Back to school and Emergency contacts

bts emergency contact 660

It’s back to school time in my neck of the woods…why it’s so early I’ll never understand. Regardless it’s time for new clothes, school supplies, Registration, Back-to-school nights, Meet the teacher and all the general busy-ness that comes this time of year. At our school we all congregate in the gym and go from table to table to fill out all forms, pay the fees, sign up for this or that and generally jump through hoops to sign over our children for another year.

With the 5 of mine that are still at home we use a mix of Public, Charter and Homeschooling so there is a ton of paperwork to take care of. One of these papers is UBER important but often overlooked in the stacks of paper-madness that is “Back-to-School”. It’s usually in the registration packet itself and is titled EMERGENCY CONTACTS.

If you’ve seen it, you probably added your name and your spouses name and called it good. This year let’s rethink the info we include on this form.

We might think that it’s just for when junior has a tummy ache or skips out on a class and mom needs to be called. In reality it’s for much more than that.

We live in Earthquake country and All of my children attend schools that sit very near Earthquake fault lines. One of our schools is 15 miles away by freeway and between my home and the school there are 15 plus freeway structures (under or over), any one of which could be damaged or made impassable by an earthquake and would cause gridlock on the roads . This could make reaching this particular child extremely difficult after a disaster like that. However, I do have friends that live within walking distance of the school and they could retrieve that child if needed….IF they were listed on the Emergency Contact list.

If this friend of mine isn’t on the list, the school won’t release them.

Consider including these people on your list:

  • Spouse/ Grandparents
  • Friends that live near your child’s school
  • Go-to friends
  • Carpool drivers
  • Trusted Neighbors
  • Driving-aged older siblings

Include trusted local friends and neighbors that live near me on the list. In our case, Dad could be anywhere within a 100 mile radius of home on any given work day. What if you were hurt or couldn’t get to your children for whatever reason? Who could you trust with your children? These are the people who will go on that Emergency Contact List. Talk with your friends and neighbors and get on each others lists. (Print out a separate paper if needed and include it with the schools printed form.) You could Work out a plan where one of you keeps all the pre-school aged children while the other one can pick up all the school aged kids if a disaster or emergency happened where you live. If you make this plan, make sure the kids know the plan too.

Make sure you also add any older driving-age children to your contact list so they can have younger children released to them if that’s your plan.

My personal hope is that our next disaster happens while my family is all home and safe in their beds, but the reality is that we are spread far and wide for a good part of the week and so having a plan to reunite will go along way towards reducing the stress on both sides if something were to happen while we are apart.

I’m including a printable form that you can use to attach to your schools form.

Emergency_Contact_Form

So what’s your plan?

What do you think?