Emergency Preparedness BC schools
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I am a deeply concerned parent in Richmond BC. As we know the Lower Mainland is in one of the most seismically active regions of Canada. The school district has a duty to provide adequate equipment and resources for our children in case of an earthquake or another damaging event. This is not currently happening.
The current practice of fundraising for emergency supplies is not consistent in each school. Some schools have many supplies, and some do not have many at all. These supplies should not be dependent on whether the Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) makes this a fundraising priority. Parents should not be asked to take on the financial burden of acquiring emergency supplies for their school. Emergency preparedness in a publicly funded building is not a PAC’s responsibility to take on to ensure the safety of our children.
Minister of Education Rob Fleming, we need district funded procurement of emergency equipment and resources for all schools.
Immediate and specific requirements:
1. Duty of Care (72 Hours min) preferably a week.
Classroom Emergency Backpacks will provide resources to evacuate students to a safe area, or to care for students if trapped in the classroom. Emergency supplies such as: first aid, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, light, heat, food, and water will be required to care for students until they can be safely reunited with family. One set of supplies is required for each school
2. The Crisis Response Box is an invaluable resource if a critical incident ever arises at your school. It walks you through the steps necessary to assemble a school emergency response plan adapted for your school and community before an event occurs.
3. Basic emergency supplies to be used for damage control to manage any fire, live wire, gas, earthquakes, and other hazards, until first responders arrive at the school site. One set of supplies is required for each school.
4. Reunification supplies and training for school staff. Staff have supplies and are comfortable to conduct a safe and quick controlled student release. The schools need to practice this as a drill. This is not currently happening in all schools.
5. Storage container (E-Can) will be required to store the school’s emergency supplies, and the food and water acquired by the PAC. One container is required for each school.
The school board does not have this funding. We can no longer ignore the current situation. To survive and thrive the anticipated earthquake we must be prepared.
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