Did you spot #REMSonTheRoad this year? Find out where we went, and how you can take advantage of similar learning opportunities!

When the summer approaches and education agencies close out one academic season to prepare for another, we love to take a moment to reflect on the number of schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education that took advantage of the free trainings we offer for education agencies and their community partners on key safety, security, and emergency management topics. Since October 2018, we have hosted more than 34 trainings and have had the pleasure of visiting many states across the nation with our Trainings by Request (TBR) program, including states that we have not visited in the past, such as Idaho, Kentucky, and North Dakota. We have also had the pleasure of partnering with several education agencies, including schools, school districts, regional agencies, and state agencies, in addition to colleges and universities, to cohost training events for their communities on topics such as School Behavioral Threat Assessments, Developing Emergency Operations Plans K-12 101, Developing Emergency Operations Plans IHE 101, and Resilience Strategies for Educators. (Visit our TBR Web page to see a full listing of our training topics.) We have learned so much from the field stakeholders about their diverse communities, their unique threats and hazards, and their lessons learned from recent emergency events.

As the school year and academic semesters are ending for most, we thought that it would be important to let you know that if you have been unable to host one of our trainings this academic year, we have lots of additional helpful resources that can support you in conducting your own training and in increasing your capacity around a specific training topic. Trainings are a vital part of your preparedness efforts.

Training attendees have noted how our resources are a helpful component to aide in connecting planning principles to real-life scenarios within their emergency preparedness program. The following includes a few comments from recent training attendees:

  • Our school just discovered these REMS trainings and are thrilled with the guidance and resources we are finding through REMS. (El Centro, California, Earthquake Preparedness for Schools, December 7, 2017)
  • Links for great resources, not reinventing the wheel. (Downey, California, Developing Emergency Operations Plans K-12 101, Train-the-Trainer, November 30, 2017)
  • The resources were most helpful because most of them, I didn’t know were available. (Donalsonville, Georgia, Resilience Strategies for Educators: Techniques for Self-Care and Peer Support, Train-the-Educator, January 31, 2019)
  • The handouts/resources that are reproducible were most helpful. (Orlando, Florida, Resilience Strategies for Educators: Techniques for Self-Care and Peer Support, Train-the-Educator, March 7, 2019)
  • The resources that REMS provides on their Website are invaluable and the emphasis that was placed on it was appreciated. It helps facilitate the process instead of recreating the wheel. (San Rafael, California, Developing Emergency Operations Plans K-12 101, Train-the-Trainer, April 11, 2019)

Here are a few actionable steps that you can take to get started and gain a basic understanding of our current training topics:

  • Develop and/or update your school or higher ed emergency operations plan … TAKE one of our online courses on the topic: https://rems.ed.gov/trainings/CoursesHome.aspx. Our online courses guide users on federally recommended information and processes for high-quality emergency operations plan development and related topics in comprehensive emergency management.
  • Understand educator resilience and develop your self-care plan … DOWNLOAD our training package on the topic: https://rems.ed.gov/TrainingPackage.aspx. Our downloadable Specialized Training Packages feature self-paced emergency management training materials to support high-quality emergency management across a range of special topics. These materials may be used to train your colleagues or to brush up on your own knowledge regarding special topics in school emergency preparedness.
  • Learn the eight common elements of an effective threat assessment … watch THIS Webinar: https://rems.ed.gov/ThreatAssessmentTeam2016Webinar.aspx. Presenters in this Webinar discussed eight common elements of an effective threat assessment, such as they are performed by a trained, multidisciplinary team and are continually evaluated and adjusted, if needed.
  • Find out where to start with your earthquake emergency planning efforts RIGHT NOW … check out our ShakeOut Web page: https://rems.ed.gov/Shakeout.aspx. This Web page contains helpful resources related to school earthquake preparedness.
  • Conduct your own site assessments … download our FREE mobile application (app), SITE ASSESS: https://rems.ed.gov/SITEASSESS.aspx. This secure mobile app, designed specifically for education agencies, allows personnel to walk around buildings and grounds and examine their safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness.

Are you looking for a specific resource on a specific topic? You can find specific resources from the REMS TA Center, in addition to resources from our Federal partners, by visiting our Topic-Specific Resources Web page: https://www.rems.ed.gov/ResourcesToSupportEMP.aspx.

Also, use #REMSonTheRoad on Twitter to learn more about how we’ve supported education agencies across the nation with training on key topics in school and higher ed emergency preparedness. You can also share your feedback, post state-based resources, and/or ask follow-up questions about our Trainings by Request. Tag @remstacenter, too!