Schools Tackle Unique Challenges in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery

A Homeland Security Emergency Management Advisory Council has come up with an action plan that calls for more uniformity in emergency preparedness and disaster situations, such as those involving an active shooter. The plan includes everything from severe weather preparedness to school shootings and goes one step further to also detail the management of parents that show up to school during a crisis.

Steven Skalka, school district superintendent, agreed with the plan, noting, “It’s a great opportunity for us to review our own plans and to work in conjunction with the county to achieve greater consistency.”

The plan covers a way for first responders to enter schools in disaster situations without damaging the buildings in the process and a uniform numbering of school buildings for greater clarity in school identification. Garth Kriewall, communications office supervisor, agreed, adding, “The numbering system is absolutely a security improvement. Day in and day out, though, it will also be useful to anyone who visits our schools.”

The biggest priority of the plan is making sure all district schools are on the same page as much as possible, even though each district faces different threats and unique hazards.

This type of action plan reflects a greater trend among school districts across the country in an attempt to keep our children safe. Absolutely, securing the exterior of our school buildings is an essential first step in ensuring uniform safety. In addition, Jeff Green, CEO of SafeDefend, advocates for a consistent safety plan across not only all schools in the state, but with members of law enforcement, EMS, parents, students and school administration.

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