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Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to create plan for natural disasters risks

How Washington school facilities handle natural hazards is the subject of a large-scale project currently underway.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, in partnership with 35 school districts across the state, received a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Planning Grant in March 2012 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The two-year, $1.1 million grant will help the state identify risks and develop a statewide mitigation plan from natural disasters.

“Our chief concern is to protect everyone – students, faculty and buildings,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “The FEMA grant will help us identify our needs. Obviously, no one wants a natural disaster to hit our state, but if one does, we need to be ready….”

Recent work includes the launch of a brief online survey that will capture perceptions and preferences from parents, teachers, school boards, state organizations, superintendents and the general public.

The survey, titled Increase Life Safety Before Disaster Strikes, is available through April 1, 2013 and should take less than five minutes to complete. The feedback received from the survey will assist OSPI with development of the draft mitigation plan. Results of the survey will be available on the OSPI Pre-Disaster Mitigation web page late spring 2013.

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