Washington Court House City Schools recently performed a state-mandated test of the district’s Emergency Operating Procedures with a simulated winter weather power outage.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety requires schools to conduct an annual Emergency Management Test (EMT).
Each year, schools in Ohio are required to conduct at least one EMT (functional, full-scale, or tabletop) annually to assess and evaluate their emergency preparedness (Ohio Revised Code 5502.262 (E)(1) and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-5-01).
At minimum, schools must complete a full-scale rehearsal every three years. In 2018, WCHCS successfully completed a district-wide emergency student evacuation to alternate locations as a response to a (simulated) chemical spill in the area.
In coordination with Fayette County Emergency Management Agency, this year’s test of the EOP focused on the district’s plan in the event the community would experience a power outage due to a winter storm.
The state-required EMT provided an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to test the EOP in a controlled environment, practicing what to do if the event were to happen in real life, as well as allows the opportunity to identify adjustments that may need to be made to the EOP, according to district officials.
This rehearsal also provided an opportunity for the Fayette County EMS, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Washington Court House Fire Department, and Washington Court House Police Department to coordinate with the district on their EMT, as well as practice how their departments would work with the schools during this type of situation.
“It was a great day of learning what to do in the event of a winter power outage and testing our Emergency Operating Procedure,” said Mike Skaggs, director of operations. “We look forward to continuing to work with these local agencies to keep our Blue Lions safe and prepared while at school.”