A school emergency can have a major impact on students, faculty and the community. Planning ahead for a crisis at your child’s school will help to reduce the level of chaos that occurs and improve your ability to manage your family’s safety.
School Preparedness Activities
All schools have plans set in place for any number of emergencies that could potentially take place. It is important to stay informed and up to date on the specific plans for your child's school.
- Find out the school’s policies and procedures on security and emergency preparedness.
- Is it communicated clearly and regularly?
- Ask if the plans are tested and practiced regularly.
- Is the staff aware and knowledgeable on the procedures and protocol?
- Is there is a lockdown plan set in place, and is it practiced routinely?
- Inquire whether the school staff has been trained on security and emergency preparedness.
The first step in ensuring your child’s safety at school starts with you preparing them at home.
- Talk with your children about drugs, weapons, school and community safety.
- Do not assume that your child knows the “basic” facts.
- Inform your child first hand with the information in a non-threatening manner.
- Create open lines of communication.
- Prevent access to any weapons in the home.
- Teach children to work cooperatively with police, school officials, and other authority figures.
- Seek professional assistance, if needed, after school crisis.
Create a Family Plan
Having a plan already set in place is critical when it comes to an emergency situation. Among the things you can do to be prepared are:
- Keep emergency contact information up to date.
- Make sure that there is a secondary emergency contact listed in case the primary is unavailable.
- Keep the school nurse informed of any medical conditions that may exist.
- Pick a place to meet up in the event of an emergency (at or near the school), because cell phone towers can become overloaded in times of crisis.
- Know if your school’s plan designates meeting areas for times of crisis.
Emergency Situation Response
Planning ahead can help you respond quickly and effectively in case of emergencies at a school. If an emergency should arise, do not call or go to the school unless directed to do so by a school or public official.
- Register and be alert for automated telephone notifications.
- Monitor the local news and the school district's website, which can be used for posting emergency alerts.
- Keep open lines of communication that are vital for emergency responders.
- Keep open vital access routes to your child’s school for emergency personnel.
- Going to the school can cause road blocks and obstruct first responders.
For more information on maintaining your child’s safety at school, please consult the following websites: