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
Southern Region Foundation, traveled to one school district in particular – the St. Bernard Parish Public Schools
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
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
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
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."