All emergencies are local.
It is important that school districts continue to adapt to new situations in preparation for an emergency. Your district should consider appointing a school safety or resource officer to implement emergency plans. Federal agencies emphasize that all emergencies are local to state emergency planners. States in turn pass this on to the counties and cities. While this philosophy is accurate, sometimes local emergency planning and preparedness stops before it reaches the school directly impacted by the emergency.
The State of Missouri has recognized this gap in preparedness and offers the Emergency Response Information Plan (ERIP) all-hazards preparedness system as a solution for public and private schools.
This solution is provided by the Missouri Office of Homeland Security completely free of charge to all Missouri educational facilities, including elementary and secondary, child care, and higher education.
The methodology and content of ERIP was driven by direct input from educational leaders, healthcare professionals and public safety experts. The overarching goal of ERIP is to help schools and first responders mitigate emergencies whenever possible and achieve the fastest possible proper response when emergencies cannot be prevented. This improved response time is vital because in an emergency, seconds save lives. Improvements to the faculty response are achieved by the development of all-hazards plans and the implementation of training programs for faculty staff. Public safety professionals know how to respond. This need is accomplished by providing access to mission critical facility data, such as floor plans and images, via ERIP's Critical Information Portal.
ERIP's intuitive planning process allows emergency planners to create better plans in less time. This is accomplished by integrating site specific information into established "best practice" emergency plan templates. Once developed online, plans can be generated into Adobe PDF format so they may be printed and/or saved on local hard drives. Plan updates are tracked and revisions to the "best practices" template are easily disseminated to all users.
Training personnel on roles and responsibilities is one of the most overlooked areas in site level emergency planning. The ERIP Academy provides on-demand, detailed training to all personnel. E-learning courses are provided to educate school staff in areas such as emergency management, lockdown procedures, and preventing targeted school violence.
Providing first responders access to critical site information, such as floor plans is facilitated through ERIP's Critical Information Portal. Facility planners are able to upload facility schematics, photographs, and rosters into the secure portal. First Responders are provided a special "read-only" access to the data through the new Missouri Emergency Resource Information System (MERIS).
ERIP Emergency Planning Toolbox