What happens if "The Big One" happens while the children are at school?
We will be sending our reminders about the May 4th Emergency Release Drill but I thought I'd remind everyone that the district-wide event is coming! Our school community will practice our emergency release procedures. In short, we need to pretend that a large scale earthquake has occurred and parents (or their authorized designate) to pick up their child. This drill will involve students, staff and parents.
Roughly, it will look like this:
We will simulate a natural disaster on the afternoon of May 4th. The exact time has not been determined but it will likely be around 2pm.
Once we evacuate to the lower field, we will send out an emergency announcement via Twitter.
Parents (or their designate) will come to the school as quickly as possible. We will be on the lower field and parents will follow the release procedure to pick up their child. We want to practice a safe and orderly release.
In the event of a real disaster, it's unlikely that I will be able to access email or the school phone. Twitter may be the quickest way to broadcast updates, as long as the cellular networks stay on. This is why we encourage parents to sign up for Twitter and follow our school account. http://www.twitter.com/@waltonsd43
A more detailed plan will be sent to you in the following weeks.
Parents or their designates will need to come to the school and pick up their child. There will be release process that we will use to ensure that children are handed off to the proper adult. Please note that the drill ends at 2:45pm, which is at the end of the school day. Any children remaining will be dismissed from the lower field.
This is an important reminder to keep your emergency contact information up to date. It's also a good reminder to keep your voice mail activated and ready to receive messages. (hint: Many times we try to call parents to find a deactivated cell phone or a full voice-mail box.)
So what can you do to prepare?
1. Make sure the school has your updated contact information. Parents should have verified this information a few months ago. Please let us know of any changes.
2. If you cannot come to the school early on May 4th, please communicate this with your emergency contact. This is a good time to review the process with your friends.
3. Make sure your child knows who the emergency contacts are so he/she can anticipate who may pick them up in an emergency.
4. Sign up for our school Twitter account, if you haven't done so. Remember, it is likely that our first broadcast of an emergency will be through Twitter, not email or phone.
5. Review your child's medical needs, if any. Does the school have the proper medication for your child in the event of an emergency and he/she cannot be picked up right away?
6. Make sure you know the name of your child's teacher and the division number! Make sure your emergency contact has this information!
7. Although not directly connected with the school emergency drill, this is a good time to review your own family's emergency preparedness. I have provided a few links below.
I do think it's important for families to have the mindset that if the "Big One" happens, you will be on our own for days, if not weeks. It's good to have a plan.
I'd like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Norena for all of their work on behalf of the Walton PAC to ensure our Emergency Shelter is kept well-stocked! The shelter contains water and food for children in the event parents are not able to get to the school in a reasonable amount of time. It's important that parents contribute to our Emergency Shelter fund in order to maintain a good supply of water, food and supplies for our students.
Thanks everyone! Get preppin'! More detailed information will follow.