• Doug Leard
  • DJL@emergencypreparedness4all.com
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Family, Children, Schools and Teachers

The Massachusetts Department of Education and the Massachusetts Legislature have adopted comprehensive education curricula for all students in the Commonwealth. In addition to the required curriculum, all schools (Coan, 2012) are required to conduct four fire drills each year. Superintendents are required to review each School Safety Plan, and each school must adhere to strict state anti-bullying policies. The Department of Education and the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts have written plans designed to protect their students in the event of a local or regional emergency. The problem is there are few programs in elementary, middle and high schools designed to teach the youth of Massachusetts what to do in an emergency and how to think on their own.

Many schools nationwide are required to prepared, practice and institute Emergency Action Plans (EAP’s), in conjunction with local public safety agencies. These EAP’s are prepared in order to protect the children and staff during an emergency event that may occur (i.e. weather related, terrorist, man-made, accidental, cyber attack, etc); while in the care and custody of the school district.  What are children to do at the end of the school day when the school bell rings? Are children taught what to do if an emergency event happens while walking home from school or if they are visiting a friends home or if they are getting an ice cream with friends at a local shopping mall, or studying at home while a parent(s) or caregiver(s) are working [4/23/2015, US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that married-couple families with children where both parents worked was 60.2 percent], or if the children are under the supervision of a nanny or sitter, and on and on.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau Statistics the population under 18 years of age in Massachusetts was 21.3% and 23.7% of the United States population. Whether it be our changing climate and weather events, our nations strategic defense policies or the worlds increasing threat of terrorism, more so than ever we must all be better prepared to protect and defend ourselves, our families, our employees, our neighbors, our community, and our nation. It is the theory of many leaders that the question is not “IF” we will witness a catastrophic event, but “WHEN”. What better way is there to begin learning how to be prepared and to know what to do if an emergency event happens, than to begin in your early years.

Remember, according to the “Save The Children” (2015) "...of every $10 in federal emergency preparedness grants, less than 1 cent is spent to keep kids safe." These are our children and we must take the initiative.


Let’s start the discussion now!