Having the right supplies available in your classroom will help you be prepared for an emergency. An emergency can happen anytime, and knowing how to respond will minimize any repercussions of the emergency. An emergency plan will also help teachers and staff have the right competencies to respond to an emergency instead of getting caught off-guard.
Numerous situations constitute an emergency. These are:
– Threats of violence
– Imminent danger from surrounding events, extreme weather conditions
– Violence from students or outside intruders
– Active shooter
– Medical emergencies such as cuts, broken limbs
– Smoke hazards and fires
– First-aid emergencies such as burns, cuts, choking hazards
1. A sufficient amount of medication to address specific medical emergencies
This includes aspirin, Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Ibuprofen, Decongestants, eye drops, and Calcium Carbonate Tablets. Make sure to mark dates on this medication to know when they’re expired and replace them.
2. You also need a First-Aid Kit
A first-aid kit in an emergency kit addresses the most immediate medical aid you can administer to a person. This includes burn wounds, stopping bleeding, cleaning and protecting an injury, and even decreasing symptoms of an allergic reaction. The First-Aid kit should also contain an EpiPen and an inhaler for asthma attacks.
When you need to act quickly and fast, having a water bottle in your arms’ reach can be life and death. Water can clean wounds, wash a person’s skin, eyes or nose from harmful toxins and fumes and alleviate symptoms related to smoke inhalation.
4. Battery-powered radio and flashlights
If, for some reason, there is a loss of electricity and connection to a telecommunication signal, having flashlights and radio communication can help get you in touch with local emergency and rescue teams. Having a lighter is also a valuable addition as it can be used to light fires and even sterilize wounds & tools.
5. Cell Phone Charger, Cable
It’s also good to keep cell phone chargers and cables with you to contact emergency services. While you may be diligent in keeping your phone charged at all times, sometimes things happen. You’ll be glad that you have spare charging cables or a power bank in your classroom, which you can use to keep your phone switched on to alert parents and first-responders of you and your student’s whereabouts.
If you have the school budget for it, another excellent item to purchase is off-the-grid chargers. These chargers cost around $70, but it comes in very handy when power loss happens. These chargers work when there’s no electricity. A hand-crank off-the-grid charger only needs a USB connector so you can power up your phone just by using your hand. Before purchasing one, make sure to read the instructions on using one to know how it works. Reading this ahead of time is helpful to remember the details when an emergency happens, and you don’t need to scramble for the manual.
6. Gear and supplies
If you work in a high-risk environment prone to unforeseen accidents, having a handy medical kit with chest seals, bendable splits, and bleeding control kits is a must-have addition to your classroom emergency kit. Towelettes, face masks and blankets are also things you want to equip your kit with.
7. Emergency plan
Staying away from the accident or danger zone is the quickest way to minimize and reduce damage, which is why an emergency plan marking clear exits is an essential part of risk management. Designate meeting areas where students and staff can gather and place standard operating procedures for people to follow for everyone to get out of the danger zone safely and securely. In any dangerous situation or the event of an accident in the classroom, ensuring the danger is contained and that it doesn’t spread to affect more people is crucial for risk mitigation. An emergency medical kit, of course, helps to zero in on the most critical and pressing medical issue to prevent further harm and injury to the people involved. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
8. Subscribe to emergency alerts
It’s best to subscribe to receive notifications to your email or phone. Some regions also have apps that you can download for free, such as the Red Cross to obtain quick and fast information and access to emergency services in case of a disaster. You can also create an emergency alert system for your school that enables the school’s administration to blast emergency info if they have one.
9. Pack your grab-and-go bag
– Three days’ worth of food and water
– First aid kits and medical supplies.
– Extra batteries, whistle, and flashlight
– Face masks, regional maps, and a solar charger
– Trash bag and a set of tools
Snacks come in handy for emergencies in school. It helps to keep protein bars and chocolate because one gives you sustenance and nutrition while the chocolate helps to keep students calm. Dried fruit and nuts also work well. Whistles are also a vital feature of any emergency kit, especially if your classroom is in an area prone to natural disasters. Ensure to get whistles that are compact yet high decibel so you can alert emergency services on your location. It’s also a good idea to have a few essentials packed in smaller kits. These kits can include non-perishable snacks, a flashlight, water and some cash. Make sure to check these kits at least once a year to remove any expired items and to replenish any items if needed.
10. Make and practice your action plan
Practice makes perfect. No matter if you live in an area that is frequented by natural disasters or in high-risks area, having an emergency plan and practicing it will ensure that all student and staff are prepared and ready should disaster strike. This plan includes where to go in case of emergency, the exits in the school, what safety protocols to adhere to as well as who to contact or what to do in case of an emergency. This action plan should include designated meeting areas as well as emergency numbers. This information should be easily accessible by students and staff.