Historically, schools have been relatively well prepared for emergency situations such as fires and severe weather. For example, school personnel understand that buildings should be evacuated when a fire alarm sounds and they know procedures for calling 911 to report a fire. They also know to seek shelter during severe weather warnings.
However, the recent wave of school shootings and other forms of interpersonal violence has stunned the country and uncovered a need for schools to prepare for a much broader range of emergencies. National attention has focused on school violence in communities across the country.
Although schools may have established procedures for dealing with many emergency situations, most do not have these protocols collected in a coordinated, concise manner. Schools are faced with ongoing challenges to be prepared for a wide range of emergency situations from medical emergencies to threats of violence, from severe weather to chemical release, and from sexual abuse to kidnapping.