Emergency Planning

Schools' Emergency Guidelines: A Critical Overview

Joel Lim

|

January 31, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

school emergency guidelines

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

One of the most efficient ways to ensure safety in schools is by following emergency guidelines.

Emergency guidelines are a comprehensive plan covering how a school should prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from various emergencies. These plans are essential to limit damages and potential tragedies. 

This guide details the necessity of emergency guidelines in schools, what they should include, and tips to implement and improve them.


Key Takeaways

  • Emergency guidelines are necessary in schools because they save time and minimize damage.

  • Emergency guidelines should include medical emergency plans, lockdown procedures, evacuation plans, communication strategies and roles, consideration for individuals with special needs, and emergency contact information for everybody in the school.

  • Schools can improve guidelines by implementing regular drills, having regular staff training, and doing regular reviews and updates.


Why Are Emergency Guidelines Needed for Schools?

emergency guidelines needed for schools

Time is one of the most critical elements in almost all emergencies. Emergency guidelines are necessary to provide a pre-established set of instructions to eliminate the time needed to respond and take action. 

Precise, swift, and organized action is vital to prevent damage. Some of the most common emergencies inside schools include extreme weather and intruder situations.

In these examples, emergency guidelines provide a clear course of action for students and teachers to stay out of harm’s way. 

In extreme weather scenarios, the guidelines and related drills teach students how to respond to natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and fires. Similarly, emergency guidelines give students a detailed plan for hiding and protecting themselves in the case of an intruder. 

In these scenarios, the guidelines take out any guesswork or time it takes to think and decide on the appropriate course of action in an emergency. Having the procedures already thought out maximizes the likelihood of safety.

Without a practical emergency guideline, the time it takes to make crucial decisions could mean the difference between life and death. 


What Should Emergency Guidelines for Schools Include?

emergency guidelines for schools

The Department of Health has detailed guides on what schools should include in their emergency guidelines. We compiled a list of the most important things to highlight.

Medical Emergency Plans

The first thing to include is comprehensive medical emergency plans for various scenarios. The most common type of emergency in schools is medical, so this section should be detailed, thorough, and part of any school’s guidelines.

Common medical emergencies in schools include allergic reactions, choking, asthma, and physical injury. It’s important for guidelines to detail steps for any type of medical emergency. 

Typical response plans for medical emergencies include contacting 911, the location and usage of medicine/life support, and how to communicate with and support the affected parties. 

Evacuation Plans

The next crucial part to include is an evacuation plan. An adequate evacuation plan is essential to clear everyone out of the school in a timely, safe fashion.

Schools should make evacuation plans for scenarios such as fires and incoming floods. They should include detailed routes and exits designated to certain classes and groups of students to ensure safe, orderly and swift evacuation.

Lockdown Plans

On the opposite end of emergencies from evacuations is an effective plan for any lockdown scenario at a school. These emergencies include hazardous spills or active intruders. 

If a school enters lockdown, these guidelines detail what students and teachers must do to hide and protect themselves. Typical lockdown procedure involves contacting 911 (or appropriate emergency service), turning off all lights, locking classrooms and hiding.

Communication Strategies, Roles, & Responsibilities

As a part of any plan, emergency guidelines must include pre-determined communication strategies, roles, and responsibilities for students and teachers. 

In an emergency, the teacher or person in charge will already know what to communicate and how.

Nick Sicora, Lead Consultant at Disaster and Disability Consultants LLC, emphasizes the importance of communicating the emergency plans with parents beforehand, stating:


“It's important that schools have multiple ways to communicate with parents and guardians about the emergency plans to let them know that their children are protected. Parents need to be aware of how the schools and public safety officials will communicate with parents about potential threats and actualized incidents.”

Special Need Considerations

If your school has students with special needs, their consideration is an absolute must for any plans. Students with special needs must have adequate equipment, attention, and care to ensure their safety. 

Some considerations to implement include reserved exits, reserved orders or places in evacuations/lockdowns, ramps, and a teacher/faculty equipped with appropriate communication skills and the specific role of communicating with these students.

Emergency Contact Info

Lastly, emergency guidelines must include the emergency contact information of every student, teacher and school employee. In a medical emergency, the contacts can be the determining factor between life and death.

