Hazard vs Crisis vs Emergency


Hazard versus Crisis versus Emergency

It is important to distinguish between these three kinds of events because:


Crisis is the term used at PAUSD, and in state and national planning to descibe human-caused threats to the health or safety of schoolchildren, usually with respect to only one school site at at time.   Example:  A sniper on campus.

PAUSD planning, response, and recovery efforts are described in the PAUSD Crisis Response Manual.




Emergency is the term used at PAUSD, and also in state and national planning, to descibe natural threats to schoolchildren, affecting multiple sites, the district as a whole, and very possibly the entire regions.   The primary example of an emergency is a major earthquake.

PAUSD planning and response is described in the PAUSD Emergency Preparedness Plan



 Hazard is a natural term for everything else,  introduced here for convenient reference, to refer to risks to individuals or small groups.   Examples:  Bullying, criminal activity, dangerous intersections on routes to schools, illegal substances

The degree to which hazards are a factor vary from district to district and over time.



Can Hazards, Emergencies, and Crises occur at the same time?

We sincerely hope not!  But we're forced to consider the possibility, say, of a terrorist attack immediately following a natural disaster, such as a flood or earthquake.    Any particular event may have aspects of all three and it is important to evaluate each situation carefully to apply only the appropriate techniques.

Are parents and community automatically prohibited from participation during a Crisis?

To the degree a specific crisis is a police matter, parents will likely be excluded.

Are parents and community automatically prohibited from Crisis planning?

Parent participation in planning (and preparedness) for Crises is consistent with government mandates.  Specific operational details with respect to police and related security issues may reasonably be withheld from parents in the process, but this limitation need not exclude parents from the reater part of planning and preparedness for crises.


School Safety