During any prolonged spell of severe cold, stormy or snowy weather, issues arise on which members and health and safety representatives need advice, particularly concerning school closure.
All educational establishments can improve their readiness and planning for severe weather by signing up for the Met Office’s severe weather warning system.
How schools should respond to flood alerts:
- Stay Informed: Keep a close eye on local news reports, radio, and television for flood warnings. Stay updated with the Environment Agency's "Flooding Updates"
- Follow Official Advice: Pay attention to guidance from the Environment Agency, local authorities, and emergency services. This advice applies even if your location seems unaffected, as travel recommendations may change.
- Contact Floodline: Dial 0345 988 1188 to reach the Environment Agency's Floodline for up-to-date information.
- Review Major Incident Plan: Scrutinise your school's "Major Incident Plan" to ensure its adequacy and proper consultation with safety representatives.
- Liaise with Emergency Services: If evacuation may be necessary, coordinate with emergency services.
- Inform Parents: Use established communication channels to inform parents about possible evacuations and closures.
- Practical measures in response to flooding threat:
- Electrical Safety: Unplug and relocate electrical items to upper floors or high shelves to prevent damage and accidents.
- Gas Leak: In case of a suspected gas leak, call the 24-hour gas emergency service at 0800 111 999. Turn off the gas supply if safe to do so, and avoid operating electrical switches or using mobile phones. No smoking or matches.
- Safety First: Never jeopardise the safety of staff or pupils. Avoid walking or driving through floodwater and steer clear of contact with it, as it may be contaminated.
- Asbestos Awareness: Consult the asbestos management plan to identify vulnerable areas in the school and ensure safety precautions.