Emergency Preparedness and Response

  • General Overview
    Durham Public Schools works closely with emergency management, law enforcement, public health, and other safety officials at the local, county, state, and federal levels to develop and strengthen school plans for handling emergencies.  Each school has an Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Response Plan which includes guidelines on how to respond to severe weather, fire, chemical, and terrorist attacks during school and business hours.  Although all school plans have similar guidelines, recommendations, and standards each school implements a response plan that reflects the needs of their individual school community.  All schools have campus emergency response teams (CERT) that are an integral part of the school’s emergency management plan.
    In addition annual review of the Emergency Actions Guide for School Staff Members is recommended with all staff which promotes safety awareness and an understanding of specific actions to take in various emergency related situations.
    Students practice emergency actions and specific procedures during drills which will enable them to respond quickly in an actual emergency.
    Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training 
    Annually school site administrators identify designated staff to assist in the event of an emergency at the site level.  These staff members make up the Campus Emergency Response Team for each school and Central Services’ locations.  Annually, CERT members should receive training that better prepares them to handle emergency situations. Training is provided by Safety & Security Services and outside agencies to provide training in important areas including:  site planning, specific emergency responses, communications, mitigation and prevention, incident command systems, fire suppression, and utility control. 
     CERT training also teaches staff:
    • how to control or lessen the impact of an emergency;
    • how to be prepared before an emergency;
    • define roles and responsibilities during an emergency; and
    • the importance of good communication and the importance of utility control.
    • Safety & Security Services provides online training programs for designated CERT members.
    Recommended School CERT Members
    • Administrative and Office Support Staff 
    • Custodians and Child Nutrition Personnel
    • Teachers and Instructional Assistants
    • Before/After School Staff
    • School Nurses
    • School Resource Officers (SRO)
    • School Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists