Emergency procedures

When students are able to respond appropriately to emergency procedures, anxiety is reduced, independence is fostered and personal safety is ensured.

Choose the statement below that best describes how this student participates in emergency procedures.
This will help you identify a starting point for selecting strategies (e.g., 1=specialized, 2=targeted, 3=universal).

  • 1. Requires one-to-one assistance to ensure student safety during emergency procedures or poses a safety threat to self and/or others during emergency procedures
  • 2. Requires frequent (e.g., more than three per procedure) adult reminders and redirection to demonstrate and maintain appropriate behaviour during emergency procedures
  • 3. May require occasional (e.g., less than twice per procedure) reminders to demonstrate appropriate behaviour during emergency procedures, such as fire drills, lockdown practices or emergency evacuations

Universal Supports benefit all students

  • Work collaboratively with school staff to ensure that there is a school-wide plan for emergency procedures that includes:
    • identification of potential emergency procedures (e.g., fire drills, evacuations, early dismissals for weather conditions, security lockdowns)
    • effective and manageable routines
    • clear roles and responsibilities for staff members and students
    • plans for communicating these expectations to staff and students and opportunities to model and practise routines.
  • Teach, practise and review routines for various types of emergencies at beginning of school year and revisit, at regular intervals, throughout the school year.
  • Post visual reminders for behaviour expectations during emergency procedures. When appropriate, collaborate with students to develop these visual reminders.
  • Use descriptive feedback to acknowledge positive behaviour demonstrated by individuals, groups of students and/or the class as a whole when practising emergency procedures.

Targeted Supports benefit students with more specific needs

  • Pair individual students with positive peers who can serve as role models and offer support during emergency procedures.
  • Provide proximity by positioning yourself nearby individual students who may require support during emergency procedures.
  • For students who require more structure and reassurance, develop and review social stories about specific emergency procedures.
  • Use role-play with individual students or small groups of students who may require explicit modelling and extended practice of routines related to emergency procedures.

Specialized Supports benefit the small number of students with sensory, physical, cognitive or behavioural needs that require intensive, individualized interventions

  • In exceptional cases, an individual student may need 1:1 adult support to facilitate participation in practice of emergency procedures and to ensure student safety in the event of an actual emergency. Ensure the adult who has this role is clearly identified and communicated to school staff, including substitute teachers. A back-up adult should also be identified.