Get Healthy Carson City: Back to school — be prepared! |

Get Healthy Carson City: Back to school — be prepared!

Jessica Rapp
Carson City Health and Human Services

As you prepare to send your kids back to school, make sure your emergency plans are in place. Emergency preparedness plays a major role in school life. Throughout the year, schools actively prepare for natural disasters, disease outbreaks and other emergencies. They even host fire and earthquake drills to make sure your kid knows what to do in those emergencies. Parents need to be prepared for and know what to do in those emergencies as well.

While preparing your child for the start of the new school year, take some time to follow these few back to school emergency preparedness tips.

Have a plan on how you will reunite with your kid:

Know how you would be reunited with your child in an emergency or evacuation. Talk to the school and find out how they would notify you. Talk with your kids about what to do in situations where they might have to take the bus home instead of being picked up or where they might have to be picked up by a friend or family member. Have a plan for who would pick up your child if they needed to be picked up early or if you were unable to get to the school. Make sure to let your child know who would pick them up in those situations. For younger children, have a line or saying that an emergency contact can use to let them know it is safe to ride home with them.

Update emergency contact information:

The emergency contact information on file with the school could be out of date. Check with the school at the start of the year and update your address, phone number, and the list of emergency contacts who could pick your child up in an emergency.

Backpack emergency card:

Create an emergency card with important personal information about your child like their name, school, emergency contact information, date of birth, any allergies and any medical conditions. Put this card in a safe spot in your child’s backpack. Consider protecting the card so it can survive any backpack damage it might face. Visit for a printable, pre-made emergency card.

Have your child memorize important addresses and phone numbers:

Some emergencies prevent schools from accessing emergency contact files. Make sure your child knows certain phone numbers and addresses in case they need to use them during an emergency. Children should know their address and at least two emergency contact phone numbers.

Remember, emergency preparedness is important for everyone. Children who are prepared are more confident during stressful emergency situations. By preparing your child for emergencies during the school day, you are improving their safety and peace of mind. For information about emergency preparedness and talking to your kids about emergencies visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) kid-friendly website at

Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take an active role in preparing emergencies. For resources and information about Carson City Health and Human Services programs and services, check out our website at, “like” us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, call us at 775-887-2190 or visit us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.