This Week in School and Campus Safety

Good morning,

This Weekly Update by the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program provides Halloween safety tips for institutions of higher education and Winter weather preparedness for K-12 schools.

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Laura Black
Program Coordinator
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program
Halloween Safety for Higher Education

For many college students, tonight will kickoff a weekend of Halloween revelries. Colleges and universities, if they haven't already done so, should consider promoting several aspects of Halloween safety.

  1. Students should be reminded to wear fire resistant costumes that do not impair their vision nor their ability to be seen.
  2. Students should test any makeup in a small spot in advance to ensure they do not have an adverse reaction.
  3. Alcohol is a factor in a large number of fires and that, combined with Jack-o’-lanterns and costumes, can pose a significant risk during Halloween. Recommend that students use string lights, battery-operated lights, or glow sticks for any sort of accent lighting and to illuminate Jack-o’-lanterns.
  4. For those still planning to use candles, stress the importance of placing them in areas where they will not be easily knocked over and ensure they are never left unattended.
  5. Remind students, if going out, that they should stay with people they know and trust, while still being mindful of any food or drink they consume.
  6. Students should be reminded they still need to obey laws and other regulations.
  7. Lastly, remind students it is okay to step in if they see a friend attempting to drive after drinking.
Gearing up for Winter Weather Preparedness - K-12 Preparedness

It almost seems too early to be thinking about Winter Weather Preparedness, but the weather from the last couple days is a stark reminder that winter is coming.

For K-12 schools, preparing for winter weather includes many concerns, such as transportation, school closings, dismissing early, and even sheltering in place should the weather prove too dangerous for students to return home. 

But schools must consider other, more easily overlooked, concerns. What will the protocol be if students are away at a school event or function when severe weather strikes? If sheltering in place, does the school nurse have several days worth of medicine for students who have prescriptions?  Do bus drivers have training on how to respond should they become stranded in a storm with students? What if a student or students are injured but emergency services cannot respond immediately? Schools must consider these and other potential issues when planning for winter weather emergencies.

Outside of ensuring emergency plans are in place, one way to avoid unnecessary danger during inclement weather is to familiarize staff and students with winter preparedness. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) website is filled with preparedness information, including several resources and tips for winter weather preparedness. Among those resources is IEMA’s Winter Storm Preparedness Guide . The 10-page guide includes statistical information on winter weather in Illinois; winter weather terms used by the National Weather Service; lists for creating emergency supply kits; information for schools, travelers, and farmers; and more.

While preparing for inclement weather can’t prevent all winter weather emergencies, using safe practices and knowing how to respond in the event of disaster will help ensure the safety of students and staff. 
Upcoming Classes
K-12 Classes

Student Behavioral Threat Assessment
November 14, 2019 - Hillside
November 25, 2019 - Joliet
December 6, 2019 - Chicago Heights
December 9, 2019 - Joliet

Advanced Student Behavioral Threat Assessment

Understanding & Planning for School Bomb Incidents and Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings

Higher Ed Classes

Understanding & Planning for School Bomb Incidents and Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings

For more information on these and other upcoming classes, contact Laura Black at or at 309-298-2646.
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program