Site helps schools plan for emergencies

Education Department Emergency Plan Web site

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Ready.gov

Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge and Education Department Secretary Rod Paige announced a new Web site to help school officials plan for emergencies.

The site, www.ed.gov/emergencyplan, offers information about how to develop plans for any emergency. The site was unveiled March 7 at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., which has a strong emergency plan in place.

"If you don't have a plan, get one. If you have a plan, practice it," Paige said. "We're here to help with resources and information."

Paige said the Web site is a "one-stop shop" for school teachers, administrators and parents. The site contains links to resources and online publications for planning for possible terrorist attacks, natural disasters and violence.

The unveiling of the new site comes on the heels of the launch of the Homeland Security Department's Ready Campaign, including the site ready.gov, which offers citizens tips on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Ridge said the site received more than 100 million hits in the first week.

"Hopefully all the nation's schools will use this new resource to develop their plans," Ridge said. "The campaign will strike the right balance. It will be a great help for parents and teachers as they discuss disasters with their children."

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