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Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility 2013 Dropout Prevention Conference Mississippi Department of Education – Office of Dropout.

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Presentation on theme: "Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility 2013 Dropout Prevention Conference Mississippi Department of Education – Office of Dropout."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility 2013 Dropout Prevention Conference Mississippi Department of Education – Office of Dropout Prevention Wednesday, August 28, :30 AM – 11:30 AM Presented by: Millicent D. West West and Associates, LLC

2 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility ASK… When preparing for the school year/school day and as you work with colleagues, parents and the community we often fail to ask for thoughts and opinions about what others think is important as it relates to preparedness. What are we (together) trying to achieve? Where does this fit into the overall structure/school/school district priorities? Is “this” a realistic expectation? How much time do we have to work on ensuring our readiness? What are other jurisdictions doing? How much will this cost? How much is too little or too much? What has the past taught us? How will success be measured? How will this help me/you? What are YOU going to do to help? What damage can be done if we fail to act? Who are the detractors?

3 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility …LISTEN… When and if we actually ask, we merely do so as an exercise to placate and often never intend to use stakeholder input to shape our preparedness efforts. Let us become ACTIVE LISTENERS. Talk less Pay attention Listen without prejudice Resist jumping to conclusions Listen expecting to learn Respect the opinions, positions and input of others Find out what others are doing Take experience/experiences into consideration “If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence” ~Professor L. Cotton – University of California, San Francisco

4 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility …ACT Emergency Preparedness planning should become a core component of school system operations rather than a “necessary inconvenience.” Improve systems to improve access to information Make information practical and practicable Monitor and audit emergency preparedness processes to measure effectiveness Inform stakeholders about your efforts “Emergency Preparedness shouldn’t be an accident!”

5 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility IDENTIFY What is the role of the School Administrator, Classroom Teacher, or School Staff Person in the event of an emergency or attack? Laws in many states dictate that school staff become emergency response workers during an emergency an cannot leave their school unless authorized by a supervisor. Teachers work with principals, and other site staff to implement emergency response procedures. They have the responsibility of protecting themselves and ensuring the safety of the students. The role and responsibility are identical in instances of a fire, flood, tornado or other emergencies to include active shooter incidents.

6 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility The Four Phases of School Emergency Management Mitigation Phase (Phase 1) Also known as “prevention,” mitigation is the action schools and districts take to decrease the likelihood that an event or crisis will occur. Steps that eliminate or reduce the loss of life or property damage for events that cannot be prevented. Designed to assess and address: Safety and integrity of facilities Security Culture and climate of schools Uses an all-hazards approach Builds on what schools are already doing Reliant on community partnerships and leadership Is an ongoing process

7 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility The Four Phases of School Emergency Management Preparedness Phase (Phase 2) Designed to strengthen the school community by coordinating with community partners to: Develop an emergency plan, policies and protocols Adopt the Incident Command System (ICS) Conduct staff training and drills Address facility issues Discuss family reunification planning Address planning for persons with functional/access needs Goal is to facilitate a rapid, coordinated, and effective response in the event of an emergency

8 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility The Four Phases of School Emergency Management Response Phase (Phase 3) During an emergency, there are three primary responses: Evacuation Lockdown Shelter-In-Place When emergency management plans are activated to effectively contain and resolve an emergency Activate the Plan Assess the Problem and Determine the Response Deploy Resources Activate Communications Plan Work with First Responders/Community Partners Account for Students and Staff Make Informed Decisions Each response decision will depend on the specifics and severity of the situation

9 Emergency Preparedness in Schools: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility The Four Phases of School Emergency Management Recovery Phase (Phase 4) Designed to assist students, staff, and their families in the healing process and to restore educational operations in schools. Has four primary components: Physical/structural recovery Business/fiscal recovery Restoration of the learning environment (academics) Psychological/emotional recovery Connected to other phases Uses an all-hazards approach Supported with community partners

10 Disaster Exercise

11 Food for Thought School teachers, administrators and students have no idea what to do should they or their students experience direct attacks from a madman or terrorist. They have no training or plan. “Where would it ever be appropriate for a lack of information to exist in life or death situations? Nowhere, it seems, except for schools, where the most precious of the country’s assets reside on a daily basis.” -Response Options

12 What Would You Do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Traditional Lockdown Concerns Limits our natural inclination to get away from danger by running Trains everyone to “FREEZE” – the worst response to directed violence Assumes the entire campus is in the same amount of danger NOW… Ask a police officer what advice they would give their children if they are being attacked with deadly force…

13 Now Let’s Discuss

14 CONTACT INFORMATION Millicent D. West, President West and Associates, LLC Washington, DC | Dallas. TX


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