While students are gathering their back-to-school supplies, school administrators and security personnel are busy marking off their own safety checklist. When it comes to emergency preparedness plans, there is always room for improvement as there is no such thing as a school that is "too safe."
Review the following checklist as you prepare for the busy back-to-school season.
- Regularly inspect facilities
Reduce the risk of a school emergency or accident by routinely scheduling safety assessments and/or audits at your facility. This will help ensure building equipment and infrastructure is well maintained, creating a safe environment.
- Review safety plans
We’ve said it
before, but it is essential to review existing emergency preparedness and response plans so that all information is up-to-date. Time is critical during an emergency, so having the correct emergency contact information and protocols is crucial. Additionally, floor plans, building diagrams and/or campus maps should reflect the current layout of your school including any new construction.
- Improve communications
Make your safety plans widely available. To make sure all bases are covered, consider a multi-layered approach that includes paper-based materials and a mobile safety platform. This type of approach – with several alternative forms of communication -- can offer your staff, teachers and students easier access to emergency guidelines during a crisis.
- Make advance connections with first responders
Connect with local police, fire departments and other first responders about your safety protocols. It is important that you help familiarize first responders with your school emergency plans including response and drill procedures as well as new updated floor plans.