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Some schools don't have disaster plans

Jan. 7, 2006 at 11:21 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A University of Arkansas and Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute study says many public schools may not be prepared for an emergency.

The study, published in Pediatrics, included a random survey of 3,670 school superintendents throughout the country.

Some 86 percent of respondents reported having a mass casualty response plan, but only 57 percent have a written plan for prevention of such an event. Sixty-six percent of the respondents do not use any form of student identification such as badges or cards, and 48 percent do not require staff or teacher identification. Thirty percent have never conducted an emergency drill, the survey found.

"In many communities throughout the United States, more people are gathered on a daily basis in school settings than in any other location," said Dr. James Graham of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "The school shootings and terrorist events of recent years have made us even more aware that we must be prepared for the possibility of a mass casualty event at a school."

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