The TBP Safety & Security Department is committed to ensuring life safety of students, staff and visitors through the application of best practices and principles found within the five phases of emergency management – Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.
Prevention is the action schools take to prevent a threatened or actual incident from occurring and includes the capabilities necessary to avoid, deter, or stop an emergency. Efforts to prevent emergencies may include a range of activities, including assessing and addressing the safety, security, and maintenance of school facilities and grounds; educating students and school staff on appropriate behaviors; and fostering a positive school climate, supporting student mental health, and addressing bullying. Prevention activities take place before an emergency and include, but are not limited to:
Utilizing physical security features to deny access to unauthorized visitors
Employing behavioral threat assessment teams to ensure early intervention and support for students in crisis
Implementing technologies that allow for anonymous reporting and enhanced situational awareness that may prevent an incident
Mitigation means the capabilities necessary to eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property damage by lessening the impact of an event or emergency. No matter how much a school prepares, some incidents cannot be prevented. To support mitigation efforts, schools can conduct assessments to reduce or eliminate potential hazards and identify areas for improvement; conduct exercises to practice emergency response and strengthen internal and external partnerships; and take measures to protect against injury and/or damage to the school environment. Mitigation activities take place before an emergency and include:
Constructing reinforced shelter areas within new schools to minimize the threat to life presented by severe weather
Integration of international construction code and fire code standards into emergency planning measures
Implementing use of standardized emergency management technologies that reduce the amount of time needed to activate campus emergency alerts and notifications
Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, and facilitating drills to enhance readiness and maintain the capabilities to secure schools against acts of violence and man-made or natural disasters. Even if a school is at a high state of readiness, there will always be a need for continued emergency management. Schools may consider establishing policies that help create a safer and more secure campus; training the school community on appropriate response activities; conducting exercises and drills; and maintaining relevant supplies to support emergency response. Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs:
Providing emergency equipment and supplies to scale and level of funding
Emergency planning, including maintaining the District Emergency Operations Plan, and its annexes
Development and ongoing maintenance of campus-level EOP documents by campus Crisis Response Teams
Conducting or arranging appropriate training for District personnel in collaboration with jurisdictional emergency responders and other community stakeholders
Conducting regular emergency drills to test plans and training
Response includes actions taken to save lives and prevent property damage during an emergency. Response actions place preparedness plans into action and are comprised of effective coordination, management of resources, maintaining the capabilities needed to stabilize an emergency once it has already happened or is certain to happen; and quickly facilitating the transition to recovery. A response can be faster and more effective through pre-planning. To respond to an emergency, school districts will provide directives for taking immediate protective actions; notifying and coordinating with first responders; documenting actions taken; and communicating regularly with their communities. Response actions take place during an emergency.
Recovery consists of continuity actions that continue beyond the incident response phase to maintain or restore essential District functions and restoration of the learning environment. Emergencies can disrupt the worldview of students, staff, and family members, so thoughtful planning for the recovery process is key in restoring the mental, academic, physical, and social well-being of those affected. In the wake of an emergency, schools can repurpose facilities for instruction or adopt a blended learning framework, offer expanded mental health services, and request emergency funding to help facilitate a smoother recovery. Schools can also embark on after-action activities to review the effectiveness of their Emergency Operations Plans, and to make necessary updates using lessons learned. The recovery phase begins immediately after the threat to human life has subsided and consists of both short-term and long-term elements. Short-term recovery operations seek to resume business and educational operations. Long-term recovery focuses on restoring the District to its normal state of operations. Recovery actions take place after an emergency.