Pandemic Response and Continuity Planning for Schools

 

 

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Watch this on-demand presentation as Jeff Kaye of School Safety Operations, Inc shares how school operations can be directed toward getting schools open as soon as it is safe to do so and how to continue operations within the schools and districts. Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) is not a part of outside agency response to the pandemic event. It is up to the school district leaders to handle this important responsibility.

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Hello everyone and thank you for joining us today here in this difficult time. I'm Greg Peterson Content Manager for CrisisGo and we're extremely pleased to have Jeff Kaye here to share his knowledge. He will introduce himself in a minute, but I want to go over a few housekeeping matters real quick. There'll be a ton of information presented shortly and I want everyone in attendance to know that we'll be providing all this information like the slides, a video of the presentation, a Q&A wrap-up, and so forth in the following days. And speaking of questions will be having a Q&A session with Jeff at the conclusion of the presentation. You're encouraged to submit your questions via the questions panel on the GoToWebinar menu and you can submit your questions throughout the presentation or during the Q&A and we'll get to address as many questions if we have time for. I think that covers it, so I'll let Jeff take it from here.

My name is Jeff Kaye and I'm president of a company called School Safety Operations and we first say thank you to everyone who's joining us on this presentation on this pandemic presentation.

This is a brand new presentation I put together based on what we’re seeing today and it's moving so rapidly that I had to update this presentation an hour ago on some new information. I'm amazed at the attendance. We have to this webinar. Typically, we do a webinar we get 30 to 50 people. We have I think over 900 people looking at this today This is not a medical webinar and I'm not in the medical profession. CrisisGo is hosting this webinar. Thank you for that for putting this together because if something needs to talk about when you talk about getting through this, but I'm not affiliated with CrisisGo either. I do use their products in several my client school districts, and we had a lot of good success with them. We’ll talk a little bit about that later.

About what we're doing. I'm a retired law enforcement you 25 years with the Reno Nevada Police Department that I got into school safety business kind of by accident taking a job is the director of Public Safety for large public school districts in California, and I started my own business based on that 2011. I provide services to schools, churches, and things like that Emergency Management. This is mine, like I said, there's my fifth pandemic working through the schools in the last 12 years. So the fact that this is 5 for me in 12 years tells me that there is probably going to be a number 6 in the near future there were work through we have to learn from everyone. What I do not know is what the difference in our response is to the COVID-19 pandemic why it was so different than the H1N1. I know folks tell me the spread rate is different. The mortality rate is different and all these other things. I'm just not seeing statistical data. That's when we start talking about continuity of operations planning which were going to talk about this morning or this afternoon for those views and if time zone it's going to take into consideration getting some of those questions asked because we have to prepare for the next one based on what we're seeing in this one.

You know the H1N1 we did not call it a pandemic but I did the only difference between the pandemic and the epidemic is the worldwide spread and that's important concept for us to understand and for us to tell our staff and our students and our parents because we're calling this pandemic doesn't make it any more deadly or less deadly than any other epidemic event. So everything we're doing here for this COVID-19. We can use for a regular flu season.

I think in education what I have found in education safe is we focus entirely too much about the act of assailant come into a school we can never stop training for that. But that's what we call a high impact low probability event in schools. I can tell you predict with a hundred percent certainty. The next year is going to be a flu bug that comes around is going to be a flu season because there is every year. So the things we talked about getting ready for pandemic response and continuity of operations plan and should be put into place every year. What is the first sign of this I got control the screen now, we're good. So I think the first thing we should do is all agree that we are in a crisis situation right now. This is the textbook definition of the school crisis. Every state defined the same way so we are in a crisis situation.

This crisis moving so fast. The only thing I can compare it to is work in a wildfire in Southern California when the Santa Ana winds are blowing because that changes very quickly, but even with a wildfire you’ve got a containment strategy in place. You've got dates and times you can go on. You can predict weather; you can predict whether it's going to rain or the wind. This covid-19 virus and it’s unpredictable based on just what I see through the CDC website and the other things. I don't know anything more about this virus anybody out there because I get all my information from CDC website not from the news if you want factual information on the virus itself, the medical stuff the CDC and John Hopkins has the best factual information on there. So I'm not an expert on this medically. I do know a couple things about response, and I know a lot about continuity planning. That's what I'll share with you today.

So what I do know is in schools, this is our expectation. No matter what state you are in this is the civil expectation that you're going to know what to do. When a bad thing happens, you're going to have plans in place that you're supposed to (required to) and you’re going to train to those plans and if we don't there could be some liability both civilly, morally, and ethically if somebody gets hurt so I write plans and I've been doing it for a while.

I write continuity of operations plans and pandemic plans that being said every continuity of operations plan that I have written in the last six or seven years I've had to update up. I’ve updated 15 plans in districts in the last three days because this is new we had never been here before but we will be back here with the been facing the pandemic again, and I hope we never see this type of shutdown or entire country including the education system unless it's absolutely necessary. And I don't know. I don't know if this is necessary not nobody does well, we don't have the data yet. But what I do know is we can be better prepared for the next one than we were for this one and possibly our preparedness will affect the outcomes of closure.

Social distancing is being used in a matter. That's not meant to be right now social distancing is not closing the schools closing the schools. It's just a selective dismissal is selective schools closed your social distancing something we can be doing when the schools are open at the inception of the incident. Maybe we should just start doing it all the time now.

A lot of stuff we're seeing now and I don't know why I need doctors telling people to wash their hands before they eat. My mother taught me that when I was two maybe we start reinforcing that now in our education system and talk more about hygiene on a daily basis. So when it does start we've already done something to prevent spreads. There's all kinds of stuff part of our COOP plan that we can make going on right now. To get ready for the next one.

But it's important to understand that you're expected to know what to do during this or any other crises before you guys start talking about a COOP, continuity of operation. It's called COOP because it is easier. We have to understand what it is and it's nothing more than the road map to get you through this incident. We don't know where we're going. So we're writing our own roadmap. This one we can't go back and say this is what we do in an earthquake or a tornado because we just don't know the parameters or response right now. This is why it's so important to monitor this on a daily basis.

I did two webinars two weeks ago when at 9 a.m. and one at 3 p.m. And they were based on pandemic response. By the time we put the 3 p.m. one on we have to change it to continuity of operations and response because so much happened in those few hours between those two sessions. This is how quickly this is changing. So if we're not meeting and talking and discussing this every day in the school districts, we're not doing ourselves any favors. I know we can't have in-person meetings.

But every school or school districts are required to have some type of safety team. It's called different things in different states into that. It's called a district development committee. And California is called School District Safety Committee. Every States got some type of committee. We should have that activated right now. We should also have our emergency Operation Center procedures activated right now. Even if we're not in the same room, we can be discussing this.

During H1N1 we met every day on conference call with World Health Organization CDC. I did it to shut down the school in 2009 for H1N1. So we're including those conference calls and then we would further conference call or meet with our district Development Committee or safety Team every day because there's always something to update. Even if it was a 10-minute conference call just to share what’s going on and this is how we should be working this through this now and its part of your continuity of operations plan.

I'll tell you right now that I have not yet reviewed an Emergency Operations plan for school or School District that included an effective Coop or pandemic plan or recovery plan that being said I’m certain there are some very good ones out there in school districts, but it only makes sense that they have a very good one. They wouldn't give it to me to review. So this is what I see missing after-action report what that's why I called and now what phase nobody's going to come in and tell you what to do to continue operations in your school because your Coop plan is specific to that agency. My coop plan in law enforcement when I work there was very different than what your COOP plan for education is because we're providing different services.

So your plan has to be specific not just to education but to your school or School District because it varies on the area. Some are some are you right now the country that are not being as hard-hit is other areas for this covid-19. So your Coop planning is going to be different based on your goals and objectives and I hope I'm not losing anybody. I'm going to go through a lot of this stuff is a lot of information is presentation this entire presentation and then some will be available on my website tomorrow this password protected, but I'll give you the password at the end of the presentation is that give it to you now, you might not stick around.

So don't worry about take a lot of notes as well. I'll be up there for you. This is how I think it COOP, I like to keep things simple for myself. I'm a visual learner every one of us are driven a car on a curve and every one of us at some time got a little too hot got over the yellow line. Maybe you're not looking where you're going and you kind of go up the road a little bit. But when you go into a curve driving a car, you're not looking at where you've been where you don't want to be you're looking at the end of the curve which we call the recovery point where the road straightens out. That's your Coop. How do you get from plan a to the recovery point? So if You're looking at the recovery point you got to pick up information on how to get you there. And sometimes you gotta you got a very, you know, there might be a pothole in the road or somebody's coming the other way too close and you got to shift your opposition to a bit. But that's the basis of the coop response. Our recovery point for this covid-19 is not going to be when schools open back up. That's just going to be a benchmark. Our recovery point from this covid-19 is probably going to be spaced out two to four years based on the impact. We're having our schools our kids and our staff is going to be a culture of fear coming out of this.

Based on the next pandemic. When's the next one going to hit we're going to be scared of that because we're seeing fear and that's why we're seeing the cultural phenomenon people hoarding things because they're afraid and lack of communications and create that fear and panic and communication is going to be a big part of your COOP plan and were going to talk about that today. So if you just think about this look at where we want to be at the end of this week where we want to be at the end of next week. We want to be the end of the following week. That's how you've put your plan/process in place and I can't stress enough. Nobody's going to do this for you. You can have the best Coop template out there, but you have to adapt that template to your specific school and your timelines.

Why do we do this? Well, first off we have to but this is how we get through the situation. This how we get through the crisis. Your COOP has to include your pandemic plan. They're in the same document because every time there's a pandemic we have to institute our COOP proceedings. If you have a pandemic plan and the coop plan the time to implement that would have been December 2019. We first started hearing about this back then they were calling coronavirus now, we're going covid-19. Whatever we call it. When we first started hearing about this anywhere in the world. We should start taking out our plans and talking about them because it's coming our way if we start practicing social distancing and hygiene at the first inception flu bug or an epidemic somewhere in the world.

We're going to be ready for when it hits here because it will hit here we see that. I'm told this one started in China which is pretty good distance from us. H1N1 started in Mexico part of my school district was about 30 miles from Mexican border. We had a lot of cross traffic on weekends. That affected us pretty hard, but we still only had to close one school when we close at three days. We had one student who tested positive we're able to close at school for three days. I do not know why we have the mandatory closures in place. Someday I hope I understand it.

I just know that's the situation we're dealing with so that's situation we have to deal with our coop plans. If we activate it with the first sign is going to be a problem. We're doing nothing more to give ourselves some good training and got nothing to lose. And this is what it's geared for. We're seeing this right now. Our schools are impacted our education facilities are compromised by an Airborne pathogen. We're losing folks to the sickness. I don't know if actual statistics. I can't say that enough because I see the little clicker on the side of the TV when I've got the news on so I just stopped watching the news. I'm looking at statistical data that's coming in on the spread not the mortality rate right now, and that's how I judge what’s going on.

So we're in a position where if you don't have a coop in your District in your school you need to start working on that now. If you have one it needs to be updated. If you can do it in the house, it's fine. Once you have the template in place. It's not that difficult to break it down and do it in-house we'll talk about that. But before you can start planning, we have to know what the end game is. And that's what's missing right now. It's varying state to state and based on what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing we get a little bit of information. I think this going to be left up to the state to state response to states that aren't getting hit as hard. I think we'll come back to some type of return to normalcy in schools at least prior to the states that are being hit hard. If the governor has declared an emergency has happened in my state and others that it's going to be up to the governor to give that authority. It might be given to the superintendent. You might have some districts go back.

