Emergency Preparedness and Response

 

Emergency Preparedness and Response

 

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) first priority during an emergency is the safety of our students and staff. The division has developed an Emergency Response Plan and framework to deal with a wide range of potential emergencies. The plan works in collaboration with first responders and other local emergency preparedness plans. The division and individual school plans are reviewed and revised annually and following each emergency. 

 

The division and school emergency plan uses well established functional protocols and procedures that address a wide variety of incidents.  The particular actions taken during any emergency will greatly depend on the specifics of the incident. Each school year a minimum of 6 evacuation drills and an additional two drills which may include, shelter in place, lock down, duck-cover-hold, hit the floor, on alert, and stay put are conducted. These drills and exercises are precautionary actions designed to prepare students and staff to act quickly and to minimize a child's fear should a real emergency occur.

 

Evacuation

An evacuation requires all students and staff to leave the school and go to an alternate location. In some cases this may mean only going outside and away from the school building until it is safe to re-enter the school. In other cases, students and staff may need to go to an evacuation centre. Parents would be informed of the alternate location via the school's crisis notification network.

Shelter-in-Place

During a Shelter-in-Place students and staff retreat to classrooms or another safe area to seek shelter. This includes having any students or staff members who are outdoors come back into the school.

Generally Shelter-in-Place is used during an environmental emergency such as severe storms or chemical spills affecting air quality. Each school's emergency response plan identifies the safest location for its occupants and how to seal a room from possible hazardous conditions.

Lock-Down

Lock-downs are usually used in response to acts or potential threats of harm or violence to students and/or staff, including any such activities in the general vicinity of the school. During a lock-down all outside doors to the building and rooms within the school are locked. No one is permitted in or out of any area once the area has been locked. Students and staff must respond very quickly to a lock-down command to ensure they get to a safe location before the doors are locked. Parents are not permitted access to the building or to their children until the lock-down is over.

Controlled Release or Dismissal

Under some circumstances it may be determined that it is best to dismiss students to their homes and families as expeditiously as possible. Should this be the case, every attempt will be made to alert the emergency contact for each student of the situation and to ensure young students are not left unsupervised. This means a Parent-Child Reunion Area will be set up and parents will be required to follow specific procedures to pick up their child.

 

For more information on the division and school emergency preparedness plan visit the division website at www.eips.ca/parents/emergency-preparedness or contact the school principal.