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Planning how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs

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1 Planning how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs
Preparedness Planning how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs Preparedness involves planning how to respond when an emergency or disaster occurs and working to marshal the resources needed to respond effectively. Just as schools and education agencies cannot prevent natural disasters, they may not be able to prevent a terrorist event. But, they can plan how to respond when an emergency does take place, either in school or the community. Federal and state education agencies urge every school to have an emergency management plan, but do not require school plans to be integrated with statewide planning efforts. Most preparedness efforts originating from the education arena are targeted at, or take place at the local level. Most public health preparedness efforts do not fully engage local education agencies and schools.

2 What is Currently Being Done?
US Department of Education website for emergency preparedness plan Federal funds to help school districts improve and strengthen emergency response FY $30 million “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: a Guide for Schools and Communities” May 2003 CDC funds education and health agencies FEMA: The Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools Independent Study Course FEMA for Kids, In March 2003, ED revealed a new website, plan, to provide school leaders with more information about emergency preparedness. In addition to the website, ED is making $38 million available in FY 2003 to help school districts improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans. Funds can be used to train school personnel, parents and students in crisis response; coordinate with local emergency responders including fire and police; purchase equipment; and coordinate with groups and organizations responsible for recovery issues, such as health and mental- health agencies. An additional $30 million is included in the proposed FY 2004. ED recently released Practical Information on Crisis Planning: a Guide for Schools and Communities (May 2003). The Guide is intended to guide schools and school districts through crisis planning. In April of 2002, ED and the Harvard School of Public Health sponsored a teleconference, entitled The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities website, includes an extensive resource list on Disaster Preparedness for Schools. CDC funds education and health agencies in 18 states to strengthen their capacity to plan and implement Coordinated School Health Programs.

3 What are the Gaps? No coordination between preparedness activities
Few activities are designed to foster collaboration between education, public health, and other emergency responders at the state or local level School plans are often treated as a separate plan rather than as part of the community plan School plans tend not to be practiced as part of larger community preparedness exercises. Clearly, there are many preparedness activities underway. However, there is no coordination between these activities. Few activities, notably the CDC and ED teleconference and the FEMA multi-hazards training course, are designed to foster collaboration between education, public health, and other emergency responders at the state or local level, or across levels. Although schools are urged to plan, and the recent ED emergency planning grants will help the process, school plans are often treated as a separate plan rather than as part of the community plan. When collaboration with other community agencies is discussed, it is usually with law enforcement, fire, and homeland security, not with public health and mental health preparedness efforts. School plans tend not to be practiced as part of larger community preparedness exercises.

4 Oklahoma City -- Lessons Learned
Contingency planning contributes to an effective response Lessons learned also apply to natural disasters, industrial accidents and other catastrophes If disaster planning is part of the rhythm of a community, lives will be saved. A clear theme is identified from this tragedy—planning. Nothing emerges more clearly from all of the lessons learned in Oklahoma City than the degree to which contingency planning contributes to an effective response. From clergy to firefighters, from the schools to the Chamber of Commerce, everyone agreed on the need for careful planning. Chances are that most communities will never be struck by a devastating terrorist attack, but many of these lessons learned also apply to natural disasters, industrial accidents and the other catastrophes that can befall a community in the modern world. If disaster planning is part of the rhythm of a community, lives will be saved.

5 Planning for the Unthinkable…
Have a Plan Test Your Plan Share Your Plan Repeat Exercises... and Then Do It Again If You Can’t Afford Repeated Exercises, At Least Review Your Plans Forge Relationships Prepare Lists of Vendors and Service Providers Have a Plan. Every community, every organization benefits from disaster planning. Diligent planning saves lives. Test Your Plan. Try your plan out before it is needed. Find the weaknesses in your plan when lives are not at stake. Share Your Plan Communicate the lessons of planning and exercises to the rest of your organization. Too often, participants in planning exercises do not share what they have learned. Repeat Exercises... and Then Do It Again Even organizations with low turnover may not recognize how many people come and go in the space of a few years. Repeated exercises train new personnel and reinforce previous training for existing personnel. If You Can’t Afford Repeated Exercises, At Least Review Your Plans Repeated exercises may be beyond the budget of your organization. However, everyone can afford to take the plan off the shelf and review it a couple of times a year. Forge Relationships as Part of the Planning Process Relationships between organizations emerge during planning and exercises. Be sure you maintain them between exercises. Prepare Lists of Vendors and Service Providers. Know local resources for equipment, materials and specialized labor that you might need in response to a terrorist disaster.

6 Communications Communication technology—the physical ability to send and receive a message Disasters Overwhelm Telephone Networks Provide Alternate Communication Methods Use the Internet Consider Interoperability of Radio Equipment Use Mass Media as an Alternate Means Social communication—the content of the message Avoid Jargon Keep Your Workers Informed Communicate Among Agencies Have Up-to-date Contact Information There are two parts to communications: Communication technology—the physical ability to send and receive a message; and Social communication—the content of the message. Disasters Overwhelm Telephone Networks In Oklahoma City, physical damage to the telephone system was minimal. Even so, the demand for service overwhelmed the network. Work with telephone service providers to ensure emergency override capacity for first responders. Confirm that they can provide access to temporary additional capacity. Provide Alternate Communication Methods If standard telephone services are inoperable, you must have an alternate method of communication. Allow for this in your plan. Use the Internet Internet usage was not a factor during the Oklahoma City bombing, but times have changed. When planning, remember that media around the world and about half the homes in the United States have access to the Internet. Consider Interoperability of Radio Equipment When Oklahoma City municipal authorities were joined by state and county officials and later by federal and out-of-state agencies, the incompatibility of their communications equipment led to some inefficiencies. Use Mass Media as an Alternate Means of Communication When out-of-area ambulances were responding to the bomb site, none of them knew which frequencies to use. Since the ambulances’ home bases probably had televisions on, the media could have been used to broadcast the frequency information.

