SAFER SCHOOLS NEWS-VOL. 2
WHO GOES WHERE?
TRAFFIC CONTROL IN A CRISIS
Volume 2 – Page 3
Frequently address the media and parents. These two groups should be kept separated as discussed below.
VEHICLE/ PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC:
Again, prior planning prevents chaos. Know where different groups should go and have materials on hand to direct them there. When the Police first arrive, they will be focused on handling the crisis event. They will take over traffic control as soon as there are enough officers present to handle both situations. Before that happens, a traffic plan should already be in place. Key elements of the traffic control plan are:
- RESTRICT ACCESS
- KEEP PRIMARY ARTERIES OPEN
- SEGREGATE THE TRAFFIC
Restricting access is easier on a fenced campus. However, even when a fence is present, someone must be designated in advance to secure the access gates. One such school had seven gates. Everyone said during a crisis that SOMEONE should close the gates. The end result of this thinking was that the gates remained open and traffic jams occurred as parents and on-lookers tried to get to or away from the school. That school now has a plan, which includes designated personnel who are responsible for securing specific gates as soon as a crisis plan is implemented. The plan was coordinated with Emergency Services so that responders will know what gates to use in a crisis. When no fence is present, barricades and caution tape can be used. However, they must be on hand with a diagram and a priority order for setting them up.
Identification badges assist in restricting access. Many schools now require badges of all staff at all time. Others have badges on hand to be used only during a crisis. The Principal will know his/her staff, but it will greatly help the Police and other emergency crews to be able to identify authorized people quickly.
The primary routes that emergency vehicles will use to enter and exit the campus must be held open. It is quite common for concerned people, who mean well, to park on major roads and clog those arteries. A designated person should go to the area of greatest concern and insure that traffic lanes are kept open until he/she is relieved by law enforcement. One of the best methods of keeping these routes open is to provide the traffic with the location where they need to be.
Segregation of traffic will ease the burden of both vehicular and communications traffic. There are four major groups to deal with:
- Emergency Crews
- Concerned Citizens (on-lookers)
Parents will want information about the general situation, but will be most concerned about their own children. If the school day has been disrupted to the point that early dismissal is the best course of action, releasing the students in an orderly. Continue…