Strong emergency management plans are not developed in isolation. Developing protocols to prepare for multiple hazards should be completed in coordination with officials from local government, law enforcement, public safety, public health, and mental health. These plans should include clearly defined roles and responsibilities based upon the National Incident Management System and Incident Command System and should be shared with all relevant stakeholders before a crisis occurs. To help reiterate and assess the district’s plan for response, it is helpful to conduct practice exercises such as tabletops, drills, and full-scale exercises.
In developing emergency management plans, it is also important to consider the particular vulnerabilities a district or individual school may face. Conducting comprehensive vulnerability assessments-of school buildings and grounds and school cultures and climates-is an important first step in developing emergency management plans. For example, are schools located near a chemical plant or a military base? Are schools’ physical plants able to withstand natural disasters a region may encounter? In addressing these, and all other potential vulnerabilities, it is important to ensure that emergency management plans are coordinated with State and local emergency procedures.