Critical Steps To Create an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) At Your School
HELP Paradigm ensures schools get these steps right to draft an effective emergency operations plan (EOP), and they all occur before putting pen to paper.
The process of creating and implementing a school emergency operations plan (EOP) can seem so daunting that it can be hard for school officials to know where to begin.
And, unfortunately, if officials start off on the wrong foot, the resulting plan could be missing some key elements. That’s why it’s so important to get the early stuff right with emergency planning so that officials can set themselves up for success.
For instance, if the team tasked with writing a school EOP doesn’t have executive buy-in, it doesn’t matter what kind of document they draw up, it will never be embraced enough or get the attention and resources it needs to be effective.
Similarly, if EOPs aren’t customized to each specific school building, there’s little chance you’ve crafted the most effective possible plan for everyone on campus.
One of the most common mistakes school officials make is rushing into the process of writing their EOP. This is an understandable mistake, particularly for the overburdened employees tasked with creating emergency plans IN ADDITION to their regular workload. But there are simply too many necessary considerations prior to writing to be able to jump right into it.
An effective EOP puts every classroom and campus community member in a position to succeed, or at least stay as safe as possible. That includes students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency and other groups that require special consideration.
Additionally, the EOP must prepare the campus community for ALL threats and hazards, meaning the planning phase must be inclusive and comprehensive, taking into account all possible emergency times and settings (including off campus).
That said, the process of crafting a good EOP won’t look the same for every school. Best practices are flexible and should be followed while taking into account each school’s unique characteristics.
So before putting pen to paper to actually write the EOP, schools need to execute each of these four steps.
HELP Paradigm will:
Establish Your School’s EOP Planning Team
Set the EOP Team’s Objectives
Identify Threats, Hazards, & Risks
Develop EOP Goals & Objectives
What sets us apart from the competition?
HELP Paradigm brings realistic training and exercises to schools that teaches real-world tactics and skills to educators.
It’s unfortunate that educators are now expected to respond in a time of crisis, and it is our hope that the training and planning we develop will help our clients be more adequately prepared to respond quickly and effectively in emergency situations.
While high profile crisis events and instances of violent crimes at school are extremely rare (e.g., the odds of a student being the victim of a school-associated homicide are about 1 in 2.5 million), it is essential that all schools be prepared to respond to emergency situations as part of their school safety and crisis planning and preparation. Current state laws already require certain types of drills (e.g., fire drills) and many schools have begun to conduct a much broader range of crisis exercises and drills. Which type of drills are conducted and how is critical to both their effectiveness and minimizing the potential to cause trauma or harm unintentionally. HELP Paradigm are experts at planning, implementing, and coordinating disaster exercises for organizations of any size.
School crisis response training and exercises can be discussion-based (orientation seminars, workshops, or tabletop drills) or operations-based (a variety of specific emergency drills, functional exercise drills, or full-scale exercises), each of which can be useful in preparing school staff, crisis team members, students and other agencies for a wide variety of crises.