It's just that nobody knows right now and that's what creates the panic so when you're doing your COOP, the end game for you should be should be and for me is to get the schools open and the time frames or what we have to work on but it's got to be based on a factual information and it's a process if you have a team that you don't have that team in place right now. My recommendation is start that tomorrow, whatever you call your team your planning team your distirct development committee, whatever it is put in place tomorrow and start getting some formalized cyber meetings or conference calls going. It's good for the minds it makes you feel like a part of the solution makes you feel like you're doing something and you get some work done. So this is the planning process that comes out of the RIMS guide the FEMA and RIMS (Ready Emergency Management Schools) US Department of Education. There guide for school burns the operations plans. Look we have to be compliant with their planning process and it works if you implement it. It's just a template which the guide is just a template. So formative collaborative planning teams your first step understanding the situation so important and we do not fully understand the situation our goals and objectives. We can't have a COOP plan without them and developing the plan that's on you that's on us in education. That's not on the health department, medical department, federal or state government that is a hundred percent on the school and the school district to develop that plan. If you don't develop it, you're not going to have one and you're not going to have that roadmap. There is no Wayz or GPS to get through this. You got to have that plan in place. It's got to keep being updated based on factual information. I told you I updated this presentation hour ago, and I'm not lying to you new information came in this morning a pertinent and implementation maintenance. We can't just leave that plan on a shelf somewhere to we need it.

Right now there's systems in place for downloading plans making easily reachable instead of having paper plans. There's apps are good ones or some not-so-good ones. I'm going to tell you we're using CrisisGo in a lot of places not to do a sales pitch and just going to see it works. If you're going to get an app or a system get references with to is a lot of them out there and some of them just don't work or not user-friendly and I learned that the hard way my district I'll leave it at that.

The planning process and this next slide is the only slide I took from anywhere else. This is right out of the RIMS guide. You'll see step 4, which is most important one plan development. They leave that blank because a can't tell it's not that they don't know anything. They can't tell you how to do this. This is something you have to do for yourself in your own district based on your goals and objectives and based on the incident your COOP continuity of operations plan after bio instant like an active assailant incident is going to be much different because it’s going to be localized maybe to just the one school, even though your entire district is impacted in your entire area is impacted. Your goals and objectives to get that school open are different. This is something like I said, we've never seen before and it's going to be up to us to get through this and find something in effective to get together through. It's actually planning process. But you got to take it on yourself to get it done and these are some basic assumptions.

Let you take a look at that. These are basic assumptions. You need to build into your Coop plan for every incident you're going to respond to and we're seeing every one of these you just standardized receive every one of these right now going through the covid-19. This COOP plan for pandemics worldwide threat. We're seeing miscommunications. We're seeing miscommunication sometimes in the same press conference.

And we're definitely seeing the economic and social impact. It's devastating us as a society and there's some stuff we can be doing to work through that we have to track this so you go through if you COOP plan with these assumptions up front. It's much easier to find your way to recovery point in that curve. It's not going to be easy and every incident response. There's communications problems and it's up to us to fix them lack of communication during the coop during the pandemic. I'm sorry will create that in your school community. People just don't know I will use myself as an example in the H1N1. We had a pact situation start because one principal put out not factual information didn't come out from a public information officer. And we actually had Parents rushing to the schools to take the kids out. So if you get a hundred two hundred parents showing up at your school rushing your school to get the kids out there. nothing you can do about that but stand back and watch I hope they’re taking their own kids, especially if they have masks on or bandana to protect themselves from the Airborne pathogens. You don't know who's who and that's the worst-case scenario and it's not the good feeling when that happens and that was a hundred percent based on miscommunication. Not the H1N1 virus that was on us not on medical. That's how important communications are. So your communication planning your COOP is key. And that's up to the district's up to the superintendent or private school that has school to put that communications plan in place. It's got a formalized and it's got to be redundant and it's got to be something works.

When I write these continuity operations plans, I came up with six top concerns. I had to address and every continuity of operations plan are right for everyone. I work with the school putting together and you can change. These are just minor could be more I guess anything else concerned that if I put one in there, we'll go through these concerns you have to address to get back to that return to normalcy in the first one is can we keep the schools closed for an extended period of time and still effectively move the kids. Don't know the answer to that. That's district-specific and that's up to you to answer that question within your district. I know a lot of districts doing some creative stuff. I talked to the superintendent a little district in Nevada Story County. If they're on the you're on this call give you a shout out because they're doing effective distance learning their the small districts are able to supply their students each with a Chromebook and the kids didn't have good Wi-Fi. They did some with hot spots or whatever but to do an effective learning and they're checking in with the kids.

It's what we got to look at in education. Now that can't be what we're going to do on a daily basis. I don't know how you're going to provide education remotely in your district, but you do, you know your capabilities and you know what you can do and I don't know if it'll work will have to see that monitoring grades by monitoring student achievement, but the one thing I'm not hearing anybody talk about is liability that falls on the superintendent if you stay if you certify your graduating class ready to graduate and they're not hear politicians talking about this. Is not a political statement is just that to say in this at state and federal levels were not going to hold kids responsible for absenteeism. And we're not going to make them take tests based on this covid-19. That's not a viable solution for Education. We have to test everything we do somehow test their competency level before we move them on and the liability issue and I'm talking about it. If you graduate my child from high school, and I'm sort of our life savings to send them to an Ivy League school and they flunk out first semester because they weren't ready. There's going to be some liability to fall back on you These are the discussions and have to happen at the superintendent level with your County Board of Education your state board of education and all the way up to the US Department of Education. Is there going to be a liability issue if we don't do something to make sure these kids are ready to matriculate we can track this we can track this by watching grade point averages of every grade every move forward for the next couple of years. We can go back several years. We'll see what the GPAs are if we're seeing a drop in grade point averages, if your teacher are seeing a difficulty in teaching students that we detrimentally affected the students by these closure if we have to we have safety has to come first, but if there are other things we could have done we have to learn that as we move forward and tracking that as part of your COOP plan.

Next one I come up with what I'm planning these, do we have the ability to monitor? This is going mental health is students. I'm not hearing anybody talk about this either. Depression, substance abuse, physical over the suicidal ideation. This is all byproducts of these closures. We were yanking these kids out of their peer groups or someplace they feel comfortable with and our staff and tell you I'm not prone to depression, but I got to do everything I can to keep myself from being depressed working this they took away a lot of things. I enjoy like the gym and the beach and going out to restaurants. Stuff, so we really got to work through this but what our kids don't have that available to them and are we monitoring our tip lines of our anonymous reporting lines because we're giving these kids a place to outreach, but if we're not monitoring them and not working with our Community Partners in law enforcement mental health to actually do something with these tips. We're doing our kids a disservice. I do a lot of work with them and they're scared right now. We took away their peer groups and we shut down a lot of programs like AA support services and you're scared. We're going to see a high rate of relapse. If you've got a teen in recovery, their biggest fear is relapse. They're in recovery didn't like where they were.

