Continuity of Operations for Public School Systems in Post-Disaster Environment

10:30 AM
 11:30 AM



Presented by: Chad Lynch, Ascension Parish Schools’ Director of Planning and Construction and Allison Davis Atkinson, CSRS’ Director of Disaster Recovery Programs Public Schools Systems’ continuity of operations in a post-disaster environment is a critical component of a community’s overall recovery, a stabilizing force in the lives of students, students’ families, and teachers impacted by disasters. It represents a plan every school system must consider before the impact of a disaster. While there are some areas of the country more prone to disaster related damage than others, there is no geographic area that is immune to the possibility of a disaster impact. Numerous public-school systems have experienced the difficulty of maintaining and/or resuming school operations in a post disaster environment. Whether a single school facility is impacted, or an entire school system is damaged from a disaster, foresight and strategic planning can increase the likelihood of successful continued operations for your students and staff. School systems can benefit from lessons learned by previously disaster impacted school systems. Every effort made prior to a disaster will result in faster, more efficient continuity of operations and recovery. Pre-disaster planning should include actions to efficiently remediate damaged facilities, address administrative connectivity needs, identification of locations of temporary campuses, preparation for the receipt of federal aid, and cooperative endeavors with neighboring school systems for facility use/sharing in the post disaster environment. However, in a proactive manner, school systems should ensure their school facilities portfolio is designed, constructed and/or adapted to be as resilient as possible. These resiliency measures should address the most likely type of impact expected in that school systems geographic area (e.g. flood hazard, tornado/wind, wind-driven rain; snow/blizzard). Pre-disaster planning efforts will result in streamlined and efficient responses for your school system. It reduces or eliminates the number of school days lost due to disaster impacts, which in turn results in the school systems’ stabilizing presence in disaster impacted communities nationwide.

#1: Learn best practices on disater preparedness and recovery.
#2: Think creatively and develop new ideas about how their school systems can better prepare for disaster.
#3: Acquire new knowledge about federal rules to access disaster recovery funding to cover disaster related expenses for schools.
#4: Expand current knowledge of what school systems need to be doing before a disaster to be better prepared to lessen its impact.

Educational Facility Implementation, Project Management/Project Delivery: Has a working understanding of how the following areas impact the facility program: regulations and policies; project delivery methodologies; scheduling; preventative maintenance.

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Allison Davis Atkinson, Director of Disaster Recovery Programs, CSRS, Inc.
Allison has spent the last 16 years managing complex technical, policy, and inter-agency coordination efforts to help citizens and governments navigate disaster and development related government programs. At CSRS she has helped increase funding and manage over $5 billion in federal recovery funding and oversees operations for the company’s disaster recovery programs for a dozen municipalities, school boards, and other public entities. As a representative and advocate for local and state entities, she helps public entities bring disrupted infrastructure services back on line and harnessing available federal funding to do it quickly.

Chad Lynch, Director of Planning and Construction, Ascension Parish School Board
Chad has directed the Planning, Construction Maintenance and Transportation Departments for the Ascension Parish School System for over 17 years. This includes overseeing and directing major capital improvement projects. He also oversaw all disaster response and recovery operations after the devistaing floods of 2016, which affected a dozen school campuses and administrative buildings, and thousands of children.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



+1 480.391.0840
11445 E. Via Linda, Ste 2-440
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259 USA