When many people think of physical security, the first ideas that come to mind are things like locks, alarm systems, screening with metal detectors, CCTV,
Since the inception of the Guardian SafeSchool Program®, our consultant team has assisted a diverse range of schools in developing improved emergency response plans and infrastructure necessary for effective performance during crisis events.
Although each emergency planning project is unique, all proceed through a sequence of three phases described as follows.
All emergency response planning projects commence with an assessment to familiarize our consultant with unique characteristics of the school, current emergency response preparations, and the status of existing infrastructure. During this stage, a physical assessment is conducted to assess the school’s emergency communications systems, egress design, refuge options for hazardous events, assembly areas, and additional issues.
Upon completion of the assessment, a summary report is presented to the school with recommended improvements essential for developing new emergency response plans and procedures.
After essential improvements have been identified and a plan for remedy is underway, our consultant works with the school’s leadership to author a new all-hazard Emergency Response Plan (or improvement of existing plans). Activities undertaken at this stage often include structuring the Emergency Response Team, defining authorities and responsibilities, designing improved processes for emergency communications, designating safety zones (e.g., assembly areas, shelter-in-place rooms, severe weather shelters, etc.) and authoring a system of event-specific emergency procedures for best performance, safety, clarity, and organization.
After all essential procedures are complete and ready for promulgation, our consultant support team designs a press-ready classroom flipchart customized according to the school’s emergency response plan.
Even the best designed plans and preparations will fail if school employees are unprepared to take action for their self-preservation and protection of students during emergency events. After the school’s essential policies and procedures are complete and approved, our consultant conducts live training classes to instruct faculty about new improvements in the school’s emergency response plan (e.g., emergency response team structure, communications systems, etc.) and critical protocols for major events such as active shooter situations, bomb threats, and school reunification. In middle schools and high schools, this training also encompasses a discussion about recognizing and reporting threats and behaviors of concern.
In addition to faculty training, a separate tabletop session is conducted to instruct emergency response team members on more complex details of the improved procedures and the role of specific team members.
In our work as consultants, we have assessed numerous emergency response plans developed by schools, districts, insurance companies, and others. Most plans we encounter suffer from problems including ambiguity, lack of redundancy, omission of critical protocols and safety measures, and even dangerous procedures that increase the risk of harm and liability if implemented as designed.
The school emergency response plans developed by our consultants are customized for the unique characteristics of each school, based on decades of experience managing emergencies and assessment of historical crisis events. Each plan we design is developed with careful attention to effectiveness, safety, and actionability under high-stress conditions.
Contact us to discuss your school’s needs by calling Tel. +01 (727) 461-9417 or by completing the following form:
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