Emergency Prep for Teachers
My family and I have been working on increasing our emergency preparedness by building our savings, creating 72 hour kits, and storing extra food and batteries. This preparation has given us peace of mind and made some long power outages more comfortable. As my family worked on preparing for emergencies at home, I began thinking about how teachers could prepare for emergencies in their classrooms. When I was in fourth grade my class was on a field trip when there was a 6.8. magnitude earthquake. I cannot imagine how stressful this must have been for my teacher! She remained calm and it helped calm down her students as well. To help us all be a little better prepared, I put together a list of simple steps that every teacher can take to be a little more prepared in case of an emergency. Preparing for Personal "Emergencies": I'm classifying personal emergencies as two types of situations: 1. A family emergency that causes you to have to leave school immediately 2. A smaller problem that can make your teaching day horrible (i.e. forgetting your lunch). Here are some simple action steps you can take to prepare for these kind of emergencies: Preparing for An Evacuation Emergency: When preparing for an emergency that would cause your class to have to evacuate (i.e. a fire, gas leak etc.) the following items may be helpful. Place these items in a single container by the door to make them easy to quickly grab.
A class list with parent names and contact info
Emergency snacks (think a Costco box on individually packed crackers or fruit snacks). Preparing to Shelter in Place: A variety of emergencies can cause your class to need to shelter in place: a lock down or even a power outage. The following items will help you in caring for your class during these situations:
Window covering for all windows facing the interior of the building (in the event of a intruder in the school
Keep your door locked at all times;This allows you to quickly lock down your classroom without fumbling for keys in the hallway. When I was teaching I received a Lock Blok from one of my teammates for Christmas. It allows you to keep your door locked at all times but keeps it from latching. That way your students can still come and go easily but the door can be locked quickly for a lock down.
Determine the place in your classroom where students can hide that will be least visible from the windows.
What does your school do to prepare for emergencies? Share your ideas in the comments below.