Create an emergency management plan for your school
An emergency management plan forms the basis for how your school will respond to an emergency or disaster situation. The plan covers site information, evacuation procedures, resources, communication and steps for different types of events.
Steps to create your emergency management plan:
- Prepare a map of your school showing:
- Evacuation points
- Location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits
- Where to find controls for electricity and gas services
- Think about how your school will receive warning of disaster or emergency situation. Consider registering for Civil Defence alerts or download warning apps
- Decide how you will contact parents/caregivers to advise them of an emergency event:
- Telephone tree? Text alert? Consider viability of time and resources
- Think about a designated pickup point, who is allowed to pick up the children and what back up arrangements are in place
- Collate and maintain a list of all students with parent/caregiver contact details as well as alternative contact
- Collate and maintain a staff list with:
- Contact details
- Include any skills that could be useful such as first aid or fire extinguisher training
- Make a checklist of steps to take for each emergency
- Ensure all staff are aware of the emergency management plan and trained in emergency procedures
Remember computer systems may not be working after an event so keep paper copies of your plan in an accessible place.
Prepare students on what to do in an emergency
Now your school's emergency management plan is complete the next step is to get students familiar with what to do when disaster strikes. Here are some ideas to make it fun while helping students learn:
- Hold drills for different types of emergency and disaster situations so students are aware of what to do if an event strikes
- Have competitions to see who can Drop, Cover, Hold fastest or which class is the swiftest and safest at evacuation practice
- What's the plan Stan is a resource designed to help children feel confident, connected and actively involved in preparing for an emergency or disaster event. The resource provides a range of useful information and activities for teachers and children
- Surviva is a game designed to help increase awareness of how to survive a disaster situation
What’s the Plan, Stan? is a resource to support schools, teachers, students, and parents to develop the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergency events. whatstheplanstan.govt.nz
Getting through and getting back on track
A continuity plan is vital to get your school or education centre through a disaster or emergency situation. A continuity plan will help you to adjust to altered circumstances and minimise risk to operations.
- Back up important information and files to a cloud based system to ensure they are secure and accessible if your system is damaged
- Consider possible alternative temporary sites if your school is damaged
- Focus on training that will prepare management and staff to adapt quickly to changes resulting from a disaster. Develop a plan to ensure staff are equipped with the skills needed to stay healthy and engaged
- Build relationships with other schools, central and local government agencies, and local communities. These networks will be vital in a disaster situation
Go a step further
The Ministry of Education has a range of guides for looking after your wellbeing and supporting others following an earthquake or major event.
Suggestions for talking to children about earthquakes
An earthquake is when the ground shakes because rocks deep under the ground are moving. When a big earthquake happens there may be a loud rumbling noise and things can start falling down around you. It might also be hard to stand up. You have to act quickly and protect yourself from things that might fall on you. Remember how a turtle quickly gets into its shell to keep safe? Here’s what you can do.
- If you are inside, quickly get under a table, and hold on to the table legs (if you can) so the table doesn't move away from you. Stay there until the shaking stops and you are told it is safe to come out by an adult
- If you are outside or there are no tables around, take no more than three steps away from things that can fall on you: DROP, COVER and HOLD
- Remember there may be aftershocks (more earthquakes)
- Practice your earthquake drill: DROP, COVER and HOLD