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Section 3 Unit 1—Creating the School Emergency Response Plan


The purpose of the School Emergency Response Plan and Management Guide is to provide emergency preparedness and response instructions, information, and guidelines to protect the safety and well-being of students and staff at the time of an emergency. This Guide is designed to address Level I, II, and III emergencies. Emergencies involving only a specific site are designated as Level I and should be managed according to that sites emergency plan. The Executive Support Team (EST) will not be activated for site-specific emergencies. However, Level I emergencies may necessitate the use of EST staff for additional resources.

We have developed this standardized Plan for all school sites to promote coordinated preparedness measures and integrated emergency response procedures. The Plan must be adapted to the capabilities and special needs of each site so that it addresses differences in school building needs and requirements. All schools will submit their School Emergency Response Plan via the web-based application, on the Emergency and Safety Alliance Website (, which will grant access to the plans by emergency responders.

Please retain copies of all school plans in hardcopy and electronic form in the ERT Go-Kit and the School Office. On approval of revisions, the EST Recorder will ensure the Executive Support team retains the updated plans. When critical incidents occur, officials can immediately refer to the affected school emergency plans to facilitate coordination and communication. The EST Assignments will be distributed annually or when any changes occur to all schools and administrative offices.

Police, fire and/or criminal investigative processes may supersede the School Emergency Response Plan.


In the event of a Level I, II, or III Incident, the site-based administrator notifies the School Emergency Response Team. If the principal—now the Incident Commander (IC)—determines the emergency is a Level II or III critical incident, the IC must notify the EST Manager by phone. State the following:

  • This is (your name), and I have a Level (II or III) at (identify the exact location). I can be reached at (give complete 10-digit phone number).

The EST Manager will notify the EST Leader and the appropriate team members. The IC is the key contact person for the EST Manager. If the IC is unable to notify the EST Manager, MPD first responders will use their radios to notify the Safe Schools Liaison, who in turn notifies the EST Leader and the Security Office (if applicable). Also, HSEMA EOC disseminates emergency notifications.


This Section of the Guide provides a practical step-by-step approach to developing and implementing a School Emergency Response Plan. It addresses issues from team formation through submission of the plan. The first step in creating the School Emergency Response Plan is selecting and assigning the School Emergency Response Team (SERT). This team should reflect the diverse training and expertise of the school community.

Download and complete the Checklist for Plan Development.

Forms and Templates

See also the Section 3 Unit 2 and 3—School Emergency Response Plan Template and Floor Plans


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