IS YOUR SCHOOL CRISIS PREPARATION GAUGE IN THE GREEN? Clearpath Emergency Planning Management
International schools face a wide range of threats and hazards varying from community to community. Despite different threats, the pre-planned and practiced response protocols required for the majority of crisis situations number just a few.
In the case of an earthquake, flood, roof collapse, or even a gas leak the likely first response would be the Evacuation Response Protocol. Yet, rarely would a major crisis require the use of just one response protocol.
Let’s get more specific with an example.
In the case of an earthquake, the initial response protocol for all stakeholders could be Duck and Cover. At the direction of the school Crisis Management Team (CMT) that initial response would then likely be followed by the Evacuation response protocol. In a catastrophic situation such as a massive earthquake, the CMT could even initiate an Off-Campus Evacuation if they deemed the pre-designated on-campus rally points, sometimes called assembly areas, to be unsafe.
Speaking of rally points, Clearpath EPM recommends that schools identify a minimum of four rally points. These would typically include an outside primary rally point, an outside back-up or secondary rally point, an internal rally point, and an off-campus rally point. Depending on the size and configuration of your campus, schools could have multiple rally points for each category (i.e. pre-school outside RP, primary school outside RP, etc.). The main considerations for the selection of rally points should be the safety and security of the people assembled. When selecting the rally points avoid areas with potential hazards such as traffic, fuel storage, or mechanical equipment. Further, with the exception of the off-campus rally point, all rally points should be appropriately marked and identified. Photos of the various rally points could be included in the Quick Action Guides carried by your teachers.
Clearpath EPM’s crisis planning dashboard tracks a school’s crisis preparedness with the EPM Preparedness Gas Gauge. Take this quick assessment to see how your school measures up.
1) Do you have a designated school Crisis Management Team backed by a written Delegation of Authority that details what response authority the CMT leader or back-up can initiate in the event of a crisis?
2) Do you have crisis response protocols that address bus accidents or incidents?
3) Have all of your response protocols been tested to make sure they are correctly planned?
4) Do you document and maintain the records of your response protocol drills and after action reports?
5) Do you have pre-designated rally points that correspond to your response protocols?
6) Do your teachers have updated Quick Action Guides?
7) Do you have established procedures for students, staff, parents and others to report suspicious persons, activities or incidents?
8) Have you conducted a thorough threat and vulnerability assessment of your campus and surrounding area?
Here is your rubric for preparedness according to EPM’s Preparedness Gas Gauge. What’s your score? Is your school in the Green, Orange or Red?
Color Level of Performance Your Answers to the Questions GREEN HIGH LEVEL OF PREPAREDNESSS – YES to all eight questions ORANGE ON YOUR WAY- YES to four to seven questions RED NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON YOUR CRISIS PLANNING and PREPARATION- YES to less than four questions
Based on your score, what next steps will you take to ensure your school is prepared?
Clearpath EPM (Emergency Planning Management) is a leading provider of specialized international emergency planning services that includes expert on-site consulting and innovative crisis planning web-based tools and assistance.