Emergency Considerations

Below are some sample procedures to give you some general guidelines on areas that need to be addressed. You must write specific procedures for your facility and/or organizational needs based upon a comprehensive assessment. You should never simply cut and paste generic procedures from any planning guide.

Stage 1 - Emergency Response and Relocation: (Approximately 1-12 hours from impact)

  1. Notify police and fire and all other appropriate agencies of the crisis, evacuation location, operational and communications status, and anticipated duration of relocation, if known
  2. Initiate procedures to protect life and minimize property damage
  3. Determine if relocation is required
  4. Communicate relocation decision to employees, and students etc.
  5. Evacuate and take head count
  6. Report status of relocation to the district head quarters and other points of contact
  7. Assess impact on teachers, students, visitors and other patrons
  8. Assess damage to facility and equipment, etc.
  9. Direct all employees involved in response and recovery to keep a log of activities
  10. Inform employees of their immediate work assignments, etc.

Stage 2 - Alternate Facility Operations (Short-Term): (Approximately 12-72 hours from impact)

  1. Determine availability of employees needed for the recovery process and ensure that the employee's family and personal needs are considered
  2. Notify and mobilize staff members as needed
  3. Commence full execution of critical/essential operations
  4. Develop plans and schedules to Stage down alternate facility(ies) operations and return to primary facility when appropriate

Stage 3 - Alternate Facility Operations (Long-Term) or Return to Normal Operations: (Approximately 72 hours and beyond)

  1. Inform all personnel that the threat of or actual emergency no longer exists, and provide instructions for resumption of normal operations
  2. Supervise an orderly return to the normal facility, or movement to another temporary or permanent facility
  3. Conduct an after-action review of operations and effectiveness of plans and procedures as soon as possible
Sample Definitions:

Shelter In-Place
A shelter in place is a procedure in which students are held indoors and in their classrooms much like a regular lockdown, however, the purpose of the shelter-in-place is to protect students and staff from hazards to health or life. It is used to keep them inside when conditions outside pose a threat to their health and safety. Examples of this could be severe weather warning, pending natural disaster, wildfires and critical incidents that have occurred within close proximity to the school. The shelter-in-place is intended to secure students within a building while still leaving the building(s) accessible for entry.

Safety Hold / Hall Check
A Safety Hold occurs when a threat is identified outside of the school building. The school may have been forewarned of an imminent or likely threat. During a Safety Hold, classes continue however all movement is restricted and all doors are locked. A Safety Hold allows for a more rapid transition into a lockdown when there is some forewarning rather than initiating a lockdown from the beginning and further impacting the learning environment. School administrative personnel are assigned to specific areas to control movement and identify threats.

Some agencies will call the "Safety Hold" a "Soft Lockdown". It is not recommend because it has a tendency to confuse and/or minimize a full lockdown. By using a term for an intermediary security measure that does not use the word "lockdown" it preserves the critical nature of the lockdown procedure.

A lockdown occurs when an intruder has been identified inside of a building. During a intruder lockdown, all instruction ceases and measures to keep students safe from harm are implemented inside the classroom. Evacuation An evacuation occurs when it is no longer safe for students to remain in/on the facility.

Evacuations must be authorized by the appropriate personnel and initiated only after evacuation routes and gathering areas have been cleared.

Drop Cover and Hold
The Drop Cover and Hold is a standard response to a seismic event. Students are instructed to Drop to the floor, take Cover under their desk or table and Hold on until the event has ceased.

Sample Emergency Procedures Forms:

Below are sample forms to give you some general guidelines. You must develop specific forms for your facility and/or organizational needs based upon a comprehensive assessment and plan. You should never simply cut and paste generic forms from any planning guide or other source.

PDF Icon Student Release Form
PDF Icon Shelter in-Place
PDF Icon Safety Hold/Hall Check
PDF Icon Lockdown
PDF Icon Building or Facility Loss Form
PDF Icon Explosion Form
PDF Icon Gas Leak Form
PDF Icon Hazardous Material - Off-Site Form
PDF Icon Hazardous Material - On-Site Form
PDF Icon Hostage Situation Form
PDF Icon Multiple Injury/Casualty Incident Form
PDF Icon Water Supply Issue Form