Tips for Outfitting Classrooms and Offices with Emergency Supplies
Emergency Supplies Have to be Readily Available Yet Securely Stored
This blog was written for School Health by K. David Scott, Founder, President and CEO, LifeSecure Emergency Solutions.
"3-10-3" – 3 Principles for Preparing School Emergency Supplies
When considering if you have the correct and adequate supplies, it is helpful to simplify the task by taking the "3-10-3" approach to evaluating your school emergency supplies. This involves preparing appropriate supplies for the:
Emergency Medical Supplies for 3 Key School Areas and Services
It is important to consider what supplies will be necessary for each of the 3 Key School Areas and Services:
School Facilities: classrooms, common areas, offices
School Health and Medical Services
School Administration & Safety Services
Supplies for each area and service are necessary in order to ensure an orderly and coordinated response to an emergency.
School Facilities – Basic Survival Supplies for Evacuations or Lockdowns
Emergency supplies should be stored in important areas of your school facilities. Experts strongly recommend that there be emergency supplies in each classroom adequate to support the number of students and staff that may be in the classroom in the case of a lockdown or evacuation. In a lockdown, supplies stored elsewhere will be of little use and bathroom and other facilities will not be accessible.
Each classroom should have an emergency kit that supplies all of the 10 Basic Survival Needs for the first several hours of response and perhaps longer if an extended lockdown may occur. In case of an evacuation, most plans will call for classes to stay together. A portable option in a backpack or wheeled bag may be desirable.
As students may be in other common areas at the time disaster strikes, it is important to have similar supplies stored in libraries, cafeterias, gyms, pool areas, student and teacher lounges, and other instructional areas.
The basic idea is to make sure that supplies needed for the first few hours of an emergency response are readily at hand throughout the school. While stockpiles for extended emergencies may be best stored in central storage areas, one cannot count on a quick distribution process in a lockdown or evacuation. Supplies have to be readily at hand yet securely stored. This need can best be met by specially designed emergency kits that meet the 10 Basic Survival Needs.
It is also important that school offices have basic survival supplies for staff members and students and visitors that may be in these areas when an emergency happens. These needs may best be met by a combination of group emergency kits and individual emergency kits. Any staff member who might be counted on to provide direction in a response will also need their own personal survival supplies. This need is often met by a small, portable personal emergency kit.
School Health can help you decide what emergency supplies you need for your school facilities.