How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis

How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis

How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis

How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis

Synopsis

Is your school ready to respond to a crisis? Are school staff ready to address physical safety issues, emotional needs, and mental health consequences that arise from crisis situations? What steps can you take now to prepare your school for a crisis? Use the steps and guidance offered in this book to answer these and other questions critical to surviving any crisis that touches a school. Tens of thousands of school and community professionals have used this model, and you can adapt it to your unique situation. Whether you need to address a crisis in the school building, across the district, or throughout a region, the field-tested model and practical guidelines in this book lead you to answers that form a framework critical to controlling crisis situations. With an emphasis on integrating safety and security plans with mental health services, the authors show you how to use the talents, training, and knowledge of school personnel to coordinate a comprehensive response to any crisis. This model empowers staff to initiate and sustain a response to crises that answers the physical safety, mental health, and emotional needs of students, community, and staff. Sample plans, forms, checklists, and resources jump start crisis training, preparation, and response. How to Prepare for and Respond to a Crisis, 2nd edition, is based on the work of the School Crisis Response Initiative of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, which is part of the Yale Child Study Center.

Excerpt

Dealing with the effects of a crisis on schoolchildren and staff is not the primary mission of schools, nor is it the reason why most educators or school administrators entered the profession. Not surprisingly, therefore, many schools do not plan for or prepare to respond to a crisis that might affect their students and staff. As a result, at the time of a large-scale crisis, such as the one precipitated by the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, school staff are in turmoil. As members of the school and the broader community, they are likely to be personally affected by the same crisis confronting their students and may be more directly affected. Staff may be unable to organize an effective crisis intervention response and to maintain the long-range perspective that is needed. in addition, staff may underestimate the full impact of the crisis or feel overwhelmed by the extent, magnitude, and personal nature of the problems. the bottom line is that it is hard to plan a coordinated response at the time of a crisis.

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