Emergency Shelter Management Plan
This manual is directed to principals and site administrators of schools/sites that are designated shelters. This manual is divided into sections, each of which will help the shelter manager understand the scope of the district‘s responsibilities, how to prepare
the school for use as a shelter, how to open and operate a shelter and, finally, how to close a shelter.
II. Long Term Planning for Shelter Operations
III. Short Term Planning for Shelter Operations
IV. Shelter Operations
V. Shelter Deactivation
VI. Special Needs Shelters/Issues
VII. Media In the Shelter
VIII. Shelter Activation Flowchart
IX. Sample Responsibilities Chart
X. Sample Assignment List
XI. Sample Checklist for Pre-Shelter Opening
XII. Shelter Registration Form
Appendix A: Agreement between XXXX County & The School Board
Appendix B: Shelter Resident Information Sheet
Appendix C: Suggested Registration Area
Appendix D: Definitions
In the case of an approaching hurricane, or some other major emergency event affecting our community, the XXXX County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) will convene the Disaster Advisory Committee. This Committee (which includes the Superintendent or his designee) will discuss what recommendations they will make, as a body, to the County Administrator. The County Administrator will then make a recommendation for a particular course of action to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The BCC will then recommend a proper course of action; such action may include various levels of evacuation in order to address the local emergency. Depending on the orders of the BCC, XXXX County Schools may be ordered to open emergency shelters.
Shelters fall into two categories; host shelters and risk shelters. Host shelters consist of buildings that serve to quarter persons when there is no additional threat from the elements. For example, host shelters might be required to accept persons from Florida‘s
east coast who, because of an emergency, require some type of shelter and there is no
likelihood that XXXX County will be affected by the same emergency.
Risk shelters are meant to house evacuees and protect them from severe weather.
Typically, as in the case of an approaching hurricane, our schools will be called upon to
serve as risk shelters. If schools are to be used as risk shelters, persons may not be
housed in cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditoriums or other places where there is a large
roof span. Therefore, evacuees will need to be assigned to hallways and other common
areas approved for use; if warranted, classrooms may be added and used when
If shelters are required to be opened, individual principals, assistant principals, and
other personnel as required shall be notified by the Area Superintendent responsible for
the current activation. As public employees, these personnel are expected to report
as directed and failure to report will result in disciplinary action. Specific opening
hours will be communicated to the shelter manager at the time. The shelter manager
will them be responsible for notifying shelter personnel assigned to the shelter, with the
exception of food service and maintenance personnel who will be notified by their
II. LONG TERM PLANNNING FOR SHELTER OPERATIONS
At the beginning of the hurricane season, the principal or administrator of each school
or site that has been designated a shelter shall develop plans appropriate to ensure
efficient and safe shelter operations. At the minimum, the plan shall include the tasks
? Obtain from your Area Superintendent a list of PCSB personnel who will be
assigned to your shelter.
? Develop an assignment sheet consistent with the ICS model and the
responsibilities listed in the remainder of this manual. (e.g., Ms. Jones will be
assigned as the Operations Manager, Mr. Smith will be assigned as the Logistics
? Review you access routes onto the campus and determine where you will have a
drop off lane for arriving evacuees. If you will need traffic cones, the number and
type should be determined, then secured and stored prior to the arrival of any
storms. Cones are available through the warehouse.
? Review your bus access routes so that arriving buses, whenever possible, will
not conflict with the arriving evacuees who are unfamiliar with your school.
Determine if cones are necessary for this.
? Develop and store signs (or store them electronically so that they can be printed
when shelters open) for use during shelter operations that will assist evacuees
with finding things like bathrooms and the cafeteria (keeping in mind that your
evacuees are completely unfamiliar with your campus).
? Develop an ―information board‖ (e.g., a white board on an easel, or a bulleting
board to post notices) that will allow you to communicate information to evacuees.
For example, storm status and the time of the next meal are questions that are
frequently asked. (See Appendix B for additional rules you may post.)
? Determine which classrooms will be used if circumstances warrant, and the order
in which they will be opened.
? While smoking on BOARD property is prohibited, we recognize that evacuees
who smoke are addicted to nicotine and will smoke. Therefore, you should
identify and designate a smoking area that will be as far removed as practicable
from the balance of the evacuees. This area should be equipped with two or
three small sand filled cans (empty #10 steel cans may be obtained from your
food service staff) so their cigarettes butts can be discarded appropriately.
These items shall be recorded so that if you are out of town, unavailable or another
principal replaces you, they can rely on your plan.
