Earthquakes. Power failures. Forest fires. Emergencies are unpredictable and can happen anywhere but the Ministry of Education is helping your child’s school prepare for the unexpected with its new Emergency Management Planning Guide.
The guide will help schools, students and teachers be prepared for any emergency. The guide maps out standards for schools, districts and authorities to support public, independent and First Nations schools during an emergency, disaster or tragic event.
Developed in collaboration with educators, parents, Emergency Management BC and police, the guide is the first comprehensive document for dealing with natural disasters, human-caused events and technological and biological hazards. It will help schools develop plans while ensuring consistency with emergency terminology, processes and procedures.
The guide takes an all-hazards approach, focusing on a small number of responses that can be used in a variety of situations. Five basic responses are covered: drop-cover-hold on, evacuate, lockdown, lockout, and shelter in place.
Roles and responsibilities for public and independent school teachers, students, parents, principals and superintendents are also defined in the guide. As well, a 10-step process to develop a school emergency management plan is clearly laid out. Customizable templates for release forms, letters and emergency checklists are included in the guide and will be available for download on the Ministry of Education website.
School emergencies can be small scale and confined to one site, or on a larger scale potentially impacting an entire school district or even multiple districts. The guide provides protocols for both schools and districts as they plan for emergencies.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“The guide ensures all students and teachers will have the necessary measures in place in the event an emergency strikes. School safety continues to be a priority for not only government, but for all educators, school districts and parents. I feel confident the planning guide is a strong step towards protecting us all.”
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness –
“It’s up to everybody – individuals, businesses, governments – to be prepared for emergencies and disasters. This also means making sure children and their teachers and support staff are ready in B.C.’s schools. With this new guide, we are not only improving community preparedness but also taking another important and critical step toward ensuring the public safety of British Columbians.”
- All districts have safe school co-ordinators who help ensure best practices are followed provincewide.
- Since 2001, government has spent or committed $2.2 billion to seismically upgrade or replace 213 high-risk schools.
- As of May 2015, 145 schools in B.C. have been upgraded and replaced, 11 schools are currently under construction and nine schools are moving toward construction.
To view the Emergency Management Planning Guide, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caring-and-orderly-schools/emergency-management-planning-guide
To help with household or neighbourhood emergency preparedness, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc