Emergency Overview: District Plan and Response

Purpose
The purpose of this emergency plan overview is to identify emergency responsibilities and requirements for Granite Falls School District and its employees.  This plan is intended to empower employees in an emergency and clarify emergency roles and response.  These are guidelines and are meant to be revised and expanded on by those in each school to meet their specific needs.  It is not intended as a rigid or restrictive plan. It is the intent of the emergency plans to meet the requirements as outlined in RCW 28A.320.125. Emergency plans will be reviewed annually in collaboration with local agencies and partners such as law enforcement, county health departments or first responders. School plans will be an all hazard approach to emergency management planning and response.

Scope
Each school plan provides a basic emergency response plan, recommended emergency response teams, site specific hazard vulnerabilities, employee emergency procedures, training requirements, exercise procedures, and employee and family disaster preparedness based on the five phases of emergency management that include mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and reporting.

1. Mitigation/Prevention

Granite Falls School District will conduct mitigation/prevention activities as an integral part of the emergency management program. Mitigation/Prevention is intended to eliminate hazards and vulnerabilities, reduce the probability of hazards and vulnerabilities causing an emergency situation, or lessen the consequences of unavoidable hazards and vulnerabilities. Mitigation/Prevention should be a pre-disaster activity, although mitigation/prevention may also occur in the aftermath of an emergency situation with the intent of avoiding repetition of the situation. Examples of mitigation include: strapping file cabinets, securing computers, identifying hazards, or setting board policy.

  1. Board Policies in full can be viewed online at www.gfalls.wednet.edu. Policies that refer to emergency mitigation/prevention/preparedness/response/recovery/reporting include, but are not limited to: 1015 Dangerous Weapons on School Premises; 1016 Notification of Threats; 1090 Pesticide Notification; 2021 Delegation of Authority; 4045 Drug Free Workplace; 4055 Staff Immunization and Infectious Disease; 4072 Possession of Dangerous Weapons; 5001 Sexual Harassment; 5005 Harassment/Bullying; 5030 Student Rights and Responsibilities; 5050 Student Conduct; 5051 Student Discipline; 5031 Child Abuse/Neglect; 5055 Searches of Students and Their Property; 5056 Locker Searches; 5058 Concussion Head Injuries; 5060 Emergency Treatment; 5064 Immunization and Life Threatening Health; 5065 Infectious Disease; 5066 Medication at School; 5068 Anaphylaxis Prevention, 5069 Asthma; 5070 Safe and Drug Free School Illegal Drug and Alcohol Use; 5071 Gang Activity; 5160 Emergency School Evacuation/Lockdown; 7020 Use of Buildings/Equipment.
  2. Locks and alarm systems will be reviewed for functional use.
  3. Hazardous materials for school labs will be secured in locked areas.
  4. Knox box or similar access will be provided to emergency response agencies.
  5. Schools plans will assess risks including school climate, emotional well-being of staff and students and physical risks.
  6. The District has outlined procedures to address a pandemic flu/infectious diseases or MRSA infections, which includes such areas as prevention, communication and response. The plans are available online at www.gfalls.wednet.edu

2. Preparedness

Preparedness activities will be conducted to develop the response capabilities needed in the event of an emergency. Preparedness activities in the school plans may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Forms and maps with floor plans, evacuation routes, reunification, etc.
  2. Disaster supply lists for classrooms and school use including medical and sanitation supplies and locations.
  3. Identified team members to follow the Incident Command System (ICS).
  4. Protocols/directions/templates for communication, drills and exercises, response and recovery needs.
  5. Drills and exercises, which will include invitations for participation by local agencies and will include three (3) fire evacuation drills per year, three (3) lockdown drills, one (1) shelter-in-place drill, one (1) drill of choice, and one (1) drill using the school mapping system. All drills will be documented by date and time performed as well as other pertinent information.
  6. Provisions to assist staff and students with disabilities and special needs.
  7. Multiple communications systems will be in place for students, parents, community and media including, but not limited to, email, webpages, cell phones, walkie-talkie, the public school emergency communication system (PSECS). Media will be staged off campus. Parents will be notified of emergency procedures through parent newsletters, district newsletters and the district website.
  8. School facilities may be used by the community as a resource in the event of a community-wide emergency or disaster.
  9. School transportation procedures will be incorporated into school plans that include evacuation routes, bus staging areas, communication systems, reunification sites and secondary agreements (see reporting for full information).

3. Response

The Granite Falls School District will respond to emergency situations. Response operations are intended to resolve an emergency situation quickly, while minimizing causalities and property damage. 911 will be called when needed deemed appropriate. Response activities in the school plans may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Plans for staff and students with disabilities.
  2. Evacuation procedures.
  3. Shelter-in-Place procedures.
  4. Lockdown/modified lockdown procedures.
  5. Parent/student reunification procedures.
  6. Use of the ICS that includes logistics, operations, planning and finance-administration procedures.
  7. A public information officer that will communicate with media and the public during an emergency.

