This section specifies procedures for various emergency situations, including accidents that occur between school and environmental emergencies, fires, natural disasters, medical emergencies, and school intruders. Emphasis is placed on the importance of creating scenarios and exercises for practicing responses to each of these situations. During an emergency the principal and staff must be prepared to follow procedures, yet make leadership decisions according to the situation to maintain the safety of students and themselves (Jefferson County, 2008). Drills are conducted routinely to prepare, train staff and students in case of an actual emergency. Different bells whistles and codes are used to alert staff and students in the school’s audible alarm system. Practice helps staff and students to know what actions are necessary for each alert. Each procedure is designed with direct bullet statements that are easy to understand and follow. This is essential during an emergency situation when it is necessary to react quickly in order to maintain calm and order.
A disaster can happen at any time, and the region will determine the type of disaster encountered. Schools are required to develop a disaster plan to anticipate any kind of threat. “When developing an effective disaster response program schools benefit from specialized guidance from organization familiar” with emergency plans for schools (Marinelli, 2013, p. 29). A thorough risk assessment of all potential threats is needed prior to the development of plans. This assessment supports schools in developing a plan addressing the schools unique needs. Marinelli (2013) suggests the minimum critical elements of an effective program should: (...
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...tings at the school. Law enforcement arrived at the school within three minutes, as officers approached the gunman he took out a handgun and shot himself in one of the classrooms. Police secured the building, ensuring no other shooters were on site, then escorted students and faculty out of the building to a nearby firehouse. As reports of the shooting made their way around town, frantic parents descended on the firehouse where the children had been taken. After hours of uniting parents with their children, (CNN, 2012) stated “by nightfall, the firehouse became a gathering point for parents and family members whose loved ones would never walk out of the school” (p.1). Figure 1 below is a graphic depiction of Sandy Hook Elementary School, it shows the proximity of the classroom to the principal office and gives a visual of just how quickly the incident transpired.
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