Back to School–Be Prepared!Posted on by
As school supplies are packed in backpacks, school bus schedules are double-checked, and the finishing touches are put on your kids first day of school outfit, make sure your emergency plans are in place. Did you know that emergency preparedness plays a major role in school life? Throughout the year, schools actively prepare for natural disasters, outbreaks, and other emergency situations. Students and parents need to be aware and learn what to do during an emergency.
From school supply shopping to re-acclimating your kids to that early morning routine, there is a lot of preparing that goes into the start of the new school year. While getting prepared to send your kids back to school this year, take the time to build an emergency kit, make a family disaster plan, and know how you will reunite with your kids if there is an emergency during the school day. We have compiled a few tips below to prepare your kids to go back to school:
Have a plan on how to reunite with your child:
How would you reunite with your child if there were an emergency during the school day? Talk to the school and find out how the school would notify you in the event of an emergency. Talk to your kids about what to do in situations where they may have to use alternative means to get home or may have to be picked-up early by a neighbor or family friend. Know who you would contact if your child needed to be picked up early or if you were unable to get to the school, and let your child know the people who would pick them up in these situations. Create a password or line with your child that an emergency contact can use to let your child know it is safe to ride home with them.
Update emergency contact information:
Schools often collect parent and emergency contact information when a student first enrolls at the school. Even one year later this contact information may no longer be accurate and up-to-date. Changes to your office, name, address or phone number should be reported to the school to ensure that they have the most accurate information to reach you during an emergency.
Backpack Emergency Card:
Make an emergency card for your child to keep in their backpack. Include important personal information about your child, like their name, school, contact information, date of birth, and any medical conditions, such as allergies. On the backside of the card, include contact information for yourself and an additional emergency contact. You know how easily books and papers get lost or destroyed in your child’s backpack, so make sure that their emergency card can withstand the wear and tear. Consider laminating their emergency card and picking a secure place in their backpack where their card can be quickly and easily located. Print a premade emergency card from CDC or visit Save the Children for a digital version.
Have your Child memorize important addresses and phone numbers:
In some emergency situations, schools may not be able to access emergency contact files. Make sure your child has certain contact numbers and addresses memorized in case they need to use them during an emergency. Kids should know their home address and at least two emergency contact numbers that they can call.
More information about emergency preparedness and talking to your kids about disasters can be found at CDC’s kid friendly Ready Wrigley website.
Have a great school year!