Washington County Schools
District-Wide Crisis Response Plan Summary

Four (4) divisions suggested by FEMA and National Incident Management System (NIMS) that have been adapted are:

Phase I General Considerations and Planning Guidelines

Phase II Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention

Phase III Response

Phase IV Recovery

Washington County has included the indicators of success contained in the SAVE Act Compliance Package SY2008-2009. These requirements were supplied by the TennesseeSchoolSafetyCenter, Department of Education, Office of School Safety & Learning Support.

The system-wide guide for emergency planning should contain all of this information in a manner that is readily available and by it’s presence in this plan not easily forgotten. The information is also readily attainable and available to continue the safe operation of Washington County Schools regardless of who fills the system-wide administrative responsibilities.

The format used can be easily updated and is designed to be an evolving work which will never truly be completed. As required by the State of Tennessee SAVE ACT Compliance Package, the plan will be updated yearly.

It is our belief that a District-Wide Crisis Manual should prepare a school system for handling a crisis at a completely different level than a School Crisis Manual. For that reason, it is more strategic than it is tactical. If a major event occurs, the District-Wide manual will establish order and unity as quickly as possible with the cooperation of all related agencies, the community, and the media. A District-Wide Crisis Manual should set overall standards and procedures required by all schools. It clearly mandates and establishes lines of communication to the media. Clear lines of communication between the Director of Schools and all emergency agencies are in place and members of the Advisory Committee have met with the administrators of those agencies.

Creating and maintaining safe learning environments are everybody’s business. While schools remain among the safest places for our students, one incident whether from natural disasters, technological hazards, or acts of violence disrupts learning and inflicts trauma on students, family, responders, schools personnel, and the community in general.

The Basic Plan addresses the WashingtonCountySchool District’s responsibilities in emergencies associated with natural disaster, human-caused emergencies and technological incidents. It provides a framework for coordination of response and recovery efforts within the District in coordination and with local, State, and Federal agencies. The Plan establishes an emergency organization to direct and control operations at all sites during a period of emergency by assigning responsibilities to specific personnel.

The Basic Plan:

  • Conforms to the State mandated Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and effectively restructures emergency response at all levels in compliance with the Incident Command System (ICS).

     

  • Establishes response policies and procedures, providing WashingtonCountySchool District clear guidance for planning purposes.

     

  • Describes and details procedural steps necessary to protect lives and property.

     

  • Outlines coordination requirements.

     

  • Provides a basis for unified training and response exercises to ensure compliance.

     

Emergency planning is just one component of a comprehensive, cohesive safe schools program. It must also include prevention, intervention, response, and recovery.

This plan will outline actions to be taken by school officials in conjunction with school district and local government officials to:

1. Prevent avoidable disasters and reduce the vulnerability of students, faculty and administration to any disaster that may strike

2. Establish capabilities for protecting students, faculty and administration from the effects of disasters

3. Respond effectively to the actual occurrence of disasters

4. Provide for recovery in the aftermath of any emergency involving extensive damage within the school.

It is not the intent of this plan to deal with those events that happen on a daily basis, which do not cause widespread problems and are handled routinely by the administration and staff. It will, however, deal with those occurrences that create needs and cause suffering that the victims cannot alleviate without assistance, and that require an extraordinary commitment of school and governmental resources.