7 Media Use them to inform and educate
You cannot over-plan for dealing with the Media Plan for a credentialing system Who says what? Set a schedule Use Media to your advantage Use the Media to make public announcements MEDIA You work with the media to communicate with the public. Use them to inform and educate. In any situation with large numbers of dead or wounded, worried friends, family members and co-workers will want information. It is your job to keep them informed. If they do not get the immediate information they are looking for from the media, they will come to the scene. 6 Oklahoma City - Seven Years Later _ You Cannot Over-plan for Dealing with the Media Planning and exercises must take media demands for information and access into account or they will fail during a real disaster. The days when the “three networks” would show up were long gone by the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. Don’t expect just local and national news representatives. In a major disaster, there will be world-wide news coverage. Within 24 hours, you will be inundated with news reporters and satellite equipment from around the world. Discuss your disaster response plans with local media representatives, including television, radio, local wire service and print. _ Plan for a Credentialing System Consider setting up a system for issuing one-time credentials for journalists. Planning for this must include setting standards for separating true journalists from those who just want a closer look. _ Who Says What? Each agency should appoint a spokesperson and agencies should jointly decide who will speak about what. At a minimum, media relations and planning must include designating spokespersons for all involved agencies. All of the agencies must have agreed in advance who will speak about photo courtesy of City of Oklahoma City Lessons for Other Communities 7 what. Who will speak about how many people are injured: the Red Cross? ambulance services? the hospitals? Who will speak about the number of dead: funeral homes? medical examiners? _ Set a Schedule Schedule regular media briefings. Your planning sessions with local journalists will help you determine how often and at what time you should hold briefings. _ Use Media to Your Advantage If the situation demands more supplies or personnel, use the media to put the word out. Conversely, use the media to communicate the “stay put until called” message. Unneeded personnel and supplies can further hinder traffic and add to the confusion. _ Use the Media to Make Public Announcements As soon as there is a disaster in a community, everyone turns on their televisions and radios. Use local media to communicate with parents.

8 The Media will get their story…
Photos from Thurston High School, Springfield, Oregon May 1998 Following the shooting at Thurston High School in which 2 students were killed and 25 wounded, the media descended on the community from all over the world. They stopped at nothing to get their photos, using telephoto lenses and “camping” out in front of the school for days.

9 Sample School Personnel Roles
School Role Possible Role in Terrorism Planning School Safety Specialist and School Security Staff Link to county emergency management agency. School Nurse(s) Link to local health department (LHD Chemistry/Physics Teachers Link to nearest HazMat Team Student Services Personnel such as Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists Recognize the psychological impact of terrorism School Safety Specialist and School Security Staff: Link to county emergency management agency. Become familiar with Incident Command System. Learn the location of the nearest HazMat Team. School Nurse(s): Link to local health department (LHD). Possibly participate in active surveillance for infectious disease (active surveillance is based on proactive reports to LHDs about school absences due to illnesses). Schools might be locations for mass prophylactic clinics where asymptomatic but exposed persons could come for immunizations or antibiotic protection. Chemistry/Physics Teachers Link to nearest HazMat Team. Could function as the “First Responder Awareness” who can initiate an emergency response by notifying proper authorities during a suspected or known chemical or radiological incident Student Services Personnel such as Counselors, Social Workers Recognize the psychological impact of terrorism even when events are not local

10 The America Prepared Campaign
Preparedness in America’s Schools: A Comprehensive Look at Terrorism Preparedness in America’s Twenty Largest School Districts

11 The America Prepared Campaign
Non-profit, non-partisan initiative Began in 2003 Board of Directors and 14 national experts in emergency preparedness, media, marketing, government, and business Funded by Alfred P. Sloan and John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations The America Prepared Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that uses the Expertise and energy of national leaders in emergency preparedness, media, marketing, government, and business to give citizens tools and information for preparing their homes and families for disaster, with a focus on terrorism preparedness. The Campaign is funded by The Alfred P. Sloan and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations. Board of Directors Steven Brill, Chairman, The America Prepared Campaign, Inc. Floyd Abrams, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, LLP Cynthia Brill, General Counsel, The America Prepared Campaign, Inc. Barbara Chaffee, President, Public Intelligence Bill Gray, President, Ogilvy & Mather New York Maj. Gen. Bruce Lawlor, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Chief of Staff, Dept of Homeland Security Frank Luntz, President, Luntz Research Companies Carl Weisbrod, President, Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.

12 The Standard US Department of Education Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide For Schools and Communities America Prepared rated the largest 20 school districts in US in relation to their Preparedness Planning Drilling Communicating Best/Good/Needs Improvement/Failing The standards by which they should be evaluated are clear. In May 2003, the Department of Education released Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide For Schools and Communities.* It recommends the steps that all school districts should take to ensure that they are prepared for natural disasters and terrorism, among other crises. Thus, America Prepared decided to see how the largest 20 school districts across the contiguous United States have done in responding to these clear recommendations. We found a wide range of performance. But generally we found that these large school systems need to do more, often much more.

13 Preparedness Planning: comprehensive response to a terrorist attack or major natural disaster Drills: conduct monthly drills of that plan Communication: communicate to parents the pertinent details of the plan; parents should know procedure for reuniting with children The Plan. Each school and district should have a comprehensive plan that outlines how the district and school would respond to a terrorist attack or major natural disaster. Each school should have the necessary supplies, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.§ Drills. Each school and district should conduct monthly drills of that plan. Districts should monitor that these drills happen. Communication. Each school should communicate to parents the pertinent details Of that plan and ask for their input. Parents should also know the procedure for reuniting with their children if they are evacuated from school.

