Readiness Emergency Management Systems

R.E.M.S. Program Coordinator Adrian Chamberlain  


​The Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s Office and its Regional School District (Santa Cruz Regional School District) provides both academic guidance and educational support services to schools within Santa Cruz County. The County school system is made up of seven school districts with twenty public schools and an additional four charter schools. With an increasing student population of approximately 10,760 it is vital that we keep our students safe from any possible danger. Furthermore, about a decade ago Santa Cruz County was awarded funding from the United States Department of Education to commence a proactive emergency response initiative to protect students from any sudden danger known as, the R.E.M.S (Readiness Emergency Management Systems).

​By developing a county-wide comprehensive emergency response initiative our county’s education system took a big step in the right direction, in regards to student safety. Our students are the future and a dangerous event can strike at any time. So, with the financial assistance and proactive counsel of the United States Department of Education, we collaborated with local first-responders, school safety experts, and other crisis management professionals to construct an emergency plan for every school in the Santa Cruz County Regional District.

​It should be made clear that the purpose of the adopted plan is to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from an unforeseen school crisis. Moreover, in 2007 the implementation of REMS, the Readiness Emergency Management System, was put into effect. The Readiness Emergency Management System was conceived with the help of our community’s first-responders and their broad base expertise. With the advice of veteran first-responders every participating school initiated an emergency response protocol that contains information such as school floor plans, surrounding areas, and other critical elements such as action plans for student evacuation.

​REMS also supplemented schools with the ability to seek out the advice and opinions of student parents. Probing parents for their opinions helped establish priorities for each school’s protocol. Understand. But more importantly, REMS also instigated the creation of a comprehensive database with contact information, site graphics, photographs, and other visual information. With this useful information the REMS emergency protocol will help ensure a safe learning experience for each and every student.
Competencies & Objectives
  • Build the capacity for every school to effectively plan against the event of an emergency.

  • Coordinate with our local government and first-responders to situate an appropriate REMS plan for schools.
  • Gather advice from other critical partners such as the United States Department of Education and involve parents ,students, and community stakeholders in all phases of emergency planning.
  • Establish a mitigation protocol during a school crisis in order to control the response and propel the recovery of schools after possible incidents of emergency.
  • Create a REMS comprehensive database with contact information, site graphics, photographs, and other visual inventory to fully describe all school facilities and other influential objects that may affect crisis management.
  • Scale all surrounding locations and establish staging areas to keep students safe and instantly available to first-responders during a crisis.
  • Provide comprehensive training for active faculty working in the Santa Cruz County Regional School District.
  • Provide a means for monitoring and maintaining an updated Emergency Plan.
  • Ensure the sustainability of REMS by utilizing the financial assistance from overseeing federal and state government entities.