Safety At School In An Emergency – Get A Kit and Make A Plan

Back to school.  You shop for new clothes and school supplies for your kids.  You make arrangements for them to safely travel to and from school each day.  You worry that they’ll fit in, make and keep good friends, and stay safe while you’re away from them each day.


Safety at school is important. And most schools take it very seriously.  Most schools require you to fill out an emergency contact card to help them account for your child(ren) and react appropriately after a natural disaster or emergency.  They prepare and conduct emergency drills with your kids.  Most importantly, they stock emergency preparedness supplies and/or require your child to bring a school emergency kit.

But, what they can’t do for you is prepare a family plan.  While many schools have strict rules to managing a crisis, history has told us that in major disasters, mayhem takes over.  Communication can be spotty or non-existent.  Cell towers are toppled or overloaded.  Even trusty text messaging can fail.

A good family plan starts with at least two meeting places:

  1. Pick a simple obvious location at or near the school.
  2. Then, determine a backup location in case the school is inaccessible, too dangerous, or in complete disarray.  Select a nearby park or a shopping center parking lot – an area free from buildings and distractions.

Everyone’s circumstances vary.  How many kids you have, where you live and many other factors will affect your plan.  What matters most is that you think it through and communicate it ahead of time to your family.  “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin).  Happy planning.

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  1. Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    This is great advice, when I put my child into daycare the first thing I asked the manager was where they take the children incase of emergency. She looked at me kind of strangley but she didn’t hesitate and told me they do have plans and explained them to me. That made me feel much better about my decision to put my boy there.

  2. Richard Stooker
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    The biggest problem is that in so many families, both parents work a long way from home. In a widespread catastrophe they’d be unable to drive back in a reasonable amount of time, if at all.

    So if possible, children should head for the home of a relative or close family friend with one adult who doesn’t work during the day.

    And of course, families should make plans for what to do at home in case of a fire, earthquake or sudden evacuation order.

    emergency survival kits

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