14 The Results “BEST” (3): has comprehensive and sensible emergency plan that deals directly with terrorist threats; has necessary supplies on hand “GOOD” (7): has made significant progress toward the goal of preparedness while still needing some significant improvements “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT” (7):needs serious action in one or more areas “FAILING” (2):has performed unsatisfactorily in all three areas: planning, drilling and communication “BEST” (3): a school district had to have a comprehensive and sensible emergency plan that deals directly with terrorist threats, as well as have the necessary supplies on hand to respond. It had to have a record of regular drills of that plan and of communicating with parents effectively and regularly. “GOOD” (7): had to have made significant progress toward achieving the goal of preparedness while still needing some significant improvements. For example, the district may have made sensible attempts to get information out but may not have translated enough of its materials into other languages used by families in the area, thereby limiting effective communication. “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT” (7): were those found to require serious action in one or more area of planning, drilling or communication. For instance, the district may not have made any attempt to inform parents, or did not supply schools with necessary emergency items, such as back-up communications devices. “FAILING” (2): the district must have performed unsatisfactorily in all three areas: planning, drilling and communication. 1 not categorized

15 Fairfax County, Virginia
Number of Schools: 241 Students: 166,601 the most prepared district exhaustive emergency plan have some of the supplies: kits with flashlights and first aid kits Model for DOE templates for schools communication templates for teachers and principals plan defines key roles planned response actions for terrorist emergencies continually perform drills (table-tops once a year with police; fire and tornado drills; walkthroughs of shelter-in-place and lockdowns) information on website in seven languages -- specific information about what parents should do in an emergency Fairfax County Public Schools, along with Montgomery County Public Schools, is clearly the most prepared district of the 20 largest school districts in the country. It has an exhaustive emergency plan and each school in the district has a site specific plan. Principals in the district confirmed that they have some of the supplies recommended by the Department of Homeland Security, including kits with flashlights and first aid kits. An Aug poll confirmed that 75 percent of parents reported knowing that their school had a plan. It is a featured link on the DOE emergency planning website (www.ed.gov/emergency plan). The Fairfax plan is easy-to-read and has sensible templates for schools. It provides communication templates to teachers and principals and defines key roles for emergency response personnel. It provides response actions for terrorist emergencies such as bomb threats, chemical and biohazard emergencies, gas or odor concerns, and hostage situations. Fairfax County continually performs drills of its emergency plan. Principals interviewed confirmed regular fire and tornado drills. They do walkthroughs of shelter-in-place and lockdowns with the teachers and crisis teams (depending on school size), and they cycle through table top exercises with each of the nine school regions bi-annually. There are information sessions with the PTA; the superintendent has a community advisory council. Preparedness information is available in seven different languages (Arabic, English, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese).

16 Montgomery County, Maryland
Number of Schools: 190 Number of Students: 139,203 model of preparedness exemplary multi-hazard crisis plan comprehensive checklist for schools communicate details of the parent/child reunification process to parents emergency codes used in Montgomery: Code Red, Code Blue, and Code Blue Shelter-in-Place guidance on suspected chemical, biological, and radiological incidents two code red and two code blue drills a year, in addition to 10 fire drills Montgomery County Public Schools can be used as a model of preparedness for other school districts. Montgomery has an exemplary multi-hazard crisis plan that includes specific instructions for schools developing their emergency plan and district-wide responses. Included in this plan is a comprehensive checklist for schools that outlines the specific responsibilities for: on-site emergency team planning; emergency/crisis support planning; practice drills; medical/special needs; and Communication; a detailed set of instructions for each member of the incident command team by position. The district requires schools to communicate details of the parent/child reunification process to parents “near the beginning of each school year through different methods, e.g. principal newsletters, school’s website, PTA meetings, etc. The district’s Emergency Response Plan addresses clearly the three different emergency codes used in Montgomery: Code Red, Code Blue, and Code Blue Shelter-in- Place. The district also provides to each school a copy of the MCPS Emergency/Crisis Management Response Manual that includes guidance on suspected chemical, biological, and radiological incidents. The schools in the district drill regularly. The district requires two code red and two code blue drills a year, in addition to 10 traditional fire drills. Parents are notified of these drills before they occur. Materials are available in Chinese, English, French, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. The district uses to relay information to parents.

17 Chicago, Illinois Number of Schools: 613 Students: 434,419
Failing grade 25 percent of schools do not have an emergency plan of any kind Another 50 percent of plans are inadequate School district, Police and Fire departments do not work together in planning No back-up communication system Parents are poorly informed No special supplies in the school Drills only include fire drills No guidance on suspected chemical, biological, and radiological incidents The district-wide Emergency Management Plan Manual does not adequately address terrorist threats including chemical,biological, nuclear, and radiological incidents. 25 percent of schools still do not have an emergency plan of any kind. And, according to Andres Durbak, director of School Safety, another 50 percent of Chicago public school plans vary in, as he put it, “mediocrities.” Durbank cannot name a counterpart at the Police or Fire Departments, it is a clear indication that they do not work together on a regular basis. The public school [district] has an emergency plan; the police department has its own plan. The district has not provided for back-up communication. Parents are poorly informed, Betty Carlvin, Principal, said that she did not send home information to parents, because mailing is too expensive and “you don’t necessarily have correct addresses.” Chicago Public Schools provides no readily available information for parents on its website on any kind of emergency, including terrorism. Carlvin also said that she had no special supplies in the school because they were not recommended by district officials. Chicago public schools limit their drilling to fire. One principal said “As far as other types of drills, we haven’t had the need.” No guidance on suspected chemical, biological, and radiological incidents

18 Providing emergency assistance immediately following a disaster
Response Providing emergency assistance immediately following a disaster Schools have a key role to play in the response phase. The response phase I involves providing emergency assistance and trying to reduce the likelihood of further damage during and immediately following a disaster. If any type of disaster happens in the community during a school day, schools will be either safe havens for students or will be responsible for safely reuniting them with their families. If an event directly impacts a school, school personnel will be the first responders on the scene, with responsibility for safeguarding students’ physical and mental health. However, few schools have nurses or other health professionals on-site or available in sufficient numbers to recognize an outbreak in progress or to handle a disaster situation without assistance from other school staff or community responders. For example, a recent California State PTA survey found that 25.8% of California public schools (which educate over 6.2 million students) never have a school nurse on campus (California State PTA, 2003). School personnel will also have concerns about the well-being of their own children and families. During community-wide events, schools are also often emergency assistance sites or staging areas for community response.

