Critical Issue #4: Maintaining Updated Contact Information

The majority of school districts do not maintain updated contact information as part of their emergency plan. Antiquated contact information is a major concern that makes it impossible to react to an emergency situation quickly.

All school districts are expected to hold an annual meeting regarding Project SAVE regulations. During this meeting, the school district’s emergency plan should be reviewed so that alterations can be made as needed. The new plan should also be reviewed by the community, adopted by the board, and then put into place. Copies of the annual plan should then be sent to all local interested parties including the police department, fire department, and any other emergency responders. Currently, the majority of school districts have not taken these important steps and, if these steps were ever taken, they have not been reviewed in quite some time.

Upon review of school district emergency plans, it has been found that most are outdated by at least eight years. Since an emergency plan is not needed until an actual emergency situation arises, these plans are often left by the wayside until it is too late. This presents a dangerous situation that leaves the outcome of emergencies to chance. It is imperative to act quickly during any emergency. However, this is an insurmountable task without proper emergency contact information available.

When an emergency arises, the emergency protocol book is taken off of the shelf and, in most cases, outdated contact information is found. Attempting to contact emergency resources becomes a dead-end situation, which bodes poorly for everyone involved in the emergency situation. By keeping the emergency plan, including contact information, up-to-date, you can be sure that staff at your school will have the information they need to contact the appropriate emergency responders and to act according to an organized emergency plan.