MADISON – As the end of summer approaches, students are getting ready to go back to school. ReadyWisconsin is also encouraging students and parents to make family emergency preparedness part of their back to school planning.
“While folks across our state are getting ready to kick off another great school year, we want to make sure we’re talking with kids about safety before they’re back in the classroom,” said Gov. Evers. “By taking the time before the semester to talk about and plan for what happens in an emergency, we can help make sure our kids have a happy and safe school year.”
Consider discussing these topics below and review information available from schools:
• Write a family communications plan. Kids should know who to contact in an emergency and have a written copy of those phone numbers in their backpack or wallet. Keep a copy of your emergency plan on file at your student’s school, and check out ReadyWisconsin’s website for sample communication plans.
• If your local school allows students to have a phone, program it with important contact numbers.
• Text first, talk second. Getting a phone call through during an emergency may be difficult because of call congestion. Students should know that text messages may be the best option to get in contact with each other.
• Know your school’s evacuation plan and where students will be taken during an emergency, along with how to reunite with them after they are safe.
• If your school allows you to designate additional people who are authorized to retrieve your student if you are unable to do so yourself, ensure that information is current.
• Students who drive to school should have an emergency kit in their vehicle with items such as snacks, warm blankets, extra clothing and jumper cables.
• If you have a student heading to college, make an emergency kit for their dorm or apartment that includes items such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlight, and a portable radio.
• Suggest your student sign up to receive any text alert notifications their campus may send out during an emergency or when there is severe weather.
“Now is the time to develop those emergency communications plans and put together emergency kits,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator. “We want everyone prepared so when an emergency happens, everyone knows what to do and where to go.”