Whether the danger is from fire, bomb threat or something else, an effective evacuation strategy is one of the most critical components of life safety preparedness. Evacuation systems contain the following elements:
1. Emergency escape routes, whether evacuation will be from the entire building or a section of it;
2. Naming and training an evacuation team responsible for command, communication, supervision, first aid and searching the premises;
3. Procedures for employees who must remain to operate critical equipment;
4. Procedures to account for staff, students, clients and visitors;
5. Communication devices and alternative, back-up methods to initiate the evacuation; and
6. Communication devices and alternative, back-up methods to contact the fire or police departments.
7. Rehearsal, drill and evaluation.
To learn more on evacuation planning, please click here to access the evacuation tactics outlined by the Jewish Federations of North America.
A lockdown policy and procedure is used in response to an emergency or threat situation in or around a facility. Partial lockdowns are often implemented when a threat is identified and contained outside of a facility (i.e. police activity near the facility) and full lockdowns are implemented when an imminent threat exists within a facility (i.e. active shooter in the building). Schools should have a policy for announcing an immediate lockdown to teachers and staff members tasked with implementing the lockdown procedure. Lockdown drills should be conducted regularly to test the lockdown procedure and ensure all staff members are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in executing a lockdown. Schools should consult with law enforcement partners to discuss the development and testing of a lockdown policy and procedure.
The Jewish Federations of North America provides additional information on protection strategies for lockdowns, which can be accessed by clicking here. Please read the entire Emergency Planning: Disaster and Crisis Response Systems for Jewish Organizations document for more information on emergency planning considerations.