As much as we’d like to shield our loved ones from harm, natural disasters and emergencies do happen. It is important to be proactive and prepare for different scenarios ahead of time, so you and your family members know what to do, just in case. Our teachers and administrators do the same thing to ensure everyone in our schools is kept safe at all times.
Have you talked about a family preparedness plan?
Has your child learned how to exit the house if a fire occurs?
Do you have a designated family meeting spot if an emergency happens?
September is National Preparedness Month. There are several things you can do without a threat looming that will put you a few steps ahead if disaster strikes. Review these evergreen tips, make a plan, and be prepared. Your family, your home, and your livelihood are all worth protecting!
When an emergency happens, it can be scary for everyone involved, especially children. Talking about safety measures and procedures is vital to minimizing the effects. Discuss different emergency situations and how responding to them might look different at home vs. at school.
Make sure little ones know their safety is always a top priority.
Emergency drills are practiced monthly and under various circumstances such as time of day, days of the week, etc. This includes fire drills, evacuations, and severe weather. Our goal is to make sure both staff and children are always aware and comfortable with the procedures we have in place to navigate each type of situation.
Communication is Key
Create emergency plans together to build resilience, confidence, and awareness. Involve the children when drawing a simple map to show escape routes, meet-up spots, etc. Make sure they know what to do and where to go should you ever face an emergency.
Prepare for a fire:
Point out the smoke detectors in your home. Test them once a month. This also allows children to learn what it sounds like and to take it seriously during any other time. If you live in a two-story home, make sure you have an escape ladder stored near windows. Practice setting it up too. Remember these tips:
Prepare for a tornado:
You’ll want to be on the lowest level and away from windows or outside walls. Build an emergency kit to leave in the dedicated safe zone. If the storm gets intense, protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, or even a mattress. Talk through the differences between a tornado watch and warning:
Prepare for a flood:
If you live in a flood-prone location, stock your home with rope, a ladder, and sandbag supplies. Prepare an emergency bag with food, medication, a first aid kit, flashlights, etc. Keep it in a designated spot. If you can leave the area before flooding starts, seek higher ground, and follow evacuation orders.
Learn more about preparedness planning by visiting ready.gov. You’ll find games for kids, advice for adults, helpful checklists, and general tips for facing any type of emergency.