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#51216 - 10/05/05 05:26 PM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
You should also make sure they are specific about their communication. when they start dispersing kids In a disaster, inviduals are cargo, and must be tracked as such. How are they going to ensure that when your child is evacuated (and where too???), that you are the one to pick them up? How are they going to know your child is actually out of the building, and not hiding in a bathroom? But perhaps the most important:

Do the children know what to do? Kids aren't stupid.

I believe that an average 5 year old could be given very basic instructions and practice on what to do. In elementary school, we were always in boy-girl-boy-girl alphabetical order by last name. We were expected to line up like this during emergencies, and this allowed the teacher to keep track of us. We then went to our designated spot on the playground/fields. Each teacher was at the head of the class (closer to the building) and an administrator walked around checking to make sure that all teachers had all students. The teachers even had their attendence sheets and would take roll outside. The fire service calls this taking PAR, Personnel Accountability Report, which when pronounced sounds like par in golf.

#51217 - 10/06/05 05:54 AM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Something I find ironic is how school district administrations all want to fabricate some sort of reaction plan to anticipated emergencies, yet none have any response plan to the threat of terrorist attack. Given current events, I would say this is the most likely catastrophe to occur at a school, and certainly the most threatening to the welfare of the children. Our local schools back home plan to simply lock down the school and detain the children in their classrooms until LE arrives to deal with the threat(bear in mind, nearly all the classrooms have only one means of access and egress). Given the social impact of attacking our schools, I'd say the LEs will be coming in to clean up a huge mess (Columbine was literally "child's play" compared to what could really be accomplished. Look at what happened in Russia).

My daughter's high school has about 2,500 students in it during class time. A good plan properly executed by 3 or 4 individuals would generate at least a 90% casualty rate. One can only imagine what effect that kind of loss would have on a community. Multiply it by, say, 3 high schools, 6 middles schools, a dozen elementary schools, and that is just in our small little podunk burg.

I'll say it again, the veil of security behind which we live our lives is getting thinner and threadbare. It doesn't take much imagination for me to consider what is happening here in Baghdad someday becoming a reality back home. People continue to tell me there's no way this can happen there, our system is working, the threat isn't viable. Hogwash! What kind of system do you think the military has implemented here? When you consider how many thousands of troops we have garrisoned in and around Baghdad, all the technology being used here (and there is stuff here that you would only think exists in Sci-Fi), and that's just US forces, then there's the Iraqi police the Iraqi army, and still you will hear about attack after attack day in, day out. It takes an awful lot of time and energy and effort to stop people who are willing to die to take you with them.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#51218 - 10/10/05 11:29 AM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
> Emergency plan procedures shall be practiced at least once a month for fire and for tornado.

Does that actually happen? If so I'm impressed; when I was a child we were lucky to get a fire drill once in two years. If it doesn't happen then I'm kinda unimpressed and would doubt everything else that notice says.
Quality is addictive.

#51219 - 10/11/05 01:40 AM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 639
Loc: SoCal, USA
I don't know if it actually happens or not (fire and tornado drills). My child that goes there is too young to be a reliable source of information regarding such things.

I need to discuss it with the center director again. She's new to the job and I wonder if she found an outdated procedure. This is center is governed by the same body that governs the school I work at. I was checking my own school's plans today and noticed the current policy was drafted in 1997 (same as the one in this thread) and updated in 2002. I haven't read it through yet, because it comprises several pages, but the contents look impressive. The plan is very specific, naming administration officials in charge of coordinating efforts with local law enforcement and other schools. School nurses are tasked with bringing a portable medical kit and hardline phone that can be plugged into several places in shelter areas, and the use of two way radios is described.

The idea that such vast descrepensies could exist between two different schools governed by the same board is just mind blowing.

I know that my school practices fire and severe weather drills, but I have never heard of a terrorist drill, though there is a procedure in place for a terrorist attack.

However, the fire drills are limited to approximately two per school year with an additional one for the summer session.
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#51220 - 10/11/05 03:36 AM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
You might also ask if these procedures are all theory, or if they've practiced them and worked out some of the bugs.

I like the radio part -- bombs are often radio-activated. Where I work, everyone is warned to NOT use their security radios if a bomb is found or suspected.

From what I've heard from people, all kinds of businesses have so-called disaster plans that appear to be created by dimwitted bureaucrats that couldn't zip their pants in the dark.

My sister works at a hospital here in western WA. Every year they have a disaster drill. Many people refer to it as "a disaster of a drill". The police, fire dept, etc, all seem to participate in each one.

Two years ago, they neglected to notify the community, and people from outside crowded in to find out what was going on and look for dead bodies. Family members of employees that lived nearby went into a panic.