They can relay crucial health information about the affected student. This information can include allergies, medications the individual should receive, or any relevant health conditions. 

Guidelines should contain this information so people can access it easily and quickly in an emergency. 

It is essential to store sensitive information, such as emergency contact information or health information, in a safe place. At Trustworthy, we provide the highest level of security for your documents and files for all students and teachers. 

Use our family operating system to securely store your school’s information, and feel confident knowing you can easily access it at any time.


Tips For Effective Emergency Guidelines

tips for effective emergency guidelines

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your guidelines are practical and maximize their potential benefit.

Regular Drills and Training

Having an effective plan is one thing, but ensuring your students and teachers know how to follow it is another issue. As with any other idea, practice makes perfect.

Our first tip is to implement regular drills and training following the plans you created in your guidelines. In these drills, members of the school should physically “rehearse” and follow through each step of the plan as if it were the real thing. 

This training will instill the procedures into students' and teachers’ minds, almost becoming muscle memory. This way, they’re already accustomed to and familiar with the proper procedures in the emergency.

Practical & Simple Guidelines

The next tip is to ensure everyone in the school can follow the guidelines. Make them as practical and straightforward as possible without dispensing any crucial details.

The age range will vary depending on the kind of school, but ultimately, guidelines should be easy to follow for anybody. If the wording is too complicated or the plan involves too many difficult, complex steps, it could confuse students and teachers.

This could create a delay or cause an incorrect action that can prove disastrous. 

All-Encompassing Guidelines

Create guidelines that effectively encompass all sorts of emergencies and their respective necessary responses in a possible emergency. 

While it may be impossible to account for every possible emergency, schools should ensure guidelines prepare school members for as many scenarios as possible. This increases the likelihood of effectively responding to various kinds of emergencies. 

Staff Training

Outside of drills and training for the whole school, it’s crucial to have the staff well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Implement regular staff training in addition to drills and allow them to practice their responses to varying emergencies.

Staff training should include detailed instructions and descriptions of the roles of selected staff members. There are communication roles for reporting in an emergency and roles for guiding students. 

In addition, more specific training includes CPR or first-aid that staff could administer themselves if necessary.

Regular Reviews and Updates

The final tip is to include regular reviews and updates of your emergency guidelines. If there are new and improved methods for handling emergencies or medical treatment, new students with special needs, or if the school has undergone architectural/structural changes, the guidelines need an update.

These reviews ensure schools can identify any weak points or areas of potential improvement in the guidelines, and the updates allow them to adjust accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should schools do in an emergency?

In a school emergency, the best thing to do is to remain calm and always consult and follow the emergency guidelines. Follow the appropriate steps for the given situation. 

What is the incident response plan for schools?

The incident response plan for schools is a guide for managing designated emergencies and incidents that may occur. The plan designates roles and gives instructions for evacuations and other emergencies.

What are the five things not to do during an emergency?

The five things not to do in an emergency are to stop communicating, panic, rush, abandon the guidelines/procedures in place, or give up hope. 

Emergency Planning

Schools' Emergency Guidelines: A Critical Overview

Joel Lim

|

January 31, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

One of the most efficient ways to ensure safety in schools is by following emergency guidelines.

Emergency guidelines are a comprehensive plan covering how a school should prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from various emergencies. These plans are essential to limit damages and potential tragedies. 

This guide details the necessity of emergency guidelines in schools, what they should include, and tips to implement and improve them.


Key Takeaways

  • Emergency guidelines are necessary in schools because they save time and minimize damage.

  • Emergency guidelines should include medical emergency plans, lockdown procedures, evacuation plans, communication strategies and roles, consideration for individuals with special needs, and emergency contact information for everybody in the school.

  • Schools can improve guidelines by implementing regular drills, having regular staff training, and doing regular reviews and updates.


Why Are Emergency Guidelines Needed for Schools?

emergency guidelines needed for schools

Time is one of the most critical elements in almost all emergencies. Emergency guidelines are necessary to provide a pre-established set of instructions to eliminate the time needed to respond and take action. 

