A Closer Examination of GCPS Safety Protocols: EVACUATE

A Closer Examination of GCPS Safety Protocols at Deep Creek Lake, MD

As previously released by your Garrett County Public Schools Safety & Security Department, our standard response protocols have been updated for the 2023-24 school year. Directives may include one of the following actions in our facilities: HOLD, SECURE, LOCKDOWN, EVACUATE, or SHELTER. As drills are being conducted in our schools, many of which have already taken place since the start of school, we will examine each protocol closer. This week’s focus is on the EVACUATE protocol.

EVACUATE is called when there is a need to move people from one location to another for safety reasons. An on-site evacuation is conducted usually because of a mechanical failure that would disrupt the school day, such as a power outage or a fire alarm going off. If it can’t be resolved quickly, the school may have to plan for early dismissal. An offsite evacuation may be necessary when it’s no longer safe to stay in the building such as a gas leak or bomb threat. In this case, people will be allowed to bring their personal items with them.

If there has been a violent event at the school, an off-site evacuation will almost always be necessary since the school will be deemed a crime scene. People may or may not be able to bring their personal items with them.

Depending on the situation, SchoolMessenger may be used to alert parent(s)/guardian(s) of the EVACUATE status. This may happen during the current time or after the EVACUATE has been lifted, perhaps receiving notification after the school day has ended.

An EVACUATE drill will be conducted in each school no less than twice per year. While A.L.I.C.E. training has occurred previously, this training will still be implemented if warranted. These protocols will be used as “another tool in the box.”

If you have questions about a drill happening at your local school, please contact your school office or the Office of Safety & Security at 301-334-8900 ext. 1361. As a reminder, in the event of an emergency, please contact 9-1-1 immediately. To report a tip anonymously, contact MD Safe Schools at 833-MD-B-SAFE (833-632-7233).