U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Department of Education (ED) has approved a $100,486 grant for the Whitley County Board of Education to strengthen and improve emergency response and crisis management plans. Whitley Schools received the funding through the ED Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Program.
“Rehearsed plans, adequate preparation, and coordinated response training are critical steps to ensuring educators in Whitley County are equipped to handle rising flood waters, a nearby chemical spill, or the threat of fire,” said Rogers, “This is a wise federal investment toward ensuring our schools have learned the basics for handling an emergency situation and are properly outfitted for whatever Mother Nature throws our direction. I applaud this local investment by the Department of Education as we make impressive strides to improve the learning environment for our children.”
The purpose of REMS is to enable school districts to develop improved plans that address all four phases of emergency management: prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. In reviewing and improving existing emergency plans, school districts are required to work with community partners including, local law enforcement, emergency management, public and mental health agencies, and local government. Plans must include staff training, sustained local partnerships, communication with parents regarding the plan and reunification after an emergency, and ongoing reviews of policies and procedures. In addition to improving existing emergency plans, school districts will conduct vulnerability assessments of schools, provide training, organize exercises and crisis simulation drills, and procure emergency supplies.
Through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Rogers supports important initiatives for the Fifth Congressional District.