When Disaster Strikes, Will Your School Be Prepared?

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Brief overview of how a Learning Management System, and the framework of the FEMA Incident Command System, can assist in creating an effective preparedness plan for schools. Kohn, S. (2012). When Disaster Strikes, Will Your School Be Ready? Presentation at the Indiana Computer Educators Conference, Indianapolis, IN, October 11, 2012.

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  • The element that distinguishes the two is immediacy. An emergency is acute — the undesirable outcome is here, right now. Immediate action is required. A crisis may also call for action, but the purpose of the action is to prevent a possible outcome.
  • I am here today to talk to you about things I hope you never have to experience.
  • You are the experts on your schools capabilities with emergency management.
  • Includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies.Mitigation is the action(s) schools and districts take to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage related to an event(s) that cannot be preventedPrevention is the action(s) schools and districts take to decrease the likelihood that an event or crisis will occurMitigation Examples􀂃Bolting bookshelves to the wall􀂃Fencing hazardous areas􀂃Applying Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principals to school grounds and structures 􀂊Prevention Examples􀂃Policies related to food preparation, mail handling, building access, etc.􀂃Assessments related to threat, physical infrastructure and culture and climate􀂃Current school efforts such as anti-bullying prevention programs and wellness activitiesThe Preparednessphase is designed to prepare the school community for potential emergencies by coordinating with community partners through the development of policies and protocols, incident command systems, training and exercisesObtain necessary equipment and supplies􀂊Prepare for immediate response􀂊Create maps and facilities information􀂊Develop accountability and student release procedures􀂊Practice􀂊Address liability issues
  • Includes plans or preparations made to save lives and to help response and rescue operations. Evacuation plans and stocking food and water are both examples of preparedness. Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs.
  • Includes actions taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in an emergency situation. Response is putting your preparedness plans into action. Seeking shelter from a tornado or turning off gas valves in an earthquake are both response activities. Response activities take place during an emergency.Response is taking action to effectively contain and resolve an emergency through the implementation of the school’s or district’s’ emergency management planExpect to be surprised􀂊Assess the situation and choose the appropriate response􀂊Respond within seconds􀂊Notify appropriate emergency responders and the school crisis response team􀂊Evacuate or lock down the school as appropriate􀂊Keep supplies nearby and organized at all times􀂊Trust leadership􀂊Communicate accurate and appropriate information􀂊Activate the student release system􀂊Allow for flexibility in implementing the emergency management plan􀂊Documentation
  • Includes actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency. Recovery includes obtaining financial assistance to help pay for the repairs. Recovery activities take place after an emergency.The Recoveryphase is designed to assist students, staff and their families in the healing process and to restore educationaloperations in schools􀂊The key components of recovery are:􀂃Physical/structural􀂃Business/fiscal􀂃Academic􀂃Psychological/emotional􀂊Planning for recovery involves establishing key community partnerships, developing policies, providing training and developing memorandums of understandingPlan for recovery in the preparedness phase􀂊Assemble the crisis intervention team􀂊Return to the “business of learning” as quickly as possible􀂊Schools and districts need to keep students, families, and the media informed􀂊Focus on the building, as well as people, during recoveryProvide assessment of emotional needs of staff, students, families, and responders􀂊Provide stress management during class time􀂊Conduct daily debriefings for staff, responders, and others assisting in recovery􀂊Take as much time as needed for recovery􀂊Remember anniversaries of crises􀂊Evaluate
  • Switch to PUC Emergency Preparedness Module
  • 3 minutes
  • When Disaster Strikes, Will Your School Be Prepared?

