Emergencies can happen at any time, and it is essential to have a plan in place to ensure the safety and well-being of students, teachers and parents. Schools can face a range of potential risks and it’s crucial to be well-prepared to minimise the impact of emergencies on the school community. As a communication app providing an essential service during emergencies, Skool Loop is focused on helping your school get ready for any emergency.
Do you have a school emergency plan?
Has your school community established an emergency plan to deal with a major situation? Having a school emergency plan is critical to ensuring the safety of students, staff, and the school community. It allows the school to respond swiftly and efficiently to any crisis and minimise the risk of harm or loss of life. Therefore, all NZ schools should have a well-designed and regularly updated emergency plan in place.
What types of emergencies affect schools?
There are many types of emergencies that can occur, in New Zealand we have seen many disasters impact schools including earthquakes, lockdowns, floods, and cyclones. It is also possible that your school may encounter major events such as natural disasters, pandemics, criminal acts, or student deaths. In such emergency situations, evacuation or lockdown may be necessary therefore, being prepared for these events is crucial.
Creating an emergency planning checklist for Your School
Developing an emergency plan or checklist is an important part of preparing for an emergency. The Ministry of Education has an official emergency planning checklist that includes: assigning incident management roles to trained staff, developing a communication plan for staff, students, parents, and emergency services, establishing procedures, managing transportation, implementing backup systems, conducting regular practice drills, regularly assessing plan effectiveness, and maintaining emergency supplies of food, water, and medicine.
Importance of communication during an emergency
Effective communication during an emergency can save lives and reduce stress. Timely and accurate information prevents panic, ensures safety, and provides direction to the school community. It is crucial to have a reliable communication system in place to quickly and efficiently release updates, instructions, and aid. School communication apps can be incredibly useful for keeping everyone informed and updated with critical information.
How can Skool Loop be used for emergency communication?
A key attribute of Skoop Loop is that as a communication app, it allows parents and family members to receive emergency updates from any location. For major disasters, this means that when phone services are down, or if a parent’s phone is misplaced during an emergency the app can be still accessed on any device. Giving schools the ability to freely communicate and send instant updates during crucial times. During Cyclone Gabrielle in the North Island, Skool Loop saw over 500 schools inform hundreds of thousands of school parents via push notifications over the course of one week. This has highlighted the importance of effective communication around emergencies. This same emergency communication was poignant in the 2022 Taupiri School lockdown.