Teacher, Worried About Your Kids’ Safety?
Who takes top honors when it comes to emergency preparedness in the schools?
In September, Save the Children’s annual report card awarded Illinois the “most improved” title.
But Illinois only “won” because the state had experienced tornados – and the old plans for tornado safety didn’t work!
What Illinois schools learned from November 2013 tornados:
- The principal of Central Intermediate School in Washington, IL, said: “We had areas we thought were safe, but after the tornado, we looked at the debris and we thought, ‘No, we cannot put our kids in certain spaces.’”
- He also reported that cell phones and even texting worked only sporadically – while there were injured people needing professional help. (Now the school is getting portable radios.)
- At Washington Community High School, the assistant superintendent reported that “Hallways became wind tunnels, so now instead of shifting students into the hallways, we are moving them into interior rooms without windows.”
Where does your state stand?
The same Harris Poll that showed Illinois’ improvements showed that 21 states don’t even require schools and child care providers to have a basic emergency plan!
What about where you live?
You can head to Save The Children’s website and click on the map of the U.S. to find out what your state requires. (Click on your state, then on the report card to the right.)
Here’s the link to the map: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.8777049/k.FE2A/Get_Ready_Get_Safe_US_Preparedness_Map.htm
(This is a very long link. If you can’t get there by clicking, go to www.savethechildren.org and simply type into the search box: “US Preparedness Map”)
Required or not, what can you do to improve your children’s chances?
If preparedness has been on your radar for a while, you are certainly aware of the various government websites that offer checklists and suggestions for family and business preparedness.
When it comes to school preparedness, your state department of education might have some resources, too.
As of today, my number one resource choice for teachers is . . .
This quiz, available at Ready.gov, is fun to take and will be a great starter for a classroom conversation!
You pick the threat and go through a series of questions that train children how to respond. (Of course, that’s why it’s my favorite. Knowledge is good; being ready to take action is a whole lot better.)
Hint: Be sure to save the secret password for each level to go on to the next.
Here’s the link: http://go.usa.gov/yqC5
As you can see from the illustration above, the quiz characters are modern and you’ll find the cartoon drawings themselves to be professional and compelling.
Please check this out for yourself, and forward this email to any teachers you know. Share it with your PTA or with your home schooling group.
We can never do too much to protect our children, and being charged with doing too little, when the information is readily available . . . well, that’s unthinkable.
Let me know how it works out!
Your Emergency Plan Guide team
P.S. If you missed my earlier Advisory for parents, here is the link again: http://emergencyplanguide.org/dear-parent/
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