Office of Emergency Management Logo

Did you know?

We help ensure the safety of students and staff by:
  • Developing and coordinating all-hazard emergency management programs.
  • Ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
  • Annually reviewing and approving site-specific Safe School Plans.
  • Conducting and facilitating standardized emergency and disaster training programs.
  • Maintaining situational awareness of potential threats and developing response plans. 
  • Coordinating with community emergency management partners.

Standard Response Protocol

In An Emergency Take Action! Hold! Secure! Lockdown! Evacuate! Shelter!
Hold! Sign
In your room or area. Clear the halls.

Secure! Sign


Get inside. Lock outside doors.

Lockdown! Sign

Locks, lights, out of sight.

Evacuate! Sign

(A location may be specified)

Shelter! Sign

Hazard and safety strategy.

Contact Us

Office of Emergency Management
445 West Amelia Street
Orlando, FL 32801

Telephone: 407-317-3468

Orange County Public Schools is one of the few school districts in the nation that maintains an Emergency Management office specifically responsible for preparedness. While OCPS has significant measures in place for the safety of our students and staff. Many of those procedures are confidential as an added protective measure and per state statute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many parents and community members are concerned about issues of school safety. Listed below are some frequently asked questions about our preparedness efforts.

How does OCPS maintain emergency preparedness at schools?

The district strives to maintain the highest-level of emergency preparedness at our schools. Here are just a few examples of how we do so:

  • Employing a team of emergency management professionals to ensure staff receive consistent, high-quality training.
  • Coordinating our emergency response procedures with local public safety agencies.
  • Conducting drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of our procedures.

How often do schools conduct drills, and what types are conducted?

OCPS schools conduct three different types of drills: 

  • Fire
  • Active assailant
  • Severe weather
Please note: Florida Statute and the Florida Department of Education define active assailant and severe weather drills as "emergency drills".

Drill frequency is mandated by Florida Statute, Florida Fire Prevention Code, and the Florida Department of Education. Currently, schools are required to conduct six fire drills and an additional six emergency drills during the school year.

To meet this mandate, we require all schools to complete:
  • Six fire drills
  • Four active assailant drills 
  • Two severe weather drills

What type of emergency response training does school staff receive?

School staff receive training on many emergency response related topics. Some of these include:

  • Protective actions to take in the event of an emergency.
  • Hazard-specific emergency response procedures.
  • Working with first responders during an emergency. 

How do schools prepare for emergencies?

Our schools go to great lengths to prepare for emergencies. Here are a few ways schools ensure they are ready:

  • Maintain a Safe School Plan - This plan identifies critical infrastructure, key resources, and special considerations impacting emergency response on campus.
  • Establish a School Emergency Response Team (SERT) - The SERT leads emergency response operations on campus. Staff assigned to the team receive additional training in managing an incident and working with first responders.
  • Test emergency response procedures - Each SERT conducts an annual, discussion-based exercise designed to test their response procedures against a realistic emergency scenario. 
  • Train staff about emergency preparedness - At the beginning of each school year, school administrators lead their staff through a discussion-based training covering district emergency procedures and special considerations impacting emergency response on their campus.

Do schools have standard emergency procedures?

Yes. All schools in the district use the Emergency Procedures Manual for Schools, also known as the "Orange Book", to guide their response during an emergency.

A key component of this manual is the Standard Response Protocol (SRP). The SRP outlines the five basic protective actions (Hold, Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate, and Shelter) schools can take in response to an emergency.