Emergency Evacuation Kits

                Emergency Evacuation Kit

I am pretty sure that one of the first magazine columns I wrote more than twenty years ago described the importance of emergency evacuation kits. I find these kits to be just as important today as they were then. I still find schools today that do not have these valuable emergency preparedness assets. Known by a variety of names, emergency evacuation kits contain the bare essential items and information school officials need to manage a crisis event when it is not possible to go back into their school or when structural damage occurs after occupants are sheltered.

 
Though I have seen a variety of commercial variants, the best quality emergency evacuation kits I have seen have all been assembled by school and public safety officials. I have also seen a variety of containers used including soft bags, plastic file boxes and even rolling trash cans. I have found that rolling backpacks with collapsible handles are perhaps the most practical option as they can easily be carried down a flight of stairs, over snow-covered ground or rolled on pavement for extended evacuations.

 
I have always suggested that clients consider having two duplicate kits stored in separate locations in the building with one kit being located away from the main office. This can be important during a hostage situation or tornado strike which affects the main office. As with other critical emergency preparedness measures, it is a good idea for backup personnel to be designated to get each kit out in an emergency. I also recommend that kits be taken outside during evacuation drills and taken to shelter areas when sheltering for severe weather or hazardous materials incidents.

 
Emergency evacuation kits by any name usually offer a good return on the investment of time and fiscal resources required to develop and maintain them.

Free School Safety Conference Series, Presented by Navigate-Prepared

Great opportunity to attend a free school safety conference

Today I am honored to be able to keynote a free school safety conference being presented by NaviGate Prepared in Cincinnati, Ohio. What’s really exciting is that this is the first in a series of free school safety conferences in three states over the next two weeks.  I have had the privilege of presenting for them before and we are currently planning additional conferences for New York and Pennsylvania in September.  For each free school safety conference, I will present for three hours in the morning followed by interactive school safety building tours with participants. This is a great chance to learn hands-on with me and see a school through my perspective.

While we do not provide product endorsements or sell advertising space, we do appreciate NaviGate Prepared for their commitment to safer schools. This conference series is a great example, with a full day of solid content and concepts – not filler designed to focus on a particular product.

For more information on these events, please visit: http://www.navigateprepared.com/home-featured/school-safety-michael-dorn/

 

Free School Safety Conference information from the NaviGate Prepared website:

School safety is the focus as we team up with Michael Dorn, executive director, Safe Havens International to bring day-long Safety Summit Workshops to the following locations:

  • Princeton City Schools – Viking Village Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH – March 21 – Register here
  • Grayslake Community School District 127 – High School Auditorium, Grayslake, IL – March 22 – Register here
  • Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 – Auditorium, Homestead, PA – March 27 – Register here
  • Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 – Auditorium, Easton, PA – March 28 – Register here

The Safety Summits are free to registered guests, including district administrators, building administrators, and first responders.

During the workshops, Michael will share actionable insights guests can implement immediately. Guests will participate in a relevant series of exercises and discover how tools like NaviGate Prepared can support school safety goals. The agenda includes a school safety audit where Michael will identify safety gaps, effective solutions and best practices throughout the building.

NaviGate Prepared is sponsoring the Safety Summit Workshops to give administrators and first responders access to critical safety information. According to Thom Jones, general manager, NaviGate Prepared, “I love seeing how audiences react during Michael’s presentations. He is a tremendously dynamic speaker. The depth of his knowledge and experience is unparalleled.” Jones states, “I am thrilled we are able to bring this level of school safety knowledge to so many administrators and first responders.”

“We are honored to be hosting the Safety Summit Workshop at Grayslake Central High School,” says Catherine Finger, Ed.D, superintendent, Grayslake Community High School District 127. She adds, “School safety is always a top priority for us so we appreciate this opportunity to learn new ways to mitigate risks, prepare our staff and students to respond appropriately in an emergency and implement proven safety methods throughout our buildings. We look forward to many Illinois school districts taking advantage of this important event and appreciate the generosity of NaviGate Prepared sponsoring this workshop and for bringing renowned safety expert, Michael Dorn.”

South Carolina Department of Education Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

South Carolina Department of Education Selects Safe Havens International Selected to Develop a School Safety Train-The-Trainer Program

After a lengthy competitive bid selection process, Safe Havens International was chosen by the South Carolina Department of Education to create a new train-the-trainer program. Through this program, 250 carefully selected instructors will be selected to participate. SHI will conduct five training sessions in different regions of the state this winter. After successfully completing the program, participants will be able to provide multiple blocks of instruction to local school officials across the state. Participants will also be trained in the SHI “Dorn Drill” process and will be provided with a series of custom audio scenarios for use in prompting staff to initiate emergency protective actions such as lockdown, evacuation, reverse evacuation, room clear, severe weather sheltering, sheltering in place for and hazardous materials. Graduates of the program will be able to load the audio scenarios onto portable devices and tablets to use them to prompt staff to initiate school-level drills, to conduct one-on-one spot checks of staff, and for use in structured staff development sessions. Graduates of the program will also receive a variety of other tools such as drill scoring instruments to help them improve fidelity and to provide improved documentation for their drill processes.

Safe Havens has been honored to conduct other types of school safety projects in a number of states including Indiana, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Maine and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.   Our project team is excited to have this opportunity to help the South Carolina Department of Education provide helpful tools to further enhance safety, security and emergency preparedness throughout the state.