Emergency incidents that impact schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs) often require the activation of various functions within an emergency operations plan (EOP). This can include, but is not limited to, evacuation, accounting for all persons, family reunification in the K-12 environments, and continuity of operations and learning. Many of these functions require collaboration with key community partners, such as law enforcement agencies, local public health departments, volunteer service organizations, and others. There are various elements that schools, school districts, and IHEs should consider when working to enhance collaboration and relationship-building with key community partners. These includes information-sharing, the creation of Memoranda of Understanding and Agreement, resource management and mutual aid, and scenario-based planning. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) are nationally developed resources that help local, state, national, and Federal agencies to enhance collaboration. When forming collaborative planning teams as a part of Step 1 of the EOP development process, school and higher ed emergency management teams should consider which partners will serve as key assessment stakeholders.

K12 Safety Practitioners
K-12 Safety Practitioners: Learn more about NIMS implementation and ICS.
Higher Ed Safety Practitioners
Higher ed Safety Practitioners: Learn more about NIMS implementation and ICS.

What’s on this page?

Resources from the REMS TA Center, U.S. Department of Education, and federal agency partners on the topic of collaborating to support school and higher ed emergency management. The resources are organized into specific categories that address specific aspects of collaboration and/or specific types of community partners; resources that apply to multiple aspects and community partners are listed under the General category.


Information Sharing

Law Enforcement

Memoranda of Agreement and Understanding

Resource Management and Mutual Aid

Scenario-Based Planning