Developing and Implementing a Safety Plan


Are program staff clear on roles and expectations during various emergencies? Are program students and families aware of and ready to implement set safety procedures? This Click & Go will help program directors, site coordinators and other program leadership implement existing organizational safety plans through protocols, practices and trainings.



To enable participants to:

  • Implement an existing safety plan.
  • Work with the program's host organization to modify an existing safety plan to align with program logistics.
  • Develop a plan to implement training and practice safety procedures.
  • Implement practice drills with students and families in mind.

Zip Link (82 MB) Select paperclip to download the resources for this Click & Go!


Mini Lesson: Developing and Implementing a Safety Plan

What is Safety Planning?

In this podcast, learn about building your program’s capacity to respond effectively to emergencies. [Download Transcript]

Review and Adapt Your Host Organization’s Safety Plan

In this podcast, 21st CCLC program directors can learn a process for ensuring adherence to the host organization’s safety plan while adapting the plan to program needs. [Download Transcript]

Developing and Implementing a Safety Training Plan

This podcast presents a process for developing and implementing a safety training plan. [Download Transcript]

Practice with Sensitivity

This podcast provides strategies for implementing your safety plan and safety training plan in ways that are sensitive to the emotional and mental health needs of children, staff and families. [Download Transcript]

REMS: Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools 

Developed for the U.S. Department of Education, REMS offers resources, tools and trainings for schools, school districts, higher education institutions and their community partners in the areas of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. LINK

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA coordinates the Federal Governments role in preparing, preventing, and mitigating disasters, both natural and man-made. The National Preparedness Resource Library houses frameworks and sample plans to assist in the development of local planning. The site also includes contact information for agencies specializing in specific disasters such as earthquakes. LINK

FEMA: List of Emergency Management Agencies

A complete list of Emergency Management Agencies by state. LINK

American Red Cross

Provides immediate disaster needs for individuals, families, and communities. Provides clean water, safe shelter and hot meals for all disasters big and small. LINK

Center for Safe Schools at the Center for Schools and Communities

Technical assistance, tools, and resources are available for developing and implementing comprehensive safety plans. LINK

National Association of School Psychologists: School Safety & Crisis

Resources designed for educators to promote the ability of children and youth to cope with traumatic or unsettling events. LINK


Every state has requirements about which drills to practice and the frequency at which they should be conducted. Be sure to follow the legal requirements of your state. Other drills to consider including are Lockdowns, Lockouts, Shelter in Place, and Controlled Evacuation. 

Yes, all program staff and participants should understand their specific roles in the event of an emergency and be cross trained in each other’s responsibilities. Parents should also be made aware of emergency safety procedures and guidelines.

Having a detailed and accurately implemented security plan is a great first step. Consider erecting simple physical barriers between community and program space during program hours. Assign and label specific bathrooms as program only spaces. And continue to work with the host organization to refine security practices such as all individuals signing in and out of the facility.

Weather and medical emergencies are much more common than intruders with intent to harm. Collaborate with your host organization and local first responders to consider and address the hazards most common to your location and region.

Before an event, it is important to clearly communicate your existing emergency response plans to all organization stakeholders. During an event, communicate the specific type of emergency, potentially dangerous areas to avoid, and protective measures to be taken. This information should be updated regularly during the event. After the event, identify any casualties and account for all children, personnel, guests, and visitors for reunification. Furthermore, the host organization’s communication plan should include a process for sharing resumption of operations.

No, it’s not possible to have a different plan for every emergency or variation of that emergency. However, if the safety plan is strategic, collaborative, and practiced, then it should be adaptable to multiple emergency situations. Professional development for staff is especially important in building their capacity to make appropriate decisions during an emergency.

It’s important to include families and community members in the development and practice of your safety plan; thus, ensuring a comprehensive communication plan which is sensitive to multiple stakeholders. Families and community members should also know their roles in the event they are on-site during an emergency or need to locate their children.

Begin the program year by introducing students to the why and what of safety. Be clear about the purpose of and expectations around safety practices. Including students in the planning of safety drills is a great way for easing anxiety around the topic.