We have to track T overdose rates, you know those death rates. We have to track teen suicide rates and it's a hard thing to talk about but we have to in education can nobody else going to look at this. No, we have not lost a teen yet that I'm aware of to the covid-19 virus, but I know the American Mental Health Association tells me there's 3,000 teen suicide attempts daily. That's not teen suicides teen suicide attempts daily, and that scares me. So what are we doing to the kids and we have to be there during the school closures to monitor that. That's something we're not talking about. We have to it's up to us to take on these hard to talk about topics in education because it's our job and how long will you keep paying staff mentioned before most folks live paycheck to paycheck include me if we take away that ability to keep them financially solvent. We're seeing a spike like we've never seen before in unemployment which tells me a lot of people getting laid off.

How long we do this? And that is that plan in place. We'll probably get some type of reimbursement or subsidy or something in education. And this is over but how long we keep doing that if we have your average person struggles pay the bills and if we take away their financial stability or unknown we can pay you for the next two weeks, but we don't know how long this has to be pretty pre discussed pre-plan to get through these incidents. Because we can devastate the society. We're seeing that now.

Most potent education industry can't work from home. Your teachers typically can't work from home. Unless you have those systems in place where they can remote teach one thing to keep in mind as you're going through this and you're especially in a continuity plans if you're identifying key staff that can work from home. You might want to have that out you’re your pandemic COOP plan goes into effect. If you have four people shared an office and two of them can work remotely from home effectively. You just create a social distancing in that office. So identifying those positions pre-incident. So you put that plan in place could keep you from having to shut down and have a spread of the flu bug or an epidemic in your school.

The different things track when you're going through there were not given much thought to and communications. I told you about my problem with the lack of communications. I'm not alone in that every incident you work through every drill you go through you should be identifying a communication problem because it's there we can never get good enough as communications redundant communications are an important part of your COOP plan and your pandemic response plan.

We've got some free Social Media stuff out there like Facebook the parents understand that's why kids don't use anymore we can use that to our benefit but it's got to be one-way communications only the school administrator the administrator of the website at school points field post up on that web based apps cell phones. You have to have at least three forms of communications. It should be one way communication going out and it's got to be promulgated by the superintendent or private school this school before the information goes out and that's how you eliminate a lot of that miscommunications because folks will get their news off of social media from their friends and we're not putting out and that's how a lot of the panic stuff starts.

And how are we going to how are we going to get our money back? If anyone's work with the FEMA team before you know that they are very good at what they do, but they very thorough if you're not providing documentation this these incidents have to be tracked from the start and I talked to some folks up and Howe Unified District out San Diego County by me. If you're out there you're doing a great job. They activated their Emergency Operation Center at the inception of this pandemic. The day schools started closing which was March 11th 12th, I forget which one they opened up their Emergency Operation Center and started tracking this incident because they've been there before through disaster. And since they know if the tracking is not there and if you're not going by the FEMA standards for tracking you might not get updated my only recommendation but not my only my recommendation for each school or school district is get ahold of your local emergency manager and ask them to tell you about tracking the FEMA incident for finances assignment budget code to this right now if you have them and go through the FEMA forms with the Emergency Management, they'll explain them to you. You can go to fema.gov there's a site and get the forms but they're difficult. If you have somebody explain it to you. It's not a difficult procedure. Once you understand it and then put this in place every time that incident every time there's a threat of a tornado an earthquake any kind of disaster. You can put this system into place for tracking and because if you don't have the proper documentation, you're going to miss out. I don't know what stimulus packages are coming out for schools. Nobody does yet but fema.gov is where you get the information for that.

Tracking the incident is key. We have to get paid back over losing and we are going to lose some stuff. My final concern is what do we learn from? This this is myth from education, but that's on us Emergency Management emergency services and law enforcement. We do after-action reporting from every incident and every drill. The after-action reporting for this covid-19 pandemic, my recommendations for the schools that I work with the school districts in to use track this for a minimum of two years not on a daily basis but do some kind of tracking. How are you kids doing? We lose track of kids after they graduate high school. But how are they doing? How are the grades in college? It can be done voluntary basis just to compile the data. You can do the tracking inside your school or not involuntary basis just by watching behavior and your grade point averages and the socialization your kids. You know who's having some hard times.

We cannot stop this response the day doors that open back up in the schools. Because if we do this is going to happen again the same as covid-19 could be cyclical, which is causing some people to get scared right now most viruses and pandemics are cyclical thing that prevents it is they identify being for it and we're able to vaccinate to prevent the spread again people get the vaccine. They don't get it. They don't they do get it but it doesn't go to pandemic portions. So if we're here in the fact that the cyclical yes, every flu bug is to this is the reasons the corona viruses. We haven't seen this one before so there's no treatment and no immune system for what I'm being told by experts at once you get this you can't get it again. That's also prevents the cycle from coming back. I think it's too early to know about that yet. This is what they’re telling me. I got to believe them.

So tracking it is up to us. If we drop this when the doors from the school open, we're going to continue to be a hundred percent reactive to somebody else's response in our schools. And I think this with no disrespect to any agency your operations in schools are not part of their planning process their planning process in the medical field is to defeat this virus to keep the death count low the planning process for COOP at the state and federal level might be have a lot to do with the economy getting the economy back going safety is always a concern in every organization, but nobody's going to write your plans for you because the expectation is that what I showed you started this you're doing it you're expected to do it and expect to know what to do.

And we have to work this into all of our plan and foreseeability is a civil standard for planning. We can foresee that is going to be another act of assailant attack you the school somewhere in the US or Canada. So we don't plan for that. We're negligent we can foresee is going to be another pandemic. With a hundred percent certainty going to be a pandemic or flu season next year. We foresee this if we do not plan for it and do nothing different than we did before there's a liability both civilly, morally, and ethically in the moral and ethical part worries me more about the civil part. So if we see this going to be problem and don't plan out for it that's on us not anybody else we have to take on that hard job.

