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Friday, May 26, 2006

Disaster preparedness

Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew, the Northridge Earthquake and the Red River flooding of 1997 damaged many schools, making buildings uninhabitable and disrupting the lives of students.

School officials must make a special effort to plan for disasters, mitigate the risks and protect the safety of students and educators.
Every school’s disaster plan should have four main areas of focus, according to* prevention and mitigation: puts in place measures to prevent accidents, fires and criminal acts and situations that cannot be prevented, such as hurricanes
* preparedness: guides the action of staff during a crisis or disaster; including efforts such as stockpiling disaster supplies, training employees and coordinating a drill program for local hazards
* response: formal written plan that logs critical functions from the emergency operations plan and documents who carried out crucial steps during the event
* recovery: the first component outlines death notification, the crisis recovery method that will be used and the organization’s involvement in memorials; the second component is the business continuity plan, which spells out how the operations of the institution will be resumed.