19 What is Currently Being Done?
CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism The Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) Dept of ED program to certify teachers and other school staff in first aid. CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism funding has provided $940 million to the states to upgrade state and local public health jurisdictions’ preparedness for and response to bioterrorism, other outbreaks of infectious disease, and other public health threats and emergencies. The funding addresses preparedness planning and readiness assessment, surveillance and epidemiology capacity, laboratory capacity, communications and information technology, health information dissemination, and education a nd training. The Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) operates at the local level to respond to a mass casualty event. The primary focus of the MMRS program is to develop or enhance existing emergency preparedness systems to effectively respond to a public health crisis, until state or federal resources are mobilized. ED, in partnership with the American Red Cross, has created a program to certify teachers and other school staff in first aid. The first pilot training program occurred in May 2003 in Montgomery County, Maryland. ED will be conducting pilot training programs around the country in upcoming months to train school staff and provide students basic first aid and emergency preparedness information that they can take home to their families.

20 What are the Gaps? Lack of coordination and communication between public health, education, and other first responders State and local education agencies are not included on terrorism response planning committees Little attention has been given to the possibility that students might need to be quarantined at school. Schools and other first responders must be able to immediately address parent concerns about their children’s health and safety. As was clear in the Preparedness phase, lack of coordination and communication between public health, education, and other first responders, remains a concern in the Response phase. State and local education agencies are not included on terrorism response planning committees mandated by various funding mechanisms. State and local agencies are not given meaningful information on how to involve education agencies and schools in the planning process. School personnel have not typically been included in emergency response plans or trained in handling medical emergencies. Neither are mental health concerns typically addressed in the response phase. Little attention has been given to the possibility that students might need to be quarantined at school, which could include being separated from parents. Communication with parents should be effective and efficient. Schools and other first responders must be able to immediately address parent concerns about their children’s health and safety. Students with special health care needs need particular consideration if sheltering-in-place or quarantine becomes necessary. Schools need an adequate supply of medications and special medical equipment to care for these students for up to 72 hours, as well as staff who are trained in their care.

21 Incident Command System
Assures uniformity of command structure used by various responding parties Provides for common, easily understood language Promotes a manageable span of command (typically no more than seven individuals reporting to one supervisor) Coordinates use of resources Arranges for safety of responders Coordinates messages to the public and the media

22 September 11, 2001 “I learned an important lesson on that day…that I could only run as fast as my slowest child.” Teacher, P.S New York City Photos: Pedestrians scramble for safety in front of City Hall as the first World Trade Center tower collapses after being hit by an aircraft. A businessman leaving the World Trade Center.

23 Uncommon Sense, Uncommon Courage
How the New York City School System, Its Teachers, Leadership, and Students Responded to the Terror of September 11 September 11 presented the greatest security challenge ever faced by the New York City Board of Education. (BOE) The paramount object that day was to “get our kids home safe.” This was accomplished thorough several critical factors: organization, professional experience in the system, flexibility of standard operating procedures, safety simulation and practice, and personal courage. Two issues were paramount in the response: decision making and communication.

24 The Report Decision Making Transportation Facilities and Support
Food Services Communication Curriculum Mental Health FiscalStudent Safety Key Findings The immediate response and continued recovery actions taken by the New York City Board of Education on 9/11 have been documented in this report. Primary research came from 32 interviews conducted with decision makers and crisis management professionals across functional areas within the Board of Education, over a total time frame of about six months (October 2001 – March 2002). We will just look at 2 of these areas related to the response today: decision making and communication.

25 Timeline 8:46 am Plane hits Tower #1 WTC
9:02 Plane hits Tower #2 WTC; schools in immediate area evacuate 9:21 subways and busses are disrupted; bridges and tunnels closed 9:59 South tower #2 collapses 10:29 North tower #1 collapses; airspace shut down 9:57 pm closed schools next day 1:00 am (9/12) all students accounted for

26 The scene…… 8 public schools within 1/4 mile of Ground Zero; 5 were in immediate danger 9,000 students ages ; ALL were evacuated without injury ALL 1.1 million students in every part of the city got home safety 2,800 people died in the towers, including 343 FDNY and 60 NYPD personnel 1,493 students lost someone in their family Many of the 9,000 witnessed the collapse of the towers There are 8 schools within 1/4 mile of Ground Zero with 9,000 students - grammar, middle and high school. All were evacuated without injury, and all 1.1 million students in New York City were reunited safely with family and loved ones. In the midst of this heroic effort, 2,800 people died, including 343 FDNY And 60 NYPD and Port Authority personnel. 1,493 students lost someone in their family. Many of the 9,000 witness the collapse of the towers. At BOE Chancellor Harold Levy decided to keep school open, making the counter intuitive decision to delay reuniting children and families --- thus creating an orderly release and transport for the students and staff. By 1 AM September 12 all students in the school system were accounted for. Schools were closed on Wednesday, the 12th.

