Outline of the state of Washington
Required, with required or encouraged interagency coordination

Multi-hazard Practice Drills

Multi-hazard Practice Drills

State law requires districts to implement multi-hazard practice drills (e.g., fire, lockdown, active shooter, or evacuation drills) and encourages or requires inter-agency coordination.

Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.125 Safe school plans—Requirements—Duties of school districts schools and educational service districts—Reports—Drills—Rules.

(1) The legislature considers it to be a matter of public safety for public schools and staff to have current safe school plans and procedures in place, fully consistent with federal law. The legislature further finds and intends, by requiring safe school plans to be in place, that school districts will become eligible for federal assistance. The legislature further finds that schools are in a position to serve the community in the event of an emergency resulting from natural disasters or man-made disasters.

(2) Schools and school districts shall consider the guidance provided by the superintendent of public instruction, including the comprehensive school safety checklist and the model comprehensive safe school plans that include prevention, intervention, all hazard/crisis response, and postcrisis recovery, when developing their own individual comprehensive safe school plans. Each school district shall adopt, no later than September 1, 2008, and implement a safe school plan consistent with the school mapping information system pursuant to RCW 36.28A.060. The plan shall:

  • (a) Include required school safety policies and procedures;
  • (b) Address emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery;
  • (c) Include provisions for assisting and communicating with students and staff, including those with special needs or disabilities;
  • (d) Use the training guidance provided by the Washington emergency management division of the state military department in collaboration with the Washington state office of the superintendent of public instruction school safety center and the school safety center advisory committee;
  • (e) Require the building principal to be certified on the incident command system;
  • (f) Take into account the manner in which the school facilities may be used as a community asset in the event of a community-wide emergency; and
  • (g) Set guidelines for requesting city or county law enforcement agencies, local fire departments, emergency service providers, and county emergency management agencies to meet with school districts and participate in safety-related drills.

(3) To the extent funds are available, school districts shall annually:

  • (a) Review and update safe school plans in collaboration with local emergency response agencies;
  • (b) Conduct an inventory of all hazardous materials;
  • (c) Update information on the school mapping information system to reflect current staffing and updated plans, including:
  • (i) Identifying all staff members who are trained on the national incident management system, trained on the incident command system, or are certified on the incident command system; and
  • (ii) Identifying school transportation procedures for evacuation, to include bus staging areas, evacuation routes, communication systems, parent-student reunification sites, and secondary transportation agreements consistent with the school mapping information system; and
  • (d) Provide information to all staff on the use of emergency supplies and notification and alert procedures.
Policy Type

Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.125 Safe school plans—Requirements—Duties of school districts, schools, and educational service districts—Reports—Drills—Rules.

(5) School districts are encouraged to work with local emergency management agencies and other emergency responders to conduct one tabletop exercise, one functional exercise, and two full-scale exercises within a four-year period.


  • (a) Due to geographic location, schools have unique safety challenges. It is the responsibility of school principals and administrators to assess the threats and hazards most likely to impact their school, and to practice three basic functional drills, shelter-in-place, lockdown, and evacuation, as these drills relate to those threats and hazards. Some threats or hazards may require the use of more than one basic functional drill.
  • (b) Schools shall conduct at least one safety-related drill per month, including summer months when school is in session with students. These drills must teach students three basic functional drill responses:
  • (i) “Shelter-in-place,” used to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside;
  • (ii) “Lockdown,” used to isolate students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers or armed intruders, that may occur in a school or in the vicinity of a school; and
  • (iii) “Evacuation,” used to move students and staff away from threats, such as fires, oil train spills, lahars, or tsunamis.
  • (c) The drills described in (b) of this subsection must incorporate the following requirements:
  • (i) Use of the school mapping information system in at least one of the safety-related drills;
  • (ii) A pedestrian evacuation drill for schools in mapped lahars or tsunami hazard zones; and
  • (iii) An earthquake drill using the state-approved earthquake safety technique “drop, cover, and hold.”
  • (d) Schools shall document the date, time, and type (shelter-in-place, lockdown, or evacuate) of each drill required under this subsection (6), and maintain the documentation in the school office.
  • (e) This subsection (6) is intended to satisfy all federal requirements for comprehensive school emergency drills and evacuations.
Policy Type