Oakland County assists schools with emergency drill law

Oakland County is helping schools comply with a new law that requires them to be far more engaged in conducting and reporting emergency drills, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said today. The county’s Homeland Security Division has launched an online portal for Oakland County schools to report their emergency drill activities. Homeland Security also will provide training to school administrators and public safety providers about their responsibilities under the new law.

“Oakland County is utilizing its know-how to assist our schools with meeting the requirements of the new emergency drill law,” Patterson said. “This collaboration will play a key part in conforming to the new standards.” The new law mandates that Michigan schools file their schedule of emergency drills for the school year with their county emergency manager by Sept. 15.

Plus, schools must post information on their websites about a completed safety drill within 30 days of an exercise.

Local public safety agencies – which will have access to the online reporting portal – may opt to participate in school emergency drills. These drills help enhance preparedness if there is a fire, severe weather, or school lockdown against an intruder.

“Practicing what to do in an emergency helps save lives during a real-life event,” said Ted Quisenberry, manager of Oakland County Homeland Security Division. “The county’s homeland security staff will support our schools to ensure they conduct their drills on schedule.”

The new law requires schools to perform 10 emergency drills a year: five fire drills (three before Dec. 1), three lockdown drills, and two severe weather drills (one in March before severe weather season). Schools cannot hold more than one drill a day. At least one drill must occur when students are not in a controlled classroom setting.

In addition, schools shall adopt and implement a cardiac emergency response plan, which includes placement of a portable defibrillator and CPR training for staff in high schools. The new law took effect July 1.

For more information on emergency preparedness, go to www.oakgov.com/homelandsecurity or contact the Homeland Security Division at (248) 858-5300.