Precise, swift, and organized action is vital to prevent damage. Some of the most common emergencies inside schools include extreme weather and intruder situations.

In these examples, emergency guidelines provide a clear course of action for students and teachers to stay out of harm’s way. 

In extreme weather scenarios, the guidelines and related drills teach students how to respond to natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and fires. Similarly, emergency guidelines give students a detailed plan for hiding and protecting themselves in the case of an intruder. 

In these scenarios, the guidelines take out any guesswork or time it takes to think and decide on the appropriate course of action in an emergency. Having the procedures already thought out maximizes the likelihood of safety.

Without a practical emergency guideline, the time it takes to make crucial decisions could mean the difference between life and death. 


What Should Emergency Guidelines for Schools Include?

emergency guidelines for schools

The Department of Health has detailed guides on what schools should include in their emergency guidelines. We compiled a list of the most important things to highlight.

Medical Emergency Plans

The first thing to include is comprehensive medical emergency plans for various scenarios. The most common type of emergency in schools is medical, so this section should be detailed, thorough, and part of any school’s guidelines.

Common medical emergencies in schools include allergic reactions, choking, asthma, and physical injury. It’s important for guidelines to detail steps for any type of medical emergency. 

Typical response plans for medical emergencies include contacting 911, the location and usage of medicine/life support, and how to communicate with and support the affected parties. 

Evacuation Plans

The next crucial part to include is an evacuation plan. An adequate evacuation plan is essential to clear everyone out of the school in a timely, safe fashion.

Schools should make evacuation plans for scenarios such as fires and incoming floods. They should include detailed routes and exits designated to certain classes and groups of students to ensure safe, orderly and swift evacuation.

Lockdown Plans

On the opposite end of emergencies from evacuations is an effective plan for any lockdown scenario at a school. These emergencies include hazardous spills or active intruders. 

If a school enters lockdown, these guidelines detail what students and teachers must do to hide and protect themselves. Typical lockdown procedure involves contacting 911 (or appropriate emergency service), turning off all lights, locking classrooms and hiding.

Communication Strategies, Roles, & Responsibilities

As a part of any plan, emergency guidelines must include pre-determined communication strategies, roles, and responsibilities for students and teachers. 

In an emergency, the teacher or person in charge will already know what to communicate and how.

Nick Sicora, Lead Consultant at Disaster and Disability Consultants LLC, emphasizes the importance of communicating the emergency plans with parents beforehand, stating:


“It's important that schools have multiple ways to communicate with parents and guardians about the emergency plans to let them know that their children are protected. Parents need to be aware of how the schools and public safety officials will communicate with parents about potential threats and actualized incidents.”

Special Need Considerations

If your school has students with special needs, their consideration is an absolute must for any plans. Students with special needs must have adequate equipment, attention, and care to ensure their safety. 

Some considerations to implement include reserved exits, reserved orders or places in evacuations/lockdowns, ramps, and a teacher/faculty equipped with appropriate communication skills and the specific role of communicating with these students.

Emergency Contact Info

Lastly, emergency guidelines must include the emergency contact information of every student, teacher and school employee. In a medical emergency, the contacts can be the determining factor between life and death.

They can relay crucial health information about the affected student. This information can include allergies, medications the individual should receive, or any relevant health conditions. 

Guidelines should contain this information so people can access it easily and quickly in an emergency. 

It is essential to store sensitive information, such as emergency contact information or health information, in a safe place. At Trustworthy, we provide the highest level of security for your documents and files for all students and teachers. 

Use our family operating system to securely store your school’s information, and feel confident knowing you can easily access it at any time.


Tips For Effective Emergency Guidelines

tips for effective emergency guidelines

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your guidelines are practical and maximize their potential benefit.

Regular Drills and Training

Having an effective plan is one thing, but ensuring your students and teachers know how to follow it is another issue. As with any other idea, practice makes perfect.

Our first tip is to implement regular drills and training following the plans you created in your guidelines. In these drills, members of the school should physically “rehearse” and follow through each step of the plan as if it were the real thing. 

This training will instill the procedures into students' and teachers’ minds, almost becoming muscle memory. This way, they’re already accustomed to and familiar with the proper procedures in the emergency.

