Don Shomette

People are the Prize

Crisis Drills: Should We Conduct Announced Crisis Drills?


I’ve been asked by lots of principals and police officers whether it’s a good idea to conduct crisis drills without first announcing to the teachers, staff members, and students that it’s just a drill.

In this video, I answer that question as well as give another alternative that I hope will add the same value (or more) for those who prefer not to announce when it’s just a drill.


Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

2 thoughts on “Crisis Drills: Should We Conduct Announced Crisis Drills?

  1. I have come back to watch this video several times. Unannounced is vague to staff. I feel they should have no warning the drill will take place, but announce that it is a drill as it begins. In example, a drill would be announced as “lockdown, lockdown, lockdown, this is a drill.” After practice, not hearing “this is a drill” after a lockdown call should install a sense of urgency and the reality of an imminent situation. I don’t know as if barricading for a standard drill is necessary, but know that without the drill announcement it should be done quickly.
    I see anxieties from staff, as there is an unannounced drill scheduled for each building in our district this year. As the Head Custodian for the building, I usually run safety drills.This will be the only drill where I am truly a participant and not an observer. I was a member of the US Coast Guard, and realize that in the Armed Services, drills are vital as they become reality all too soon. Educators did not sign up for dealing with violence. The sad reality is that they must know how to react. They see a lockdown as a terrible, stress filled thing. Fire drills never seem to have such anxiety.
    I agree that unannounced drills may cause more harm than good.
    I enjoy your videos. They are relatable and sincere. Thanks.

    Jeff Rozler

    • Jeff–thank you so much for the comment and I’m glad that you like the videos. And sorry for the delay in responding! I don’t always get notified of my comments. I so agree with your assessment…it is a difficult job because we care about our people and their emotional and physical well-being and therefore have to always find the best way to accomplish the most with the least amount of harm. If I can help in anyway, please let me know!

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