School Districts: Responding to Food Safety Emergencies in the Event of Disaster or Severe Weather

Education, Property & Casualty, Risk

Billion-dollar weather-related events are increasingly common in the United States, and the consequences of these disasters are widespread. For schools, there are many risks to consider when a disaster or severe weather affects your district – one such risk being a food safety emergency.

How Schools Can Respond to Food Safety Emergencies

Your school district is a pillar of your community, and, often, food service in schools continues even during an emergency. You are relied upon by your students, their families, and your staff to continue to provide education, as well as other resources including meals.

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mentions in their new Food Safety Emergency Response Pocket Guide, your district may even be classified as a shelter and a key place for community members to receive food during a severe weather event.

It’s important for your district to be prepared for a disaster or severe weather event, no matter where you are located. The USDA’s new Food Safety Emergency Response Pocket Guide can be a key resource for your district to reference if or when you and your community is impacted by a disaster.


The USDA’s Pocket Guide references responses to many types of emergencies, including power outages (interruption of electrical service), water outages (interruption of water service), water contamination, sewage issues, floods, and fires.

Key Takeaways:

School districts can use the USDA’s new Food Safety Emergency Response Pocket Guide to prepare and plan for the impact that a disaster or severe weather could have on your ability to serve food to students and, potentially, your community. Reach out to your M3 team to discuss other risk management efforts your district should consider for safe food preparation and service.

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