I say hard it's not really if we plan for it because we required to have these required by the state and federal law that have Emergency Operations plans every school district. Every private school is required to federal law sets the guidelines and state law firms it up the state of Nevada. I do a lot of work. They have to have a video piece that are compliant with the state model plan, which is the FEMA guide. The FEMA guide for high quality School Emergency Operations plans is open source data, but it's a template. And it's nothing more than a template. It doesn't have a lot of raw information on how you get the stuff done. It just tells you what you need to be to have done a compliance to having a plan is just part of the process the start of it the beginning part. If we don't train to that plan will fail in something happens. So because we have these pandemic plans and these COOP plans written now or we will by the end of this pandemic event. We don't train on it. We will fail when it starts.

So I talked about training. It's just tabletop exercises to test in your plan through exercise important. It's not it's not a difficult thing to do. It's actually kind of fun when you plan for these things in 2011 FEMA put something together called a zombie apocalypse. I thought they're kind of out there when they did it was actually very fun drill. It taught us a lot of what we're using right now and this pandemic because our zombies are airborne the during the zombie apocalypse training we covered a lot of things were going through right now. The only thing I know up reason I know about this stuff is I'm not a genius. I just been through a lot of training that most folks don't go through. So we train for something like that. We prepare ourselves for this. So I think a zombie apocalypse is worse than a covid-19. But it's the same concept. We don't probably won't have a zombie apocalypse. But at the same time we can't go outside because there's an airborne nature.

Part of your COOP plan needs to cover this. These are the three incident priorities in every emergency incident. Right now we're in incident priority number two. We are not in the life safety mode even though there's a threat to life from the covid 19 virus. Life safety is on the walls knocking at your door the bad guys running down the hallway with a gun. That's we got to do some stuff right now in some stabilization mode is what I call. Let's take a deep breath slow down and put some thought into this. Because we don't have an immediate threat. We have a threat. It's not directing anything at this moment. It's directing anything and if we do nothing about it, so we have time to meet, we have time to prioritize, we have time to break the incident down into manageable portions, and make assignments and get this thing going. We have time to plan for the next one because if we don't do anything different on this one, we're going to be doing the same thing on the next one.

And your COOP plan needs to address these five missionaries because everything does. Everything we do in Emergency Management emergency response, whether it's school, law enforcement, and fire has to address these five mission areas and they continue throughout the incident. If we meet all five of these missionaries, we're ready. We're ready to take on everything. We cannot prevent another pandemic from happening. We can be prepared for it. And what the Emergency Management Association says FEMA is if you do all five of these you have achieved preparedness. They’re very important to work into the plan and this has been around since July of 2013 as a FEMA guide.

So we're looking to COOP, these are the four phases. We are a phase 3 right now. Phase one is forever. That's everyday need to be ready prepared. Okay, we pandemic and flu season or the only crisis response that gives us time to plan you give me six weeks to plan for something. I could probably put a pretty good plan together. We have to start working on it when we hear about it. We do not know how longer to be in Phase 3. No one does right now, but we can update this you can be updated by goals, objectives, and benchmarks for a day for a week for 30 days and is updated again as time comes through. We will be in Phase 3 in this for a long time, even if schools do open and society goes back to normal this will continue and it's the only event that I've seen like this that will continue for so long.

There's been some pretty good data gathered after school active assailant on how the kids progress throughout the years in school. What the effect was on their grades and their mental well-being. This is what we need to do with this one. The only difference with this is it's affecting the entire country not just a localized area. So the data can be collected. It's up to us. Nobody's going to do this for so if we want to make a difference in education, that's where it starts data collection and meeting with your local emergency management and local medical folks, local health department folks and see that this data is pertinent to what they do and they'll take all the data they can but this data is missing from our response. Phase 4 is where we want to get too. Reconstitution, return to normalcy. I cannot tell you what we normally get after this. You know, I was flying two weeks ago. I had allergies I sneeze and I thought they're gonna through me off the plane. That's not normal. We're afraid how long it's going to go. This is how long we have to plan our COOP plans. And I mean we have to be meeting every day on this. We just have to be planning for the future for return to normalcy.

These standardized vital functions of the COOP plan. And again, I'm going to give you all the stuff so don't get too worried about writing it all down. But continuity of learning is the biggest one that's specific to the school or school district. Devolution of authority means if the boss gets sick is the superintendent get sick and they’re running a 103 fever. Should they be making decisions right now? My answer is no but that it's up to the superintendent to order devolution of authority. Devolution just means you're handing out off to somebody else different than delegation. Devolution means the person you're handing it to has statutory authority to make the same decisions as persons are taking over for and that's got to be something that’s officiated. I recommended a board policy at least some assignments superintendent. So if I'm the superintendent and I get sick and I don't feel like I can make proper decisions and I hand that off. I got to know the person I'm handing it off to has both the authority to make those decisions and I provided them the training. So this is something that's pretty important to have in place pre-incident.

What's going to happen? All these other things vital records that's districts and schools specific your communication plans again specific to you. When we talk about acquisition of resources everything you're scared about running out of right now should be something you put on your plans for in your COOP to stock up on when we get back to a little bit of normalcy and that includes sanitary items like hand sanitizer, paper products, emergency supplies, whatever you're concerned about right now. You should make a list of in looking at ways of fund this.

One thing I'm going to talk about funding so I’m going to through this out there right now instead of later. Once a vaccine is developed for this they look for places to distribute that vaccine and they look to staff who can support that. After H1N1, the FEMA gave the County Emergency Management's ability to pay people to give them areas to use in vaccination station vaccine stations and staff to do it. Schools are a good place to do that because you're not having sick people coming to your school. You're having people come to get the vaccine. So there's an area of your school that you could identify right now because you can't mix the general public with the students, right. There's an error your school you can designate right now, that could be a good vaccination station and you have trained staff nurses or whatever that can administer the vaccine you can get reimbursed for your time and your location and use your district. We got quite a bit of money by doing that at my district and I was able to earmark that money for buying emergency disaster supplies, so it's just a matter of getting creative. The way to find out about that would be getting in touch with your local health department or your local emergency manager and say you need the interested in doing that when this starts and have them predesignated areas. It's a good way to get reimbursed in a good way to order supplies and it works.

