Prepare Your School


photo of school lockers

School districts and individual schools are responsible for not only the education of their students, but also their safety. Not only do administrators, teachers, and other school staff need to know what to do in case of a fire or severe weather, but also in the event of suspicious packages, bomb threats, hazardous materials accidents, shooting incidents, hostage situations, assaults, and even bullying.


To that end, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management has worked with several partnering agencies* to create some helpful planning tools. These documents were developed for the schools of Iowa to use as a template to enhance current school safety programs. Ultimately, schools can decide how much of the documents they would like to incorporate into their current plan.

Click here for access to HSEMD school safety documents


Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Managment has also produced a brochure for teachers and administrators on preparing crisis kits:


Click here for additional school preparedness and safety information


Iowa Association of School Boards logo


The Iowa Association of School Boards has produced a toolkit for schools, built on the lessons learned from the 2008 disasters in Iowa. See the kit and get more information:

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students' (OSHS) Center for School Preparendess provides support, resources, grants, and training to support emergency management efforts for local educational agencies and institutions of higher learning. For more information about emergency planning support available through the Center for School Preparedness, visit the Dept. of Education's emergency planning website.

The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools' Technical Assistance Center was established by the OSHS with its primary goal to support schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education in emergency management, including the development and implementation of comprehensive emergency and crisis response plans.




Parents of school-aged children are encouraged to get involved with their kids' schools and emergency planning. Contact school officials to find out what's included in their emergency plan. Talk with your student about what they would do in various emergency situations.


*Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Safety (Intelligence Fusion Center), State of Iowa Fire Marshall's Office, School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA), Des Moines Police Department (School Resource Officers).