Commit to Preparedness






Good planning will facilitate a rapid, coordinated, effective response when a crisis occurs.









  • Determine what crisis plans exist in the district, school, and community.
  • Identify all stakeholders involved in crisis planning.
  • Develop procedures for communicating with staff, students, families, and the media.
  • Establish procedures to account for students during a crisis.
  • Gather information about the school facility, such as maps and the location of utility shutoffs.
  • Identify the necessary equipment that needs to be assembled to assist staff in a crisis.

Mitigation and Prevention

Mitigation and Prevention will decrease the need for response as opposed to simply increasing response capacity. 

  • Know your region and the types of disasters most likely to impact your business
  • Obtain a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment from your local emergency management agency
  • Determine which hazards your facility is most likely to experience, based on proximity and past events
  • Know your business or organization’s current capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster 
  • Assess the physical capacity, supplies, equipment and human resources of your facility to resist damage during a disaster
  • Review the last safety audit to examine school buildings and grounds.
  • Determine who is responsible for overseeing violence prevention strategies in your school.
  • Encourage staff to provide input and feedback during the crisis planning process.  

Emergency Response Plan

Cooridination is critical.  A crisis is the time to follow the crisi plan and make use of your preparations.

  • Determine if a crisis is occurring.
  • Identify the type of crisis that is occurring and determine the appropriate response.
  • Activate the incident management system.
  • Ascertain whether an evacuation, reverse evacuation, lockdown, or shelter-in-place needs to be implemented.
  • Maintain communication among all relevant staff at officially designated locations.
  • Establish what information needs to be communicated to staff, students, families, and the community.
  • Monitor how emergency first aid is being administered to the injured.
  • Decide if more equipment and supplies are needed.
  • Once the disaster is over, dismiss students to go home only with a parent or other authorized adult.
  • Do not re-enter the school until the area is pronounced safe.


During recovery, return to learning and restore the infrastructure as quickly as possible.

  • Strive to return to learning as quickly as possible.  
  • Monitor how staff are assessing students for the emotional impact of the crisis.
  • Identify what follow up interventions are available to students, staff, and first responders.
  • Conduct debriefings with staff and first responders.
  • Assess curricular activities that address the crisis.
  • Allocate appropriate time for recovery.
  • Plan how anniversaries of events will be commemorated.
  • Capture "lessons learned" and incorporate them into revisions and trainings