Unexpected emergencies come in all types of situations. How ready is your school district for a natural disaster? Fire, flooding, snowstorms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and now pandemics on top of the list not to mention suspicious activity, perimeter breach, bullying, student wellness crises and now riots and political situations.
In all above scenarios, school districts need an emergency security management system in place that is easily ready to handle these situations. Managing these threats with swift decisive planned actional response to mitigate all undesirable situations is possible with security emergency management systems.
Training: Before you choose a system, clarify how easy it is to learn and what the provided training is like. Make sure your school security emergency team gets the needed amount of training. Staff will need follow-up drills to stay up-to-date and fully capable of using the system. Possible training options include learning management system training, virtual trainings and onsite trainings. Consider follow-up drills and security audits. Your Security Emergency Management System Integrator should be willing to come onsite and do your security audit. This consult will help determine the type of system that best suits your organization’s needs. At that time, you can ask for additional training resources to be included with your selection.
Anonymous Tip Reporting: The first step in managing threats to a school, student or employee with anonymous online reports. With anonymous tip reporting, students, parents and community members can report situations anonymously through the school or district website. These Detections may include:
- Suspicious Activity
- Damage or Harm to School or Property
- Discrimination or Harassment
- Harm to Self or Others
- Student or Staff Elevated Temperature
- Gunman/Violent Intruder
- Natural Disaster
Real-Time Student Accountability Intelligence: Security emergency management system should have integration capabilities with active directory and your student information system makes it easy to locate students and staff by allowing automatic population of teacher and student lists. When staff logs on, the security system automatically knows the bell schedule and quickly presents the teacher with the correct roster. Teachers can immediately do a quick roll call, report their students’ safety status.
The security management software generates an accurate list of any student and staff not accounted for, giving users a real-time view of what is happening within the building and where help can be directed. Intelligence Capture may include any of the following customizable solutions:
- License Plate Capture
- Perimeter Breach
- Face Matching
- Video & Picture Intelligence
- Thermal Imaging Detection (elevated body temperature)
- Compliance Reports (masks, tailgating hallways (social distancing)
- Contact Tracing through Appearance Search
Automatic Security Alerts: Your security emergency management solution should be able to send automatic emergency alerts via phone, text and email to your specified emergency phone tree. The individuals on this phone tree might include district administrators, safety teams, teachers, staff, substitutes, law enforcement and other first responders designated by the school emergency response team.
Terminology: Managing threats utilizing the right terminology to fit the situation is important. It is helpful when action alerts can be customized to align with your district’s safety code-words.
2-Way Staff Communication: One-on-one communication with teachers is vital in an emergency, keeping information current and accurate. The School Safety team can communicate information about the incident to teachers and staff while allowing them to communicate back with emergency questions and information.
Direct communication to classroom: phones via a VoIP network is an important addition for full emergency alert coverage. This may also provide an intercom feature to allow incoming messages to be broadcast automatically from classroom phones.
School Security Operations: receives and monitors all the alerts and data captured. Custom setting can be programmed and managed for various situations including breach. During a minor infraction, Operations can control and manage the system and situational needs in settings and features of the security emergency management system and take a Proactive response to intervene.
Responsive Design and Archives: Make sure your emergency management system features responsive design that works across a range of district and personal devices – desktops, tablets and phones.
Another consideration is whether a phone app is offered but not required, so that personnel are not required to use their personal devices. A mobile-responsive website should allow personnel to access the system from district-supplied devices and email.
Drills and incident information should be archived for future retrieval. Administrators and security safety teams can use archived details to review incidents and overcome any problem areas.
The ability to alert security safety teams on other sites near your school is an important feature as is IP/Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) integration for automated classroom calls and public address system (PA) announcements.
Managing threats utilizing the right terminology to fit the situation is important. It is helpful when action alerts can be customized to align with your district’s safety code-words.
Law Enforcement and 9-1-1 Integration: Check to see if the system you are considering allows law enforcement and first responders to receive alerts associated with your site including video. Ask if this is available at no extra cost and whether it is customizable so that they receive communication the way they need it.
- Intruder’s Appearance Capture
- 911 Alert Notification
- Share Automated tracking of movement during breach
- Dynamic Critical Event Operability
- Public Safety Direct Event Notifications
- License Plate Capture
Not all situations result in a crisis, your security emergency management system should give the team the tools they need at their fingertips to mitigate and curtail situations before they become a problem.
After an event, your security emergency management system should be able to initiate a streamlined process to reunite students with their classroom, teacher or emergency contacts. This should be quick and easy to follow with compliance and actions built in. The security management system should be able to send out information to staff, teachers, and emergency contacts, assign jobs to staff, and reunify students with a universal method for your school district. A good model method during a crisis is the “I Love U Guys” Foundation’s Standard Reunification Process. The Process most frequently used is Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter, and Hold.
In conclusion, choose a proactive security emergency management system that can stop a situation before it gets out of control. Implementing procedures ahead of time covering the key areas of the emergency system with proper training, detection, analytics, communication and response. The best learning environment is one where students, teachers, and staff feel safe.