SPRINGFIELD – As students go back to school this month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommends that all families review their own emergency plans and school safety plans. Whether your children are in school, on a bus, or with their traveling sports teams, planning is critical. The IEMA suggests that you teach children to text first, talk later and to make sure the school has correct emergency contact information. Parents should also learn more about school plans and emergency reunification procedures.
“Severe weather and other emergencies can happen at any time,” said IEMA Deputy Director Scott Swinford. “Parents should especially discuss with their children where to go for shelter, who to communicate with, and how to communicate with them during an emergency.”
Tips to better prepare for the upcoming school year:
• Explain the basics of weather preparedness for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, fire evacuation, flash flooding, etc.
• Make a family communications plan.
• Update your emergency contact information on file at your child’s school.
• Consider adding a relative or trusted friend to the school’s information file as they may have to pick your kids up during an emergency.
• Fill out a backpack emergency card for your student’s backpack and your wallet.
• Encourage young students to take emergency drills seriously and ask questions to help them remember what to do.
• Encourage any college student to make a disaster preparedness kit.
• Speak to college students about ensuring that they are signed up for weather alerts and opt-in alert warning services at college.
For more tips visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency at www.Ready.Illinois.gov