Practical & Simple Guidelines

The next tip is to ensure everyone in the school can follow the guidelines. Make them as practical and straightforward as possible without dispensing any crucial details.

The age range will vary depending on the kind of school, but ultimately, guidelines should be easy to follow for anybody. If the wording is too complicated or the plan involves too many difficult, complex steps, it could confuse students and teachers.

This could create a delay or cause an incorrect action that can prove disastrous. 

All-Encompassing Guidelines

Create guidelines that effectively encompass all sorts of emergencies and their respective necessary responses in a possible emergency. 

While it may be impossible to account for every possible emergency, schools should ensure guidelines prepare school members for as many scenarios as possible. This increases the likelihood of effectively responding to various kinds of emergencies. 

Staff Training

Outside of drills and training for the whole school, it’s crucial to have the staff well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Implement regular staff training in addition to drills and allow them to practice their responses to varying emergencies.

Staff training should include detailed instructions and descriptions of the roles of selected staff members. There are communication roles for reporting in an emergency and roles for guiding students. 

In addition, more specific training includes CPR or first-aid that staff could administer themselves if necessary.

Regular Reviews and Updates

The final tip is to include regular reviews and updates of your emergency guidelines. If there are new and improved methods for handling emergencies or medical treatment, new students with special needs, or if the school has undergone architectural/structural changes, the guidelines need an update.

These reviews ensure schools can identify any weak points or areas of potential improvement in the guidelines, and the updates allow them to adjust accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should schools do in an emergency?

In a school emergency, the best thing to do is to remain calm and always consult and follow the emergency guidelines. Follow the appropriate steps for the given situation. 

What is the incident response plan for schools?

The incident response plan for schools is a guide for managing designated emergencies and incidents that may occur. The plan designates roles and gives instructions for evacuations and other emergencies.

What are the five things not to do during an emergency?

The five things not to do in an emergency are to stop communicating, panic, rush, abandon the guidelines/procedures in place, or give up hope. 

Emergency Planning

Schools' Emergency Guidelines: A Critical Overview

Joel Lim

|

January 31, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

school emergency guidelines

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

One of the most efficient ways to ensure safety in schools is by following emergency guidelines.

Emergency guidelines are a comprehensive plan covering how a school should prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from various emergencies. These plans are essential to limit damages and potential tragedies. 

This guide details the necessity of emergency guidelines in schools, what they should include, and tips to implement and improve them.


Key Takeaways

  • Emergency guidelines are necessary in schools because they save time and minimize damage.

  • Emergency guidelines should include medical emergency plans, lockdown procedures, evacuation plans, communication strategies and roles, consideration for individuals with special needs, and emergency contact information for everybody in the school.

  • Schools can improve guidelines by implementing regular drills, having regular staff training, and doing regular reviews and updates.


Why Are Emergency Guidelines Needed for Schools?

emergency guidelines needed for schools

Time is one of the most critical elements in almost all emergencies. Emergency guidelines are necessary to provide a pre-established set of instructions to eliminate the time needed to respond and take action. 

Precise, swift, and organized action is vital to prevent damage. Some of the most common emergencies inside schools include extreme weather and intruder situations.

In these examples, emergency guidelines provide a clear course of action for students and teachers to stay out of harm’s way. 

In extreme weather scenarios, the guidelines and related drills teach students how to respond to natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and fires. Similarly, emergency guidelines give students a detailed plan for hiding and protecting themselves in the case of an intruder. 

In these scenarios, the guidelines take out any guesswork or time it takes to think and decide on the appropriate course of action in an emergency. Having the procedures already thought out maximizes the likelihood of safety.

Without a practical emergency guideline, the time it takes to make crucial decisions could mean the difference between life and death. 


What Should Emergency Guidelines for Schools Include?

emergency guidelines for schools

The Department of Health has detailed guides on what schools should include in their emergency guidelines. We compiled a list of the most important things to highlight.

Medical Emergency Plans

The first thing to include is comprehensive medical emergency plans for various scenarios. The most common type of emergency in schools is medical, so this section should be detailed, thorough, and part of any school’s guidelines.

