Developing a school risk culture
Risk culture, what is it for?
In countries facing natural hazards, prevention plays an important role. Its interest is understood by the population and it is shared by the greatest number.
But what are we talking about when we talk about risk culture? There are no financial, legal or security risks (theft, attacks) as the news constantly reminds us. This is essentially a question of “fundamental risks”. what are they It is the terrorist threat and natural hazards (volcanoes, typhoons, avalanches and extreme cold, heat and drought, hurricanes and tsunamis, forest fires, floods, earthquakes and landslides), health, technological (nuclear, industrial, transport of hazardous materials and risk of dam failure) and cyber (data capture, ransomware, phishing, image damage, espionage, sabotage).
Fortunately, these family risks do not concern all schools. Some risks are only of interest to companies or administrations, such as espionage. Others prefer only individuals such as image damage or phishing.
The risks to be considered for a given establishment depend primarily on its natural environment or neighborhood. The proximity of the sea to a lake or river can cause a risk of flooding. In mountainous environments, the risk of avalanches must be feared and earthquakes can be dangerous in seismic zones. Advance knowledge of these risks allows you to prepare for them to avoid the worst.
This preparation must maintain, without paranoia and on the contrary with a large extent, the existence of one or more dangers and how to guard against them. On this last point depends the calmness that must be present when there is danger.
The implementation of risk management in a school will have effects beyond its scope because children will talk about it with parents who will talk about it around them. This will lead to increased risk awareness, which may go as far as setting up extended management at a district or even municipal level.
Dangers in a school
Some risks may be encountered in all educational institutions. This is the case of the terrorist threat that can strike anywhere. The nuclear threat can be considered on the scale of a country (military nuclear) but on the scale of a school, special arrangements need to be made when it is near a power plant.electricity (civil nuclear).
Other dangers are less to be feared in a school. This is the case of cyber-risks that concern more individuals, companies or administrations. However, they may concern establishments that manage sensitive data (high schools, colleges or large first-degree establishments) or are equipped with technical management systems (BMS, BMS, fire alarm, anti-intrusion) . consequence. Therefore, they should be considered.
Drought may not be considered, but heat waves are a risk that is likely to spread and become more frequent.
In the family of health risks, air pollution and major pandemics need to be considered, but for the latter we have recently seen that management has been taken over by the State for application at the national level. . On the other hand, air pollution can be considered depending on the local industrial context.
Natural hazards can have very important consequences but each of them must be evaluated according to the geographical situation and local climatic conditions.
Actions that must be taken to act
Building a culture of risk requires that it be fully understood, accepted and therefore shared by all.
Engaging in a risk management process involves identifying those that may concern the establishment. Therefore it is necessary first of all to remember the existing information. The DDRM (departmental file of major risks) can be consulted on the prefecture’s website. It identifies the main natural or technological risks encountered in each municipality of the department and also presents prevention and prevention measures that will help limit their effects.
Some municipalities may have established a DICRIM (municipal information file on major risks). The purpose of this document is to provide information on the risks that threaten the municipality, and to describe the preventive and protective measures planned to protect against them.
These data form a relevant framework for developing a personalized prevention plan for the establishment. Thus, each risk can be analyzed and associated preventive actions implemented according to their potential severity. Personalized risk prevention plans may need updates. In fact, the nature or importance of risks may change over time, therefore it is necessary to consider these changes so that preventive measures are always in line with the risks.
The development of a personalized risk prevention plan makes it possible to introduce, without worrying, to parents and staff, the need to engage in collective reflection regarding specific risks aimed at establishing . It is important to say that this anticipation approach has no other purpose than to prepare for a hypothetical crisis management by allowing everyone’s attitudes, should it happen, to be more effective and avoid the effects of panic that always harmful in such situations.
At the material level, it will also be necessary to provide the necessary emergency equipment in the event of a disaster. An emergency kit will be specified for the establishment. It will be developed according to the identified risks. These can vary greatly depending on the location but generally all include information to identify assembly areas (primary location or other secondary locations that may be used). The kit also includes special precautions related to the care to be given to people affected by the state of health (medical supplies, storage areas, medicines and care to be given).
Evacuation may be considered and scenarios will be identified. They will accurately describe the methods used, the planned fallback locations and the alert and rescue method.
Such an organization needs resource persons. They should be known well. For this, a table should be kept up to date listing them with their phone number and their function (an annual update seems to be the right frequency).
It helps if a child knows how to use the phone and who to call. Training sequences can be performed for this purpose. For older children, text messages (SMS) are preferred. It may be useful to prepare standard messages that will have the advantage of combining all the important information to be conveyed while being as brief as possible.
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