Now that the school year is around the corner, I’m sure you’re busy. The best way to avoid damage during a disaster is to prepare beforehand. While you pack school supplies and find the coolest shoes, don’t forget to spend some time teaching your child about disaster preparedness. Your child’s school should have their own disaster plan. It’s always a good idea to learn their plan and incorporate that into your own. This helps to ensure you and your family have the smoothest possible experience in the case of a disaster. Learn more from the following tips below that we compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Prepare Your Child

Contact Information

Make sure your child knows your home address and important phone numbers. This seems self-explanatory, but most people don’t rely on their memory for phone numbers anymore, so it may take some extra effort.

Pickup Authorization

Communicate to your child’s school about who is and isn’t allowed to pick them up, especially when disaster strikes. Tell your child who they should expect. You can do this by using a code word that only your child and those authorized to pick them up know.

Be Familiar with Routes

Ensure that you know the route your child takes home from school. Whether they walk, take the bus or get a ride home from a friend, it’s important to know where you can find your child along their route home.

Emergency Supplies

Don’t forget to gather emergency supplies to send to school with your child. Ask your child’s school what supplies they provide and what you’ll need to put together. Usually, your child will benefit from having the following items.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Batteries and a small flashlight
  • Emergency blanket

Practice

Practice your emergency plan with your child. The more you practice the smoother it will go if a disaster occurs. Include the following in your emergency plan run through.

  • Home and school meeting places
  • The location of emergency supplies both at home and at school
  • Evacuation routes from home and school
  • The people who are allowed to pick them up if disaster strikes

Ask for Information

  • Find out what emergency supplies your child’s school provides and what you need to send with your child.
  • Know the location of any offsite meeting places your child’s school uses during a disaster. You might have to pick them up somewhere other than their school.
  • Ask your child’s school how parents are notified when evacuation, closures and alarms occur.

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