There are three main components for Disaster Preparedness for Schools that is essential for success.
These three things will allow you to manage and respond to the chaos that a large disaster such as an earthquake would create.
Planning provides the framework for your SEMS/NIMS structure that provides for your emergency teams and incident commander to have command and control over the chaos to get the job done. Organization will be a key factor in your success.
Disaster Supplies are the tools to enable the teams to provide efficient and quick care to your students and staff. Training provides the skills necessary for the response teams to use those supplies efficiently and carry out the plan.
Most school plans are vague at best. They have simply been copied from another school site with no specific details for their school or even specific directions for the staff. Most school plans are out of date, most have not been updated yearly. Evacuation plans are not realistic and do not address the real issue of how to handle injured child or teacher. Do we leave the injured? Should someone stay with the victims? What about the Buddy Teacher? Most staff are unfamiliar with the plan or even their roles within the plan. Yet most schools will claim they are prepared and ready.
School planning should be a work in progress, meaning as they drill and exercise their existing plan, they are learning and adjusting their plan to fit their needs at their site. This should include staff participation to create employee buy in and ownership. To save time, weeks and months and even years in your planning, seek the expertise of a Disaster Preparedness expert. Someone who has trained schools in the area of disaster response. This will help you avoid the typical pitfalls in school planning.
Disaster Supplies and School Survival Kits
will provide the rescue members of your site with the tools to quickly search and rescue students and staff from buildings and get them to a disaster first aid area for triage evaluation and quick treatment. Not having supplies will prolong the rescue, put rescuers at risk and delay care to those who may need it most. Without adequate medical supplies for the care of the injured can lead to septic infections and other complications. Supplies should be matched to the level of training of the school staff and in bulk for large numbers of victims.
Of course last but not least, is the training of the schools employees. In fact, this should probably be done first. This will help the staff quickly determine their plans inadequacies and supply needs. Everyone, from the administration to teachers to clerical and custodians need to have a role and responsibility and be properly trained to carry out the job assigned. Simply writing someone’s name in the plan, placing them on a team is not enough. In fact, the staff should all be cross-trained like firefighters to be more effective. They should not only be able to perform search and rescue, but be able to perform first aid.
Disaster Training classes provide confidence and reduce panic in the staff in knowing they are doing the right thing which directly affects their ability to save lives. Read more about Disaster Survival Skills Training for Schools Here