All school Districts are mandated by the State of Washington to engage in safety planning, exercises, as well as training. Many parents and educators are unsure what this mandate entails. The most asked question Whatcom Unified Emergency Management receives is, “What should my school be doing”?
Here are some things to keep in mind:
At a minimum your school plan should address what?
PREPARE: Make a plan, set aside supplies, practice what you will do (STAY,EVACUATE, RELOCATE).
RESPOND: When the bad thing happens you stick to the plan the best you can and help others as you go.
RECOVER: This is the part of your plan that assists you in returning to what your life was like before the incident.
What should your school Plan have in it?
1.School plan should be based on an “all hazards” approach. That means a plan that can address a host of hazards.
2.The role the faculty members play should be based on the Incident Command System (I.C.S.).
3.The plan should at least cover how to lock down the school, shelter in place , evacuate the building, and unite families with students after disaster.
4. It should be drilled, evaluated, and fine tuned on a schedule.
Why should my school partner with our local emergency management office (Whatcom Unified Emergency Management)?
*Facilitate mandated Incident Command System Training for Administration.
*All –Hazards Disaster planning assistance for the your district.
*Assistance in evaluating drills, exercises and plans.
*Establish “reasonable/ prudent” standard by assisting your district in signing off on the county wide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
Encourage your school district to participate in our Whatcom County All Hazards Preparedness Program. Find out more about this proactive approach to school emergency training by CLICKING HERE!
Extra Resources for You:
*School Safety for 5th Graders Program:
School Safety for 5th Graders Program curriculum was developed by our WUEM staff member Nora Jagielo. It is a great resource for talking about community preparedness with middle schoolers. Click on the links to see the lessons.
*Below you will find links to the State of Washington Emergency Management Website for school preparedness that will give further examples of safe schools planning
STATE DEM LINK