Are You Editing Your Emergency and Reunification Plans?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
In light of the recent shootings at Portland's Clackamas Town Center, and Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary, are you, like many school administrators across the country, reviewing your school district's Emergency Response Plans and Reunification Plans? It's never too late to start now!

Your school's Emergency Response Plan is a document that tells everyone--teachers, staff, students, parents and school board members--how your school is planning to react in an emergency, and what everyone's roles are supposed to be to ensure the safety and security of students and staff after an incident. It should also include a communications plan, so information can be delivered to staff, students, parents and the press in an effective manner. Finally, in order for your district to be eligible for some forms of financial assistance after a disaster, your district may be required to show that it has developed and followed these written plans.

Your school's Reunification Plan is a document that describes what you're going to do after an incident to ensure the students are safely reunited with their families as soon as possible. It can help you not only ensure that your students are given to the right adults, but also help you avoid traffic jams of worried parents blocking access to busses and emergency vehicles, because they'll know what to do and where to go.

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) provides districts with lots of assistance to put together their plans.  They have a great page with lots of resources, including a sample School Emergency Operations Plan upon which you can base your own schools' plans.

In addition, FEMA also has a flyer (in PDF format) called "Preparedness Tips for School Administrators". It contains a good summary of a district's needs, and it contains clickable links to more resources, including message scripts and a sample reunification plan!

You can access both the FEMA site and the FEMA flyer by clicking on this link to the OSSOA Disaster Resources Page and scrolling down to the bottom of the page!