5 Ways Emergency Management Professionals Can Make Schools Safer

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Making Schools Safer – Five Emergency Management Approaches

  • Consult Regularly with School Staff
  • Public Information Campaign
  • Encourage School-Wide Activities
  • Consult with Students, Community
  • Research and Plan

There are a number of proactive ways that those with an emergency management degree and working in that same field can help in making schools safer. What are some of the best ways to do this? Below is a combination of approaches that can work well together, and often, even better when employed in tandem with one another.

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1. Consult Regularly with School Staff

Regularly meeting with school staff is one great way emergency management workers can positively affect school safety. By meeting regularly, school staff has a chance to relate evolving and even old issues that may present safety concerns. Staff is also able to then ask questions, gain additional knowledge with regard to safety and security, and generally grow in capability along these very lines.

2. Public Information Campaign

Sometimes, a thorough and assertive, all-around, community-based approach is the best approach in getting a larger message across. Also commonly referred to by the experts as "mass media campaigns" these efforts are "used to expose high proportions of large populations to messages through routine uses of existing media, such as television, radio, and newspapers." Emergency management personnel, along with other state, federal, and even community officials, work in a position that allows them unique access to such efforts and their shaping.

3. Encourage School-Wide Activities

While some may assert that additional school activities and fanfare pose further safety risks, there is a considerable body of research that says otherwise. In facilitating such communal activity, students and staff are typically made closer through the growth of bonds, and general contentment and other forms of cohesion are often seen subsequently benefiting. Emergency management professionals, though not themselves school planners or managers, can still work with schools to help encourage and arrange such happenings.

4. Consult with Students, Community

Community and student consultation is yet another great and very simplistic way to help offset risks and other safety concerns in the school environment. Meetings can be held on school grounds and during school hours that allow dialog between students, staff, and emergency management services. Likewise, similar events can be held within the greater community in order to gain even further perspective. Such large-scale information flow and exchange of ideas are exactly what is often needed in order to instill the very best school safety protocols and standards.

5. Research and Plan

Finally, no efforts by way of emergency management personnel would be complete without the backing of continued research, education, and awareness. By maintaining current knowledge, these workers can then administer that updated, best knowledge to others. Planning is also hugely important. To keep schools safe and personnel at their best, advanced planning with regard to training, exercise, community outreach, and all other concern areas must be kept on top of.

How can schools continually become safer and better environments for learning and growth? There are many elements to this recipe, but continued assistance and involvement from the emergency services industry are, no doubt, considerable pieces of the puzzle. These are just five of the many ways those with an emergency management degree and working in the field can play a powerful part in making schools safer.