Shelter-in-Place Training Program for Schools

Creating a comprehensive training program for shelter-in-place procedures in schools involves several key components to ensure that all students, staff, and faculty are prepared for emergency situations. Below is our outline for developing a thorough training program.


  • Understand the concept of shelter-in-place.
  • Identify scenarios that may require shelter-in-place.
  • Learn procedures and responsibilities during shelter-in-place.
  • Practice effective communication and coordination.
  • Conduct regular drills and evaluations to ensure preparedness.

Preparation Phase

Develop a Shelter-in-Place Plan.

  • Identify shelter locations: Designate safe areas within the school for different types of emergencies (e.g., severe weather, hazardous material incidents).
  • Communication systems: Establish clear communication channels (PA system, text alerts, etc.).
  • Supplies and equipment: Ensure availability of emergency kits, first aid supplies, water, and non-perishable food.
  • Roles and responsibilities: Assign specific duties to staff members (e.g., coordinators, first aid responders).

Create Educational Materials

  • Instructional guides: Develop easy-to-understand manuals and posters detailing shelter-in-place procedures.
  • Training videos: Produce videos demonstrating the steps to take during a shelter-in-place scenario.
  • Handouts and checklists: Provide materials for quick reference during an emergency.

Training Sessions

Initial Training

  • Audience: All staff, teachers, and administrators.
  • Format: In-person workshops, supplemented by online modules.
  • Content:
    • Introduction to shelter-in-place: Purpose and importance.
    • Detailed procedures: Steps to take for different types of emergencies.
    • Roles and responsibilities: Clarification of duties for each staff member.
    • Communication protocols: How to communicate during an emergency.

Student Training

  • Audience: All students, with sessions tailored by age group.
  • Format: Classroom presentations, interactive activities, and drills.
  • Content:
    • Explanation of shelter-in-place: Age-appropriate discussion on what it means and why it’s important.
    • Procedures: Step-by-step actions to take during a shelter-in-place.
    • Safety tips: Additional information on staying safe during an emergency.

Drills and Practice

Regular Drills

  • Frequency: Conduct at least two drills per semester.
  • Types of drills: Simulate different scenarios (e.g., chemical spill, active shooter, severe weather).
  • Evaluation: After each drill, gather feedback and assess performance to identify areas for improvement.

Unannounced Drills

  • Purpose: Ensure readiness without prior notice.
  • Assessment: Evaluate the speed and efficiency of the response.

Continuous Improvement

Feedback Mechanisms

  • Surveys: Collect feedback from students and staff after each drill and training session.
  • Suggestion boxes: Allow anonymous suggestions for improvement.

Review and Update Procedures

  • Annual review: Update the shelter-in-place plan and training materials based on feedback and changing circumstances.
  • Policy updates: Adjust policies as needed to comply with new guidelines or regulations.

Ongoing Training

  • Refresher courses: Provide periodic refresher training for all staff and students.
  • Advanced training: Offer additional training for emergency response teams and key personnel.

Communication Plan

Internal Communication

  • Alert systems: Ensure all communication systems are functional and tested regularly.
  • Notification protocols: Establish clear protocols for notifying staff, students, and parents.

External Communication

  • Coordination with local authorities: Develop relationships with local emergency services and authorities.
  • Parent communication: Keep parents informed about shelter-in-place procedures and drill schedules.

Documentation and Reporting


  • Drill reports: Maintain detailed records of all drills, including participation and feedback.
  • Training records: Document attendance and completion of training sessions.

Compliance and Audits

  • Regular audits: Conduct audits to ensure compliance with safety regulations and effectiveness of the shelter-in-place plan.
  • Reporting: Provide regular reports to school administration and local authorities as required.


The success of a shelter-in-place program relies on thorough preparation, regular training, and continuous improvement. By following this comprehensive training program, schools can enhance their readiness to protect students, staff, and faculty during emergencies.

Shelter In Place Kit

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