This time (2 wks ago), the put it in the newspaper. They scheduled it the same day as inventory, which apparently meant that the materials supply people weren't supposed to supply anything until they finished inventory, but they were being called to bring stuff up. Asked if the need was real or for the drill, they were told to just bring it up.

They had employees as "victims". Whoever was in charge of triage forgot to show up. The doctor that was supposed to attend the victims had to do triage as well. The "dead bodies" got bored and walked away. (I hear that at the meeting afterward, the doctor was absolutely SCATHING in his opinon.)

This is a HOSPITAL, and they've done this before. I shudder to think how most schools would handle hundreds of kids in a real disaster. These are the people who panic if a kids waves around a drawing of a knife or gun. What the heck will they do in a real emergency?

Personally, I would find out if they have drills, find out when the next one is, and be there for it. See for yourself. It will probably scare the pants off you.


#51221 - 10/11/05 02:20 PM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 639
Loc: SoCal, USA
I tried to find the director of my daughter's preschool this morning, but she was in one of the classrooms I think. I've wondered about what that lab school will do if they have to evacuate from the university campus. I know there are buses that bring some of the kids there, but what about all the kids that walk, ride bikes or have parents drop them off? What about the preschool kids, who are all dropped off by their parents? Enough room on the buses for all of them? Probably not.

And the school I work at, I think a disaster would be a disaster. Most of the kids have multiple disabilities. If we had to evacuate them, with so many wheelchairs...

Then (and this borders on TEOTWAWKI thinking) I consider what would happen if a widespread disaster took place and both the kids at my school and my own kids were in danger. Not to say that my own family comes second, but I work at a residential school, and those kids' parents are scattered all over the state. I feel responsibility there too.

I've seen those old movie clips of kids practicing duck and cover drills, and putting on gas masks... are we really so arrogant that we think we don't need to practice for worst case scenarios anymore?

My question to the forum is this: how do I address this concern with my daugher's preschool in a tactful way? "Oh, btw Ms. Center Director, I think your emergency procedures are woefully inadequate and you and I need to sit down right now and hammer this thing out" would probably create some tension. At the same time, my priority is the safety of my child, and if people think I'm wrong because of that, so be it.

The other concern is the speed at which "Boards" can move trying to resolve such things. It's not going to do me any good for their emergency procedures to be updated three years from now.


BTW, good story Sue.
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#51222 - 10/11/05 02:41 PM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2822
As most schools are usually understaffed and under budgeted an offer of asistance in emergency planning may be appriciated by the director, usually most will take any help they can get since they have to wear multiple hats.

#51223 - 10/11/05 07:47 PM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
are we really so arrogant that we think we don't need to practice for worst case scenarios anymore?

The worst excuse I've ever heard is that they don't want to scare anyone (usually "the children"), so they don't use scary words and don't have scary exercises.

We used to world proof our children, now we're trying to child proof the world.
It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

#51224 - 10/12/05 04:41 AM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"We used to world proof our children, now we're trying to child proof the world."

Too true. But it's been going on for quite a while. Think back to all the things our government hasn't told us "for your own good", "because we didn't want people to panic". We've been lied to so much that truth would make us suspicious.

How many of you remember, or have even heard of the balloon incindiaries that Japan sent to the western U.S. toward the end of WWII? When our gov'mt finally figured out what was going on, they imposed a blackout of news of these balloon across the country "to avoid panic". Then a family on an outing found an undetonated device attached to its balloon and tried to pull it out of the bushes. The woman and 5 kids died when it detonated. So they had to let the people know so there wouldn't be any more accidents. Was there a mass panic? No. The general attitude seemed to be "Okay, we'll watch out for them" and that was that.

In fact, the only major (although fairly localized) panic in this country that I know about happened on Oct. 30, 1938, when a radio station broadcast a fictional radio program called "War of the Worlds".

Our politicians want to treat ALL of us like children: too dumb to know what we want, and too dumb to do anything about it.


#51225 - 10/12/05 02:49 PM Re: Emergency Procedures--opinions please

This thread relly got me to thinking about my daughter. So I paid a visit to the school, and it was very productive. I found that they are onbe of the few schools with FEMA approved shelter in place. The gym which is large enough to handle all of the kids, is self contained, reinforced construction, and isolated communication. I enquired about offsite evacuations, and found out where those would be. During the course of this discussion with the principle she said let me get one of the parent handbooks. Come to find out noe of this info is in there. She then comments that it will be changed by next year, and for now they will incorporate the info into the next school newsletter. She seemed very pleased that someone would actually be this involved with the safety of their children, and the proceedures at the school.

I was glad to find a person who would recognize there was a problem in the lack of communications, and would take steps to remedy it, instead of finding a USD beaurocrat that thought I was a paranoid schizaphrenia for asking these questions.

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