Common medical emergencies in schools include allergic reactions, choking, asthma, and physical injury. It’s important for guidelines to detail steps for any type of medical emergency. 

Typical response plans for medical emergencies include contacting 911, the location and usage of medicine/life support, and how to communicate with and support the affected parties. 

Evacuation Plans

The next crucial part to include is an evacuation plan. An adequate evacuation plan is essential to clear everyone out of the school in a timely, safe fashion.

Schools should make evacuation plans for scenarios such as fires and incoming floods. They should include detailed routes and exits designated to certain classes and groups of students to ensure safe, orderly and swift evacuation.

Lockdown Plans

On the opposite end of emergencies from evacuations is an effective plan for any lockdown scenario at a school. These emergencies include hazardous spills or active intruders. 

If a school enters lockdown, these guidelines detail what students and teachers must do to hide and protect themselves. Typical lockdown procedure involves contacting 911 (or appropriate emergency service), turning off all lights, locking classrooms and hiding.

Communication Strategies, Roles, & Responsibilities

As a part of any plan, emergency guidelines must include pre-determined communication strategies, roles, and responsibilities for students and teachers. 

In an emergency, the teacher or person in charge will already know what to communicate and how.

Nick Sicora, Lead Consultant at Disaster and Disability Consultants LLC, emphasizes the importance of communicating the emergency plans with parents beforehand, stating:


“It's important that schools have multiple ways to communicate with parents and guardians about the emergency plans to let them know that their children are protected. Parents need to be aware of how the schools and public safety officials will communicate with parents about potential threats and actualized incidents.”

Special Need Considerations

If your school has students with special needs, their consideration is an absolute must for any plans. Students with special needs must have adequate equipment, attention, and care to ensure their safety. 

Some considerations to implement include reserved exits, reserved orders or places in evacuations/lockdowns, ramps, and a teacher/faculty equipped with appropriate communication skills and the specific role of communicating with these students.

Emergency Contact Info

Lastly, emergency guidelines must include the emergency contact information of every student, teacher and school employee. In a medical emergency, the contacts can be the determining factor between life and death.

They can relay crucial health information about the affected student. This information can include allergies, medications the individual should receive, or any relevant health conditions. 

Guidelines should contain this information so people can access it easily and quickly in an emergency. 

It is essential to store sensitive information, such as emergency contact information or health information, in a safe place. At Trustworthy, we provide the highest level of security for your documents and files for all students and teachers. 

Use our family operating system to securely store your school’s information, and feel confident knowing you can easily access it at any time.


Tips For Effective Emergency Guidelines

tips for effective emergency guidelines

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your guidelines are practical and maximize their potential benefit.

Regular Drills and Training

Having an effective plan is one thing, but ensuring your students and teachers know how to follow it is another issue. As with any other idea, practice makes perfect.

Our first tip is to implement regular drills and training following the plans you created in your guidelines. In these drills, members of the school should physically “rehearse” and follow through each step of the plan as if it were the real thing. 

This training will instill the procedures into students' and teachers’ minds, almost becoming muscle memory. This way, they’re already accustomed to and familiar with the proper procedures in the emergency.

Practical & Simple Guidelines

The next tip is to ensure everyone in the school can follow the guidelines. Make them as practical and straightforward as possible without dispensing any crucial details.

The age range will vary depending on the kind of school, but ultimately, guidelines should be easy to follow for anybody. If the wording is too complicated or the plan involves too many difficult, complex steps, it could confuse students and teachers.

This could create a delay or cause an incorrect action that can prove disastrous. 

All-Encompassing Guidelines

Create guidelines that effectively encompass all sorts of emergencies and their respective necessary responses in a possible emergency. 

While it may be impossible to account for every possible emergency, schools should ensure guidelines prepare school members for as many scenarios as possible. This increases the likelihood of effectively responding to various kinds of emergencies. 

Staff Training

Outside of drills and training for the whole school, it’s crucial to have the staff well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Implement regular staff training in addition to drills and allow them to practice their responses to varying emergencies.

Staff training should include detailed instructions and descriptions of the roles of selected staff members. There are communication roles for reporting in an emergency and roles for guiding students. 