When you're writing your COOP, the most effective way to do it is you identify these three section of the COOP but assigned each of these sections to a team. In your district development committee, safety committee, whatever it is, if everybody takes one of these sections and adapt that to your school. It comes together very easily. Trust me on this you do not want to put me in charge of number three continuity of payroll, I can't even control my own budget, but I can do the other ones. So your finance folks have that ability to address number three, which is of the utmost importance. Continuity of core operations and continuity of student learning. I'm not that good of the continuity of student learning but your educators and you got Education Services folks that can figure this out working with your IT folks to see what you can get out. Continuity of core operations someone with my background be good to plug in there and then you get that goals and objectives get me a plan written. Let's get back together in a week and let's kick this around. Let's get finalized Let's see we need to do and it's very easy when you break it down if you don't break it down is confusing. It doesn't get done. If you sign these tasks to somebody from the Education Service part. Excuse me, you will get it done.

Again, you'll get all this stuff. These are core operations are standard to every COOP. You'll see in their communications again, you know make a communication plan that's up to you to assign that to somebody with those with that expertise. You are required by law in all 50 states to have a communications plan in place within the district, with community stakeholders and parents, and with Emergency Management. That is a requirement. It should be a formalized plan. There are ways to do it. You're going to have my email address after this is over. Hit me up with any questions you have I'll give you whatever help I can give you and just remember this side see so many people grabbing templates off the internet and saying this is plan. It's not it's a template and the best template is nothing more than a guide to get you to make a new plan. You got to do this inhouse and it's got to be specific to you and if you need help it's available to you if you need guidance it's available to you. Nothing saying you can't bring someone in from the outside and consult on this with the Emergency Management background help you get it done. And once it's done, it's very easy to update in apps.

A new concept we came up with and I’m going to credit CrisisGo for this. I didn't give it much thought quickly. Well schools are closed all the roads and they could help Health Department's right now. Well schools are closed if a student or their family member gets sick. We don't know about who can we have a reporting procedure in place based on HIPPA would be voluntary not to say who's sick. We've had five students with family members exposed to this and none of them are showing positive then the students are applying that information to the health department, and I think that's a very forward-thinking a progressive idea because it's data they're not getting but again talk with your local Health Department. See if they'd be interested that I can tell you right now. There's going to be yes because I never even say no to data. They're just going to figure out a way to use it. We can be doing that right now with the reporting process. Your students are going to call in sick for remote learning but they're showing flu-like symptoms. It should be something we could use to get the schools open because if we are showing zero clusters in a school district for students. Probably not a lot of reason to keep schools closed for an extended period of time that data not getting collected. And your communications plan, I hit on that enough I won't say any more about it.

I think I skip it, let's talk about HIPPA there a little bit. It's very important to understand HIPPA and FERPA. It is very important to understand that if a student is infected or does test positive for covid-19 or any pandemic, the health department cannot release the name of that student to you because of HIPPA and you cannot release the name of the student or their siblings because of FERPA. It was your privacy act FERPA is federal education rights privacy act. So it's very important right now to get with your local health folks when they’re admitted to talk and say which information are you going to release to me? And what can I release? The answer on what you can release is nothing. The health department has an emergency exemption to HIPAA and FERPA. We do not in school districts, so if we release information on a child or staff member that does get this virus we can be held responsible for that. So it's very important policy to keep in mind. That is this. If you do not have a designated public information officer, which most school districts do not especially smaller ones. Somebody has to be trained in this that could be the only voice of the incident. A lot of times superintendent will take this on but you should have to at least two designees to help out there can only be one voice than any incident and I told you what happened in my school district when misinformation came out. Your public information officer in the school should not be releasing any information regarding the virus or the emergency incident causing the crisis that should go to the other agency. The other agency the health department emergency management should not be releasing any school specific information. You have to work together under these principles of joint information system and joint information center, and if you don't have the training you can get it. We can't get too far into what those systems are now. The important part is one voice for the school district.

What are we looking at for our next steps where we going from here working through priority number three or on page number three of the COOP told you that how we going to get there? Are we going to get the phase 4 which is reconstitution. We have to know where we're going, goals and objectives remote education can be supplied now food is a big thing in a lot of schools are giving out food to the kids. A lot of kids need our schools. That's the only time they eat a good meal. So if you're setting up food stations, you have some security concerns because you're bringing people on, you’re telling them to social distance. We also have food a lot of people might be without it. So taking into consideration how you’re going to do that?

You should be meeting with your staff involved is incident response. And right now I know it's remotely but should be constant too. Constant communication and updates puts out factual information and get ready for the opening the schools because we're going to open. Can we clean the school now? I think so. I think it's been shut down long enough where any surface contamination would be gone, but that's going to be up to a decision by the superintendent or head of school in a private school. Can we use our own folks to clean?

We're getting ready for reconstitution and continually updates the COOP. What’s it going to look like for phrase 4 reconstitution. We can't just open the door to say “Okay, it's all good now.” This is going to happen again. We have to be working on the next one. We have to think about this to we're seeing we're seeing break-ins in schools all across the country right now and close schools because people know their supplies in there and take a look at where your supplies are, where computers are, where your paper goods are, where your cleaning supplies are, and make sure they're in a secure place possible because we are seeing some burglary. People act abnormal in abnormal circumstances sometimes. And if we are going to clean the school my rule in H1N1 is we had a school where it was positive test of a student, so I brought in a trained cleaning group that was trained in Hazmat because I wanted that certification. I think we're okay to use custodial staff in schools right now. I would in my school if I was still there. We got to make sure they've got the proper protective gear which is nothing more than rubber gloves, they probably wear them anyway and the proper supplies to clean. But again, that's a decision by the superintendent, but we can get that done now or we can wait till we get a better date, but it's something we're thinking about.

If you do not maintain the incident command system in schools in your district, you're missing out. You're required to by law as of July 1, 2005 under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5. That's a HSPD5 at the bottom. You're required to work National Incident Management and incident command system into your emergency planning and response in schools and school districts. It's training that needs to be done because it helps you through the incident.

