FAQ

Emergency Preparedness
Frequently Asked Questions

           
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1. Does CCPS have a crisis plan in place?
Each school has a crisis team and plan that is in the process of being regularly practiced with staff. Crisis plans address students in transportable classrooms. Central Office has a crisis team to support the schools. Both schools and Central Office are prepared in times of homeland emergency to work under the direction of the Calvert County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
2. What is the EOC?
The Emergency Operations Center is activated during times of emergency. Its task is to coordinate the emergency measures during a crisis. Its membership is made up of representatives from various agencies across Calvert County. Some of the members include County Administration, CCPS, County Maintenance, EM Management, Dept. of Social Services, Dept. of Public Works, Environmental Health, Fire-Rescue-EMS, General Services, Health Dept., IT Tech Support, MSP, NRP, Public Information Officers, Public Safety, Red Cross, Transportation, Sheriff's Office, State Police.
3. May I see the plan for my child's school?
For security reasons, schools will not release specifics or copies of their plan. You are welcome to ask the principal about the plan. All of the schools have plans for many different emergencies and the specifics of the plan differ based on each incident that activates the plan.
4. Does the school system have a plan for evacuation of students?
In the event that a countywide evacuation should be needed, the entire process would be handled by local safety and law enforcement agencies under the direction of the EOC. Reunification sites would be designated by the EOC. Reunification sites are already designated for each school in the event of an evacuation from one school site to another. Reunification sites for such a partial evacuation will be announced on major radio and TV stations (see FAQ #11 for a list). The best and most current guidance from agencies advising our system is that there is little, if any, chance that we would be evacuating the entire county.
5. What will happen to students in the schools in times of emergency?
One of three things will occur for students and families. First, students may be dismissed on our regular or an early dismissal schedule. The second thing that may happen is that schools may experience a lockdown. In a lockdown, classes may continue with all outside activities discontinued; all doors/windows locked and individual classrooms secured. If the situation warrants, delivery of students to their homes during a lockdown will have buses running as usual or on early release. Dismissal will be called in the same manner currently used for inclement weather. Parents may pick up students prior to the bus dismissal or allow students to ride the bus home. The third thing that might happen in times of emergency is a shelter in place for students. A shelter in place is a short term measure used to temporarily separate people from a hazardous outdoor environment. Shelter in place occurs when the EOC directs the school system to shelter in place because it is dangerous for parents to travel to the school to pick up students or the lives of persons in the school would be jeopardized in opening the outside school doors. Staff has emergency procedures to secure the building's ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems in the event that the situation requires them to do so.
6. May I pick up my child during a local or national emergency?
Parents are allowed to pick up children unless public safety officials have declared a shelter in place or the school is otherwise restricted by those officials. If an incident is at the school, we ask that you not go directly to the school. Wait for instructions regarding parent-student reunification. School staff is prepared to maintain as safe and normal an environment as possible within the school. School is not automatically cancelled in emergency situations. Indeed, school may be the safest place for children to be during some emergency conditions.
7. Who can pick up a child at the school in the event of an emergency?
Students are released to parents or other individuals listed on the student's emergency form through each school's Orderly Dismissal Plan. Please keep in mind that no student is released to any individual who is not specifically listed on the emergency form including an older sibling. All adults must show photo I.D. when picking up a student.
8. Can anyone predict how long the schools might need to shelter students in place?
While no one can predict how long a shelter in place may be necessary, Homeland Security sources believe that a shelter in place would probably be measured in hours, not days. Any designation of the school as a Mass Care Facility would occur at the direction and management of the EOC/Red Cross. During a shelter in place the school may isolate students and staff from danger in areas designated for safety, or may keep students and staff in classrooms, whatever is safer in that emergency situation. School personnel will secure building entrances, insuring that no one leaves or enters the building.

While parents may be concerned that during a shelter in place they may not be able to pick up their children and may be separated from them during a hazardous time, it is not the intent of the school system to keep children from parents. CCPS staff will be taking the proper action to keep children safe until parents are given an all-clear from the EOC to pick them up.
9. In a shelter in place, will schools have sufficient food and water for students?
School and Central Office crisis plans address this issue. Following directions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the EOC, we have been advised that long-term supplies will not be necessary. Stockpiling of supplies at each building for each person has not been recommended. Food for sustenance is available at every school for the short-term interval that most agencies are advising as likely. Liquids in the form of milk, juices and other hydrating liquids are available as well. Plans to sustain the water supply even in times of electrical failure are in place, including a supplementary supply of water in each school building.
10. What about my child's medication during a shelter in place?
Schools will accept and store additional medication for students if parents provide the medication in compliance with the school system's procedures for doing so. Parents are asked to contact their school's nurse prior to taking any medications to the school.
11. What can I do to assist my child's school?
You can help by giving the most accurate, up-to-date health and emergency information to your child's school office. You can create a family emergency plan so that your child is comfortable in knowing what s/he should do in a number of different situations. In times of emergency, a variety of media will be used to provide information. You can put your name on the list serve at www.calvertnet.k12.md.us to receive the most current information regarding schools. You can tune into the following major radio and television stations:
  • WKIK at 1560 AM in LaPlata
  • WKIK at 102.9 FM in California
  • WMDM at 97.7 FM in Lexington Park
  • WPTX at 1690 AM in Lexington Park
  • WSMD at 98.3 FM in Mechanicsville
  • WWZZ at 104.1 FM in LaPlata

The school system also uses the regional stations below for information dissemination:
  • WTOP
  • NBCTV 4
  • FOX 45 WBFF
  • WJLA TV 7
  • WUSA TV 9
  • WBAL TV 11
  • AP
  • WBAL RADIO 11
  • WPTX/WMDM


 

 

 



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