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Arizona scores low on disaster preparedness in schools

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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

By Sydney Schuman


SYDNEY SCHUMAN/CRONKITE NEWS: As last week’s states of emergency showed, many Arizonans are not prepared for disaster. As this could be another week of closed streets and flooded roads, now is the time to plan ahead.

JEAN AJAMIE/ARIZONA DEPARMENT OF EDUCATION: Emergency preparedness is an ongoing proposition. It’s never done, really.

SYDNEY SCHUMAN/CRONKITE NEWS: The organization “Save the Children” tested every state on four different areas of disaster preparedness. Arizona only scored satisfactory on one: having a multi-hazard plan for all K-12 schools. But Arizona did not score well when it came to plans in day cares for evacuation, reunification and children with special needs.

APRILLE SLUTSKY/ARIZONA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: Ask your child’s school if they have a preparedness kit, and that includes day cares. Ask them what they would do if an emergency did happen.

JEAN AJAMIE/ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: The really important thing that crosses all types of hazards that a school deals with is communication with the families.

SYDNEY SCHUMAN/CRONKITE NEWS: This includes severe storms – which we now know can result in school closures, power outages and more.

September is National Preparedness Month, which means that every person needs to make sure that they are prepared in case of a disaster. Waiting for emergency to strike is not the time to realize that you or your family are not prepared. Something good to have on hand is one of these disaster supply kit backpacks which can be stored for many things from a flashlight to food to water, and can potentially mean the difference between life and death for you and your family

APRILLE SLUTSKY/ARIZONA DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: At your home you basically want three days’ worth of food, water, medicines, a first aid kit, flashlight, a hand-cranked or solar-powered radio for you to listen to.