The Current State Of Affairs Regarding the Fourth Phase of the Tuscaloosa County School District Emergency Operations Plan in Alabama
Student/parent information guide for Tuscaloosa county schools
This student/parent guide by Hinton (2010) depicts that the Tuscaloosa county school district has laid down some systems that are already working. These include:
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Parent involvement policy: The school has incorporated a parent-involvement policy that accommodates parents as ‘full partners’ in all decisions made affecting their children and availing community resources aimed at boosting school programs, accommodating family practices, as well as enhancing the students’ well being.
Insurance program; The school has an effective insurance program in place that is mandatory for all students. The insurance covers are affordable and cater for all accidental injuries sustained in the premises, including those inflicted during athletics.
Crisis management plan;- the school is assisted by community agencies, for instance the Sheriff’s department, The emergency Management agency, among others to manage any perceived or real crises and to minimize any resultant adverse effects.
Fire drills are conducted monthly within the school, with exit plans vividly displayed in all student-occupied rooms
Tornado drills are also held almost quarterly, and in compliance with the Management Agency guidelines.
A thunderstorm watch and warning guidelines are adhered to in accordance with the approved Emergency Management Plan
Criminal penalties; The school has effectively laid down rules and regulation to handle errant behavior like vandalism, possession of drugs, possession of illegal arms etc. This in essence lays down violence prevention strategies at the school.
Address of ‘Severe Weather information frequently asked questions’
Hinton (2011) showcases some ‘Frequently asked questions’ on severe weather. This is another system set up by the school that is working. Its aim is to answer queries by concerned people on its preparedness for disasters attributed to adverse climatically changes.
The school clarifies that it does not rely solely on TV for updates on changing weather but has other resources; and to prepare for the changes , its Central Office personnel keenly follow the weather forecasts which is broadcast via ‘Emergency Alert Radio System, NOAA Radio’ and even through text messages several days beforehand.
On occasions of severe whether (the actual days), updates are received via ‘Southern Linc. communications, media and storm spotters.’ On such days, any public transport is warned as such via ‘VHF two-way radio.’
Areas needing improvement
In my opinion, insurance policies should be spread to cover damage of student property caused by tornadoes, fires and other natural hazards; it is also important to put up constructions, preferably underground which cannot easily be damaged by natural disasters.
I am also convinced that the school can go a long way offering fire and tornado drills beyond the schools to include neighboring communities who in most cases are also affected. Intensive training on the crisis management plan should also be all inclusive, that is the parents, students and communities too should be enlightened on this.
Emergency plans goes way beyond weather changes to include violence in schools, as such sensitization should be done to all concerned to safeguard against crime and violence, and instead ethical and moral behavior should be taught and encouraged.
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Hinton J.R. (2010).Tuscaloosa county school system: Severe weather information. Retrieved from
Hinton J.R. (2011). Student/ parent information guide for Tuscaloosa county schools.
Retrieved from images.schoolinsites.com/SiSFiles/Schools/AL/Tuscaloosa