In addition, more specific training includes CPR or first-aid that staff could administer themselves if necessary.

Regular Reviews and Updates

The final tip is to include regular reviews and updates of your emergency guidelines. If there are new and improved methods for handling emergencies or medical treatment, new students with special needs, or if the school has undergone architectural/structural changes, the guidelines need an update.

These reviews ensure schools can identify any weak points or areas of potential improvement in the guidelines, and the updates allow them to adjust accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should schools do in an emergency?

In a school emergency, the best thing to do is to remain calm and always consult and follow the emergency guidelines. Follow the appropriate steps for the given situation. 

What is the incident response plan for schools?

The incident response plan for schools is a guide for managing designated emergencies and incidents that may occur. The plan designates roles and gives instructions for evacuations and other emergencies.

What are the five things not to do during an emergency?

The five things not to do in an emergency are to stop communicating, panic, rush, abandon the guidelines/procedures in place, or give up hope. 

Emergency Planning

Schools' Emergency Guidelines: A Critical Overview

Joel Lim

|

January 31, 2024

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

school emergency guidelines

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

One of the most efficient ways to ensure safety in schools is by following emergency guidelines.

Emergency guidelines are a comprehensive plan covering how a school should prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from various emergencies. These plans are essential to limit damages and potential tragedies. 

This guide details the necessity of emergency guidelines in schools, what they should include, and tips to implement and improve them.


Key Takeaways

  • Emergency guidelines are necessary in schools because they save time and minimize damage.

  • Emergency guidelines should include medical emergency plans, lockdown procedures, evacuation plans, communication strategies and roles, consideration for individuals with special needs, and emergency contact information for everybody in the school.

  • Schools can improve guidelines by implementing regular drills, having regular staff training, and doing regular reviews and updates.


Why Are Emergency Guidelines Needed for Schools?

emergency guidelines needed for schools

Time is one of the most critical elements in almost all emergencies. Emergency guidelines are necessary to provide a pre-established set of instructions to eliminate the time needed to respond and take action. 

Precise, swift, and organized action is vital to prevent damage. Some of the most common emergencies inside schools include extreme weather and intruder situations.

In these examples, emergency guidelines provide a clear course of action for students and teachers to stay out of harm’s way. 

In extreme weather scenarios, the guidelines and related drills teach students how to respond to natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and fires. Similarly, emergency guidelines give students a detailed plan for hiding and protecting themselves in the case of an intruder. 

In these scenarios, the guidelines take out any guesswork or time it takes to think and decide on the appropriate course of action in an emergency. Having the procedures already thought out maximizes the likelihood of safety.

Without a practical emergency guideline, the time it takes to make crucial decisions could mean the difference between life and death. 


What Should Emergency Guidelines for Schools Include?

emergency guidelines for schools

The Department of Health has detailed guides on what schools should include in their emergency guidelines. We compiled a list of the most important things to highlight.

Medical Emergency Plans

The first thing to include is comprehensive medical emergency plans for various scenarios. The most common type of emergency in schools is medical, so this section should be detailed, thorough, and part of any school’s guidelines.

Common medical emergencies in schools include allergic reactions, choking, asthma, and physical injury. It’s important for guidelines to detail steps for any type of medical emergency. 

Typical response plans for medical emergencies include contacting 911, the location and usage of medicine/life support, and how to communicate with and support the affected parties. 

Evacuation Plans

The next crucial part to include is an evacuation plan. An adequate evacuation plan is essential to clear everyone out of the school in a timely, safe fashion.

Schools should make evacuation plans for scenarios such as fires and incoming floods. They should include detailed routes and exits designated to certain classes and groups of students to ensure safe, orderly and swift evacuation.

Lockdown Plans

On the opposite end of emergencies from evacuations is an effective plan for any lockdown scenario at a school. These emergencies include hazardous spills or active intruders. 

If a school enters lockdown, these guidelines detail what students and teachers must do to hide and protect themselves. Typical lockdown procedure involves contacting 911 (or appropriate emergency service), turning off all lights, locking classrooms and hiding.

Communication Strategies, Roles, & Responsibilities

As a part of any plan, emergency guidelines must include pre-determined communication strategies, roles, and responsibilities for students and teachers. 