There’s a quote from a guy named, Michael Gettig, in a book called Terry bezel and he says “The school administrator does not understand the principles of incident command system. They will fail in the emergency incident.” I agree with that. You'll get through it but not as not as well as you can in The incident command system is nothing more than breaking down the incident. into manageable aspects. I can't go too far in today because I'm keeping you long enough you're ready, but I can tell you if you're going to do incident command system training and you put your pets out in front of the computer and say take FEMA 101 for schools, incident command system, they will learn absolutely nothing other than maybe a couple things they didn't know about how the fire department responded types equipment because those classes are geared towards firefighters emergency responders. If you're going to have incident command system training, it has to be a training syllabus geared directly towards schools or you’ll going to miss out.

Your superintendent is always in charge of your district. Your principal is always in charge of the school. They have to act on information given to them by other agencies. The other agencies will not tell them how to implement that and something as simple as cleaning the school. If you break this down into the incident command system into manageable tasks. Superintendent said we're going to clean the school; you get the school cleaned today. Let's break it down. The superintendent is supervising the cleaning of even small district of 8 schools. That's not going to be efficient. You have to appoint somebody to oversee that and report back to the superintendent and it should be broken down into manageable tasks here. I got it broken down three schools. So you got one person in charge of running the cleaning of three schools reporting back the superintendent, but you've also got your logistics folks to get in the cleaning supplies to whom you're planning folks and right now this applies to you so we can use your finance section is going to procure the stuff. So even something as simple as cleaning the school breaking it down into the incident command system makes it easier.

The superintendent given direction to the principal directly and then report it directly back to the principles in charge of putting that information out to the staff and I don't want to confuse you with incident command system. You don't know it. But what I will tell you is the training needs to be done and it works it works out in school involved with the other agencies to and information sharing it works well, no matter what the crisis. Because you might take advice and not going to tell you how to get it done. They're not going to tell you how to do a reunification. I can tell you how to do a selective dismissal that's got to be a school process policy and procedure, but you have to have the information coming in.

That's the plan is where the fun part comes and tabletop exercises. You can make it as fun as you want. Most training. I've seen in the last 10 years 11 years have been geared towards active assailant and I told you that put together tabletop training that would bring in the principles you see in right now news covid-19 together if you want to do a zombie apocalypse. It's pretty fun thing. But you get these same concepts in there. If you need help putting together a tabletop exercise hit me up, I probably got something you can use already. And I'll help you through it. If you're not doing tabletop exercises, you will learn more in the tabletop exercise then you will from this hour presentation doing right now because all you're doing listen, hopefully you still listen to me talk and not actually do it and that's how you test the plan when you test the plan you have to adapt the plan.

So what are we going to do is bring this together. What are we going to do moving forward how we get to the return to normalcy told you some of the stuff that I'm looking at? I can't tell anybody what to do. I can make recommendations. I'm not in the education system anymore. In my director's position, I would have consulted trainer. I write plans and I train people on them, but see a lot, I see a lot as I go through the US and Canada talk a lot of people and see some good stuff being done and I see a lot of people are confused and if you're confused you don't get it done. It needs help. This is on us, I told you that. Develop an effective plan. It's the way to get through this.

Reconstitution return to normalcy is going to take some time we cannot be fooled into thinking that because the schools are open and restaurants are opening go back to bars and the beaching and this is over it's going to happen again. And if we have this response when we don't really have to do it that's on us. Break out your plan. I told you that as soon as it happens, we can practice social distancing everyday just last thread and desks out if you can move a classroom outside for the day when it's when it's look like some flu season. I know it's tough if you live in a cold climate. You can't go outside in December because you would get the kids sick if you would but if you look a little warmer climate, you can move classroom outside and spread them out if we can limit use the playground equipment during the flu season, we can limit usage gym equipment for your sports teams during the flu season or wipe everything down buy those antiseptic wipes. Playground equipment’s dirty, if your custodial staff not wiping them down every day, which is probably not there's some there's some germs live on that stuff. We can do different stuff with their little kids, other than have them use playground equipment that's some good stuff to do.

You're only limited by your thought process. If you let your brain get into some modules behavior and just see where we can go with this thing. It's not even being fun. You're going to have some good ideas coming together Educators are the most brilliant critical thinkers I've ever met in my career. I tell my slot friends you give me a team full of Educators and tabletop exercise and two hours of training with them will kick your butt in the exercise because they know how to critically think. Where law enforcement and military lot of times, we're trained to a certain task. My administrative assistant in my office was one of the best people I've ever saw at multitasking. So putting those type of people on your emergency teams on your planning teams. That know how to multitask go out of think in the abstract really works well. It doesn't matter what your day job is when your emergency planning committee. It's how you can react.

The references I put out there for you. I'll also include title of a couple of books. I wrote about this stuff just like give myself a sales pitch when I do the handout and I want to put them up here because I'm not selling anything. I will tell you about a conference we're having we had to cancel all our workshop here in a few months because of the covid-19. But so far it is still on. I will tell you covid-19 and pandemic response is going to be a big topic in some of the presenters on bring it in for this the information it is our Institute website. If you go to that website, we put up a lot of good free information blogs to if you have a blog or some information that you would like on that website, you'll have my contact information and manage to send it to me. I love to hear about the good and the bad. If you have something that’s working for you, let me here it because I'll share with everybody. Just like I shared Story County and Poway today. They're doing some good stuff. You get all those folks go to the district website find out what's going on. If you got stuff that works. Let's share it. We're all in this together there are no geographical lines in education safety. If you got something is not working. We can fix that if we if we if we deal with it. We just put it away and don't pay any attention to it.

We give this back over to Chris from CrisisGo here in the second. But if you take down this website, that's my business website. That's where the handouts will be. I think it should be up there by tomorrow morning and its password protected because we don't want just anybody grabbing this but if your on this webinar we care, so I'm going to give you the full handouts and that's the password, covid-19 forward slash survivor because we are we all. And all this information will be there and if you get that you'll have my information here in a second. So Chris I know I went five minutes longer and I said I was on a roll but it's all yours. I'll come back into my final by a few done.

Hey Jeff. Thanks for the great presentation. Hey, good afternoon. I'm Jim Spicuzza, I'm one of the cofounders of CrisisGo and I'm in charge of customer service, implementation, and training and I want to thank all of you for attending.