27 Disaster planning was key…
Effective decision making is critical Emergency response plans must be dynamic The safety and well-being of responders must be a priority Communications will be compromised Resources will be stressed The recovery phase usually lasts longer than once can predict The “story” of the Board of Education and 9/11 should be read as a case study that seeks to illustrate two important components of Disaster Planning: Response and Recovery. However, what happened in response and recovery can be woven back into a consideration of prevention/preparedness. What is clear from the case study is that several aspects of disaster planning proved critical. Effective decision making on the part of those at the site of disaster is crucial. They should be trained for this role prior to any event; 2. Emergency response plans need to be generic and dynamic enough to adapt to moment-to-moment requirements of the unfolding disaster; 3. The safety and well-being of responders including those in leadership roles must be a priority. Likewise, pay particular attention to those who are most vulnerable including children and children with special needs. This focus has to continue into recovery stage; 4. Communications and communication systems will always be compromised, if not fail, as the disaster unfolds. Plans must allow for multiple means of communication in times of incomplete information or total communication blackout; 5. Resources will be stressed and must be assigned to those, who need them most, first; 6. The recovery phase usually lasts longer and requires far greater planning and far greater resources than one can predict.

28 Decision Making Safe evacuation of all accomplished through on-the-ground decision making Responding to the “unthinkable” requires intelligence, creativity, and courage Fire drills were key Follow plans Change plans The response to this unthinkable terror was achieved through critical use of on-the-ground decision making, informed by intelligence, creativity, and courage. The World Trade Center attack occurred on the fourth day of a new school year, before principals and teachers knew the students or the parents. Principals of the schools at Ground Zero would later stress the importance of fire drills and their role in supporting the calm and orderly nature of the evacuation. Principals from each of the schools around Ground Zero contacted the superintendent’s office immediately after the first plane hit Tower #1. A preliminary decision was that all students were to remain in the schools( structural stability and safety). Principals allowed children to leave if their parents came to pick them up. Evacuation of schools began when the second plane hit the Tower #2. Two schools located just 200 yards from the WTC had identified Stuyvesant High School as their safety location. However, they would have needed to go through the attack area to get there, so the principal revised the plan -- all began walking south, away from the WTC. We heard this unbelievable rumble and everyone turned in disbelief. The building fell like a stack of cards. We walked together, told the kids to move quickly and keep their heads down. I wasn’t scared, it was very communal… it was difficult to walk… (Principal’s description)

29 More decisions…… How students reached safety
Fears that children were in danger, injured or dead Terrorism promotes a particular kind of chaos Consider geography in plans The anecdotes concerning how students reached safety are many. Ninety-four of these students spent the night on cots at Curtis High School in Staten Island after taking the ferry from Manhattan. Principals and teachers flagged down a tugboat at Battery Park that took some students to Upper Manhattan and Queens. Officials escorted many students on ferries to Staten Island and New Jersey One principal walked her students across the Brooklyn Bridge to safety. In addition, community-based organizations played critical role in safe return of children. At Ground Zero, parent concern during these hours was exacerbated by disruptions in communication and the need to deviate from safety plans. In addition, the chaos that was unfolding at the World Trade Center fed fears that children were in danger or worse, injured or dead. Terrorism promotes a particular kind of chaos. Keeping track of children at the primary school level was more effective than at the high school level. Likewise, the actions of BOE staff illustrated the need to be adaptive in response to unfolding events, while remaining vigilant to the highest priority of keeping children and staff safe. School districts should seriously consider their geographical contours when developing safety plans in an era of terrorism. The BOE personnel engaged in responding to terrorism at the WTC were acting with incomplete information. Nonetheless, their decisiveness was key to the well being of their students.

30 Communication Technological interruptions/failures
Keep communication flowing Communication into the BOE Communication from the BOE Keeping children safe and getting them reunited with their families was the underlying message that drove all communication on 9/11. Need to address issues of communication in two broad areas: the technological interruptions and failures; and efforts to keep communication flowing at the operations level between individuals, within schools and the Board, even in the absence of working technology. The content and validity of the information impacts decision making in any situation; in an attack, this information guides life and death decisions. Two main considerations of communication during the crisis for the BOE: 1. what was the communication into the BOE from outside agencies and the public, and 2. what was the communication from the BOE to the public and outside agencies as well as to its own constituency. BOE received information from TV, radio, internet. In addition, critical information was shared by individuals physically transporting their information – on foot – to the Central Administration of the BOE in Brooklyn. Office of Public Affairs coordinated all official info. BOE distributed information through its website and radio, , phones (hotline with 40 operators). All were disrupted at one time or another! 120 languages spoken. Also, daily briefings with school Chancellor and Mayor Giuliani assured a consistent message. Keeping children safe and getting them reunited with their families was the underlying message that drove all communication on 9/11.

31 Communication Recommendations
Communicate safety plans with parents Share with other emergency responders the complete safety plans Have three redundant systems of communication Coordinate these systems with emergency response agencies Plan process to communicate with the media Have single and approved source of information Communicate safety plans, re: evacuation sites and plans for reunification, with parents and community groups. In this way, information is available and, parent and community groups can be of assistance with these functions. 2. Share with other emergency responders the complete safety plans and involve them in the planning process. Include all elements including items such as any information contained in the Tracking and Transportation System, food service, health care, facilities, communications, evacuation, student safety and accountability. 3. Consider at least three redundant systems of communication, incorporating both simple and sophisticated forms of technology. Coordinate these systems with that of the emergency response agencies to assure the ability to communicate with them. Ensure that a process of communicating with the media in times of catastrophe is in place well before an event. Provide for a single and approved source of information to prevent conflicting messages and confusion. Timely and accurate information is essential in a crisis and was assured by Levy’s participation in Giuliani’s daily 9/11 briefings.

