"What If" Wednesday

The “What if Wednesday” school safety initiative is designed to stimulate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Participants should read the summary of the “fictional” school safety incident and then answer the multiple choice question with the appropriate response action to be taken for the specific emergency.

Video Exercises

These exercises are designed to walk your School Crisis Team through an emergency based scenario and discuss the policy, plans and procedures that your school would use to address the situation.  Throughout the exercise, you will be presented with questions that your School Crisis Team should answer prior to proceeding.

Scenario: A home invasion occurs about 1.5 miles away from your school and the suspect flees the scene with a handgun.  

Scenario: A threatening note is discovered in the bathroom.  

  • Bus Accident

Scenario 1: On a snowy afternoon, one of your buses is involved in an accident.

Scenario 2: One of your bus drivers is suspected of negligence when a morning bus is involved in a minor crash. 

  • Evacuation

Scenario 1: A car catches fire in your school's driveway, causing smoke to fill the entrance to your school.

Scenario 2: A significant amount of smoke is filling up the hallway outside the boiler room.

Scenario: A suspicious individual is wandering around near your school attempting to gain entry.

Scenario:  As a result of a medical emergency, a vehicle moves erratically through the parking lot, striking students and vehicles.

  • Reunification

Scenario 1: A foul smell from the boiler room causes you to evacuate your school and you are advised that no one can occupy it for the rest of the school day.

Scenario 2:  On a -5 degree day, a hazardous material spill in your school forces you to evacuate to a location at least 1/2 mile away.

Scenario 3: On a 35 degree day, you are notified that a nearby hazardous material spill has forced your school to evacuate for an extended period of time.

Scenario:  A social media threat is made against one of your teachers.

  • Winter Weather

Scenario 1: Prior to school dismissal, a winter weather advisory is issued for your area.  Freezing rain and high winds are expected, and law enforcement requests that travelers stay off the road. 

Scenario 2: Your school is forced to evacuate on a rainy day with temperatures in the 30s.


If you have any questions about School Safety Exercises, please email Rob Evans

Contact Information

Vermont School Safety Center
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300