Part 1 of my interview with Joe Wainscott, Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), addressed school preparedness and emergency management agency relationships.
Today, the conversation continues with a look at potential school transportation needs during a community disaster. We also discuss partnering benefits including pre-planning and pre-training activities. During tough financial times, a good partnership can be mutually beneficial.
Emergency management agencies are, from a school perspective, still hidden treasures in many communities. While a growing number of school districts are working more closely with their emergency management officials, these agencies are untapped resources in far too many school communities nationwide.
I encourage school leaders to reach out to their county emergency management agency. If you are in a large city, there may also be a city emergency manager or management department. Make the initial call, introduce yourself, ask to learn more about their operations, find out about joint planning and training opportunities, and ask for a seat for your school district in their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for when it is activated in community-wide emergencies.
Likewise, if you are a county or city emergency manager, take the first step and reach out to your school district if they have not first come to you.
My thanks to Joe Wainscott for his time, insights, and sustained leadership in school safety and emergency preparedness. At the time of our interview at his office, I also had the opportunity to take a look at his department’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Not surprisingly knowing Joe, the state-of-the-art upgrades and progress made under his leadership are extremely impressive. Indiana is fortunate to have Joe leading the state’s emergency management and homeland security operations!
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