Anderson Co., And Schools Developing Countywide Disaster Plan

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School leaders across Anderson County’s Five districts are working to create a countywide disaster plan covering everything from natural disasters, terrorist attacks and active shooter situations.

Leaders from all five Districts in Anderson County met with Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency response this week to begin ramping up safety plans. The process is part of a program currently being tested by FEMA says Anderson County Emergency Services Director Taylor Jones.

Wednesday’s meeting looked at Anderson School District 4’s current safety plan. Through this process the each district’s plan will be evaluated and streamlined so that in an emergency, responders will only need to know the plan for the county instead of five separate protocols.

Schools will also be developing a social media process so only the most accurate information is posted as soon as it is available.

“The best aid we can have is communication with our students with our families,” says Anderson School District 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson.

“With all the social media, an incident happens and it’s out there in the community sometimes before we get the information,” says Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper,”People at school will start texting their friends and Facebooking and those kinds of things so we need to learn how to manage that.”

Specially designed drop bags will be developed for all the schools. In the bags there will be extra bandages and tourniquets. More teachers will be trained in first aid.

As this plan is developed parents will be brought into the process. The county hopes to train parents how to respond too, so there isn’t a rush of people heading to the site of an emergency.

“The natural instinct is to want to go to your child to make sure they’re safe – that’s part of parenting,” says Anderson County 911 Director Steven McDade.

“Parents start showing up at the school and the emergency responders can’t get to the school, than obviously that creates issues,” Sheriff Skipper says.

Mental health is also being looked at. The County wants to create a mental health response portion that responds immediately so that the healing process can begin quickly.

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