School Emergency Operations Plans - Does Your School Have Them?
Every single day over 75 million kids are sent off to school by their parents. This act requires a certain level of trust in the educational facilities the students attend and the leaders that run them. No matter how you look at it, sending our kids to school means we have little control over their safety while they are there. We trust that our kids will come home in the same shape we left them in. We assume that all schools, even in emergencies, have proactive plans in place to keep our loved ones free from harm.
Sadly, these assumptions are not always accurate.
A recent article, Sounding the Alarm, highlights D.C. Public Schools and their alleged failures in preparing for emergencies like fires, extreme weather, and school shootings.
According to DCPS records, fewer than half of its schools practiced 10 annual fire drills every year since 2017 as required by the fire code. Forty-three percent of D.C.’s public schools failed to do two required lockdown drills each year since 2017.
Training for emergencies is critical to effective emergency management. This is especially true with it comes to situations where there are large groups of people, such as in schools. The absence of required training sets a school up for epic failures if an actual emergency were to occur. There is a reason schools do drills based on real-world professional knowledge in crisis management. The D.C. Public Schools story is just one example of one school district, but it brings about a conversation. When you send your kids to school each day, do you do so with knowledge of your school's Emergency Operations Plans (EOP)?
A school EOP is a document that outlines how a school will prepare, respond, and recover from an emergency. According to SchoolSafety.gov, every district or school should develop and implement comprehensive school EOPs that describe the actions that students, teachers, and school staff should take before, during, and after emergency events, and everyone should have a common understanding of what will be expected of them. This is because any reduction of time between the beginning and end of an incident can save lives.
How Does Your School Stack Up
So the question becomes, does your child's school have an EOP? Does your state have requirements for training and drills, and does your school comply with them? If there is an emergency situation, how are you informed? Chances are, you cannot answer all these questions off the top of your head, but is the information even available to you if you were to ask?
To many, it may feel awkward to ask school officials these questions, but in reality, there is nothing more important than an informed public. We all must unite in efforts to keep kids safe in school. The uptick in school violence in 2022 alone is staggering and should be alarming to everyone. It's very easy to assume that nothing terrible can ever happen in your community, but by failing to prepare, organizations are preparing to fail if a crisis does occur.
Our mission at ASR Alert Systems is to save lives when tragic events, like an active shooter, occur. Part of that mission involves evaluating each of our client's needs individually. We work diligently to:
- Educate the public about the active shooter epidemic that we face in our country.
- Educate the public about proactive solutions to stop the violence from happening in the first place.
- Provide tactical risk and vulnerability assessments.
- Provide active shooter training.
- Provide patented technology to expedite response times when an event occurs.
If you are interested in having your school speak with us, we are more than happy to help. For general questions, on the products and services we provide, please CONTACT US HERE. To schedule a virtual demonstration of our patented critical incident response technology, please fill out the form below.