Introduction to Emergency Prevention/Response

Unfortunately schools are not exempt from many of the emergencies faced within their communities.

Examples Of Emergencies In Montana May Include:

Weather (extreme temperatures, tornadoes, lightning, severe wind, winter precipitation), Earthquakes, Landslides, Floods, Wildfires, Volcanic Eruptions, Explosions or Accidental Release of Toxins (outside the school), Accidental Release of Hazardous Materials (within the school), Dam failure, Power failure, Water failure, Fire, Infectious Diseases (such as pandemic influenza, tuberculosis, staphylococcus aureus, and meningitis), Contaminated Food Outbreaks (such as salmonella, botulism and E. coli), Active Shooters, Bomb Threats, Criminal Threats or Actions, Suicide


However, there are preventative actions which can make schools safer learning environments.

Some of the actions a school might take include:

1) Schools can identify safety risks within the physical campus environment and make alteratons.

2) Schools can identify potential risks and create emergency operation plans to reduce the risk of some emergency events.

3) Schools can set up protocols for communication with community resources, students, staff members and parents.

4) Schools can create plans to minimize the risk of harm during an emergency and secure the necessary physical resources.

5) Schools can create plans for helping people affected by an emergency recover and transition to normalcy


Let's consider the emergency event of a school shooter as an example understand actions a school might take to increase student safety.


1) A school may identify the potential risk factors related to school shooter events and develop a bully prevention/response program to improve school climate and reduce the risk of this event.

2) A schools may identify physical barriers that could prevent people within a school from exiting quickly during this emergency and take action to remove these obstacles.  

3) A school may create a plan to notify people within the school to follow the "school shooter protocol" and notify police, parents and emergency healthcare workers about this event.

4) A school may modify windows to allow them to be easily exited and have first aid kits placed within classrooms prior to this event.  

5) A school may create and practice a plan for relocated students to a safe location and assisting parents in locating their child for this event.  

6) A school may create a plan for gaining mental health support for people affected by this event.