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Guides for Developing EOPs for Schools, Institutions of Higher Education, and Houses of Worship

On June 18, 2013 the Obama Administration released the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education and the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship.   These guides are the culmination of years of emergency planning work by the Federal government, and the first joint product of ED, DHS, DOJ and HHS on this critical topic. The guides incorporate lessons learned from the recent shootings in Newtown and Oak Creek as well as the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, can be customized to each type of community, and may be used to create new emergency plans as well as to revise and update existing plans.

The planning process outlined in the guides will help schools, IHEs and houses of worship align their emergency planning practices with those at the national, state, and local levels. National preparedness efforts, including emergency planning, are now informed by Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8, signed by the President in March 2011, which describes the nation’s approach to preparedness. This directive represents an evolution in our collective understanding of national preparedness, based on the lessons learned from terrorism, hurricanes, school incidents, and other emergencies.

The new guides translate the planning guidance from these recent developments to the school, IHE and houses of worship contexts, ensuring that they benefit from these advancements, and introduce schools, IHEs and houses of worship to a new approach to planning that includes walking through different emergency scenarios to create a course of action for each objective the team is trying to accomplish, whether it be providing fire prevention training to all students and staff that work with combustible materials or evacuating everyone in the building.

The Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education and the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship may be accessed on the REMS TA Center website at the following location: http://rems.ed.gov/EOPGuides.

Please contact the REMS TA Center by email at info@remstacenter.org or toll free at 1-855-781-7367 (REMS) with any questions or concerns.

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