Emergency Planning for Schools

Providing a safe, thriving environment for students to learn and staff to work is the foremost goal of any school setting. Creating a safe school environment that facilitates learning can be a challenging task. Successful school emergency planning requires that school administrators, law enforcement personnel and emergency managers work together as a team.

School emergency planning helps school staff know how to assist students through a crisis situation. Knowing how to respond during a crisis will help everyone involved remain calm, understand their role and act as safely and efficiently as possible. It is important that emergency planning includes all hazards, risks and emergencies a school may encounter.
Minnesota law requires all school districts and charter schools establish an emergency plan. The plan should include policy and procedures for prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

The law requires plans be developed cooperatively with all appropriate school stakeholders. School emergency plans must include five school lock-down drills, five school fire drills and one tornado drill per school year.

The Minnesota School Safety Center in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has a variety resources and tools on its website to assist school leaders with emergency preparedness. The Minnesota Safety Center also offers several free training programs and classes to assist school districts with emergency planning.