Once programmed, your radio can be an important
part of your school emergency response and crisis management plan. Developing
protocols and policies to be implemented in the event of an emergency
is one of the most important steps in the crisis planning process. Once
these protocols are developed, it is important that they be shared with
the entire school community, including faculty, parents, and students,
to ensure that all are familiar with their role and expectations
before a disaster strikes. To help optimize the radio’s effectiveness
at your school, please consider the following recommendations:
- Conduct an assessment of potential hazards in your area.You may wish
to review the FEMA Web site http://www.fema.gov/ for past
natural disasters that have occurred in your area.
- Place the radio in a central location with continuous monitoring.
Some schools keep the radio in the front office since this area is
usually staffed throughout the school day.
- Provide training for school staff
on the significance of various alerts and the procedures to
be taken if the alarm goes off. Appropriate response to crises and
emergencies can mean the difference between life and death. Ensuring
that all school staff know what to do in the event of an emergency
can reduce injuries and potential property loss.
- Contact your local Citizen Corps
Council to learn about age appropriate student education, training,
and volunteer opportunities in all-hazards preparedness, mitigation,
and response skills. Citizen Corps is the DHS/FEMA
community-based program to actively involve everyone in making
our communities safer, stronger and better prepared. To find the Council
nearest you, go to www.citizencorps.gov.
- Through Citizen Corps, coordinate with local emergency management, law enforcement, fire, public health professionals and other community leaders to help your school prepare in
advance for the important steps staff should take in the event an emergency
is announced over the radio.