Monday, May 28, 2018

At School

  • Close the school. Activate the school’s emergency plan. Follow reverse evacuation procedures to bring students, faculty, and staff indoors.
  • If there are visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay in the building. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors.
  • Provide for answering telephone inquiries from concerned parents by having at least one telephone with the school’s listed telephone number available in the room selected to provide shelter for the person designated to answer these calls. This room should also be sealed.
  • Ideally, provide for a way to make announcements over the school-wide public address system from the room where the top school official takes shelter.
  • If children have cell phones, allow them to use them to call a parent or guardian to let them know that they have been asked to remain in school until further notice.
  • If the school has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate that the school is closed and that students and staff are remaining in the building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave.
  • Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close all window shades, blinds, or curtains be closed.
  • Have employees turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air – these systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled.
  • Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags.
  • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in. Classrooms may be used if there are no windows or the windows are sealed and can not be opened. Large storage closets, utility rooms, meeting rooms, and even a gymnasium without exterior windows will also work well.
  • Bring everyone into the room. Shut and lock the door.
  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting, heavier than food wrap, and seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room.
  • Write names of everyone in the room, and call your schools’ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you.
  • Listen for an official announcement from school officials via the public address system, and stay where you are until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.