All-Hazards Plan Basic Checklist . Reunification following school evacuation: Guidelines for administrators and crisis response teams. NCEF School Safety Assessment Guides (available at the National Clearinghouse Web site: Communicating With Owners and Managers of New Buildings on Earthquake Risk: A Primer for Design Professionals (FEMA 389) (available at the FEMA Web site library: Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods, and High Winds (FEMA 424) (available at the FEMA Web site library: Developing the Mitigation Plan: Identifying Mitigation Actions and Implementing Strategies (FEMA 386-3) (available at the FEMA Web site library: Getting Started: Building Support for Mitigation Planning (FEMA 386-1) (available at the FEMA Web site library: HAZUS-MH Software (available from the FEMA Publication Warehouse: Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of School Buildings (K-12): Providing Protection to People and Buildings (FEMA 395) (available at the FEMA Web site library: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Web site (. For example, reverse 911 or automated telephone or text notification may be effective in some communities, while in others (e.g., those where many families live in poverty and may not have cell phones and/or consistent phone service) different means of notifying caregivers will be needed. This will be dependent on the level of impact experienced by students, staff and the community. Explore the sections of PEMA's All-Hazards School Planning Toolkit. Post-Disaster Reunification and K-12 Schools Schools and Post-Disaster Reunification Emergencies are always local events—they affect the individuals and area immediately surrounding them. Chapter 11 General Suggestions for Parent-Student Reunification Plans for Schools Local community emergency management and response agencies should consult on the district’s plan to promote a coordinated response to evacuations. Every school and child care center should ha… Evaluation of these exercises is required to ensure that areas of improvement are identified and addressed. Discuss these plans with . For the purposes of this document, reunification is defined as the process of assisting displaced disaster survivors, including children, in voluntarily reestablishing contact with family and friends after a period of separation. Due to an emergency event, the Bellevue School District may be required to release students to parents and guardians through our controlled Student Reunification Process. Our mission is to protect every child, every school, every day. Planning for reunification requires consideration of a number of factors. The plan should outline the school’s parental notification methods (automated alert system, calling trees, media outreach, etc.) Across the United States, Raptor is trusted to protect over 18,000 K-12 schools. Write procedures and protocols: This activity will require an intensive session of writing, discussion … School Psychology Awareness Week Comes to New Jersey! This list is a starting point for discussions between school officials and others addressing evacuation plans. Consequently, reunification protocols should be included in all comprehensive school crisis plans and should be rehearsed on a regular basis. These cards should be placed in alphabetical order, and organized by classroom and grade level to facilitate easier retrieval of individual students and family information. In our world today, it is more important than ever that we plan and prepare for any emergency… Once completed the card is separated and the bottom part is taken by a “runner” who will retrieves students. Reunification is the means for safe, orderly and documented reunion of students and families when event(s) at a school or in the neighborhood require that students are physically returned to a parent, guardian, or designated emergency contact. Business Not as Usual:  Preparing for Pandemic Flu (available at the King County Department of Public Health Web site: Evacuation and Reunification (available at the Deer Valley Unified School District Web site: Residential Shelter-in-Place (available at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Web site: Responding to an Emergency:  One Principal’s Tale (available to order at the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Center Web site: Community Emergency Response Team (CERT): Environmental Protection Agency HealthySEAT: FEMA Emergency Management Institute Web site: Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program Web site: National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Web site . Emergency Reunification Procedures. What is Reunification? Ideally, the site will have a number of large rooms so that students can be divided up and grouped by grade level. Recommended Citation:NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. Informal tabletop exercises can be helpful in clarifying roles and responsibilities of crisis response team members and school personnel during reunification. Customizable to Your Emergency Protocols First and foremost, remain calm. 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For example, if they are in classroom or grade-level groupings, then caregivers would line up based upon their child’s grade level (NOTE: If caregivers are there to pick up more than one child they should be directed to retrieve their developmentally younger children first). The ability to reunify children with their families or care givers following an emergency incident was identified as high priority and an emergency planning gap by WRHSAC’s Children in Disasters Conference. The Double-Gate System for Reunification will be used to establish a safe area for staff to release students to parents, or authorized guardians in the aftermaths of a disaster. Regardless, the site must be large enough to accommodate the entire student body and all school staff, as well as caregivers and additional volunteers as needed. that provides considerations for developing a Family Reunification Annex to a school’s emergency operations plan (EOP). Once custody rights are confirmed, the top part of the reunification card is given to a runner who goes to the student’s staging area to retrieve them. How Field Supervisors Can Encourage Advocacy Efforts Among Interns, Suicide Prevention within COVID 19 Pandemic, COVID-19 School Psychologist Practice Impact Survey, National and State School Psychology Association Membership Amidst a Global Pandemic, Secretary DeVos issues Waiver Requests to Congress, Senate Passes COVID-19 Education Stimulus Fund, Developing Relationships: Friend, Foe, or It’s Complicated, Vision 2020 - Advocacy in Action at Convention, Applications Open for FY 2019 STOP School Violence Grants, NASP Priorities Funded in FY 2020 Spending Bills, Nevada Finds its Advocacy Focus for SPAW 2019, What is Your Focus? 