Effective Crisis Response Planning Strategies

An essential component of school crisis response is the reunification of students with their primary caregivers. This process is crucial as the reestablishment of social supports is often the only mental health crisis intervention needed and is especially important for younger children. The sooner students are reunited with their caregivers, the less likely they are to exhibit traumatic stress.

In addition, schools must be accountable for maintaining the chain of custody for every student during and after a crisis. A predetermined and practiced reunification process helps to ensure that reunification will not add to the anxiety and trauma of the crisis.

Planning for reunification requires consideration of a number of factors. Each of these components must be planned for and shared with the school community, especially caregivers and families once established.

  1. Reunification Site / Location, including back up sites
  2. Transportation, if needed – include predetermined routes for getting students, school staff, security, first responders, and other support personnel to and from the site.
  3. Notification with Parents/Primary Caregivers
  4. Student Rosters, Taking Attendance at the Reunification Site and Plans for Missing Students
  5. Security Plans & Reunification Go Kits
  6. Reunification Cards to help ensure a smooth transition process
  7. Mental Health Crisis Intervention
  8. Release Process
  9. Practice / Drills

Educators and school administrators play a critical role in helping children and young adults stay safe before, during, and after emergencies.

To learn more about planning for effective reunification, visit Campus Safety HQ’s Action Plan “Parent-Child Reunification After Crisis”.


About Campus Safety HQ:

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