School Safety Terminology

Crisis

Standard terminology for schools:  Any human-caused threat to the health or safety of our schoolchildren, usually affecting one one school site at time.   Example:  sniper on campus.

Emergency

Standard terminology for schools:  Any natural event that threatens the health or safety of our schoolchildren. Affects an entire school, at minimum, more likely the entire district or region.  Example:  earthquake.

Hazard

On this website, used to include all other threats besides Crises and Emergencies, in general, affecting small groups of students or individuals.  Examples:  criminal activity, dangerous intersections, illegal substances.

Preparedness

Encompasses everything you can do before an emergency or crisis, including planning, practice, training, and maintenance.   Preparedness rules, staffing, procedures, and legal requirements are generally distinct from those that apply to response.

Response

Everything that happens following an emergency or crisis events.  Response rules, staffing, procedures, and legal requirements are generally distinct from those that apply to preparedness.


FAQ

Can 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 both an Emergency and a Crisis, and it is important to evaluate each situation carefully to apply only the appropriate techniques.

Why is the Emergency versus Crisis distinction important?

Why is it so difficult to handle Emergencies and Crises under the same umbrella?

Crises are generally handled by law enforcement authorities and the location of crisis incidents are very likely crime scenes, meaning significantly different sets of rules, procedures, and staffing from those applicable to natural disasters. 

 

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