Training, Drilling, and Exercising Toolkit

2.0 Drilling in Schools

The section will present guidance and recommended practices for conducting effective emergency drills in schools. It describes the purpose of a good drill program, offers guidance for scheduling and conducting drills, and provides job-aids that schools can use to create drills as well as to evaluate, track, and document drills each school year.

Drills are a set of tools that campus administrators can use to ensure that plans and procedures are tailored to the unique needs of students and staff and to the hazards to which the campus most likely is exposed. While drills are an important part of school safety and security, they are not a one-stop solution to preparedness. Drills are only as valuable as the willingness of campus administrators to seek feedback from staff and students and to share lessons learned with staff and stakeholders both at the campus and district levels.

Lessons learned from drills should be used to update plans and procedures. They also should be used as the first step in a larger preparedness process that includes tabletop and functional exercises designed to improve coordination, clarify roles and responsibilities, and to manage expectations. Drills are a first and important step in keeping schools safe and secure, they are filled with teachable moments and they are as important to schools as reading, writing and arithmetic. So, let's get started.