A surprising number of states not requiring schools to prepare for disasters
We send our kids off to school every day trusting those responsible for their care are properly prepared for disaster crisis management, but the frightening reality is that most aren’t. Aid group “Save the Children” is working to change that, and as part of their efforts they’ve released a report blasting states across the nation. The AP’s Andrew Miga has more details:
Eight years after Hurricane Katrina, most states still don’t require four basic safety plans to protect children in school and child care from disasters, aid group Save the Children said in a report released Wednesday.
The group faulted 28 states and the District of Columbia for failing to require the emergency safety plans for schools and child care providers that were recommended by a national commission in the wake of Katrina. The lack of such plans could endanger children’s lives and make it harder for them to be reunited with their families, the study said.
The states were: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia.
After Katrina exposed problems in the nation’s disaster preparedness, the presidentially appointed National Commission on Children and Disaster issued final recommendations in 2010 calling on the states to require K-12 schools to have comprehensive disaster preparedness plans and child care centers to have disaster plans for evacuation, family reunification and special needs students.
Attention State officials and educators! How many warning signs do you need to see before you understand you’re heading for a catastrophe? How many times can you watch as devastating disasters place students in danger and think, “it won’t happen to us?”
It’s a common trap, and one that costs lives every single year. Your duty as a school or child care center is not only to educate, but also to provide a safe and secure environment for the future of our nation. Don’t neglect disaster crisis management until it’s too late.
The BCM Blogging Team