at http://www. and coordinates the emergency responses of training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/crslist.asp. Los Angeles district organizations and public agencies. The plan provides an effective The Kentucky Center for School framework for managing emergencies ranging Safety’s Emergency Management from minor incidents to major earthquakes. Guide The plan was evaluated by FEMA and listed in The Kentucky Center for School Safety created its publication Partnerships in Preparedness: the template Emergency Management Guide to A Compendium of Exemplary Practices in assist schools in preventing, preparing for and Emergency Management, Volume IV. responding to a variety of emergencies on their The plan is available at http:// campuses. The customizable guide supports an lausd-oehs.org/docs/ModelSSP/ all-hazards approach to crisis management and ModelSafeSchoolPlanV2Template.pdf. provides step-by-step guidance and resources 10
  11. 11. RESouRCES (con’t.) National Clearinghouse for u.S Department of Education Educational Facilities The U.S. Department of Education’s Web site, The National Clearinghouse for Educational www.ed.gov, offers the following free resources Facilities (NCEF) offers a wealth of for schools and school districts to assist them in information related to disaster preparedness preparing and planning for emergencies: and school safety. Its Safe Schools Web page addresses all aspects of a school’s campus to  Practical Information on Crisis Planning: ensure the physical security of its occupants. A Guide for Communities and Schools The Web page also includes news, events, This guide provides schools and their resource lists, journal articles, publications and communities with a general introduction to a safe schools checklist. crisis management as it applies to schools It is available at http://www.edfacilities.org. and offers basic guidelines for developing school emergency management plans. National oceanic and Atmospheric The guide: outlines the four phases of Administration crisis planning (prevention-mitigation, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric preparedness, response and recovery); Administration (NOAA) created A Guide provides checklists for the critical issues to Developing a Severe Emergency Plan encountered in each of the four phases; and for Schools to assist school administrators provides information on specific elements and teachers with developing thunderstorm of crisis management, including leadership, safety plans as well as safety plans for other communication and the Incident Command hazardous weather conditions like lightening, System. The publication is available at hail, tornadoes and flash floods. Information on http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/ designing and practicing the plans, recognizing emergencyplan/crisisplanning.pdf. the approach of severe weather and general  Emergency Response and Crisis school bus safety is also provided. The guide Management Technical Assistance Center is available at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/ swep/. In addition, information on hurricane The Emergency Response and Crisis preparedness is available on NOAA’s Hurricane Management (ERCM) Technical Assistance Preparedness Web page: http://www.nhc.noaa. (TA) Center, available at http://www.ercm. gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml. org/, offers additional school-based emergency response and crisis management resources, including: webcasts; training documents from experts in the field; information on the ERCM discretionary grant program; and newsletters addressing key issues. 11
  12. 12. RESouRCES (con’t.)  ERCM Webcast principles, procedures, processes, terminology On June 28, 2005, the Department’s Office and standards. To facilitate this effort, the DHS of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) established the National Incident Management hosted the Emergency Response and System (NIMS), which provides a uniform Crisis Management (ERCM) webcast. The system for managing domestic incidents. webcast featured an overview of the four The NIMS Integration Center (NIC) offers phases of crisis planning and the roles that guidance and resources to schools and school personnel from schools, school districts and districts nationwide on all phases of emergency other public agencies play in developing, management planning. implementing, evaluating and sustaining Information on the NIMS and the NIC are ERCM plans. The webcast may be viewed available at http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/displ at http://www.kidzonline.org/ercm/. ay?theme=14content=3697. Supporting materials, including PowerPoint slides for the webcast, are available at http:// An additional Web site, Ready.gov, has also www.ercm.org/videoConference. been established to educate Americans about u.S. Department of Homeland the simple steps they should take to ready Security themselves for a variety of emergencies. The site includes updated emergency preparedness The U.S. Department of Homeland Security resources, including special preparedness (DHS), available at www.dhs.gov, is responsible information for pet owners, senior citizens and for ensuring that federal, state, local and private individuals with disabilities and special needs. agencies are prepared to effectively manage emergencies using a core set of concepts, The Web site is available at http://www.ready.gov/. The ERCM TA Center would like to thank Robert Laird, director of school safety, Mississippi Department of Education, and William Waterkamp, safety and security administrator, St. Paul Public Schools, St. Paul, Minn., for their assistance in the production of this newsletter. For information about the Emergency Response and Crisis Management grant program, contact Tara Hill (tara.hill@ ed.gov), Michelle Sinkgraven (michelle.sinkgraven@ed.gov), or Sara Strizzi (sara.strizzi@ed.gov). Suggestions for newsletter topics should be sent to the ERCM TA Center Suggestion Box at www.ercm.org. This publication was funded by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education under contract number GS23F8062H with Caliber Associates, Inc. The contracting officer’s representative was Tara Hill. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. This publication also contains hyperlinks and URLs for information created and maintained by private organizations. This information is provided for the reader’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education is not responsible for controlling or guaranteeing the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of information or a hyperlink or URL does not reflect the importance of the organization, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered. All hyperlinks and URLs were accessed on July 20, 2006. 1