Developing high-quality emergency operations plans
We all are well aware of the string of tragedies like Columbine and Sandy Hook in recent years. We used to say, “It can’t happen in Iowa,” but the sad reality is that events like those can happen anywhere and at any time. We must be adequately prepared for a variety of emergencies that potentially threaten the young lives we are responsible for each day.
To that end, the Iowa Department of Education received federal grant funding to provide training for assisting school districts with the process of updating existing Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs).
The Department has contracted with Emergency Preparedness Consulting to assist school districts and schools with upgrading to high-quality EOPs. The training uses the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS-TA Center) through facilitated workshops to assist in the drafting and testing of upgraded EOPs. The process involves working collaboratively with district and community partners on the development and/or updating of existing plans. The Department strongly encourages all school districts to participate in this school emergency management training process.
Districts can prepare for this training by identifying teams of two to four individuals who might lead the planning process and participate in this training. These teams could include district administrators, principals, teachers, risk managers, school board members, school safety coordinators, facility managers, nurses, counselors or public information officers. These individuals will work directly with local response partners in the development of EOPs that reflect the unique capacity and organizational structures of each community.
A webinar will be held on Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. to provide information on the goals, outcomes, and timeline regarding the Training and Technical Assistance to School Districts for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans initiative. This session will provide information about upcoming trainings and resources for developing high-quality emergency operations plans.