Reports on the current state of emergency preparedness in U.S. school districts, illustrating percentages of districts that have plans for intruders, bomb threats, natural disasters, terrorism, radiation, anthrax, and pandemic influenza. Some plans and school districts have taken steps to plan for a range of emergencies, as most have developed multi-hazard emergency management plans. However some plans and activities do not address federally recommended practices. In an estimated 62 percent of districts, officials cited a lack of equipment and expertise as impediments to emergency planning. Absence of door locks necessary for implementing a lockdown and a lack of two-way radios are two examples of facility and equipment deficiencies. Also noted was a shortage of expertise in both planning for and managing emergencies, as well as an inability to incorporate special needs students in emergency management planning. An estimated 39 percent of districts with emergency plans experience challenges in communicating and coordinating with local first responders, lacking partnerships with all or specific first responders, limited time or funding to collaborate with first responders on plans for emergencies, or a lack of interoperability between the equipment used by the school district and equipment used by first responders.
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