Prepare Your School


School districts and individual schools are responsible for not only the education of their students, but also their safety. Not only do administrators, teachers, and other school staff need to know what to do in case of a fire or severe weather, but also in the event of suspicious packages, bomb threats, hazardous materials accidents, shooting incidents, hostage situations, assaults, and even bullying.

To that end, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management has worked with several partnering agencies* to create some helpful planning tools. These documents were developed for the schools of Iowa to use as a template to enhance current school safety programs. Ultimately, schools can decide how much of the documents they would like to incorporate into their current plan.

Parents of school-aged children are encouraged to get involved with their kids’ schools and emergency planning. Contact school officials to find out what’s included in their emergency plan. Talk with your student about what they would do in various emergency situations.

Parents: Check out some more tips on emergency planning with your children.

Additional School Preparedness and Safety Information

U.S. Department of Education Practical Information on Crisis Planning Brochure
Taking action now can save lives, prevent injury, and minimize property damage in the moments of a crisis. If you do not have a crisis plan in place, it is time to develop one. If you have one, review, practice, and update your plan. This brochure is designed to assist schools and communities in either situation. Although every school’s needs and circumstances are different, these checklists provide general guidance that can be adapted as appropriate to each district’s or school’s circumstances.

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans
The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools’ Technical Assistance Center was established by the OSHS with its primary goal to support schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education in emergency management, including the development and implementation of comprehensive emergency and crisis response plans.

Young kids holding up weather-related drawings in classroom

HSEMD school safety documents

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Managment has also produced a brochure for teachers and administrators on preparing crisis kits: