News & Updates from the REMS TA Center, Spring 2015

Looping EOP Planning into Summer and Fall Professional Development Activities

Since many of you are planning staff professional development opportunities for summer and early fall, it’s a perfect time to consider the REMS TA Center’s FREE Trainings by Request (TBRs) for developing or enhancing your school’s emergency operations plan (EOP). We offer a variety of these trainings for delivery on-site at your school, school district, or institution of higher education (IHE). For each training, we will provide training materials, as well as one or more expert trainers and REMS TA Center staff support for the event hosted at your site. All of these services are provided at no cost to the school, school district, or IHE.

Our Train-the-Educator (TtE) and Train-the-Trainer (TtT) TBR formats provide opportunities to refresh your skills, increase staff preparedness, and train future trainers who will serve on your school’s emergency planning team. We are available to provide on-site training on the following introductory topics:

We also offer on-site training on the following advanced topics:

Learn more by visiting our Trainings by Request web page.

America’s PrepareAthon! | Be Smart | Take Part | Prepare

Have you heard about America's PrepareAthon! or National PrepareAthon! Day? America’s PrepareAthon! is a White House campaign sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that is aimed at increasing emergency preparedness and resilience throughout the nation. Through this campaign, individuals, schools, school districts, state education agencies, IHEs, and community partners are encouraged to prepare for a number of weather hazards, including but not limited to, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.

In support of this year’s first National PrepareAthon! Day, to be held on April 30, the REMS TA Center encourages all schools and school districts to join our Community of Practice (CoP) and visit the National PrepareAthon! Day K-12 Public Forum to share what you are doing to prepare for any of the natural hazards listed below. You can also share your plans for this year’s second National PrepareAthon! Day, to be held on September 30.

Visit the REMS TA Center America’s PrepareAthon! web page to learn how you can register your 2015 preparedness activities with FEMA:

Upcoming Webinars

Practitioner Insights on EOP ASSIST

Since the release of EOP ASSIST in January 2015, nearly 200 practitioners have registered to use this free school emergency planning software application. At this time, the REMS TA Center welcomes any feedback from practitioners who have begun to use this tool to develop a school EOP. To share your insights on EOP ASSIST, please contact the REMS TA Center at or at our toll-free number, 1-855-781-REMS (7367).

In addition, the REMS TA Center will be providing a series of virtual trainings in the coming months to provide practitioners with TA and training on EOP ASSIST. Please stay tuned for announcements regarding these upcoming virtual trainings.

For more information on EOP ASSIST, please visit:

NEW Resources Released

Since December 2014, the REMS TA center has developed and released the following resources for the field.

Building Blocks to School Safety—A Toolkit for Schools and Districts for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans. This Toolkit offers a compendium of key resources for practitioners in school emergency management who are interested in gaining an understanding of the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide). It also provides recommendations for creating high-quality school EOPs, as well as where to access supplementary resources that can support planning efforts.



REMS TA Center Informational Resources, by Topic. This resource document features an overview of REMS TA Center resources for the K-12 population, by topic, including publications, webinars, online courses, trainings by request, specialized training packages, interactive tools, and website features. The topics represent key areas of importance in school emergency management planning, and are organized based on the following main categories: planning resources, resources on functions, and resources on threats and hazards.



Supporting Continuity of Teaching and Learning During an Emergency. Continuity of learning is the continuation of education in the event of a prolonged school closure or student absence. This resource offers considerations, information, and resources that can support schools and districts as they make plans for continuity of learning in the event of a school closure or student absence.



NEW Web Banners and Email Signatures

The REMS TA Center has created web banners and email signature banners for use by the field to help connect practitioners to some of our key resource offerings. They can be displayed on your website or email signature to share EOP ASSIST, the CoP, and the Guides with practitioners in the field, K-12 schools, state education agencies, community partners, and IHEs. Post the badges to your website and link them back to our site ( for more information on the following:

  • EOP ASSIST, the REMS TA Center’s free, web-accessible emergency operations planning software that helps school administrators and emergency management personnel create or revise their school EOPs.
  • The REMS TA Center CoP, a virtual space for representatives from schools, school districts, IHEs, and their community partners to collaborate on special projects, share news and resources, discuss trends and ideas, and learn from the experiences of others in the field.
  • The School Guide and the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE Guide) align and build upon years of emergency planning work by the Federal government and are the first joint product of the U.S. Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Justice on this critical topic.

Visit our Creative Materials Page to learn how sharing these tools can benefit the field! When you do link to the REMS TA Center site, please send an email to to let us know. We appreciate your dedication to the field!

REMS TA Center CoP | A Snapshot of Recent Posts and Threads

The CoP is bursting at the seams with new members and topics every day! With more than 350 members, it is a great place to exchange ideas and resources with other emergency management practitioners. Forums and threads about many different emergency management planning topics have already been created, but if a thread specific to your needs or interests hasn’t already been developed, you may start a new thread and/or request that we create a new forum. Join or start a conversation today!

Below is a listing of current topics trending in the CoP:

K-12 Public Forums

  • Share Your Online Training Resources! Do you have a state-based resource you'd like to share with other states or community members? Post it here!
  • Share EOP Sections with Your Colleagues. Share a high-quality section of your school EOP and see examples of good work produced by your colleagues.
  • Developing High-Quality EOPs for Schools. K-12 administrators, teachers, school counselors, nurses, SROs, community partners, and other emergency planning team members can use this forum to discuss success stories around creating and revising EOPs.

IHE Public Forums

  • Using Social Media. There are both benefits and challenges associated with employing social media technologies in higher ed emergency management. Join the conversation by discussing some you've faced.
  • Understanding Your Situation—Assessments that Work. Effective planning depends on analysis of the threats and hazards an IHE faces. This is typically performed through a threat and hazard identification and risk assessment process. Discuss types and sources of information critical to your IHE.
  • Exercises and Drills—Planning and Practice. Everyone involved in the plan needs to know their roles and responsibilities before, during, and after an emergency.

To join the growing community, visit and then click Join at the bottom of the page. After joining, you will be prompted through the steps to create a profile and accept the community rules. If you have any questions or issues accessing the CoP, please contact the TA Center at

HEADS UP! NEW Home Page, NEW Look, Same Quality Services Coming Soon!

Our mission is to serve you, and our website is one of the largest tools we use to meet that goal. In many cases it’s our first interaction with the field. We spent the last year analyzing the way you’ve navigated our site and have paid close attention to the feedback you’ve provided and the resources you’ve requested. We are incorporating that research, along with the latest best practices in web design and information architecture, to enhance our new home page, redesign the at-a-glance sections of the School Guide and IHE Guide, and to reframe the way you can access resources. We can’t wait to share it with you in the coming months!

Quick Links

Stay tuned for our next newsletter this summer, which will feature some tips for back to school planning! In the meantime, if you have a technical assistance need or question, you are always welcome to contact us using the information below.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact the REMS TA Center at 1-855-781-REMS [7367] or via email at