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Disaster Response Resources for Schools

After claiming at least 67 lives in the Caribbean, the huge storm dubbed Hurricane (later Superstorm) Sandy slammed into the East Coast, killing more than 100 people in the United States and leaving more than 8 million in the dark.

Sandy ripped up part of Atlantic City, NJ's fabled boardwalk and flooded substations in Lower Manhattan, causing widespread power outages.The storm swamped beachfronts on Long Island Sound and delivered hurricane-force winds from Virginia to Cape Cod.

With mass transit shut down across the Northeast, schools and government offices were closed.

The U.S. Department of Education - Office of Safe and Healthy Students is working closely with other federal agencies to ensure continuation of critical services to schools. In addition, the Department has established a toll-free Hurricane Sandy Hotline (1-855-385-9985), a Hurricane Sandy e-mail address ([email protected]), and a Web site ( Each will be regularly updated with guidance and links to helpful resources.

As schools deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, EducationWorld has collected relevant lesson plans, plus helpful resources on dealing with school emergencies, including weather events and more. Browse the helpful links below, and if you're looking to connect with other schools affected by the storm, be sure to visit our Teacher Survival Kit group on the EducationWorld Community.

Lesson Plans

Hurricane Lesson Plans and Activities
Disaster Preparedness Lesson: Survival Experts

More School Resources

Systems Let Schools Call More Parents Faster
School phone trees are being eclipsed by phone systems that can dial thousands of numbers in minutes and alert parents to emergencies, schedule changes, and even events, saving administrators time and stress. Included: Examples of how these phone systems can be used.

When Tragedy Strikes: What Schools Should Do
Education World talks to educators and psychologists who have helped students and teachers deal with death, suicide, and murder. Included: Tips for teachers and administrators for handling the death of a student.

Focus On: Crisis Management and Response
How well prepared are you to handle the inevitable crisis? The articles below from Education World's archive share stories and practical tips for that moment when you must be prepared to respond quickly.

Identification Can Save Lives
Natural disasters such as hurricanes bring to light several emergency preparedness issues, from crowded evacuation routes to separated families. They also emphasize the need to protect and prepare our children in case of emergency, whether it is a hurricane evacuation or school bus accident.

Hurricane Safety Tips to Share With Parents
In the event that a hurricane strikes your community, will your students and your families know what to do? Consider sharing the following information with students and parents. Included: Tips for building a home emergency supply kit and advice on securing and evacuating your property.

Crisis Planning: Have You Done Yours?
Principals who develop effective crisis plans are those who understand the true meaning of the saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

Preparing for the Worst: Why Schools Need Terrorism Plans
Well-thought-out plans, involving school staff and community agencies, can do more to quell anxiety than simply stocking up on duct tape. Included: Recommendations for developing and implementing a terrorism preparedness plan.

FEMA Program Helps Schools Develop Emergency Response
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has introduced a planning process to help schools develop procedures to respond to all types of disasters, including school violence.

How I Handled: Tracking Down Relatives in an Emergency
Learn how one principal was able to track down relatives when an emergency occurred and only local contacts were listed on the emergency card.


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