Posts Tagged ‘School Safety’

Back to School Safety Measures

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Making Sure She is Safe

Making Sure She is Safe

As students head back to classrooms for the start of the new academic year, the newspapers are reporting on back-to-school topics. One headline, in particular, piqued my interest as it concerns school safety. In the work my business, Prisere LLC, has done for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, we monitor the progress made in achieving the goals set forth in global disaster risk reduction agreements, which include “Safe Schools”. In this context, “Safe Schools” refers to solid construction of school facilities retrofitted, if necessary, for disaster resilience. It means clear and effective evacuation procedures to ensure the safety of the pupils in the event of a weather-related disaster. In other words, it is what we remember as school fire drills updated for new safety protocols for disaster resilience.

But this particular article addressed school safety from an entirely different perspective. It addressed new technology such as communications consoles and crisis lockdown alert status systems. The technology provides that in the event of an emergency, teachers can press a button to change the status of their classrooms from green for “safe” to red for “threat emerging”. That information is instantly available to all school administration and anyone else who should be alerted. In the event of an emergency, the system will initiate a lockdown, play a recorded message over the public address system and notify first responders. Each of these actions is simultaneously triggered with a single mouse click or button push made by a teacher in the classroom. How sad that we live in an era where these measures are now required.

One a more positive note, this is the time to refresh and update your home and family preparedness plan and to encourage your employees to do the same. Make sure you have a plan in place as to who is authorized to collect the children at school in the event of an emergency, where you will meet one another if your home is no longer accessible, how your children will use mobile communications to send you messages if necessary, etc. Be sure to speak with your children’s school teachers and school administrators so you have a clear understanding of┬áthe school’s emergency plans and your family plans. That will be one less thing to worry about in the event of a severe storm or other hazard.