Preparing for the Worst Case Scenario, Not Just the Most Common
Effective & Complete Preparation for Schools
According to Decoded Science, “the rate of a school shooting is approximately 0.02 per 100,000 classroom hours,” while the National Fire Prevention Association estimates, “an average of 5,690 structure fires in educational properties, annually from 2007-2011.” The chances of a fire at your school are far more likely than a school shooting, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan and prepare for an active shooter. Effective preparation is about preparing for the worst case scenario, not just the most common.
If someone told you an armed intruder would enter your school tomorrow, you would have heightened security and likely cancelled classes until the situation was mitigated. Since you won’t be told when it will happen, if at all, you must dedicate time and resources to preparing for when the situation comes up, hoping it never does. Fire drills are usually performed monthly, because that is a common risk to schools, but drills and training should also be done often for less likely events like shootings, armed intruders, and inclement weather. This includes not only performing drills with students and staff, but also testing your emergency notification systems and alerts to parents and district administrators.
We often think of crisis preparation in terms of likelihood, which is important, but it is also critical to prepare for those rare instances that are not as likely. The worst case scenario will probably catch you off guard, but with no preparation it will not be easily or effectively mitigated. Having some training and preparation can go a long way when the worst case scenario happens.