Guide to K-12 Emergency Management

Proven Strategies to Protect Your School

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This guide positions you to design the best school emergency management approach by helping you answer:

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Learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any emergency

Preview Each Chapter Below

  • Chapter 1: Preview Chapter
    Meeting and Exceeding Expectations for Emergency Management
  • Chapter 2: Preview Chapter
    The Three Stages of Emergency Management
  • Chapter 3: Preview Chapter
    Movements and Changes in K–12 Emergency Management
  • Chapter 4: Preview Chapter
    Implementing an End-to End Emergency Management System

CHAPTER 1

Meeting and Exceeding Expectations for Emergency Management

Emergency management includes preparing for emergencies, managing localized incidents, alerting first responders, accounting for students, reunifying students with their guardians, and continuously adjusting policies in light of new threats. Emergency management is informed by many factors:

Meeting and Exceeding Expectations for Emergency Management

CHAPTER 2

The Three Stages of Emergency Management

Prepare

The first major step in effective school safety is developing your emergency operations plan (EOP). These protocols provide consistent and clear shared instructions for students, staff, and first responders that allows for quick and coordinated action. Drills allow your school community to gain more familiarity with the plan, become more confident with each drill, and develop “muscle memory” that increases response efficiency.

Respond

Schools should have a mobile panic alert system that links directly to law enforcement and first responder agencies to summon help fast. The most powerful systems connect directly to 9-1-1 through phone call and text messages, have group messaging channels, and allow users to access your EOP, detailed school maps, and other imperative documents. It’s just as critical to have a solution for everyday situations that can quickly escalate without the presence of the appropriate personnel to identify and resolve the issue.

Part of emergency response is to account for everyone on campus, including students, staff, visitors, contractors, guardians, and volunteers. Incident commanders need a clear, real-time line of sight for every person on campus.

Recover

Alongside how to respond to an incident, you also need a robust plan for every component of reunifying students with their guardians.

What to do Before The School Year Starts

Student status information can easily be lost in the chaos of a reunification that relies on pen-and-paper methods. Teachers, staff, first responders, and incident commanders need instant access to real-time student data, status, and location. It’s also imperative that personnel can accurately confirm the guardian’s identity, check for sex offender and custodial restrictions, and capture their signature at reunification.

What to do Before The School Year Starts

CHAPTER 3

Movements and Changes in K–12 Emergency Management

School emergency management is not a static set of ideas or actions. New threats as well as political and legal developments, such as Alyssa’s Law, impact our world and make us reevaluate how we can continue to keep students safe.

COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic required schools to focus on other urgent needs, but being prepared for a crisis is always crucial.

Schools must re-prioritize emergency management. This includes updating your EOP for pandemic response and having a method to deliver needed resources to students. Meal and resource distribution requires schools to ensure students receive the correct resources, streamline the process to make it efficient, and track and record the distribution for accurate recordkeeping.

Compliance with Alyssa’s Law

Click to enlarge

Implementing Safety Solutions During a Pandemic


There is an emphasis now more than ever on schools being equipped with the right solutions to keep their students and staff safe and maintain a safe environment. Implementing a safety solution during a pandemic does not have to be challenging.


CHAPTER 4

Implementing an End-to End Emergency Management System

An integrated emergency management platform integrates all aspects of emergency management into one platform, empowering you to:

  • Practice and analyze drills
  • Initiate an emergency through a mobile panic button
  • Send instant, detailed alerts and connect with 9-1-1
  • Share critical information with staff and first responders, including your EOP, building floor plans, and your location on a map
  • Stay up to date with staff, first responders, and incident commanders with real-time group messaging
  • Account for each individual on campus
  • Reunify students with guardians
  • Create instantaneous and updated status reports and after-incident reports
  • Summon help for localized incidents
  • Integrate with your visitor management system

Linking your visitor, volunteer, and emergency management systems ensures that everyone on campus at any given time is logged into a unified platform and will be included in incident alerts and procedures.

Emergency management is a long-term investment of your time, energy, and resources. When you invest in the right people and tools, it creates the ultimate benefit: safety and peace of mind for everyone in your community.

There are often funding and grant opportunities available to support your school emergency management initiatives. Read our ESSER guide for more information on how to maximize COVID-19 stimulus funds.

Design the best approach for your school and every person inside it—because we all know there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach.

We wrote this guide based on our nearly 20 years of experience and our partnerships with industry experts and 35,000+ K-12 U.S. schools.

“Raptor was the only solution that met all our needs!”
Frank Kitzerow
Chief of Police
Palm Beach County School District
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Download the Guide

Learn how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any emergency