Great news! A pending New Jersey bill would mandate that all public and nonpublic schools conduct monthly school security drills for non-fire evacuation, lockdown and active shooter response. Why is this great news?
Currently, most schools probably have emergency security plans in place, but due to lack of implementation many schools are not comfortable with their level of preparedness. They have a plan, but because they are not actively implementing and practicing their plans, confusion exists regarding roles and responsibilities and what do actually do if an incident were to occur.
The status quo methods outlined below are not working:
You have an Emergency Plan.
You have a Message Blasting Notification System.
You have some cool Technology products.
You did some General Training.
TJ Maxx, CVS, Heartland Payment Systems, New Orleans, Virginia Tech, FEMA and many others along the way had plans; unfortunately their plans were not implemented….
Lessons Learned have shown that a lack of implementation (lack of practice) can lead to critical gaps that can lead to expensive and embarrassing incidents. Just because a school or organization has a plan in a binder or does once-a-year general training, does not mean that the plan has been implemented. People (faculty, students, staff, partners, contractors, vendors, etc.) must understand and accept responsibility for implementing plans and policies so they can become a layer of security and preparedness rather than a gap or a weak link.
By requiring schools to implement monthly security drills, administrators will help to eliminate panic and confusion for students, faculty, staff, parents and third-parties.
As risks and threats, including campus violence, pandemic flu, terrorism, etc. continue to increase, schools must ensure that all appropriate individuals are aware and accountable for their individual roles and responsibilities. Serious challenges can lead to safety incidents, emergency situations, lawsuits, fines, breaches, damaged reputations, etc. and the cost of preparedness and prevention is far less than the costs related to the consequences and recovery.
Is your organization implementing your plans and Lessons Learned at the individual-level?