If you have children in school, it is highly recommended that you review the emergency response procedures, usually available in the school’s Student Code of Conduct or Handbook. For privacy reasons, we’d prefer not to release the name of the school or district where our children attend in Texas, but your child’s school will likely have a similar policy:
Shelter In Place
Certain emergencies (for example, a chemical leak in the area) may require a shelter in place. In the event of a shelter in place, no one is allowed to leave or enter the building under any circumstances for the safety and security of all children and employees. During this time you may obtain information by tuning to your local radio and television stations, by visiting our website, or by calling the school. Students will only be released after clearance has been received from law enforcement or emergency management officials.
At first glance, the procedure makes sense, as the primary concern is to keep children safe. Upon further questioning, school officials advised that this specific policy also covers emergency events such as terror attacks or nearby criminal activity (such as gun violence).
If you are a TEOTWAWKI prepper, then chances are you see problems with this policy immediately. Once a lockdown or shelter in place is instituted, you will not be able to remove your children from school. Really, parents are left with no choice at this point, but to remain in the emergency area until their child is released from school. This is an important thing to keep in mind for those with disaster plans in place.
Some recommendations for parents:
- Contact your school administration center or visit their website to obtain the student handbook/emergency procedures so that you are not surprised in the event of an emergency.
- Re-check your authorized pick-up list today to make sure that if you are injured or unable to pick up your child, a back-up family member or close friend with knowledge of your preparedness plan can get your child.
- Provide your back-up with a detailed map of the location of your child’s school from their home. Include contact phone numbers for the school, your child’s teacher and the other people on your back-up pickup list. Grandmas, sisters, brothers and friends may not know where the school is and access to mapping tools may not be available in a serious emergency. Have them review the map when you give it to them, and ask them to keep it in their vehicle. Wherever they keep their car insurance is probably a good place to store the map.
These preparedness steps will take a total of 30 minutes or less to implement. In an emergency situation, such as what happened on September 11, children may be left at school for days without knowledge of where their parents are. It is impossible to effectively plan for every scenario, but the above steps will at least cover some possibilities.