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In 2013, the federal government released the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide) and the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE Guide), based on extensive emergency planning work by the federal government. The School Guide and IHE Guide are the first joint products of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency); the U.S. Department of Justice (led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation); the U.S Department of Health and Human Services; and the U.S. Department of Education on this critical topic. Since their release, federal agencies have continued to create interagency resources to support schools, school districts, and IHEs with emergency operations plan (EOP) development, many of which are included on this page. Within the Guides, it is recommended that emergency management planning teams at education agencies use a six-step planning process to create, revise, and refine EOPs. Since EOP planning requires input from various stakeholders, the Guides recommend collaboration with key community partners to carry out each step in the planning process. View the six steps below:

K12 Safety Practitioners
K-12 Safety Practitioners: Access an At-A-Glance version of the School Guide and/or download the Section 508 compliant PDF.
Higher Ed Safety Practitioners
Higher ed Safety Practitioners: Access an At-A-Glance version of the IHE Guide and/or download the Section 508 compliant PDF.

What’s on this page?

Resources from the REMS TA Center, U.S. Department of Education, and federal agency partners on the topic of EOP development. The resources are organized based on the six steps for EOP development recommended in the School Guide and IHE Guide; resources that apply to all categories are listed under the General category. Additional resources specific to scenario-based planning are also provided.


Step 1

Step 2

Steps 3-5

Step 6

Scenario-Based Planning

Are you seeking specific resources or information? Visit any of the site sections below to expand your search!

  • State-Based Information: Access our State Emergency Management Resources page for info on your state.
  • Tool Box: Visit the Tool Box to view resources developed by other practitioners in the field.
  • Advanced Search Engine: Search for resources, tools, and Web pages by topic.
  • Resources page: View pages dedicated to select topics in school and higher ed emergency management, including national preparedness campaigns.
  • Related Resources: Click the lightbulb icon in the left-hand sidebar throughout the site to access topic- and page-specific resources!

You can also email us at for information on tools and resources that you might find useful!