Client’s Challenge: State School Can’t Open Without an Emergency Management Plan

At the center of the nation’s growing spotlight on innovative ideas in educational reform, the launch of a small, but closely watched college preparatory public boarding school for high-risk inner city kids was proceeding on schedule. Classrooms had been built. Teachers hired. Students awarded no-tuition contracts via lottery. All of this under an accelerated timeline. Suddenly, planners were advised they could not open the school without a state-approved Emergency Management Plan.

Our Solution: Pulling a Plan Together in Short Order – and Gaining the State’s Approval

The Hillard Heintze team responded quickly – and was manifestly comfortable working with public safety authorities in this urban redevelopment area. With efficiency, the team conducted an assessment of the school’s emergency management needs and processes in the context of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) four-pronged approach to emergency management: Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. In addition to gathering and validating information on key points of contact for the city’s public safety officials, emergency relocation areas and fire evacuation procedures consistent with the city’ fire department, the team documented best practices, policies, procedures and requirements in compliance and alignment with the ED’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, the state’s Department of Education, the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System.

Impact on the Client: The First Day of School Unfolded – On Schedule and As Planned

With an emergency preparedness plan fully compliant with the state’s requirements in hand, the institution’s board and administrators opened the school on schedule – without even a single day’s delay.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“That’s right. Speed was a big factor here. They would have had a very serious problem had we not hit that deadline.

I think what made a big difference on this project was our comfort in working with the public safety folks.

Basically, we knew how to queue up their protocols, systems and expectations – especially in the chaos of a crisis – with what our client’s plans called out for. We spoke the same language. And we wasted no time getting exactly what was required up. And out.”

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