While school safety planning is often focused on preparing for active shooter scenarios, natural disasters occur more frequently and can have a devastating impact on a district’s ability to meet students’ educational needs. Recent natural disasters have had a major financial impact on state budgets and insurance costs have skyrocketed in response to disasters, so district leaders need to take a hard look at how weather-related issues could affect their schools.
Examining insurance options is a logical step, but districts also need to find out what they can expect from their local and state governments in times of natural disaster. Some states have “rainy day” funds and many are increasing their savings as the economy booms.
Student safety is a priority in planning, so schools need clear plans about dismissing classes and about drilling students and staff to prepare for a disaster. They also need to develop plans for how to respond after a natural disaster occurs.