Here at Invictus Consulting we help a lot of schools and businesses improve their Emergency Action Plan. One part of an Emergency Action Plan is where to congregate if your campus, building, or property needs to be evacuated. Some people like to call this a “muster station,” which simply means a pre-determined location to assemble people – students, employees, visitors, etc.
The question that should be asked with a muster station is: What are you going to do once everyone is there? This is a particularly crucial question for schools. If you’ve evacuated all students, faculty, and staff to a muster location, what do you do once everyone is there? Can parents just drive up and grab their kids? How do you even alert parents that their children are at a muster station rather than at the school? How are you going to account for all persons? Will you keep students grouped by grade? By last name? Let them all mill around randomly? What about special needs students? Injured students? Can students have their cell phones?
This is where a Reunification Plan is important. A Reunification Plan will give you policies, procedures, and concrete steps to take when faced with an evacuation and the need to reunify students with their parents. Like any other emergency plan, a Reunification Plan should be drilled regularly by teachers and staff so that they understand their roles and responsibilities.