32 “No one is ready for something like this.” Harold O. Levy, Chancellor

33 High School of Leadership and Public Service ~Ada Dolch, Principal
A leader who saw a situation, assessed it and engaged in on-the-ground decision making A thorough knowledge of the physical layout Tools of communication - walkie-talkies A well informed and talented professional staff Well developed evacuation plan that had been practiced A disciplined group of students who knew how to follow directives A leader who advocated on behalf of her community I would argue that we can be, and are, prepared for something like this. Ada Dolch is the Principal at the High School of Leadership and Public Service at what is now Ground Zero. She epitomized the planning, forethought and decisiveness of decision makers on 9/11who moved quickly to get children to safety on a day of massive destruction that by any estimation could have ended in causality. Ada Dolch’s effective leadership in dealing with catastrophe meant a lot of things were in place by virtue of her management: 1. A leader who saw a situation, assessed it and engaged in on-the-ground decision making for the purpose of maintaining the well being of all in her responsibility. 2. A thorough knowledge of the physical layout – including basement -- of the vertical building that housed the school that informed the evacuation plan and implementation. 3. Tools of communication linked into police channels. The walkie-talkies also allowed for coverage and rapid assessment of the situation throughout the entire building. 4. A well informed and talented professional staff to implement evacuation. 5. Well developed evacuation plan that had been practiced; language and codes whose meaning is known to the professionals in the school. 6. A disciplined group of students who knew how to follow directives and directions who supported each other in responding to the order to evacuate. 7. A leader who advocated on behalf of her community. The educational and psychological wellbeing of students and staff as well as the renovation of the physical plant—the building.

34 Table - top Exercise Form into groups of participants.
You are the school crisis team for Anywhere Elementary School (grades K - 5; 400 students) in a district of 25,000 students. The principal has called you together as the crisis team one evening at 7:00PM. The principal tells you that one of your 3rd grade students, Emily, has been found murdered in the park one block from your school. The news will be reported on the 11:00 PM news broadcast. The family has been notified. Who will be impacted? What emotions will you probably see? What will you do to support the students and staff the next day? Allow minutes for the 2 parts of this exercise, Have participants work in groups, then share ideas with the larger group after each part.

35 Exercise, part 2 Additional news: it is now 2 weeks after the murder. No suspect has been arrested though there has been extensive media coverage. A second elementary age student, from a different school in the area, is found murdered. There are no witnesses and no leads to the suspect. The next day a third student (from a third school) is found murdered. At this time the superintendent receives a note that says, “Your children are not safe anywhere at anytime.” What additional steps does your crisis team take to ensure the safety of your students? How do these additional murders impact the students and staff at your school?

36 Recovery Restoring people to physical and mental health; restoring vital systems Schools are uniquely positioned to provide normalization and security to children and should be a part of recovery efforts. The recovery phase includes engaging in short-term efforts to restore people to physical and mental health and vital systems to minimum operating conditions; and long-term efforts to restore entire disaster areas to previous conditions or better. Schools should remain open whenever possible. Keeping students engaged in their regular routine, including attending school, is a key to maintaining their resiliency. However, school buildings may be damaged or contaminated and in need of repair before classes can resume and services can be offered. Alternate locations may be needed if school buildings need extensive repairs or rebuilding. Transportation systems to and from school also may be damaged. The mental health of students is an essential ingredient for meeting schools’ academic mission: Students suffering from anxiety, PTSD, or grieving the loss of friends or loved ones will have difficulty learning. Mental health services can be delivered through schools, particularly in underserved areas, in order to efficiently reach a large number of children. Schools provide an optimal location for discussion, peer, and adult support.

37 What is Currently Being Done?
Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) Guide for Intermediate and Long-Term Mental Health Services after School-Related Violent Events Coping with Traumatic Events, Tips for Teachers National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Trauma Information Pamphlet for Teachers Immediately following the events of September 11th, ED made $8.9 million of Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) funds available to the New York City Board of Education, and state educational agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Funds awarded to the state educational agencies were distributed to school districts that were impacted by September 11th. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), in collaboration with Project SERV, has developed a Guide for Intermediate and Long-Term Mental Health Services after School-Related Violent Events. SAMHSA also developed a guide on Coping with Traumatic Events, Tips for Teachers which provides tools to assist teachers to develop students’ emotional and psychological coping and resilience skills during times of crisis. SAMHSA funds the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families, and communities throughout the United States. The Trauma Psychiatry Program at UCLA, as part of the NCTSN, has produced a Trauma Information Pamphlet for Teachers. This pamphlet includes information on types of posttraumatic stress reactions, consequences of these reactions for adolescents, things that make these reactions worse, and information on how teachers can help.

38 What are the Gaps? Only a small percentage of children in the United States receive the mental health treatment they need Lack of information on baseline mental health of children in the absence of a terrorist event. Anxious or ill children do not learn well Little information is available to help school officials understand what remediation actions are needed after a terrorist event Only a small percentage of children in the United States receive the mental health treatment they need. For those children who do receive needed mental health services, schools are the primary providers. However, short- and long-term mental health services in schools or tied to schools remain scarce. In addition, there is a lack of information on baseline mental health of children in the absence of a terrorist event. Children who are displaced from their schools due to a terrorist event, disrupting their daily routines for an extended period of time, are likely to be at increased risk for post-event difficulties. In addition, anxious or ill children do not learn well, jeopardizing the school’s academic mission. Most schools are not well-equipped to address the mental health needs of students, and staff, after a terrorist event. Project SERV and FEMA/SAMHSA activities should be coordinated to prevent gaps in service provision. Schools may be inundated with outside proposals to provide services and conduct research. Schools must review these to determine their appropriateness for the setting and to balance the needs for supportive intervention and normalization. School officials are responsible for ensuring the physical safety of school buildings and grounds. Little information is available to help school officials understand what remediation actions are needed to ensure the safety of school property after a terrorist event, especially an event involving biological, chemical, or radiological agents. Nor is there guidance for schools about when it is safe to reopen damaged school buildings.

