Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools
Guide to School Vulnerability Assessments
This guide is intended to be a companion piece to Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities, originally published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2003 as a guide for schools and districts to prepare for a variety of crises. This new guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2008, emphasizes a valuable part of emergency management planning-ongoing vulnerability assessment-and is intended to assist schools with the implementation of an effective vulnerability assessment process, to include choosing an appropriate vulnerability assessment tool. This guide is not intended to be prescriptive or to give step-by-step instructions for conducting assessments, rather it is intended to describe the key elements to be considered when selecting an assessment tool appropriate for school environments and provide guidance for conducting an assessment that will inform school emergency management activities.
The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center produces three publications: REMSExpress, Helpful Hints and Lessons Learned. The REMSExpress is a newsletter that provides comprehensive information on key issues in school emergency management. Helpful Hints offers a quick overview of school emergency preparedness topics that are frequently the subject of inquiries. Lessons Learned is a series of publications that are a brief recounting of actual school emergencies and crises. All publications support an all-hazards approach to collaborative school emergency management that is guided by the four phases (prevention - mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) and integrates the needs of people with disabilities.
REMS Webinars feature a web conference presentation (using your telephone and an Internet connection) from experts in the field of emergency response, along with downloadable PowerPoint slides, supplemental reading, and other online materials that enhance the presentation. The REMS TA Center will be conducting several of these events each year, and participants can sign up for future events on the individual seminar pages.
School Emergency Supplies and "Go Kits"
Every school, before and after care center, and day care center should store emergency supplies in preparation for either an evacuation or an emergency that requires students and staff to shelter in place. The safety team should select supplies that address the needs of the specific school, its population, climate, facilities, and resources. Because emergency supplies are so important, the school safety plan should reference both the supplies to be stockpiled and staff role responsible for stocking and replenishing.
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center
The U.S. Department of Education began supporting the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center in FY 2004. The Center supports all grantees funded under the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) discretionary grant program (formerly Emergency Response and Crisis Management grant program) by providing emergency management resources, training, and publications. The TA Center also helps non-grantee local educational districts (LEAs) and private schools with improving and strengthening their emergency management plans through the provision of resources, responses to technical assistance requests, and facilitation of Emergency Management for Schools Training events. The TA Center Web site is available at http://rems.ed.gov. A variety of resources are available on the Web site including Power Point presentations from previous training events and a series of newsletters, Lessons Learned documents, and Helpful Hint publications. EMT Associates, Inc. from Folsom, California, manages the TA Center. For additional information on the REMS TA Center, please contact at Madeline.Sullivan@ed.gov.
EMERGENCY PLANNING WEBSITE provides information that can help school leaders plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents and terrorist acts. For more information about what families and communities can do to be ready for an emergency, please visit www.ready.gov.
Guidance on GPRA Grantees