In an emergency, the teacher or person in charge will already know what to communicate and how.

Nick Sicora, Lead Consultant at Disaster and Disability Consultants LLC, emphasizes the importance of communicating the emergency plans with parents beforehand, stating:


“It's important that schools have multiple ways to communicate with parents and guardians about the emergency plans to let them know that their children are protected. Parents need to be aware of how the schools and public safety officials will communicate with parents about potential threats and actualized incidents.”

Special Need Considerations

If your school has students with special needs, their consideration is an absolute must for any plans. Students with special needs must have adequate equipment, attention, and care to ensure their safety. 

Some considerations to implement include reserved exits, reserved orders or places in evacuations/lockdowns, ramps, and a teacher/faculty equipped with appropriate communication skills and the specific role of communicating with these students.

Emergency Contact Info

Lastly, emergency guidelines must include the emergency contact information of every student, teacher and school employee. In a medical emergency, the contacts can be the determining factor between life and death.

They can relay crucial health information about the affected student. This information can include allergies, medications the individual should receive, or any relevant health conditions. 

Guidelines should contain this information so people can access it easily and quickly in an emergency. 

It is essential to store sensitive information, such as emergency contact information or health information, in a safe place. At Trustworthy, we provide the highest level of security for your documents and files for all students and teachers. 

Use our family operating system to securely store your school’s information, and feel confident knowing you can easily access it at any time.


Tips For Effective Emergency Guidelines

tips for effective emergency guidelines

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your guidelines are practical and maximize their potential benefit.

Regular Drills and Training

Having an effective plan is one thing, but ensuring your students and teachers know how to follow it is another issue. As with any other idea, practice makes perfect.

Our first tip is to implement regular drills and training following the plans you created in your guidelines. In these drills, members of the school should physically “rehearse” and follow through each step of the plan as if it were the real thing. 

This training will instill the procedures into students' and teachers’ minds, almost becoming muscle memory. This way, they’re already accustomed to and familiar with the proper procedures in the emergency.

Practical & Simple Guidelines

The next tip is to ensure everyone in the school can follow the guidelines. Make them as practical and straightforward as possible without dispensing any crucial details.

The age range will vary depending on the kind of school, but ultimately, guidelines should be easy to follow for anybody. If the wording is too complicated or the plan involves too many difficult, complex steps, it could confuse students and teachers.

This could create a delay or cause an incorrect action that can prove disastrous. 

All-Encompassing Guidelines

Create guidelines that effectively encompass all sorts of emergencies and their respective necessary responses in a possible emergency. 

While it may be impossible to account for every possible emergency, schools should ensure guidelines prepare school members for as many scenarios as possible. This increases the likelihood of effectively responding to various kinds of emergencies. 

Staff Training

Outside of drills and training for the whole school, it’s crucial to have the staff well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Implement regular staff training in addition to drills and allow them to practice their responses to varying emergencies.

Staff training should include detailed instructions and descriptions of the roles of selected staff members. There are communication roles for reporting in an emergency and roles for guiding students. 

In addition, more specific training includes CPR or first-aid that staff could administer themselves if necessary.

Regular Reviews and Updates

The final tip is to include regular reviews and updates of your emergency guidelines. If there are new and improved methods for handling emergencies or medical treatment, new students with special needs, or if the school has undergone architectural/structural changes, the guidelines need an update.

These reviews ensure schools can identify any weak points or areas of potential improvement in the guidelines, and the updates allow them to adjust accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should schools do in an emergency?

In a school emergency, the best thing to do is to remain calm and always consult and follow the emergency guidelines. Follow the appropriate steps for the given situation. 

What is the incident response plan for schools?

The incident response plan for schools is a guide for managing designated emergencies and incidents that may occur. The plan designates roles and gives instructions for evacuations and other emergencies.

What are the five things not to do during an emergency?

The five things not to do in an emergency are to stop communicating, panic, rush, abandon the guidelines/procedures in place, or give up hope. 

Try Trustworthy today.

Try Trustworthy today.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

Try the Family Operating System® for yourself. You (and your family) will love it.

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