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Full-scale drills are rarely conducted as they involve deploying all necessary resources and require much in the way of planning and financial resources. These organizations may include healthcare, childcare, educational and juvenile justice residential facilities. Parents and legal guardians arrive at the designated check-in location and form lines based on alphabetical order or how students are organized within the evacuation site. Ideally, hard copies of these contact cards should be kept in binders in case access to electronic information is not possible (e.g., due to an evacuation, power outage, lack of available computer). This protocol should include details regarding how and where this information will be shared. Often these sites include nearby schools; however, they may also include other facilities such as large churches and recreation centers. As with any other procedure included in a crisis response plan, the reunification process should be rehearsed. Similarly, taking attendance at the reunification site is the only way to account for students. School crisis response teams are encouraged to schedule and conduct some type of reunification practice at least once a year, at different times of the day and year. There are a variety of strategies that can be used. We cannot overemphasize the importance of having an emergency plan which can be put in place when an unfortunate incident happens at … Individuals reporting or searching for a child missing as a result of a disaster should call the NCMEC National Emergency Child Locator Center at 1-866-908-9572. For example, “The school has been evacuated. Reunification: Brief Facts and TipsThis handout addresses key considerations to this process in the event that a school has been evacuated. However, in some situations it may be best to evacuate students further away from the site, thus coordination must occur with district and/or community transportation personnel to plan for the use of district transportation in emergency situations. The top part should also ask for the name of the person picking up the student, their relationship with the student, and their phone number. Depending upon the nature of the crisis event, mental health crisis interveners may conduct some type of caregiver training to help ensure that parents and other legal guardians know how to best support their children. In addition, having these individuals visible can facilitate a sense of safety and security. If the school had been evacuated, then the reunification will take place at evacuation facilities. The vast majority of parents in the United States work outside the home. It’s back-to-school time for many kids this month. Separate evacuation and transportation plans may be necessary to support these efforts. Providing students and/or caregivers with regular opportunities to share the best ways of contacting them in the event of an emergency can be helpful in this regard. However, it is important to note that this handout also provides guidance for student and caregiver reunifications that take place at school (when evacuation is not required). The school staff is unable to contact approximately 20% of parents. An adequate number of school-employed mental health professionals trained in mental health crisis intervention should be available at the reunification site to assist in meeting immediate crisis-related needs. Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates (available at the Secret Service Web site: NIMS Resource Center: Public Information (available at the NIMS Web site: Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools Independent Study Course (IS-100.SCa) (available at the Emergency Management Institute Web site: Incident Command System (ICS) forms (available at the NIMS Resource Center Web site: National Organization on Disability Web site (, Managing the Psychological Aftermath of School Incidents Seminar (, Responding to Pandemic Flu in the Classroom Seminar (, School Nurse’s Role in Incidents Seminar (. Should it be required, the reunification of students with their parents following an active shooter event will be one of the most complex and involved responsibilities school staff members may ever face. Print student RELEASE FORM INSTRUCTIONS here. This process of notification will vary from school to school depending on available resources. This checklist can be used in developing a reunification functional annex to the district or school’s EOP/Safety Plan. However, sometimes the scope of an emergency event expands to include entire communities and even whole regions. Raptor is the nation’s #1 developer of innovative, integrated school safety technologies. In addition, schools must be accountable for maintaining the chain of custody for every student during and after a crisis. Because emergencies can happen at any time during the school day, schools and childcare facilities hold drills to help students and staff practice staying safe in the event of an emergency. The caregiver waits in a “reunification area” where reunification cards are matched and they are reunited with their child. In addition to the means of transportation to potential evacuation sites, the reunification plan should also include predetermined routes for getting students, school staff, security, first responders, and other support personnel to and from the site. District security and/or law enforcement personnel should be at the reunification site to ensure a safe and orderly reunification process. Educators and child care providers play an important role in helping children stay safe before, during, and after emergencies. The Pennsylvania All-Hazards School Safety Planning Toolkit provides guidelines for school districts/schools and communities to address all types of crises, emergencies, and disasters that might impact their campuses. This facilitates a more efficient process of finding individual children and reuniting them with their respective caregivers. For those schools in communities wherein families frequently move and/or those in lower SES areas, maintaining up-to-date contact information will be challenging. Standard procedures are provided for these situations to assist facilities with a foundation for planning and a framework for response when an event happens. Caregivers need to be informed in advance of the best way to get to the designated evacuation sites. The school resource officer grabbed a youngster, held him or her over the officer’s head and said, “Whose is this?” We call that Reunification Plan, the Simba Plan. Please bring your identification. In case of a school emergency or a natural disaster, you need to be aware of our school’s plan for releasing your child. Browse emergency operations plans (EOPs), reunification guidance and tools, and other resources to support organizations responsible for the temporary care of children and youth. School reunification plans vary by several factors, including legal requirements to have plans in place, the size of the school, and existing school systems and/or networks. Reunification cards should have duplicate information on the top and bottom portions that include student name and grade. Keeping track of who is at school and who is not is critical to minimizing chaos and anxiety during reunification. A predetermined and practiced reunification process helps to ensure that reunification will not add to the anxiety and trauma of the crisis. 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