Improve School Safety: Sandy Hook parent, Virginia Tech victim share their experiences

NIMS Alert FEMAFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and emergency management partner organizations today released two new PrepTalks from Michele Gay and Kristina Anderson focused on improving school safety.

NIMS Alert 21-18: FEMA and Emergency Manager Partners Release School Safety PrepTalks

Gay’s PrepTalk, “Rethinking School Safety”, relays her personal experience as the parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. She highlights some of the simple solutions that students and staff needed during the crisis at Sandy Hook, and presents Safe and Sound Schools’ Framework for Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Development: Emergency Management, Community Engagement, Physical Safety, Mental and Behavioral Health, Climate and Culture, and Health & Wellness.

Anderson’s PrepTalk, “Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy”, begins with her experience of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, when she was shot three times. She translates her experience into a focus on the importance of threat assessments in schools to identify and mitigate potential threats. She explains that it’s important to improve physical safety, but it’s just as important to encourage people to monitor their environment and to build a supportive culture in a school.

The next PrepTalks Symposium will be held on September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. All PrepTalks, question-and-answer sessions, discussion guides, and related resources are available at https://www.fema.gov/preptalks.

PrepTalks are presented by FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

What does this mean for your department?

Here are things to examine in your organization:

  • What are your policies and procedures for responding to incidents at schools, colleges, and universities?
  • How will your department coordinate with other responding agencies?
  • What protocols are in place to protect your personnel or minimize risk?

If you are trying to figure out how your organization can better prepare for and respond to school-related incidents, we may be able to advice on grants or other programs that may be able to assist your department.

Contact us today

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