Disaster Planning, Management Recovery Guide

Welcome to the Association for Learning Environments (formerly CEFPI) Disaster Planning, Management and Recovery Guide. This guide came to life following Hurricane Katrina and Rita's devastation of the Gulf Coast. Association for Learning Environments members, in an effort to come to the aid of school districts devastated by the unprecedented storms, through the leadership of the Southern Region and the Southern Region Foundation, traveled to one school district in particular – the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, Chalmette, Louisiana – and began the task of helping them rebuild. The Association's International Board of Directors, under the leadership of then President Hugh Skinner, REFP, MCIP, created a Task Force to support the efforts of the Southern Region members.

The idea for this web guide was an outgrowth of that effort.

The goal of this guide is to assist school districts in planning, managing and recovering from natural disasters.

What is a Disaster?

A disaster is a natural or civil emergency that substantially damages or impairs a community. Examples of natural disasters are hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. Other disasters that may affect school districts are fires, safety incidents such as shootings, and terrorist attacks, among others.


Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in American history.

Katrina made its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29, 2005 in southeast Louisiana.

Levees separating Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, Louisiana were breached by the surge, ultimately flooding roughly 80% of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes. Severe wind damage was reported well inland.

Hurricane Rita made landfall on September 24, 2005 in far southwestern Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane. Storm surge caused extensive damage along the Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas coasts and completely destroyed some coastal communities. The storm killed seven people directly; many others died in evacuations and from indirect effects.

Take time to visit the best practices ideas that are provided for you so that your district can learn from experiences of the past. And if you have ideas of your own, based on experiences you've had, contact us and let us know about your "best practices."

Katrina Photo Katrina Photo Katrina Photo

Impacted by Hurricane Harvey? What is next?

A4LE and the Southern Region members are working feverishly to develop an action plan, assisting those communities touched by Harvey, particularly K-12 schools in the area. We are in the process of updating the Disaster Recovery Guide including a one-page reference document to assist those affected.

Best Practices for Reacting to a Disaster

Make a Financial Donation to the Recovery Efforts

Want to help?

If you would like to assist us in our efforts, donate goods or services, or receive the updated Disaster Recovery Plan, please click here.

Does your school need our help?

If your school district would like our assistance, please click here.
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