Parents encouraged to include emergency preparedness in
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[August 23, 2017]
from pre-kindergarten through college are heading back to school. As
families prepare for the new academic year, the Illinois Emergency
Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies
across the state are encouraging parents to include emergency
preparedness in their back-to-school plans.
“Emergencies can occur any time of the day or night,
including when children are in school,” said IEMA Director James K.
Joseph. “The start of a new school year is the perfect time to make
sure you know your school’s plans for keeping students safe during
an emergency and then talking to your child about those plans.”
Joseph offered several back-to-school planning tips for parents of
school-aged children, including:
out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation
during school hours.
Ensure your current emergency contact information is on file at
your child’s school.
Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in
an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated
Teach children with cell phones about ‘Text First, Talk Later.’
Short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are
more likely to get through than a phone call if phone service is
disrupted following an emergency. As phone congestion eases, you
can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.
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Students headed off to college also need to be prepared for
emergencies. Many college campuses offer email and text messages
to alert students of potential dangers, such as severe weather
and other threats. Encourage your college student to sign-up for
such alerts. Some colleges also provide alert messages for
parents so they also are aware of potential dangers on campus.
In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans
for their dorm or apartment building.
Additional preparedness information is available on the Ready
Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
[Illinois Emergency Management