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Schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs) often serve as community centers. In that role, they not only serve students, but also family members, loved ones, and friends. This is just one reason why it takes the whole community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency incidents that impact schools, school districts, and IHEs. Members of the community are often the first on the scene of school and campus emergencies to provide volunteer support and donations, and they are often the ones education agencies call on to serve key roles in response and recovery. Key community partners include, but are not limited to, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, local public health departments, hazard mitigation specialists, community emergency response teams, volunteer service organizations, and others. When conducting whole community planning, education agencies must also account for those with disabilities and others with access and functional needs; those from religiously, racially, and ethnically diverse backgrounds; and people with limited English proficiency. Community members will serve as key partners when emergency management agencies are taking steps to ensure that courses of action outlined in emergency operations plans (EOPs) consider all key stakeholders, both within and outside of the school building and/or campus grounds.

K12 Safety Practitioners
Higher Ed Safety Practitioners
Higher ed Safety Practitioners: Access planning principles to support higher ed EOP development.

What’s on this page?

Resources from the REMS TA Center, U.S. Department of Education, and federal agency partners, to education agencies working with the whole community to manage emergency incidents that may impact education agencies. The resources are organized into categories that address specific aspects of whole community planning; resources that apply to multiple aspects of whole community planning are listed under the General category.



Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


Youth and Individual Preparedness