The growing coronavirus outbreak got me thinking again about schools being crisis ready. The likelihood of you having to address coronavirus in your school is slim to none, but it should make you consider the threats you could realistically face. It doesn't matter what kind--you need to be prepared for an active shooter situation, a tornado threat, a widespread flu outbreak or any other number of situations that require you to react sometimes at a moment's notice. If something serious happened in one of your schools, would you be ready?
There's a lot that goes into creating a thorough crisis plan. And an essential part of your preparation should include a comprehensive communication strategy. You must be able to efficiently communicate with staff, students, parents, board members, your community and media outlets (that no doubt will appear on your campus to report the incident). So what do you need to address?
Below is a list of critical items to consider when creating a crisis response plan, including a communication strategy that shares accurate, continuous information with your public.
Create your crisis response team
Identify key internal staff who will form your school/district crisis team. As positions change and people move on, reevaluate this list every year (or more often if necessary).
In addition to internal staff, your crisis team should include key first responders within your community:
Create an official list of all personnel selected for the team. Each person should have his/her contact information listed, and all members of the team should have a copy.
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