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.