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Why Your School Needs Emergency Preparedness Supplies
Following a catastrophic disaster during school hours, students and school administrators may be stranded on campus for days to weeks until roads are cleared for safe driving. And, if the school building suffers structural damage, students may be forced to shelter outdoors and endure the elements. Electricity may be out for weeks leaving everyone in the dark and causing water treatment plants to stop working. There may also be injuries requiring medical attention when no emergency assistance will be available. Not only do you want to keep your students safe, but also it is your responsibility to take measures to protect your students from forgeable dangers such as natural disasters. Failure to maintain standards of protection opens administrators up to liability if losses or injuries occur because of their failure to act.
Below is a summary of the different categories of emergency preparedness
Many schools rely on their students to bring in an "earthquake kit" with "emergency food." Unfortunately, this usually consists of nothing more than some sugar-filled snacks that have a shelf-life of less than 6 months. What students and parents don't realize is that this food may already be spoiled when students need it if stranded at school in the event of a major emergency. Each of our 72 Hour Kits come with a 3 day survival supply of emergency food per student which is the minimum survival recommendation. Don't risk students getting sick from eating spoiled food or other survival food products which contain coconut oil; the last thing you want is a student to be sick or have an allergic reaction during in an emergency situation. We have proudly offer the ER Bar a US Coast Guard Approved, 5-year shelf-life, 3-day supply of survival food.
Your school also should have a gallon of water per student per day for emergency preparedness. As a minimum survival recommendation, each of our school survival kits comes with a 3-day supply of emergency drinking water which is US Coast guard approved to store safely for 5 years. However, it is important to remember that running water may not be available or safe to drink after a disaster. The cheapest and easiest way to prepare to have enough water for drinking and sanitation is to have water purification and storage supplies such as water purification tablets and 55 gallon water storage barrels.
There is a possibility that your schools building(s) may be unsafe to occupy after a major disaster. Since students may be forced to stay overnight and outside at school for several days if not weeks, our emergency school survival kits also come with the emergency shelter supplies to protect your school staff and students from the elements. These supplies include space blankets and emergency rain ponchos which offer protection from harsh weather conditions. Additional recommended emergency school shelter supplies to help protect students from extreme weather include a canopy shelter, body warmer pads, and tube tents.
After a disaster, your students may be stuck at school without any electricity. This can obviously be a dangerous situation in and of itself. When you add dangerous debris lurking in the dark, you can quickly realize why it is so important to have emergency lights for your students at school. Storing a few flashlights and batteries in your school's emergency preparedness kit is not enough. Batteries have limitations such as their limited shelf-life and the fact they only last a few hours. That is why we recommend that each classroom has at least one am/fm solar and hand crank radio with lantern light which never needs batteries. We also recommend supplying each student with one of our 12 hour emergency lightsticks which have a 5-year shelf-life. We also recommend each classroom stores a a fluorescent lantern for additional lighting capabilities.
In the event of an emergency while students are in school, there is a chance that the faculty and students will have to evacuate the school and travel to a safe location. Because electricity will likely be out, the faculty members need to have emergency radios for listening to emergency broadcasts in order to know where to go for safety. Due to the limitations of battery use, we recommend our solar and hand crank powered radio with lantern light which never needs batteries. Regular battery operated emergency radios have many limitations because the batteries only last for hours and have an extremely limited shelf-life of around only 6 months.
In a major disaster at school, many students may become injured as they evacuate the building or campus due to the amount of dangerous debris. That is why schools need to keep comprehensive emergency first aid kits that can easily be mobilized to safety. We recommend the Trauma Central Supply Kit which contains the appropriate supplies to treat up to 75 people for injuries and is ideally suited for school emergency preparedness.
Collapsed structures such as your school's buildings could trap students inside if the building suffers damage during a disaster. There will also likely be broken glass and dangerous debris that you will have to deal with when evacuating students to a safe area. That is why your school need to have emergency preparedness kits in each classroom that include the appropriate emergency search and rescue supplies. These kits should include an emergency pry/crow bar to open jammed windows and doors following structural damages to buildings. For setting up camp or shelter for evacuated students, kits should also include nylon cord and duct tape. School emergency preparedness kits should also contain leather-palmed work gloves, vinyl gloves, and dust masks for protection from dangerous debris.
Your school must consider the fact that plumbing will likely be unavailable after a major disaster. Schools need to have the proper emergency sanitation supplies for maintaining proper sanitary health conditions. Remember that students and faculty may be forced to stay outdoors in close proximity to one another. That is why for each classroom we recommend having a bucket-style portable toilet or portable folding toilet with sanitation accessory such as toilet bags, toilet chemicals, and tissue packs.