Schools Receive $28.8M in Grants for Emergency Management Plans
WASHINGTON—School districts across the country will be able to improve and strengthen their emergency management plans as a result of $28.8 million in grants awarded today by the U.S. Department of Education. The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) discretionary grant program will enable 98 school districts in 28 states to improve plans that address all four phases of emergency management: Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.
“No student should feel unsafe in school,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “The fact is that no school can be a great school until it is a safe school first, and these grants will support that effort.”
In addition to addressing the four phases of emergency management, plans must commit school districts to coordinate with officials in law enforcement, local government, public safety, public health and mental health; train school officials in emergency management; and provide a method for communicating emergency and reunification procedures to parents and guardians. Projects should support the implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and include plans designed to prepare districts for infectious disease outbreaks and take into consideration districts’ special needs populations.
Funds may be used to coordinate with local emergency responders, including fire, police, and health and public health agencies; conduct drills and exercises; purchase emergency supplies and equipment; and to train staff and students on emergency response procedures.
The grants are housed within the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, which supports efforts to create safe schools, respond to crises, prevent drug and alcohol abuse, ensure the health and well being of students, and teach students good citizenship and character. The office also coordinates the Department’s efforts in these areas with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Click here to view a complete list of the 98 grant award winners.
Dept. of Ed. August 19, 2010 press release
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