Specific School Safety Plans (PPMS) departmental triggering day in the Seine-Maritime department.

Organised jointly by the Seine-Maritime prefecture, the National Education Academy of Rouen and the sub-regional School Inspectorate, the Specific School Safety Plans (PPMS) triggering day aims to test the safety measures in all the educational institutions of the department.



The PPMS was set in order for the educational institutions to establish an internal organisation for ensuring the safety of the students, teachers and staff members in the case of a major emergency, pending the arrival of the emergency services. The PPMS, once validated by the headteacher, is the best response to the essential questions in a life-threatening situation : when and how to trigger the alarm, where and how to bring the students to safety, how to manage the external communication, what are the security requirements and what are the needed resources in the case of a natural, technological or human hazard. Since 2002, the making of such Safety Plans has become an obligation and they are now applied in the majority of the departmental educational institutions. They represent a crucial contribution to the major risk prevention efforts.


The Seine-Maritime prefect, representative of the french government in the department, decided to conduct an exercise in October 2010, as part of the U.N. International Day for Disaster Reduction. All educational institutions – more than 1400 - in the department were asked to trigger their PPMS on the same day. Ex ante, all headteachers had been invited to information meetings organised and conducted by a representative of the prefecture's civil protection service and a trainer from the "major risks and environment" group belonging to the National Education Academy of Rouen.

Participation to this departmental day was massive :  nearly 85% - 1200 out of the 1400 - of the educational institutions realised the chosen type of exercise : sheltering, confinement or evacuation. These are very satisfactory results, given the fact that this exercise was conducted for the first time on this scale. As a consequence, renewal in October 2011 is already scheduled.

This PPMS triggering day is set to be a key moment in the departmental development of the culture of risk. The PPMS exercise underlines the necessity for a regular training in the field of security requirements in the case of a major emergency. It needs to become a habit.