Your School Surroundings, Are They Cause for Concern?
What Surrounds Your School Should Dictate Your Critical Response Plans
Is your school near a government building, or maybe a chemical plant? Schools must be aware of what surrounds them as it could affect the types of emergencies schools need to prepare for, and the type of critical response plans they build to mitigate risk associated with their surroundings.
The risks that come with having your facility near plants with dangerous chemicals is obvious, chemical spills, but you may not realize the dangers that come with being near a government building. For instance an angry protestor could wish to cause harm, sending your school into lockdown. These are just a couple of potential dangers that might surround your facility. Also consider busy or main streets or intersections that could have collisions and block your facility’s entrance and exits.
It is important to remember that your surroundings include more than just your immediate area. A chemical plant may be 3 miles to the North, but if a spill happens, chemicals will reach your school quickly. It is a good idea to create critical response plans for different types of emergencies that may happen within 5 miles of your school building. Try contacting the facilities that are potentially dangerous to your school if an incident occurs, and meet with them to learn ways both facilities can work together to remain safe.
Although your school will likely not have any new responses to an emergency at a facility in close vicinity, it doesn’t mean you don’t need them written. You will probably have typical lockdown procedures if near a government building, and evacuation procedures for a chemical spill, but these need to be written down and stored electronically for these specific instances. Also take into consideration where you will evacuate to. If there is a chemical spill, evacuation will need to be a safe distance away and transportation scheduled and available for all students and staff.
Although a chemical spill at a plant near your school is unlikely, there are a variety of other scenarios that could happen in close proximity, requiring an emergency response plan to be put into effect. Take some time to consider places around your school that could be cause for concern, and write emergency response plans to fit different scenarios that could potentially play out. What is around your school that is cause for concern? Do you have risk mitigation in place? Let us know in the comments below!