Simply Spaced // Emergency Preparedness for Back to School

Back to School: Disaster Preparedness Tips

    Saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer and starting another school year is the perfect time to get organized. Whether it’s your child’s first year or their last, you still need to ask yourself this very important question:  Am I prepared?
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When I work with my clients with kids, one of the very first things I ask them is, do you know your child’s school emergency plan?  We send our kids off to school for 6 to 8 hours a day, thinking they will be safe, but consider this. What if there is an emergency such as an earthquake, fire or lockdown at school?  Would you know what to do?
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Back To School Emergency Preparedness is so important, and getting prepared is really simple to do. Here are 5 tips to prepare you and your child in the event of an emergency:
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1.    Know the Emergency Plan for your child’s school.

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The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with your child’s school emergency plan. Find the details on the school’s website or call the school directly to get your hands on the procedure.
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The most important detail to identify is the reunion procedure.  Is there a reunion gate and where is it located? If there is an off-campus site in the event of a fire, make sure you know that as well. Sometimes there is a special emergency number for the school.  IF there is, add it to your phone, and share it with your spouse/partner and nanny. Remember all of the school plans have been created with your child’s safety in mind. If the plan ever needs to be implemented, make sure you follow all of the steps to ensure that you and your child will be safe.
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2.    Update your Emergency Card Contacts

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This card is extremely important because it will list ALL of the people that can pick up your child in the event of an emergency.   Pay attention to who your child makes friends with. If during the school year they have a new best friend, and that parent is not on your emergency card, your child will not be able to go with them.
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3.    Get an emergency kit for your child’s classroom

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Most schools require you to have a student emergency kit in the classroom.  You can create one yourself by including water, food bars, a note from you, and a flashlight or light stick.  You can also pick one up at Emergency Cafe. For younger kids, keep in mind that your note is NOT a goodbye note!  It is a “Mommy or Daddy will be there as soon as possible, you are safe and I love you” note.
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4.    Create a backpack info card

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Create a laminated emergency card in your child’s backpack with their name, your name, phone number and blood type. Also, teach your child your cell phone number so they can contact you.
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5.    Give office medicine instructions for your child

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If your child has any allergies and requires an Epipen or is on any special medications, make sure that at least 2 people in the office know HOW to administer their meds.  With all of the school cuts happening MOST schools no longer have a nurse on campus 5 days a week.
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There is so much happening these days in the world. Let’s start this new school year, prepared and ready to go because we cannot predict, but we CAN prepare!
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Los Angeles Disaster Preparedness Expert and Service Provider About the Author: Emergency Preparedness Expert Cari Butler has over 15 years of teaching experience. She is a Westside Los Angeles mom whose interest in Emergency Preparedness began when her daughter started school and was required to have a personal emergency kit. That raised the question: “Why shouldn’t everyone have an emergency kit?” Her concern led her to thoroughly research the subject and create her own business and is the only Angeleno to offer these emergency preparedness consultations and services. Cari provides personalized consultation services for families and businesses, as well as offers customized emergency preparedness kits.
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