Security100Summits K12 School Safety Conference in Tucson an Amazing School Safety Event

The Security 100 Summit in Tucson last week was a truly impressive school safety conference.

The Security 100 Summit in Tucson last week was a truly impressive school safety conference.

Security100Summits K12 event was dynamic, vibrant and extremely useful

I had the chance to participate in a truly amazing international school safety Summit in Tucson this week. The inaugural Security100Summits K12 School Safety event is hosted by Focus Media Events. Hosted at an amazing resort in Tucson, Arizona, the Summit was held in one of the most beautiful conference centers I have ever presented in. Having presented at the Honolulu Country Club and many other wonderful venues, it takes a lot to impress me in this regard.

Focus Media has coordinated a series of these types of security events for higher education, stadium and arenas, hospital and other sectors and has a stellar reputation for putting on intimate, content rich events with carefully screened attendees and vendors. Unlike the majority of events I present at, the Security100Summits are designed for a focus of guided interactive discussions between attendees rather than traditional presentations. These events create an unprecedented level of interaction and networking between attendees and subject matter experts as well as between vendors and partner sponsoring agencies and organizations.

Safe Havens International was proud to be a sponsoring agency and I was honored to serve as a keynote session speaker along with Michelle Gay from Safe and Sound a Sandy Hook Initiative and Dr. Stephen Sroka. The number of attendees was capped at around forty school safety directors and key school administrators from public, charter, independent, vo-tech and parochial schools across the United States and Canada. Similarly, the number of vendors was restricted.

I have keynoted on school safety and motivational topics at between thirty and a hundred professional conferences each year for more than twenty years now and have never participated in an event that created such intensive and productive interaction between so many participants. I had the opportunity to learn about cutting edge offerings from a wide array of school safety vendors that will enable our analysts to better serve our clients. For example, one vendor provided an exceptional ten minute demonstration of their school safety detection K-9s that was truly amazing. As a former gun detection dog handler, I was truly amazed that dogs are now trained to detect a person carrying a gun or a small explosive device in a crowded pedestrian environment such as a well-attended football game.

About a dozen of our clients attended the event and every one of them told me the event was of great value to them. Several of our clients who have been in the field for many years told me that this was the very best school safety conference they have attended.  I have already been asked to present at the Security100Summits K12 next December and am very excited about the event.

If you have interest in attending as a K-12 executive for the 2015 Security100Summit K-12, please contact Chief Community Builder, Lisa Carroll by email to For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nicole Bognar by email to . You can also visit their website at

Free Guide – Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security Released by the Indiana Department of Education School Safety Specialist’s Academy


The Indiana School Safety Specialist’s Academy released a new free guide to enhance school safety through building design.

The School Safety Specialist’s Academy recently released a new free guide titled Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security. Authored by a team of a dozen Safe Havens analysts, the guide is designed to help school, public safety, emergency management and homeland security officials as well as architects and engineers design safer, more secure and more pleasant schools. A pro bono project, this guide is the first of two guides Safe Havens is developing for the School Safety Specialist’s Academy. The guide takes a similar approach to the free guide Twenty Simple Strategies for Safer and More Effective Schools published by the Maine Department of Education in April. Eight Safe Havens analysts worked to develop that guide as a pro bono effort. The nineteen page Twenty Simple Strategies for Safer and More Effective Schools has already proven to be popular not only in the United States but in other countries as well.

Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security was released to more than five hundred attendees at the 2014 School Safety Specialist’s Academy on November 19th during my keynote session. The guide is also being distributed to the more than 7,000 certified School Safety Specialists who have been certified through the academy. We have had excellent feedback on both guides and are looking forward to the release of the next free guide in early 2015.

Please take a few minutes to check out Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security and pass it on to others who are concerned about school safety.


New resource: Hashtag Standards for Social Media in Emergency Response

I wanted to make a quick post to highlight a new document we just added to the document database titled “Hashtag Standards for Emergencies” created by a division of the United Nations. This document deals with the use of social media for emergency response and is not intended to dictate standards but to provide some guidelines and spark conversation on how you should use hashtags for your organization and in collaboration with other agencies during emergencies and crisis events. With the growing use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools during a crisis, it is critical to incorporate these methods of notification during your response to a crisis. We have seen these tools use for a variety of uses like information about shelter locations and other resources after major crisis events and interactive maps have been used during wildfires and other quickly evolving crises.  It is also important to remember that while we can attempt to direct the social media conversation, the nature of these media mean that it is impossible to control what direction the conversation will lead. This means that it is important to stay adaptable and be ready to use new hashtags as the situation evolves and the conversation takes on a life of its own.

For example, Hurricane Sandy generated hundreds of hashtags, some chosen by authorities and others chosen by social media users on the fly. Several hashtags were used by various agencies until the most effective and salient terms were narrowed down and used to spread various types of information. One example in the UN document is Tropical Storm Fay, in which response agencies directed Twitter users to use a variety of hashtags for specific purposes, including #Fay to tweet general information about the storm, #PublicRep to report damage to infrastructure, and #911US to report emergencies or evacuation needs. Providing guidance to the public on which hashtags to use, and asking them to enable GPS locations on their tweets to help locating victims and other response locations, can be very helpful. For more information, download the entire document here:

Enrollment key: shi-docs

About the Safe Havens Document Database:

As part of our ongoing effort to provide free resources and information, Safe Havens International has created a Document Database where you can log in and download documents from a variety of sources, including the United States Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Red Cross, the United Nations, and other entities. We also include documents and resources from vendors and other organizations from time to time. Of course you can download all of our Safe Havens International resources from this location as well.