The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Monday, September 16, 2013

School Emergency Plans

From: A Parent's Guide to School Crisis Planning
If you have children in school here are some tips for what to do in an emergency: In order for the school district's emergency response plans to be effective, they must depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people, such as the police and fire departments. They also depend on the parents to support disaster response efforts. Please observe the following procedures during a crisis situation (your school district policies may vary, but these are fairly standard procedure)

 * Do not telephone the school. They understand and respect your concern for your child, but it is essential that the telephone system be available for emergency communications.

 * Tune your radio to a local radio station or check the district's website for emergency announcements and status reports. You will also receive instructions on where you should go to and how/when you may be able to pick up your child.

*  Do not come to the school or evacuation location until you are instructed to do so.  It may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lot clear for emergency vehicles.  If a building is in a lockdown situation, you will not be allowed to enter.

*  If evacuation is required, students may be transported to a location away from the school.  You will be notified of this through media bulletins, the district message line, and/or the county message line.  Photo ID will be required for student pickup.

*  The media may want to interview you or your child.  Depending on the situation, this may make matters worse.  If in doubt, decline to participate.  The school has a specific person assigned to communicate with the media.

*  Staff have specific assignments and training to respond to situations.  Volunteers should report to the Incident Commander for assignment rather than jumping in to assist on their own.  Good intentions may sometimes complicate the problem.

*  Emergency information should include any special needs or medications that your child requires.

*  Always check in at the office when you visit the school.

*  The school district has a plan to assist with emotional recovery after an incident.

*  It is a good idea to include out-of-state or out-of-area emergency phone contacts.  In some emergencies, long distance service is all that is available.

It is always a good idea to check in with your particular school to get a refresher on their emergency plans.

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