School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Preparing for Emergencies

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — September 23, 2008 1 min read
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Many of the nation’s schools and day-care centers are ill-prepared to handle emergencies arising from natural and man-made disasters, according to a new report that analyzes licensing requirements throughout the country.

Eighteen states do not require K-12 schools to have written emergency-preparedness plans in place, the report says. Just nine states require child-care facilities to have evacuation plans.

“Most states have not taken the necessary steps to ensure that thousands of child-care facilities are prepared to respond to the needs of children in the event of emergencies such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or industrial accidents, which can strike during school hours,” the report states. “Many states are falling short when it comes to protecting children in times of disaster.”

Save the Children, a Westport, Conn.-based organization that commissioned the report, is asking states to review and improve their procedures and policies for how day-care centers and schools plan for emergencies.

The organization plans to issue a report card next year to show each states’ progress toward implementing such measures.

A version of this article appeared in the September 24, 2008 edition of Education Week

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