III. SHORT TERM PLANING FOR SHELTER OPERATIONS
It is the responsibility of all shelter managers, and all PCSB personnel who have been
notified that they will be required to work when shelters have been activated, to pay
attention to all related weather developments regarding the approach of hurricanes.
When the storm is projected to strike the XXXX Area within 36 hours, you must, as
shelter manager, accomplish the following items in order to prepare your school for
possible use as a shelter:
? Front office personnel should be prepared to remove excess materials, clear the
counters and set up areas for the office to function as a command post.
? All teachers shall be notified to prepare their rooms by securing personal items,
test materials, and student information.
? Computers that will be needed in the command post or by shelter operations
personnel should be left on, as well as any network equipment. Other computers
(e.g., those in classrooms and offices) should be unplugged and covered to
prevent water damage in the event the roof leaks. Plastic garbage bags are
inexpensive and can serve as covers for the computers and monitors. Computers
in rooms with lots of windows should be moved to prevent or minimize impact
damage. Computers on the floor should be placed on tables or desks, and all
UPS systems should be unplugged.
? Classrooms with lots of windows should close their blinds.
? If equipped with a generator, have your HPO check on the fuel and oil level, and
conduct a short test run.
? Review your inventory of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and garbage
bags. Ensure that you have adequate supplies on hand based upon your
authorized evacuee load.
? Check with your cafeteria manager to ensure there is a sufficient inventory of
foodstuffs, paper plates, napkins and eating utensils.
? Test your P.A. system and your portable bullhorn, ensuring that you have spare
batteries for the bullhorn
? Remove all outside equipment (e.g. picnic tables or playground equipment) that
can become airborne in high winds.
? Contact your local garbage removal service to empty school dumpsters if they
are more than 25% full.
IV. SHELTER OPERATIONS
In order to provide the coordination of the district‘s response in shelter operations, as
well as providing the best support for shelter managers, whenever shelters are opened,
a district level Incident Command Center (ICC) will be opened at the XXXX Service
Center. The Incident Command Center is physically located in the warehouse
The Incident Command Center will include managers or directors who represent Food
Service, Maintenance, Warehouse, Schools Police, and School Operations
(Transportation is located at the County Emergency Operations Center). Each manager
is expected to designate, and be relieved by, a subordinate capable of handling his or
her operations during the ICC activation to include those hours when the primary
director is sleeping. A Director of School Operations shall assist the Area
Superintendent. The following chart illustrates the District Level ICS Organization:
With the exception of the Director of Operations (whose duties are noted below), all ICC
members shall report as directed by the Incident Commander. Just as shelter managers
are expected to ensure that they receive sufficient sleep in order to make quality
decisions, so too shall those personnel assigned to the Incident Command Center.
Upon arrival they will arrange a sleep schedule with their relief to ensure there is
coverage until the ICC is deactivated.
The Director of Operations shall serve as the relief for the Area Superintendent in the
Incident Command Center. However, after shelters have been open for two (2) hours,
and it is safe to do so, the Director of Operations shall visit all shelters in order to:
1. Determine if the shelters have opened with sufficient operating staff.
2. Ensure that the Shelter Incident Commander has scheduled personnel for
adequate rest periods.
3. Ensure that assignments have been made pursuant to the Incident Command
System as outlined in this document.
4. Determine if the shelter has sufficient operating supplies.
5. Issue special orders as needed.
Following the review of shelters and their operating efficiencies, the Director shall return
to the Incident Command Center to provide assistance to the Area Superintendent in
staffing the Operations desk within the ICC.
VI. SHELTER OPERATIONS
The shelter manager (principal) shall serve as the Site Commander at their respective
shelter for the duration of the event or until relieved. The shelter manager is expected to
organize and direct the operation of the shelter from a command post (usually the front
office) utilizing the Incident Command System framework. The shelter manager must
familiarize themselves with the written Agreement between the BOARD and Pinellas
County regarding emergency shelters (see appendix at end of this section). The shelter
manager reports directly to the Operations Desk within the District Level Incident
In order to ensure efficient operations during the emergency, shelter managers must be
aware of the directive from the Superintendent (September 9, 2004) regarding
compliance with directives from the Incident Command Center. The memorandum
reads (in part):
Therefore, when a directive emanates from the (District Level) Incident
Command Center it carries the weight of a directive from my office.
Subordinates may not countermand any directive from the Incident
Command Center, and any modifications to assignments or hours to be
worked must be approved by the Incident Command Center. As an example,
the person representing the Director of Maintenance has the authority to
order any maintenance employee to perform any duty, regardless of
whether the employee is usually in that chain of command or not. Likewise,
a principal from an Area I school is expected to comply with any directive
issued by my representative from Operations, regardless of whether they
are in that business chain of command or not.