How to Protect Students with Special Needs During a Campus Emergency

School security pros must develop plans to help students with special needs appropriately respond during an incident.

Do you know how to take care of and plan for students with special needs in the event of a fire, a campus shooting, a natural disaster or other emergency?

The term “special needs” doesn’t only refer to people with visual, physical or auditory impairments or sensitivities. It also includes students who are on crutches, individuals who are pregnant or people who may have trouble understanding commands because their primary language is not English. These students may need special attention, different exits and extra equipment.

A new course just added to Campus Safety HQ, Special Needs: Planning for Disabilities and Other Special Needs During an Emergency, outlines accommodating students with special needs and ensuring their safety.

The course teaches you how to:

  • Identify who may need extra help
  • Create individual preparedness plans
  • Set up more than one evacuation route
  • Determine when to shelter in place
  • Prepare an emergency evacuation kit

Just as important, the course reveals the 10 planning flaws that can lead to failure.

Accompanying the course are four pdf files to complete so you’ll be prepared when a crisis occurs:

  • Individual Preparedness Plan – Special Needs Crisis Planning Form
  • Individual Preparedness Plan – Special Needs Planning Form Supplement: Information on Emergency Planning
  • Individual Preparedness Plan – Special Needs Planning Form Supplement: Information on Special Needs Crisis Planning
  • Individual Preparedness Plan – Location Checklist

The special needs course was prepared by the security experts at Safe Havens International. Its executive director, Michael Dorn, trains military personnel, law enforcement officials, SWAT teams and has extensive experience in school and university safety.

Special Needs: Planning for Disabilities and Other Special Needs During an Emergency is just one part of Campus Safety HQ, the Community and Resource Headquarters for Campus Safety Trainers. The site presents easy-to-use, proven training methods developed by some of the top security experts in the country and is designed to improve the safety of any campus.

Among the other courses currently available on Campus Safety HQ is The First 30 Seconds, 16 real-life school crisis scenarios designed to prepare all staff members to respond to threats and emergencies; the School Bus and Transportation Crisis Scenario Training for transportation personnel; an Active Shooter Course; Bomb Threat Protocols; leadership training through Leadercast Now and individual topics addressed at the 2016 Campus Safety Conference.

New programs are added each month to meet your training needs.

Find out more at

Photo: Thinkstock

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