|JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Blunt's Homeland Security Council joined efforts April 6, 2006 to help ensure schools have much needed public health emergency plans.
"The Safe Schools initiative is an innovative approach that enables public safety officials and health agencies to access school information needed to help protect our school children in an emergency situation," said Director Mark James, Department of Public Safety. "Every school in the state should make it their top priority to have responsible emergency plans in place."
The Joplin Independent received an unconfirmed report that children were playing on the grounds outside of Eastmoreland Elementary School in Joplin during the time when the Kansas/Missouri tornado drill was in progress on March 14, 2006. We know there's been strife between the districts and state intervention (home rule dissention) but, if the above scenario was, indeed, the case, were these the children that would have been expendable during an actual tornado?
The Department of Health and Senior Services partnered with the Missouri School Boards Association to provide a secure online planning and training system for emergency preparedness with an emphasis in contagious disease and biological and chemical terrorism. The web-based system is offered at no cost to all Missouri's schools both public and private.
"Missouri is taking the lead on public health issues and this project exemplifies our ground-breaking efforts to ensure we continue to leadthe nation in this area," said Julie Eckstein, Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services. "The project benefitsteachers, administrative staff and students and parents with training and resources to develop comprehensive public health emergency plans."
Last November Gov. Blunt signed executive order 05-42 establishing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as Missouri's new standardfor emergency preparedness. The Safe Schools initiative ensures school plans are compliant with NIMS.
Schools can become more familiar with the project by visiting here.