Over the last seven years, our team has worked with organizations across the country on safety technology to improve prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery, but in January when we learned about the coronavirus and that it was threatening to US, we recognized that we had a new hazard that schools could not stop by door locks, discover by metal detectors, mitigate by threat assessments ,or other current safety systems already in place. You know as Jeff mentioned CrisisGo currently supports thousands of schools around the country with their continuity of operation plans multiple ways by keeping stakeholders connected either on-site or off-site, providing emergency communication, and much more.

Today, we're in the process of rolling out a facility audit tool that can be used to help record that deep cleaning time and materials that you're going to use to clean your schools. That could be helpful in getting reimbursed by FEMA. And over the last five weeks we have had our team working tirelessly to develop a new data collection and analytics tool that will help schools understand the health status of students and staff in preparation for returning back to school and hopefully help you continue to reduce the transmission of the virus in your community. So as we follow up with the slides, recordings, and other assets from this webinar, we will provide additional information about these resources and can help your districts and schools respond to the pandemic. Now, I want to thank you so much for attending today.

Thank you Jim.

Thank you Jim. Thank you Jeff as well, Greg here again, and we'll just move right into the QA. So we've got our first question is we have some plans but still feel like we're building the plane while in flight. Are there any suggestions on how to manage now?

Good comparison building the plane while it's in flight because we don't know where we're heading yet. But yeah, the plan right now is based on your goals and objectives and the timeframe. So if you're worried about what you do what you should be doing today write down those concerns in a timeframe for addressing them. So what we should be doing right now is really kind of ambiguous because the information not there, but if I had to 500 schools right now where I'd be considering is breaking out assignments, you're my contact with the county or state Board of Education or Education Office, whatever you're doing it. I want you to liaise with them and I want daily updates on where this is going. That's one person to ask you are in charge of Maintenance facilities. I want a plan together on how to get these schools cleaned. What do we have enough stuff on hand? And what's our time frame for doing it? You are education assistant superintendent. I want to know what's going on with remote learning and break it down. Just go task by task and break. It down like that and come up with what you need to do. How you long need to do it and update that daily. And that's the only way to work through. This is no Magic Bullet Silver Bullet or whatever they want to call it to get us through this. It’s going to be up to us. But that's a very effective way of building your plan. Now once that's in place to get through this your airplanes going to ready to fly next time this hits we might still have to update it. But that that plans going to be in place. I have never in 38 years seen an incident like this. So I'm building my plans day by day with the districts I’m working with and that's all I'm doing. These are the tasks. You need to accomplish today. We have no control over when the schools are going to open in any state where the governor is in is holding the stick on that none whatsoever. But we do have control on our communications those offices so we can update our goals and objectives. The schools are not threatening to us right now. The school building is not going to get a sick. It's a matter of just getting it back open inside and the biggest thing I would do right now to assign somebody is monitoring student well-being, especially if you have an anonymous reporting tool, I can't hit that enough because we will lose kids to this through things other than the virus. Hope I hit that one, okay.

And next question for you, Jeff. What do you see as the role of school and district nurses in these processes?

It's huge. In any pandemic planning for continuity of operations planning because the one in the same you need someone with that health expertise involved. I do not have that. So my pandemic plans are our health department or its student nerves are not as soon as my head nurse who's in charge of that and our student services were big part of my plan and team because student services are dealing more with your mental health type issues. And we just delegate that whole concept to that team, especially when it's come into monitoring of student health and well-being provided training to the staff. You know, we can all read the syllabus and train the someone with that knowledge in charge of staff training whether it's in a 15, 20-minute video clip or whatever and then get ready for that vaccine site. I'd get your staff ready for that. It's a good way to recoup funds, but they're huge part and they should be included in the district development committee, district safety team, whatever it is and they should be consulted a representative of the nursing staff or health staff should be consulted every day on updates too.

Wonderful we have time for just one more question it is how do you keep continuity of operations top of mind after this pandemic is over?

Through training, it's the only way to do it. We tend to get very busy in schools because education is our primary focus. I will tell you every time there's an active assailant incident. I get inundated with requests from schools to provide that type of training and you see people selling products just coming out of the woodwork whether it's kevlar backpacks or kevlar doors or today's best lock in place and it's a hot topic until it's not. It's the same thing now, I don't like throwing a lot of products out there at a problem. That being said just to piggyback what you said about CrisisGo, I do market research on every product out there and I was asked to do market research on product similar CrisisGo. Without getting too far into it, I would say that's the only product I recommend to my clients. That's because they can adapt that to your specific needs. It's not communication in the box to go. So working a system like that into your emergency training. Once you have that in place, can you work that into your tabletop exercises or your plans when you're training you really can become second nature to use it. So once you get those systems in place whether using CrisisGo or another product or no product, it's up to us now to train. The only enemy the biggest enemy is a training in the school of education or time and money, but we can create that, that's on us. You’re required to train. Say you have different requirements how often you have to have drills or no requirement saying you can't train more than that. So putting together a tabletop exercise in a staff meeting. It doesn't have to be long you can do a good table top exercise in 45 minutes to an hour, especially now that we've got some time to kill with staff out if you want to put together a web based exercise that's good. Hands-on is better where you can actually sit down and group, we can't do that anymore for a while. But the training is key in keeping that on the forefront and just remembering this will happen again. I'm not a Visionary. I'm just looking at statistical data. Five pandemics for me in 12 yeas tells me we've got about 48 percent chance another one coming up in the next couple of years and it will so that's the biggest key to any area of Emergency Response whether it's earthquake, tornado, active assailant. We can't stop training for them too but that keeps them forefront. So a lot of the principles you using for continuity of operations for this pandemic and into play every emergency response, and you know, we can't take 900 question. I know that but my information’s been up there for quite a while if I get nine hundred emails and phone calls. That's a good day for me. Hit me up with any questions you might have. I answer every email and every phone call my travels limited right now some not flying anywhere, so I'll talk to you and we'll get through this together.

Thank you so much. Really appreciate you sharing your wisdom on that and that was all the time we have for questions right now, but we are going to collaborate with Jeff and make sure that all of your questions are answered. If you have any additional questions, you can email those to marketing at CrisisGo.com, and we will be sending all of the attendees a Q&A summary document to provide all the information we couldn't cover today and as I mentioned earlier will be sending out other webinar related materials in the coming days. So please look out for those. Thanks again for joining us. Stay safe and good luck out there.