To learn what the Chatham Emergency Management Agency is doing with School Safety, scroll through the information detailed below. To conduct more research on School Safety, select one of the links below.
School Safety Planning
School safety and emergency planning for schools has moved to the forefront for many school districts and emergency agencies nationwide. Georgia Emergency Management is leading the way in school safety planning and training not only in Georgia but nationwide. CEMA is following that lead on the local level.
Using proven emergency management philosophies of bringing the experts in each phase of emergency response together to develop thorough and effective school safety plans, CEMA has provided training, evaluation and guidance to dozens of public and private schools throughout Chatham County. In conjunction with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, local Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Service and Weather officials we have developed a basic school plan that is relevant to Chatham County and is available to any public or private school to meet their planning needs. CEMA continues to provide staff training for all schools through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency Safe School Program. CEMA looks forward to assisting school officials in their efforts to protect Chatham County’s greatest asset, our children.
How and Why is CEMA Involved in Area Schools Planning
We require children to attend school by law and we hold parents accountable for their children’s attendance up to certain ages. Just as children are required to attend school, schools are required to provide a facility that is safe, free from drugs and harassment, and one that also promotes a healthy learning environment. Just as our children bring the diversity of the people in the community around them to school, they sometimes also bring the violence, fear and anger to school as well. When we think about school safety planning we tend to focus on this issue of violence and crime, however there are other dangers far more likely to occur that threaten our community and schools everyday. Violent crimes are far less likely to occur in or near a school than are other natural and man-made disasters, and statistics show the occurrence of crime in school is decreasing nationwide. One of the most important aspects of emergency planning is identifying what we should plan for. In all of the school planning workshops and meetings we participate in, we always try to assist schools in identifying such hazards as:
Hazardous material accidents in or near schools
Thunderstorms that often threaten Chatham County during the school year
Accidents that may involve school vehicles or occur near schools
Flooding and other severe weather dangers
Chemical or industrial facilities near school grounds that could pose a threat in the event of an accident
Violence, bomb threats, intruders
One of CEMA’s main responsibilities is not only facilitating communications between agencies working in an emergency situation in our area, but to also serve as the link to state resources. Chatham County, has fourteen law enforcement agencies, nine fire departments and three emergency medical service providers, all of which have at least one Public school in their jurisdiction. Just as we bring these departments together to plan for hurricanes and hazardous material incidents we have begun to bring each agency together to assist schools in their planning.
For more information please contact Dan Stowers at CEMA (912-201-4500)