39 Emotional Responses to Terror/Trauma
Fear Loss of control Anger Loss of stability Confusion National Association of School Psychologists: Terrorist attacks in our country and threats or realities of war are frightening experiences for all Americans. Children may be especially fearful that threatened or actual military action overseas will result in more personal loss and violence here at home. For many, the guidance of caring adults will make the difference between being overwhelmed and developing life-long emotional and psychological coping skills. Teachers and caretakers can help restore children’s sense of security by modeling calm and in-control behavior. Limit exposure to media. Fear: Fear may be the predominant reaction--fear for the safety of those in the military as well as fear for their own safety. Loss of control :Lack of control can be overwhelming and confusing. Anger: Anger is a common reaction.  Unfortunately, anger is often expressed at those to whom children are closest. Children may direct anger toward classmates and neighbors because they can’t express their anger toward terrorists. Loss of stability :War or military deployment interrupts routines.  It is unsettling. Children can feel insecure when their usual schedules and activities are disrupted, increasing their level of stress and need for reassurance. Confusion: First, children may feel confused about terrorist attacks and war, what further dangers might arise, and when the violence will stop. Second, children may have trouble understanding the difference between violence as entertainment and the real events taking place on the news.

40 9/11: A long road to recovery
Occurred during regular school hours thus causing immediate and severe psychological trauma - students and staff 1600 students and 900 staff members lost family members Great potential for post traumatic stress disorder syndrome The attack of 9/11 occurred during regular school hours and caused immediate and severe psychological trauma for students and staff- particularly for those in the immediate area of the World Trade Center. During evacuation, children and staff saw people jumping from buildings, evaded falling debris, and witnessed the horror of the collapsing buildings. The impact of September 11 on the students in NYC is estimated to be very long term. Many of the children were screaming for their parents who actually worked in the towers. As one teacher stepped into the street, a small child saw the burning bodies falling from the tower and cried out, “Look, teacher, the birds are on fire! “The magnitude of the impact on the system in human terms is the loss of family members to (about) 1600 students and 900 staff members. Huge numbers of parents lost their jobs as well…no one can accurately measure how long trauma will last or even when it will first appear…post traumatic syndrome is a genuine issue and can be triggered three or four years later with stimulators like police and fire sirens…” ~ BOE Official

41 The Partnership for the Recovery in New York City Schools
Within 24 hours, recommendations given on: how to explain the factual details of the disaster how to reassure children of their and their families’ safety how to connect children’s individual grief and feelings of loss with the grief and feelings of loss of their communities Resource guides provided to both parents and teachers on how to deal with and recognize the effects of trauma Personal letters of condolence The decision makers handling the response and recovery around mental health reached out to experts, who formed The Partnership for the Recovery in New York City Schools. The Children’s Health Alliance (CHMA), headed by Dr. Pam Cantor, is an advisory group who contracted with the BOE to coordinate mental health services through the Partnership for Recovery in New York City Schools. Within a day of the disaster, the Board of Education provided its superintendents, principals, teachers, and staff with guidance on how to address the immediate needs of students. Specific recommendations and instructions were given on: how to explain the factual details of the disaster to children; 2. how to reassure children of their and their families’ safety; 3. how to connect children’s individual grief and feelings of loss with the grief and feelings of loss of their communities. The U.S. Department of Education and FEMA provided funds for initial needs assessments. Resource guides were provided to both parents and teachers that referenced literature on how to deal with and recognize the effects of trauma on children. Feedback from teachers indicates that this information was very helpful in enabling them to respond to the disaster effectively in their classrooms. The Board of Education also sent out personal letters of condolence to every family in the school system that lost an immediate family member.

42 Expanded mental health services
FEMA’s 60-day grant included: grief counseling, individual and group interventions, and the development of multi-disciplinary approaches to treatment Direct services to children and families provided via a tier system: school-based services referred people to community-based organizations and to hospitals Many mental health professionals offered their services pro bono $5 million US Dept. of Ed Project SERV grant Quality control considerations Students from schools in the immediate WTC vicinity needed expanded mental health services that could not be provided by existing school-based mental health professionals. Likewise, children system-wide were experiencing trauma and loss and increased services were required to support these students. The initial program, funded by FEMA’s 60-day grant, included: grief counseling, individual and group interventions, and the development of multi-disciplinary approaches to treatment by instructional and counseling staff within schools. Direct services to children and families were provided via a tier system: school-based services referred people to community-based organizations and to hospitals. It is important that schools preplan for these events by developing relationships with consultants, mental heath professionals and organizations for referral to allow for the creation of a mental health crisis plan. Many mental health professionals offered their services pro bono. The teacher’s unions mostly dealt with the immediate needs of teachers and school staff. The experience of 9/11 volunteer response is twofold, many individuals will want to help, and that mechanisms for screening them is essential. Likewise, the tools of handling in the enormous number of calls include: phone hotlines and a very well informed group of individuals handling those hotlines.

43 Additional mental health support
debriefing session with Board of Education personnel mental health assessment comprised of a sample of 10,000 children PTSD symptoms: major depression, general anxiety, agoraphobia, separation anxiety, and conduct disorder The Board also recognized the stressors this type of disaster put on its own staff and, therefore, brought in professionals from New York University to do a debriefing session with Board of Education personnel. Debriefing sessions were an opportunity for people to talk about their specific experience of 9/11, in an effort to help them sort out their own feelings and issues surrounding the tragedy. A mental health assessment comprised of a sample of 10,000 children from 100 schools. The results were not surprising. Large numbers of students exhibited symptoms consistent with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- major depression, general anxiety, agoraphobia, separation anxiety, and conduct disorder. The assessment not only identified areas for immediate concern, it also set the framework for anticipating future problems, and will contribute to our knowledge base about reactions experienced as a result of trauma.