    1. 1. When Disaster Strikes, Will Your School Be Prepared?Sara M. KohnGraduate Research AssistantPurdue University Calumet
    2. 2. AgendaPlanning for an Emergency/CrisisNIMS, National Incident Management SystemEmergency Management PhasesPlanning ProcessRoles & ResponsibilitiesTrainingUsing your LMSVideoWrap-Up
    3. 3. About Your SpeakerQualifications:  MSED, Instructional Design & Technology, 2012.  MA, Communication, 2013.  Graduate Research Assistant, Purdue University Calumet Office of Emergency Management.  Graduate Assistant, Purdue University Calumet Office of Instructional Technology.  Purdue University Calumet Building Deputy Training- Designer/Facilitator.  FEMA Professional Development Series Certified.
    4. 4. Emergency Management & TechnologyBenefits of using learning management systems to provide information to faculty & staff for emergency preparedness.
    5. 5. Importance of Planning for an Emergency or Crisis Emergencies of all shapes and sizes occur in schools daily Emergencies, or crises, have significant impact on students, faculty, parents, and community  Physical  Emotional  Educational Effective planning will reduce the level of chaos that occurs during an emergency and will enable schools to return to normalcy quicker.
    6. 6. Emergency or Crisis?A crisis is "an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending, especially one with a distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome."An emergency is "an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action."
    7. 7. Current Status of School Emergency Management Plans Most schools and school districts have emergency management plans; however, the plans are not always:  Comprehensive  Practiced regularly  Coordinated with the community  Always discussed with families, staff, and students  Based upon sound factual data and circumstances  Regularly updated or used at all
    8. 8. Key Components of School Emergency Management Plans Goal is for all school districts and schools to have emergency management plans that:  Address all four phases of emergency management  Take an “all hazards” approach  Are developed collaboratively with community partners  Are based upon sound data and information  Are practiced on a regular basis  Are continually reviewed and updated  Are living documents  Include command structure  Are tailored to conditions of individual schools
    9. 9. All-Hazards Approach Natural –Earthquakes, tornados, floods Technological –Power outages, nearby nuclear plant Infrastructure –Roads and bridges, utilities Nonstructural –Portable room dividers, bookshelves, suspended ceilings and light fixtures Man-made –Hazardous materials release, terrorism Biological –Pandemic flu, contaminated food Physical well-being–broken bones on playground, suicide Student culture and climate–bullying, drugs, violent behavior
    10. 10. Incident LikelihoodNot a question of if, it is a question of when.
    11. 11. NIMS National Incident Management System The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is an emergency management doctrine used across the United States to coordinate emergency preparedness, incident management, and response in public and private sectors. NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management created to reduce the loss of life, property, and harm to the environment.
    12. 12. Four Phases of Emergency Management: Mitigation  Preventing future emergencies or minimizing their effects Preparedness  Preparing to handle an emergency Response  Responding safely to an emergency Recovery  Recovering from an emergency
    13. 13. In AdvanceForm a crisis team. This team should identify the types of crises that may occur in the district and schools and define what events would activate the plan. Consider factors such as your school’s ability to handle a situation with internal resources and experience in responding to past events.
    14. 14. Step 1:Mitigation / Prevention Address what schools and districts can do to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property
    15. 15. Step 2:Preparedness Focuses on the process of planning for the worst-case scenario
    16. 16. Step 3:Response Devoted to the steps to take during a crisis
    17. 17. Step 4:Recovery Deals with how to restore the learning and teaching environment after a crisis.
    18. 18. Good Plans Are Never Finished!Crisis management is a continuous process in which all phases of the plan are being reviewed and revised.Plans can (and should) always be updated based on experience, research, and changing vulnerabilities.
    19. 19. The Planning Process Effective crisis planning begins with leadership at the top. Top leadership helps set the policy agenda, secures funds, and brings the necessary people together. Other leadership should be identified – teachers, school resource officer, school nurse, etc.
    20. 20. Good Planning Can Enhance All School FunctionsCrisis plans should address incidents that could occur inside School buildings On school grounds In the community
    21. 21. Open Lines of CommunicationRelationships need to be built in advance so that emergency responders are familiar with your school.Cultivate a relationship with city emergency managers, public works officials, as well as health and mental health professionals.
    22. 22. Don’t Feel You Have to Reinvent the Wheel!Crisis plans should be developed in partnership with other community groups, including law enforcement, fire safety officials, emergency medical services, and health / mental health professionals.These groups know what to do in an emergency and can be helpful in the development of your plan!
    23. 23. Be Unique!Tailor crisis plans to meet individual school needs.Create detailed response guides for planners, a crisis-response toolbox for administrators.
    24. 24. Roles & ResponsibilitiesA true emergency preparedness plan is a dynamic, living document that needs to reflect the accurate roles and responsibilities of people within [the] organization.An emergency plan should outline who is responsible in a situation; it should specify down to the details of where keys are located, where students are assembled in any emergency situation and most importantly, the plan should be current.
    25. 25. TrainingTraining and practice are essential for the successful implementation of crisis plans.Most students and faculty know what to do in case of a fire because law requires participation in fire drills. Would they know what to do in a different crisis?Drills allow your school to evaluate what works and what needs to be improved.
    26. 26. LMS to Supplement TrainingIt is not suggested that schools use this method exclusively to provide emergency management trainingPeriodic training by EM specialists on best practices and latest developments in school safety, security, and emergency planning should also be made available to district and school crisis team members
    27. 27. Benefits to Using an LMSMoodle, EdModo, MyBigCampus, etc.FREE way to train faculty, staff, students, and parentsYour audience can learn at their convenience (anywhere, anytime)
    28. 28. What Should My Process Be?Make your plansEducate your audienceExercise your plans
    29. 29. Where to Start? Introduction to IncidentCommand System (ICS 100) for Schools, IS-100.SCahttp://emilms.fema.gov/IS100SCA/index.htm
    30. 30. Important ResourcesNational School Safety & Security Services: http://www.schoolsecurity.org/Readiness & Emergency Management for Schools: http://rems.ed.gov/FEMA – Ready KIDS: http://www.ready.gov/kids
    31. 31. Select a Learning Management SystemA few of the available open-source LMS systems: Moodle MyBigCampus Sakai
    32. 32. Start with an outline for your learning modules: Safe locations in each building Administrative Finding Shelter & Staff Roles Welcome to Emergency Alert Emergency Specific SystemPreparedness Learning@ ABC School! Modules AdministrativeCourse Home & Staff Roles Page Building Evacuation Emergency Assembly Areas
    33. 33. Announcements & Time Sensitive Information?Unless you can guarantee that the LMS will be updated, during each incident, with pertinent information regarding occurrences at your district / school, use this is a training / content management system.Stakeholders may come to check your LMS as their sole information provider
    34. 34. Review Emergency PlansMake time to review your emergency plans by taking at least five minutes at the end of every faculty meeting to review one component of the school’s emergency plan and/or at least one issue related to school safety.Five minutes of each monthly faculty meeting would provide roughly 50 minutes of attention to school safety and emergency planning.
    35. 35. Don’t Think It Won’t Happen To Your School! Henryville INDIANA High School, March 5, 2012:
    36. 36. Thank you!
    37. 37. Questions?

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