Are you prepared at school?
Experience of disasters worldwide shows that injuries, damage and subsequent trauma can be significantly reduced when people are aware of the risks and have planned their response. Schools need to prepare emergency plans and educate students accordingly.
Whether you are running an early childhood centre, a school or a rest home, emergency planning should ensure the safety of students, patients and staff as much as possible.
Early Childhood Education (ECE) Services Emergency Planning Guidance is aimed at helping you through the legal and contractual requirements for emergency planning. Developing an emergency plan based on the tasks described in this guide will help you meet the typical requirements of funding and auditing agencies. You will, of course, need to check whether additional requirements apply in your case.
What is an emergency incident and how to plan?
An emergency incident is a hazardous event that threatens the safety of people or property. Incidents range in size, nature, intensity and duration and encompass:
- fires in school buildings or care facilities
- bomb threats
- chemical spills
In preparing an emergency plan, consider the following:
- Schools, care facilities other organisations and individuals will need to look after themselves in the initial stages of an emergency.
- During the initial stages, emergency services may not be able to respond for some hours.
- Utilities such as water, electricity, communications and transport could be unavailable or inoperative.
- Buildings may suffer moderate to severe damage.
- Pupils and staff injured during the emergency may need to be cared for within the school.
Some suggested planning steps:
- Put things in context. Establish significant details that apply to your school/care facilities and surrounds. Include a site map.
- Identify and assess hazards.
- What hazards could affect your neighbourhood and school?
- Plan for the consequences of hazards - evacuation, occupation and containment procedures.
- Determine who is responsible for doing what and when. Develop a staff action plan. What should you do in the initial stages?
- Identify long-term requirements for recovery from the emergency.
- Review your plan and advise parents/caregivers and the local community.
You can also download templates on how to plan for your school by visiting the Ministry of Education Worksafe at Schools - Emergency Management Plan.