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Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

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These recommendations are designed to provide a template rather than specific action plans. What is most important in the development of school emergency plans is the understanding that a "one size fits all" plan will not work; schools should instead adapt basic guidelines for their own needs.

The creation of school-based emergency plans, along with their implementation, can be costly.  The cost for implementation, though, should not be borne by the school/school district but rather by local, State, or Federal resources designated specifically for school-based disaster planning. Federal grants are available to school districts to help develop and implement all-hazards approach school emergency response plans.

The overwhelming majority of children remain critically vulnerable to the consequences of a large-scale disaster that occurs while they are in school. Our findings demonstrate many opportunities for improvement that will help to assure that students remain safe and that they will be quickly reunited with their families. The Nation's schools completely carry this burden.

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