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School District Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plans — United States, 2006, 2012, and 2016
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Children spend the majority of their time at school and are particularly vulnerable to the negative emotional and behavioral impacts of disasters, including anxiety, depressive symptoms, impaired social relationships, and poor school performance (1). Because of concerns about inadequate school-based emergency planning to address the unique needs of children and the adults who support them, Healthy People 2020 includes objectives to improve school preparedness, response, and recovery plans (Preparedness [PREP]-5) (2). To examine improvements over time and gaps in school preparedness plans, data from the 2006, 2012, and 2016 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) were analyzed to assess changes in the percentage of districts meeting PREP-5 objectives. Findings from these analyses indicate that districts met the PREP-5 objective for requiring schools to include post-disaster mental health services in their crisis preparedness plans for the first time in 2016. However, trend analyses did not reveal statistically significant increases from 2006 to 2016 in the percentage of districts meeting any of the PREP-5 objectives. Differences in preparedness were detected in analyses stratified by urbanicity and census region, highlighting strengths and challenges in emergency planning for schools. To promote the health and safety of faculty, staff members, children, and families, school districts are encouraged to adopt and implement policies to improve school crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plans.
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