4. Recovery

The Granite Falls School District will carry out a recovery program that involves both short term and long term efforts. Recovery actions may include but are not limited to:

  1. Temporary relocation of classes or school closure.
  2. Classes taught via Internet.
  3. Debris removal.
  4. Reconstruction of facilities.
  5. Post-traumatic stress identification and treatment (existing school staff, Northwest ESD 189 and neighboring districts will provide mental health services as needed)
  6. The ICS team will debrief after each incident/emergency for the need to revise current plans.

5. Reporting

It is the intent of the emergency plans to meet the requirements as outlined in RCW 28A.320.125. The District or schools will report required elements of the emergency plans to Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs through the mapping system. The reports will include:

  1. List of hazardous materials for each school.
  2. The identification of all staff members who are trained in ICS or other related emergency response (i.e., first aid/CPR).
  3. Identification of school transportation procedures
  4. The school’s emergency plans with detailed information on notification procedures, alert procedures and location and use of supplies.
  5. The date/time and other pertinent information on the school safety drills that occur including six fire evacuation drills per year, one lockdown, one shelter-in-place and one drill using the mapping system.

C. This Plan Applies to:

  1. Applies to all employees.
  2. Applies to all employees tasked to provide response assistance in case if emergency/disaster and describes actions to be taken in providing immediate response assistance.
  3. Includes those actions and activities that support the school’s effort to save lives, protect the health and safety of employees, and protect school property.

D. Mission and Goals

1. The mission of the Granite Falls School District in an emergency/disaster is to:

  1. Protect lives and property
  2. Mitigate the effects of a disaster
  3. Prepare for emergencies and disasters
  4. Respond to emergencies
  5. Aid in recovery from disasters

2. The goals of the Granite Falls School District are:

  1. To have school emergency response plans, services, and supplies for students and staff.
  2. Coordinate the use of school personnel and facilities within the school.
  3. Restore normal services.

E. Definitions

  1. “Emergency” as used in this plan means a set of circumstances that demand immediate action to protect life, preserve public health or essential services, or protect property. In an emergency, existing resources and capabilities should be sufficient to cope with the situation.
  2. “Disaster” is defined as any incident which results in multiple human casualties and/or disruption of essential public health services or any incident which requires an increased level of response beyond the routine operating procedures, including increased personnel, equipment, or supply requirements.
  3. An emergency or disaster may be proclaimed by local government jurisdictions or the Governor as authorized by state or local statute.
  4. A “crisis” is an incident, or series of incidents, expected or unexpected, that has a significant effect on one or more persons but may not involve the entire school or community. An incident involving violence, or the witnessing of violence, often has a lasting effect on those involved. The psychosocial effects of a crisis may linger for extensive periods of time, and may impact the psychosocial functioning of a school or community. Without intervention, such incidents may evolve into larger scale incidents. These interventions typically include counseling of those involved using techniques of psychological first aid, critical incident debriefing, and other mental health-oriented methods.

F. Planning Assumptions

The following assumptions are the basis of this plan:

  1. A single site emergency, i.e. fire, gas main breakage, etc., could occur at any time without warning and the employees of the school affected cannot, and should not, wait for direction from local response agencies. Action is required immediately to save lives and protect school property.
  2. An emergency or disaster, such as an earthquake or hazardous material incident, may occur with little or no warning with mass casualties, destruction of property, and damage to the environment.
  3. Local and state government may be overwhelmed by a disaster. School employees may be on their own for at least three days or longer after a disaster.
  4. Government and relief agencies will concentrate limited resources on the most critical and life-threatening problems.
  5. Assistance from other government and federal agencies will supplement the states, but such assistance will take some time to request and deploy.
  6. Disaster planning for employee’s families is of primary concern to the school and staff. Employee’s need to have a plan in place for family members if they are at school and cannot get home.
  7. A spirit of volunteerism among Granite Falls School District employees and other citizens will result in their providing assistance and support to emergency response efforts.

G. Limitations
It is the policy of the Granite Falls School District that no guarantee is implied by this plan of a perfect response system. As personnel and resources may be overwhelmed, the Granite Falls School District can only endeavor to make every reasonable effort to respond based on the situation, resources, and information available at the time.

Board Policies in full can be viewed online at www.gfalls.wednet.edu. Policies that refer to emergency mitigation/prevention/preparedness/response/recovery/reporting include, but are not limited to: 1015 Dangerous Weapons on School Premises; 1016 Notification of Threats; 1090 Pesticide Notification; 2021 Delegation of Authority; 4045 Drug Free Workplace; 4055 Staff Immunization and Infectious Disease; 4072 Possession of Dangerous Weapons; 5001 Sexual Harassment; 5005 Harassment/Bullying; 5030 Student Rights and Responsibilities; 5050 Student Conduct; 5051 Student Discipline; 5031 Child Abuse/Neglect; 5055 Searches of Students and Their Property; 5056 Locker Searches; 5058 Concussion Head Injuries; 5060 Emergency Treatment; 5064 Immunization and Life Threatening Health; 5065 Infectious Disease; 5066 Medication at School; 5068 Anaphylaxis Prevention, 5069 Asthma; 5070 Safe and Drug Free School Illegal Drug and Alcohol Use; 5071 Gang Activity; 5160 Emergency School Evacuation/Lockdown; 7020 Use of Buildings/Equipment.

For a full .pdf version of the District’s Crisis Guide, click here.