School safety planning and response tools available to schools and law enforcement

Published 1:56 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

From NC Dept. of Public Safety

As students head back to school for the start of another academic year, school safety is a top-of-mind issue for school officials, public safety officials and parents.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, through its Emergency Management division, provides two tools for schools and law enforcement agencies to help with planning and response for security incidents at schools.

These tools were among many resources discussed this week at the Back to School Safety Summit organized by the Department of Public Safety and hosted at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“We encourage educators and law enforcement officials to learn about and use these free tools, and give us with feedback on how we can refine them,” said Mike Sprayberry, director of North Carolina Emergency Management.  “That feedback will help us further improve these tools to provide schools and first responders with precisely what they need.”

The State Emergency Response Application is a secure web-based application available to first responders and law enforcement officers that provides critical information about school facilities.   It can be used for planning and training purposes, and can be quickly accessed from mobile devices in the field when it is needed for an emergency response. This information includes:

Digital floorplans for K-12 schools, community colleges, public colleges and universities — including more than 15,000 floorplans for 2,400 school facilities.

Demographic school profile and contact information

Response plans for various hazards at those facilities

The School Risk Management Plan is an online tool available to schools to help build emergency plans for their campuses and facilities.  The web-based tool allows schools to enter data and upload documents to customize their response plans to a wide variety of hazards that are likely to affect their school.   North Carolina Emergency Management continues to work with school and law enforcement officials to incorporate additional elements to the planning tool to ensure that it meets the current needs of schools.

More than 115 school districts have received training in using the tool to create emergency plans and more than 1,800 K-12 schools have used the tool to create emergency plans.