At the 2015 PRIMA Conference, this session addressed the essential elements of a disaster recovery plan for school districts and how to prepare for partial or complete closures or transfers.
The speakers included: Corey Stein, Aon Risk Solutions, James Huckaby, MS, ARM-P, Mesquite Independent School District, Dan Hurley, ARM-P, CSP, MS, City of Chesapeake (VA), and Todd Kleinman, J.D., Agility Recovery.
Natural disasters can occur with some warning such as hurricanes, flooding, snow or heavy rain, or out of the blue such as tornados, earthquakes and tsunamis. The significance for schools is loss of learning days, large population, relocation challenges, alternative teaching methods and state attendance requirements.
The U.S. Department of Education identifies four phases of emergency actions
- mitigation prevention
One important phase that was overlooked was planning before starting the prevention.
13 planning steps for a natural disaster recovery plan, include:
- develop a crisis team
- risk identification
- likely cause
- vulnerability assessments
- emergency response team
- develop risk management plan
- insurance policy
- building codes
Once you have a plan in place, it is suggested to test and evaluate this plan. It is recommended to evaluate this plan annual, after an event and update with findings. Disasters can happen whether you plan for them or not. It is better to have an action plan in place and tested than not be prepared for a natural disaster.