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Safety Solutions

Spring Cleaning Your Classroom Emergency Guides

Posted by John Baker on Mar 26, 2015 12:51:00 PM

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                Spring is here. I grew up in a house where spring cleaning was a big deal. Everything was dusted off, the windows were opened and the house was refreshed. I don’t know if people do that anymore but it does remind me that we need to do the same thing with our classroom emergency guides…freshen then up.  This isn’t the emergency plan that fills a 3” binder that is kept in the school office, we are talking about the classroom based Readers Digest version. If you have the privilege of traveling around to different schools like I do, you quickly realize that these guides vary greatly. Some are ultra-simple and others are multi-colored/laminated works of art. I’m often asked “what’s the important parts of a classroom emergency guide?” Here are a few ideas to guide you.

  • Simple, Simple, Simple. When I first started doing this work my first classroom guide was 12 pages. My most recent version is now two pages. I got rid of the all the “extra stuff” and rendered it down to its simplest form. In times of crisis people don’t read paragraphs. They read bullet notes.
  • Freshen it up. Hopefully every time we drill or have a real event we learn. That often results in changes. Don’t etch these guides in a $20 laminate, instead make it a simple word document and slip it into a clear document protector. It’s not only less expensive… it’s also able to be changed easily.
  • Date it. Always have an AS OF date on the document so you can quickly confirm that everyone is working on the same sheet of music. Vary colors between versions as well so you can visually see if someone has an outdated version.
  • Common place. Try to create consistency within your building. If not, some end up next to the door or buried in the inbox on the teachers desk. Where is it when you really need it?
  • Multiple uses.   To keep guides relevant consider finding multiple uses for them. Maybe your school uses green and red cards to acknowledge whether they have everyone in their class when doing monthly fire drills. Consider printing your emergency guides on red and green paper. Now your guides also serve as the class status cards. It helps to keep track of them and touch them on a regular basis.

Hope this helps. Until next time this is John for safetysolutions4schools.com

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Topics: School Safety

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