The following documents are provided by various Federal Government Resources. Your group is welcome to open any of these documents and use them from here, or your group can visit the websites listed below and download from there, whichever you prefer.

The Federal level of government has multiple agencies and organizations involved in providing assistance to help ensure we have safe schools across the country. We've listed the home page links and and a few other links to guidance documents specific to planning for safe schools for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Homeland Security. These three agencies are probably the most relevant to helping your group. But, please don't let your search for help and guidance end there.


Emergency management agencies and personnel involvement in this type of effort is absolutely critical to the success of the project. There are emergency management agencies at ALL levels of government standing ready to help. They are the ones with contact information in the response community especially, and the technical expertise to help ensure your group's success. Include them on your team because they are invaluable resources.

The following is a "baseline" list of Independent Study courses available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency we strongly encourage you and members of your group to complete prior to engaging in any emergency management type activities. We believe the more you know, the easier it will be to work with emergency managers, first responders, and even school administrators and school staff.

We've provided a direct link to the page where each training course is offered to save you the time and effort of trying to find it on the FEMA website. We still encourage you to browse their site, especially the Independent Study courses, as this agency has a lot to offer to get you started in Emergency Management and keep you and your group going.

IS-1: Emergency Manager: An Orientation to the Position

IS-317 Introduction to CERT

IS-100.SCa Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools

IS-362.a Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools

IS-700.a NIMS An Introduction

FEMA also has the following guidance documents available:

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Planning Guide.pdf
Hazard Mitigation Planning How To Guide.pdf
NHMP Building a Planning Team.pdf
NIMS Implementation Activities for Schools.pdf

Your group may be able to use any or all of these documents to get started. While some of them are geared specifically toward schools, others are not, but the concepts they promote can be adapted to your unique situations.


The Department of Education also has planning guidance  available to schools and communities. Their guide on school safety planning is the Complete Crisis Planning Guide for Schools and Communities.

Crisis Planning Dept of Educ.pdf


The Department of Homeland Security has a web page devoted to school safety in three separate areas; grant funding, planning and training, and resources. The direct link to that page is:

Other guidance documents your group may find useful include:

Crisis Response Box Guide.pdf
Denver Public Schools Emergency Management Form for Schools.pdf
Emergency Preparedness and Checklists for Schools Delaware.pdf
Emergency Response for Schools Checklist.pdf
McGruff Safe Schools Security Toolkit.pdf
School Preparedness Guidelines-Utah.pdf

Again, none of these guidance documents should be viewed as the "only" one for your group to use or even to look at. They ALL have useful information, almost all of which will ultimately need to be adapted or modified to fit the individual situation. The list of documents will keep growing as we receive more input from you.