School emergency communications

Many schools are taking a closer look at their emergency communication systems. Sirens, text alerts, new lock down procedures, and other ideas are being examined carefully. There is no single solution to the potential threats of an armed intruder or bomb, and what works today might need to be improved upon next year. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • It’s best to have at least two forms of emergency communication.
  • You should be able to quickly activate your communication systems.
  • Students and faculty should know what to do when a siren sounds.
  • Ideally, your system would inform students and faculty of the threat’s exact location or provide updates.
  • More than one person should have the authority to activate your system.
  • Consider drafting several general script text messages that would require only a few revisions before being sent. Time could be a critical factor.

For some schools enhancing, managing and funding a comprehensive plan may be challenging.  One great resource for addressing these issues comes from The Office of Homeland Security at their website entitled “School Safety.”

This site provides useful information in the following areas of school safety:

  • Grant funding – helps to identify resources for school security grants
  • Planning and training
  • Other resources
Visit “School Safety” at www.dhs.gov/school-safety to help support your school’s emergency communications and response plans.


The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.

For safety or risk management questions or suggestions, please contact Markel.

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