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School Safety


Photo of students and teacherSchool districts and individual schools are responsible for not only the education of their students, but also their safety. Not only do school staff need to know what to do in case of a fire or severe weather, but also in the event of suspicious packages, bomb threats, hazardous materials accidents, shooting incidents, hostage situations and assaults.


To that end, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management has worked with several partnering agencies (see below)* to create some helpful planning tools. These documents were developed for the schools of Iowa to use as a template to enhance current school safety programs. Ultimately, schools can decide how much of the documents they would like to incorporate into their current plan.


The goal of the group was to make sure that every school in Iowa has a plan, and the vision was to give them a template to drive planning conversations at the local level. The plan was derived from these conversations and will increase the overall security and safety of every school in Iowa, because the schools were partnered with local first responders and county emergency managers.

The plan has been shared with at least eight states, and soon at the national level through the National Association of School Resource Officers. Threat Information and Infrastructure Protection Program (TIIPP) staff are available to discuss these school safety products and school security assessments. Click here to contact us.


HSEMD has worked with Iowa Central Community College's Homeland Security Training Center to offer active shooter training to law enforcement and other first responders since 2003. The training center has taught 41,000 first responders and is currently the recipient of grant funding through HSEMD to continue this training for smaller law enforcement agencies. Click here to learn more about Iowa Central's active shooter training.


Click here for more school safety materials and links


Federal Links:

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Managment has also produced a brochure for teachers and administrators on preparing crisis kits:

In addition, the Iowa Association of School Boards has produced a toolkit for schools, built on the lessons learned from the 2008 disasters in Iowa. See the kit and get more information:




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*Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Safety (Intelligence Fusion Center), State of Iowa Fire Marshal's Office, School Administrators of Iowa (SAI), Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA), Des Moines Police Department (School Resource Officers).