Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year they can strike quickly and without warning. If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations try to help you. But you need to be ready as well. Responders and relief workers may not be able to reach you and your family immediately. Families can work together to cope with disasters by preparing in advance. Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility. Help your family to know that if they are prepared, they need not fear emergency situations.
PREPAREDNESS AT SCHOOL
Discuss your plan with your children, talk about “what could happen” and what’s the backup plan if Mommy or Daddy can’t pick them up right away.
SCHOOL EMERGENCY KIT – These items can all fit in a small canvas pencil bag or box. Have your child keep it in their backpack or school locker. There are enough comfort foods for a day; maybe two. Most schools will try to disburse children as quickly as possible. You can easily substitute different food items on the list for your child’s preferred snack or according to their health and dietary needs.
Comfort letter with pictures of family
Mini first aid kit
Copy of family disaster plan and emergency phone numbers
2 Capri Suns or water pouch (These can withstand crushing, smashing, wear and tear better than a juice box or bottle of water)
2 Granola bars
2 PopTarts or trail mix packets
2 Fruit Roll-ups
12-hour light stick (Halloween clearance)
State of Illinois Initiatives – From www.illinois.gov/ready
Safety in our schools is a right every student and family should expect. The State of Illinois has incorporated numerous initiatives to ensure our schools are as well prepared as possible. Visit their website for more information on Training, School Safety Information, and Resources.
For Additional Information on School preparedness
- Illinois State Board of Education
- United States Department of Education’s Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools technical assistance center.
- Illinois Attorney General – Safeguarding Children
- National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security READY KIDS
LINKS OF INTEREST
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Here are two games that will test your know-how in a wide range of emergencies and teach you how to build the perfect emergency kit.
How Schools Can Help Students Recover from Traumatic Experiences (PDF)
RAND Corporation, October 2006
Natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and violence or abuse can affect a child’s behavior and performance in school. This kit provides a compendium of programs available to help support the long-term recovery of traumatized students, describes how to select students for such programs, and suggests possible ways to fund those programs. It also includes a fact sheet on each featured program, summarizing the objective, intended population, and format of the program, and providing contact information as well as details on implementation, personnel training, and materials.
International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
IACLEA advances public safety for educational institutions by providing educational resources, advocacy, and professional development. More than 1,000 colleges and universities in 20 countries are members of IACLEA.
Lead & Manage My School: Emergency Planning
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
This web site provides school leaders with information necessary for developing emergency response plans for natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist acts. It includes sections on crisis planning and promising practices of emergency response in schools.
National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers (NASSLEO)
NASSLEO, the oldest school safety organization in the United States, is a nonprofit association of law enforcement and security administrators, professionals, and experts dedicated to the safety of students, faculty, and institutional property. NASSLEO is a leading authority on issues involving school-based crime and violence. By offering conferences and training symposiums, NASSLEO keeps its members apprized of cutting-edge developments in the security, safety, and law enforcement fields.
National School Safety Center (NSSC)
NSSC serves as an advocate for safe, secure, and peaceful schools worldwide. As a catalyst for the prevention of school crime and violence, NSSC provides school communities and their school safety partners with quality information, resources, and consultation and training services. NSSC identifies and promotes strategies, promising practices, and programs that support safe schools for all students as part of the total academic mission.