44 Curriculum To foster a deeper comprehension about the events of 9/11, in terms of grief and loss, and ward off violence toward those who were Muslim or appeared to be Muslim. Goals: help students handle the grief and anger work with concepts of conflict resolution to develop a context of learning around the issues The Board of Education developed a two-phase strategy for implementation of the curriculum dealing with the events of September 11, It focused on understanding the event from a number of different perspectives including those of a political, social and economic framework. An anti-bias curriculum sought to expose students to critical thinking about what it was to remain a community wherein diversity and difference was respected. The goal of the effort in response was to develop materials that would foster a deeper comprehension about the events of 9/11, in terms of grief and loss, as well as to ward off violence toward those who were Muslim or appeared to be Muslim. The second set of materials dealt with the socio-political realities of the United States finding itself in a “war on terrorism”. The first phase had three goals: To give advice to teachers on how to help students handle the grief and anger, while also presenting issues for discussion on terrorism and terrorists. An important objective, as had been stated, was to protect against or militate against any bias-attacks or blame directed at Arab-Americans. “Hate Hurts” curriculum of the Anti-Defamation League was used. To suggest ways to work with concepts of conflict resolution. Faith Based Organizations were consulted on this part of the curriculum not only to develop guidelines and content but also to ask them to monitor any bias related events. 3. To establish a common set of definitions and language with which to develop a context of learning around the issues. The geography of Afghanistan and Pakistan was presented.

45 NYC: Two Years Later “Keep kids safe and they will be able to learn”
~Ada Dolch, Principal High School of Leadership and Public Service at Ground Zero Post 9/11, questions remain about recovery in the schools as well as how the system would be able to react to any new catastrophe. 24 months after 9/11, this report as a testament to a community and its resiliency as found in the story of students, teachers and staff at a High School at Ground Zero. It also, however, offers a perspective that at least at the systems level, the lessons of 9/11 may not be fully absorbed, or even fully articulated. This perspective is at once, both a caution and a call to action. It suggests that we do not know enough, we have not shared our information enough, and we are not prepared enough to counter the threats of the day. We need to alter this situation.

46 Deeper and more professional ties with emergency management officials.
We need to be better prepared… much better prepared than we are now.” ~ Gregory Thomas, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness Deeper and more professional ties with emergency management officials. The allocation of appropriate budgets to safety departments. A moratorium on budget cuts for a 2-3 year period. The development of training materials tailored for: principals, assistant principals, teachers, staff and children. Gregory Thomas worked as the Director of Safety for the Board of Education on 9/11. In July 2003, he transitioned to the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Thomas commends the actions of his colleagues in New York on 9/11 but Thomas sees gaps in most school systems’ ability to respond to similar catastrophic events. For him, prevention and preparedness (the two p’s) allow for the highest degrees of successful response and recovery (the two r’s). As he states: “We have to go after this with an attitude that terrorism will happen again. It is not the question of if anymore, but the question of what the next event is going to be. By preparing for the “imaginable” we prepare for the “unimaginable”. School systems and districts can develop these right now: 1. Deeper and more professional ties with emergency management officials. 2. The allocation of appropriate budgets to the departments within School systems responsible for safety. This needs to include a consideration of a moratorium on budget cuts for a 2-3 year period, so as to ensure the financial support for adequate training and re-tooling of the professionals as well as emerging staffing needs. 3. The development of training materials tailored for groups such as: principals and assistant principals, teachers, staff and children. The materials for children, of course, would be age sensitive.

47 ~ Gregory Thomas, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Sharing of knowledge on a coordinated basis by those individuals directly involved in 9/11 as well as in other school based disasters, like school shootings. The engagement of parents, and community in planning and preparedness with specific reference to their role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the students. 4. The capture of information and sharing of knowledge on a coordinated basis by Those individuals directly involved in 9/11 as well as in other school based disasters, like school shootings. Typically, information is shared within professional groups, but not across them and not on a consistent basis. 5. The engagement of parents, community and civically based organizations in planning and preparedness with specific reference to their role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the school populations.

48 What we’ve learned……. While we may not be able to prevent every major crisis, we can take actions to minimize the effects. Major crises ~ natural and manmade ~ have a significant impact on schools, even when not directed at schools. Dealing with mental health issues of students and staff is essential to the recovery process. Every school must have a “multi-hazard” safety plan.

49 What we’ve learned……. Schools need to foster linkages with communities: fire, police, mental health, victim services. Practice makes perfect. Make schools a part of larger community drills. Plan ahead. Things can be done today that will help you tomorrow. Keeping schools safe is hard work!

50 Our Challenge “We have to go after this with an attitude that terrorism will happen again. It is not the question of if anymore, but the question of what the next event is going to be. By preparing for the “imaginable” we prepare for the“unimaginable”. ~ Gregory Thomas, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness (2004)

51 National Association of School Psychologists Terrorism Workgroup:
Cathy Kennedy Paine, Chair. Special Services Coordinator, Springfield School District, Springfield, Oregon Craig Apperson, Program Supervisor, School Safety & Security Programs, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia, Washington Jenny Wildy, School Psychology Graduate Student, Eastern Kentucky University Ralph E. (Gene) Cash, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

52 Sources used in this presentation:
Apperson, C.D. OSPI Learning and Teaching Support. Brill, Steven, and Phinney, Allison. (2004) Preparedness in America’s Schools: A Comprehensive Look at Terrorism Preparedness in America’s Largest School Districts. America Preparedness Campaign, Inc. Brock, S.E., Sandoval, J., and Lewis, S. (2001) Preparing for Crises in the Schools, second edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Degnan, A. N. , (2004) Uncommon Sense, Uncommon Courage: How the New York City School System, Its Teacher, Leadership, and Students Responded to the Terror of September 11. New York: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Diaz, A. (2003) National Advisory Committee on Children and Terrorism: Recommendations to the Secretary. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control. Ingraham, L.M. (2003) Terrorism Supplement to the Checklist for a Safe and Secure School Environment. Indiana Department of Education. International Meeting on Helping Schools Prepare for and respond to Terrorist Attacks. February 13-14, Washington, D.C. Murphy, G.R., Davies, H.J., and Plotkin, M. (2004) Managing a Multijurisdictional Case: Identifying the Lessons Learned from the Sniper Investigation. Washington D.C: Police Executive Research Forum. Practical Information of Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Commuinities. (2003) U.S. Department of Education. Schools and Terrorism. (2003) A Supplement to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Terrorism: Recommendations to the Secretary. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control.


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