City urges parents to give kids the proper tools to keep safe
Pencils, markers, backpacks, and rulers aren’t the only tools students need when heading back to school. They also need to be prepared for disasters that might occur while at school, which is the City of Santa Clarita’s August feature as part of the 12 months of Personal Preparedness.
There is a lot that can be done by school officials to plan for disasters, limit risk, protect the safety of students and teachers, and ensure that schools recover quickly.
All schools should have an emergency response plan including: identification of hazards and steps to reduce the risk; evacuation plans and routes; needs of students and staff with disabilities; onsite shelter plans; emergency supplies and equipment; plans for releasing students and school personnel; and communication.
Parents should: know the policies and procedures of their children’s school during times of a disaster or crisis; be involved in the planning process as much as possible; make sure the school has their updated emergency contact information; and keep your children’s school emergency release card current.
Additionally, it is important for parents to discuss with their children what might occur when an emergency happens at their school because during an emergency, parents might be delayed in picking up their children.
Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Southern California so parents should spend time with their children to explain why earthquakes occur, and involve them in developing your own disaster plan, prepare earthquake bags, and practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”
Parents, teacher, and administrators may want to consider taking the City's Community Emergency Response Training program. This is a 21 hour program that teaches individuals to be prepared for emergencies and also how to respond to emergencies--info on website.
The 12 months of Personal Preparedness  is designed to increase resident’s awareness and preparedness on what to do in the event of a specific emergency or disaster.
Each month throughout the year, the City and KHTS will promote news stories and interviews focusing on improving preparedness with the City Manager, Mayor, and City Councilmembers.
For a more information or a complete list of the 12 months of Personal Preparedness to be covered throughout the year, please visit www.santa-clarita.com  .